Why You Should Set Up an Auto-Reply to Respond to Inquiries

    learn how to use an auto-responder to reply to vacation rental inquiriesWhen receiving inquiries from potential renters, it's important that you respond promptly or you may lose the booking to another vacation rental property in your area. But as we all know, that's not always possible.

    An alternative is to set up an auto-responder (also called a vacation auto-reply or out-of-office message) that will send out a response to inquiries as soon as they come in. This will let guests know that their inquiries really did go through and will remind them that you are an actual person. And don't worry: if someone emails you more than once, they will only receive your auto-response one time.

    What to include in an auto-responder:

    • A message thanking the guest for inquiring
    • An assurance that you'll get back to them in a timely fashion
    • A recap of your vacation home to refresh their memory including top amenities or nearby attractions
    • A link to your listing, personal website, and/or photo album so they know where they found your home
    • An e-mail signature with all of your contact information


    How to set up an auto-responder:

    • Create a separate e-mail account for your inquiries and have the auto-responder go out to all incoming mail, or
    • Use your existing e-mail account and set up an auto-responder with a defined set of rules. That way your auto-response will only go out for certain e-mails. However, if you're not familiar with how the auto-replies work, this option could be trickier.


    Use our sample auto-reply below. Remember, you'll need to fill it out with your own information. This is simply a guideline.


    Thank you for inquiring about our vacation home. We will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours. In the meantime, please visit our VRBO listing here to read about our amenities and be sure to read our frequently asked questions below.

    Q. When is check-in?
    A. Check-in is 3:00pm.

    Q. When is checkout?
    A. Checkout is 11:00am.

    Q. How close is the home to the beach?
    A. The beach is approximately one mile away, which is a 15 minute walk or a 5 minute car ride.

    Q. How will I get the keys?
    A. We have an electronic keypad on the door. A code will be provided to you upon final payment.

    Q. Are linens and towels provided or do I need to bring my own?
    A. No need to bring your own linens and towels. Our housekeeper will be providing fresh linens and towels at the beginning of your stay.

    Q. Is there a stocked kitchen?
    A. Yes, the kitchen is fully stocked and we encourage you to cook your own meals unless, of course, cooking isn’t your ideal vacation activity. Our town also has many great restaurants to choose from.

    Q. Is there internet access?
    A. Yes, we have high speed wireless internet throughout our entire house. We also have two laptop computers for you to use during your stay if you do not want to bring your own.

    Q. Do you allow pets?
    A. Pets are allowed, however there is a nonrefundable pet fee of $200 per pet.

    Q. Is there daily housekeeping service?
    A. There is not a daily housekeeping service. However, if you are interested, this can be provided at an additional fee.

    Do you have more questions? Visit our website at yoururlhere.com and we’ll be in touch with you shortly!

    - Sample Vacation Rental

    John Doe.
    123 Sample St.
    San Diego, CA
    (555) 555-5555

    VRBO #12345
    HomeAway #12345
    VacationRentals #12345

    Please note: The auto-reply feature may not work for the initial inquiries sent from listing sites.