Airbnb messaging shortcodes - Guest personalization (the right way) | Smartbnb

Airbnb messaging shortcodes - Guest personalization (the right way) September 26, 2019

By Rowan Clifford

Author of Airbn'b'Smart and Smartbnb user

Hang on a minute…

If you’re deploying a robot to drip-feed messages to your guests on Airbnb, how do you, you know, not sound like a robot?

Aren’t your messages going to sound super sterile and impersonal?

H E L L O  G U E S T, Y O U R  C U S T O M  I S  M U C H   A P P R E C I A T E D . . . (in a Stephen Hawkins type voice).

Isn’t that what automated messages sound like?

Don’t worry, I’ll forgive you for your preconceptions, but you’re about to find out that messages sent by a robot can in fact be colorful, and hyper-personalized…

...All with the help of our little known (often overlooked) friend, the ‘shortcode’!

Never heard of a shortcode before?

Don’t worry, this article has got you covered.

What is a shortcode?

Shortcodes are little snippets of code (unique to Smartbnb) that allow you to do some pretty nifty little things with your guest messaging on Airbnb.

Shortcodes allow you to dynamically insert data into your guest messages to make them more personalized.  They also enable you to create messaging templates that can be copied and used at scale accross multiple listings with little to no effort.

Here’s an example of what a shortcode looks like in Smartbnb:


Pretty simple, eh?

Have you guessed what that nifty little shortcode does?

That little snippet of code dynamically adds your guests' name into any message you send them.

And that’s just the beginning…

There are 50+ shortcode templates ready to go at the click of a button on our platform.  

So, if you’re not already using them as part of your Airbnb host-game, read on, because you’re going to love what these power-packed little shortcode snippets can do…

Why are shortcodes so damn good?

Savvy hosts like you are looking for ways to streamline your hosting responsibilities as much as possible, and for that, you need to take advantage of the technology at your fingertips.

Technology like the ability to automate 90%+ of your guest messaging, or even the ability to use AI to auto-detect and answer frequently asked guest questions.

These technologies are great, however, they don’t exactly exude the personalized host-guest relationship Airbnb is so well known for.

And that’s where shortcodes step in.

Added to carefully crafted message templates, shortcodes will add bucketloads of personalization to your guest messages, so much so, that your guests will be lapping up the seamless experience.

Shortcodes are what transform your guest messages from dull, generic ramblings, into fragrant personalized, detailed messages, packed with valuable actionable information.

All dynamic, and unique to each and every guest.

What types of shortcodes are there?

As mentioned earlier, there are over 50+ pre-built shortcodes at your disposal within the Smartbnb dashboard.

These shortcodes can dynamically add content to your messages in many different ways.

Here’s an example of one of the pre-built ‘New Booking Request’ templates generated when you first create an account with Smartbnb:

Hello %guest_first_name%!

Thanks a lot for your interest in %listing_name% for your trip in %listing_city%!

I wanted to confirm right away that it would be a pleasure to host you from %check_in% to %check_out% (%guests% for %nights%). The total price would be %total%.

Although the %listing_type% is still available at this time, I may have received requests for those dates. I would advise you to book quickly.


If you need any additional information, please feel free to ask, it would be my pleasure to answer you!

I look forward to hosting you!

Best regards,


As you can see, all of the content surrounded by the percentage sign % is a shortcode that will dynamically insert the data into your message.

Below I’m going to breakdown all the different shortcodes available to you, and briefly explain how they can be used.

Shortcodes used for check-in & check-out

%check_in% - The date your guest is due to check-in.

%check_in_hour% - The time from which your guest is able to check-in.

%check_out% - The check-out date.

%check_out_hour% - The time by which your guest must check out.

%day_after_check_in% - The day after a guest arrives eg. “I’ll send you a message on %day_after_check_in% just to see how you’re getting on”.

%day_after_check_out% - The day after check-out.

%day_before_check_in% - The day before check-in.

%day_before_check_out% - The day before check-out.

Shortcodes about your guests

%guest_city% - The city that your guest is from.

%guest_country% - The Country your guest is from.

%guest_first_name% - Your guests first name.

%guest_full_name% - Your guests full name.

%guest_last_name% - Your guests last name.

%guest_state% - The state where your guest lives.

%guests% - The number of guests for the booking.

Shortcodes about the host

%host_first_name% - Your fist name.

%host_name% - Your full name.

%primary_host_name% - The name of the primary host.

Shortcodes about the listing

%bathrooms% - Number of bathrooms.

%bedrooms% - Number of bedrooms.

%beds% - Number of beds.

%room_type% - The type of room.

%listing_address% - The listing address.

%listing_city% - The city where the lising is located.

%listing_description% - Inserts the description you created for your listing.

%listing_directions% - Direction instructions.

%listing_id% - Inserts the listing id.

%listing_name% - Inserts your listing title.

%listing_neighborhood% - Your local neighborhood.

%listing_space% - Inserts the description about your space from your listing.

%listing_summary% - Inserts your listing summary.

%listing_transit% - Inserts details about how to get around.

%listing_type% - What type is your listing: Appartement, house, boat?

%listing_zip% - The zip/postcode for your listing.

%neighborhood_overview% - Inserts the neighborhood overview.

Shortcodes about the booking/money

%subtotal% - The subtotal amount for the booking.

%total% - Booking total amount.

%payout% - How much you will receive after fees.

%base_price% - The base price for your listing.

%nights% - The number of nights the guest will be staying.

%reservation_code% - The unique reservation code generated for your booking.

%house_rules% - Inserts a copy of the house rules.

%listing_price% - The price per night for your listing.

%listing_security_deposit% - Inserts the security deposit amount.

%infants% - The number of infants in the booking.

%cleaning% - The cleaning fee amount.

%children% - Number of children in the booking.

The wildcard…

%answers% - This one is a little different...

This is where shortcodes meet with the Smartbnb AI solution for answering guest questions.  Our system will analyze all guest messages in the search for potential questions.  

If a question is detected, the answer will be automatically generated and inserted seamlessly into your message reply.

For example, if the guest had asked in their previous message about parking instructions, the %answers% shortcode would automatically include the parking instructions dynamically within your message reply.  

For a more in-depth explanation click here.

Manually create custom codes

Custom codes are a little different to shortcodes.  Instead of dynamically inserting data from your listing or the booking in question, they instead insert text or entire paragraphs that may be important for certain guests that meet certain conditions.

These custom codes will be triggered only when these specific conditions are met.

For example, you may wish to send a custom code to send a message only to guests traveling with children, or you may wish to send instructions only for guests with pets.

These messages can be dynamically inserted into your message using custom codes.

To find out more about custom codes click here.


As you can see, shortcodes provide a super valuable framework for creating hyper-personalized, detailed guest messages.

So, if you’re not using shortcodes in your messaging already, what are you waiting for?

Go get yourself a free Smartbnb account, and get started now!

Happy hosting.


Rowan Clifford is a serial solopreneur and founder of Airbn’b’Smart where he writes tips, tricks and hacks for savvy Airbnb hosts looking to maximise their earning potential with minimum effort.