The Simple Way to Handle Multiple Airbnb Accounts

If you are a property management business or an ‘Airbnb entrepreneur’ then chances are you will manage multiple accounts. Having multiple accounts on Airbnb is necessary if you have a large volume of properties as it can and will break the backend of the website. I found this out personally and during a meeting at the Airbnb Singapore office I asked them how to fix such a problem, they told me to split the accounts up so that is what we did.

It wasn’t long before we were managing double digit numbers of accounts. This can be a pain. An enquiry comes in on one and a reservation on the other. With no systems, you would have to log in on the one, then log out and log in on the other. All of this costs time and it does add up so there must be a better way.

Use a PMS I hear you cry!

The property management systems all have their flaws. They are a one size fits all model so it is not personalized to your specific business and you will often find that it doesn’t work as well as the sales person promises you during the demo. These are issues before even mentioning price. Using a PMS when you get into the hundreds or thousands of properties range is simply expensive. You will be spending thousands a month and that is crazy.

One of the most sought after features of a PMS is the multi inbox. This means that you get all the messages from multiple accounts all in one place. Sounds awesome, and it is. You really don’t need to spend so much money to do it though. I’ll be going through the steps of setting up your own in a further blog post shortly.

Sometimes the Site is Needed!

Whilst you can build up systems to handle multiple inboxes. Enquiries, reservations and all that jazz. Some things are needed to be done on the site and having a quick way to get into your different accounts is important. Off the top of my head, some of the things which are a pain to do not from within the platform are the following;

  • Dealing with Airbnb Support. Uploading photos as proof and replying to their messages.
  • Alteration requests. Sending these and responding to them.
  • Checking transaction history of specific accounts. You will be surprised how often Airbnb keep payments in the ‘future transactions’ tab. It is worth checking regularly! I once had over $5,000 held for no reason.

Give Forth Thy Wisdom Already!

Ok, ok. It really is simple. The business I run is very desktop dependent. We work on computers to handle most things and do not do things with our phones that often. We can however switch quickly on the phone. I’ll go into that after!

The main trick though is using software like Wavebox. Wavebox is pretty cool and was initially an email app to handle multiple email inboxes. What you can do with Wavebox is literally set up multiple profiles for different Airbnb accounts. It will keep these accounts logged in as separate entities and you can switch between them seamlessly and super fast. You don’t need to use incognito or anything like that. Just set up the different profiles.

You know what is really cool about Wavebox though? Well, huddle in a little closer. You can have your email on it also or a messaging system such as Slack. If you have an email which gets all the emails for the multiple accounts you operate then you can run things from your inbox. If there is something that needs actioning, you simply right click it, and open in wavebox profile.. choose the account which the email refers to and job done. It will load up a logged in window of that account to the message or action that is needed. Awesome!

Creativity Runs Wild!

When you figure out this stuff and get it working quite well. You might let your creative juices flow a little more. We use an email parser to take care of most of the communications we get from Airbnb. This means we don’t have to deal with hundreds of inbox notifications every day. With the parser, we can extract certain information and send it where we need it to go. We use Slack as our command center. This messaging app is super powerful. We use it for messaging but in reality it is our PMS. Our switch board and all powerful tool.

Sorry about blurring parts of this out… but hey, data protection and all that! So what is going on here? This is a message we get in Slack when it detects we confirm a booking which is less than 7 days away from happening. The guest needs to be send the check in information and we have Slack running in Wavebox which is super convenient. When this message pops up, I simply need to go to the ‘Direct message guest’ button, right click it and open it in the Airbnb account of the booking. It will load up the message conversation with the guest. I then simply copy the message in the box and send it to them. After this I can close the window, and hit the ‘Click when done’ button. Lots of automation is possible with Wavebox, this is just one of the many ways we run our business efficiently.

Let me know how you get on with Wavebox and multiple accounts. Nobody paid me to write this and I just enjoy the tool and it has helped me a ton. It is a hidden secret and works great.

How to Send SMS from Slack!

Huh, what? Slack is a team tool and SMS is from phones? Well.. SMS might have been only from phones in the days of the Nokia 3210 but in recent times SMS is making a major comeback.. you may wonder why SMS is now so popular, just think. Who sends SMS these days? Nobody. Who always plays with their phones? Everybody. Your message will be seen whereas an email may be ignored. 

Why do I need SMS in 2019?

Good question and I am sure you know how to run your business so I am looking at it from the point of view of a vacation rental manager. We deal with both owners, cleaners and guests. Each present a clear use case SMS, we can shoot reminders, tell people to contact us and fire off schedules and new bookings so staff can prepare. Super simple but you go to the website of SMS providers online and it all looks super complicated. API this and API that… I haven’t got time for that.. I just want a no code no worries solution.. and where do our team always hang out? Slack of course.. 

The Concept

Write SMS messages in Slack and send them in the same message. Pretty simple right? What are the two pieces of information we need here? Well the first is the number to send it to obviously. Without this the message won’t be delivered numbnuts. The second is the message itself. Slack messages are easy to configure so we just need to make it so that it will trigger based on the same thing each time. For the sake of simplicity, how about something like this;

Awesome, that is a workflow that would work. Now let’s ensure it does. Head over to Zapierand chuck it in;

Building the Process

Processes in Zapier are pretty simple, they start with a trigger and then action on top of that. Filter is also possible and super important in this use case. What we want to do is create the trigger based on a message in Slack starting with SMS. This will ensure it only picks up these messages and who else starts a chat with SMS, so you are fairly safe that you won’t accidentally trigger it. 

First stage is choosing where to trigger the message
Ensure it only triggers on what you want it to trigger on (choose something you wouldn’t use accidentally!

Next up now that you have this big string of text is to try and split it up into the pieces that you need. Luckily enough, Zapier has a formatter option which enables you to do just this. You can split text. To get the number, you will need to use the formatter and choose extract number. Do note that by doing this, do not use numbers anywhere else in your message! 

Super easy, now to get the message again go to formatter and do a split text on ‘Message:’ and choose last, this will provide you with the message only. Easy life! Now for the SMS action, for this I use Twilio. 

You can set up Twilio and choose send a SMS. You can then fill in the number of the recipient with the details of the split text and also the message. You will probably want to use your alphanumeric ID if you set this up in Twilio. This is really cool, it lets you send messages as your company, for example we have it set up as ROOMFILLA.

You can then test it to ensure it works!

We also set up one further action in Zapier to push a success message to Slack. For this we chose Vegeta because the power to send a SMS from Slack is obviously over 9,000.