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Engaging with your Guests: Autohost Privacy and Security Principles

Use when handling guest / OTA questions around, or establishing internal understanding of, your company’s use of Autohost. These guides and sample responses will assist in the Autohost verification process, and help to garner mutual understanding.

Getting Started

Establish your Terms of Service

We recommend establishing clear company-wide terms of service (ToS) that define what is acceptable and what will not be tolerated. These may be based on your internal business practices and / or in adherence to local laws or building requirements.

Use your Terms of Service (ToS) as a guiding set of principles to use when interacting with guests, updating OTAs, etc to ensure clear lines of communication, client expectations, and internal adherence.

We happily include samples throughout this article, and always recommend that you adjust templates and sample verbiage to adhere to your company terms, brand, and values.

Being Proactive

Overview

By proactively including additional information to your guests as to your Terms of Service, and why they will be seeing your additional screening process, you equip them with knowledge and confidence in your processes, in turn lowering the few questions that may be coming through on this subject.

Update your Listings

We recommend that you consider including your Terms of Service and approach to screening in the descriptions of your Listings, where possible. This way, the guest is fully informed of the verification reasoning and process in advance of booking.

Here's an example of what you may choose to include on your Listing:

"To abide by all legal requirements and building security rules, you may be asked to provide a copy of your official government-issued photo ID, confirm your contact information, provide a valid credit card with a name that matches your ID, pass through our verification portal and, in some instances, complete a criminal background check.

Important note: The information is collected for screening and verification only and is not stored or used for any other purposes.

Please be advised that all guests will be asked to sign a rental usage agreement that governs the terms of the stay. By completing the reservation you agree to the following:

  • You agree to be bound by our rental terms and conditions.
  • You acknowledge that you will be required to provide a copy of a valid government-issued ID and matching credit card prior to check-in.
  • You acknowledge that you may be required to undergo a background check if mandated by the property management company or the building, as stated in accordance with your rental agreement and condition of the booking.
  • You understand that your check-in instructions might be withheld until you have successfully completed our verification portal."

Update your Message Flow

We recommend that you consider including your Terms of Service and approach to screening in the Messaging Flow, where possible. By including snippets of proactive information sharing within your initial request for guests to complete the Guest Portal, you are starting them off with an informed mindset. By including additional information in your follow up reminders, you are reassuring the rare weary guest on the process to provide comfort and understanding.

Here's an example of what you may choose to include within your Message Flow:

Please refer to the included articles for Recommended Messaging Flow, and Default Message Templates in Autohost for our general recommendations on Autohost message flow, and specific requirements for messages to send correctly. For more information on the code snippets referred to below, please see a detailed explanation here.

The partial templates below are specifically geared towards those who may proactively wish to get ahead of potential and rare guest complaints, and may not encompass all required message details.

Initial Booking Confirmation Email Template

"Hi {guest name},

Thank you for booking your stay at {unit variable}.

At {company name} we verify our guests' identities on order to keep our communities safe and secure for all (including yourself!), along with ensuring compliance with local regulations. We will not sell your data or use it for marketing purposes.

To finalize and guarantee your reservation, please complete our guest verification process {Guest Portal URL}."

*Include Autohost code snippet for confirmation message, eg. #AHP#pms✉️[add reservation confirmation variable]:confirmation#AHP#

Reminder 1 Template

"Hi {guest name}

This is a friendly reminder from {company name} that your reservation hasn't yet been finalized. Our Guest Portal is simple and should only take a few minutes, and helps us ensure that all of our guests are safe. Once completed, we'll send you a confirmation email and details on when to expect your check-in instructions.

If you have any questions, please reach out to our team at {contact}."

*Include Autohost code snippet for Reminder 1, eg. #AHP#pms✉️[add reservation confirmation variable]:reminder1#AHP#

Reminder 2 Template

"Hi {guest name},

Our Check-in process at {listing} is contactless so we require you to complete our verification process in order to ensure all of our guests are safe, and to provide access to your unit. This will need to be completed by {date} in order to finalize your reservation, or it may be cancelled in accordance with our Safety and Security principles.

Please reach out to our team at {contact} if you have any questions or require assistance."

*Include Autohost code snippet for Reminder 2, eg. #AHP#pms✉️[add reservation confirmation variable]:reminder2#AHP#

Reminder 3 Template (Urgent)

"Hi {guest name},

This is an urgent reminder to confirm your reservation immediately.

In accordance with our Safety and Security principles, we require all guests to confirm their reservation within our Guest Portal. Please be sure to complete the Guest Portal immediately in order to verify your reservation and receive your check in instructions."

*Include Autohost code snippet for Reminder 3, eg. #AHP#pms✉️[add reservation confirmation variable]:reminderurgent#AHP#

Responding to Inquiries

Overview

While it tends to be uncommon, it's always important to ensure that your team is prepared to respond to potential guest questions pertaining to the completion of the Guest Portal, and any such related questions on Privacy and Security.

If you think your internal team would benefit from additional training or resources on this topic, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager for additional assistance.

Sample Questions & Example Responses

Why does (Your Company) conduct additional screening / use Autohost?

"{Your company name} screens all guests using its third party integration, Autohost. The screening process in place will verify your identity, analyze and flag potential risks, validate payment methods, confirm social media accounts, and scan through criminal databases for sex offences and other possible threats.** {Your company name} reserves the right to deny the stay for any guest that does not complete or pass verification.

We use the information collected for verification only and do not share your information with any third parties. By applying the appropriate security measures, we preserve the confidentiality of your information."

**These noted analyses are dependent on the types of verification selected by the company using Autohost, be sure to adjust accordingly.

Why am I (the guest) providing this information (ID, Payment Validation, etc)?

"In order to foster a safe environment for our guests and meet local legislative requirements, we have all guests submit these documents to verify their identity. We will not use your data for marketing purposes and we utilize industry leading security practices to keep it protected."

How are you using and storing my (the guests') data?

"Data is stored for the minimum length of time as required by local authorities and/or insurance providers. Autohost is dedicated to user data protection, and does not share or sell this data. Any submitted data to Autohost belongs to the account owner (your company)."

We are currently in the process of updating FAQs pertaining to our Security and Privacy Policy here at Autohost - please keep an eye out for an updated link once this becomes available.