Welcome to the first phase of CiiRUS' Unified Inbox!

The purpose of the Unified Inbox is to centralize various guest communication touch-points in one interface.

Information about the pertaining unit, reservation, and guest is accessible in real time. There's no need to go digging through different menus en route to answering an important question from a guest; it's all right there in the Unified Inbox interface.

In order to provide users with more functionality as it becomes available, this feature is being released in phases. In phase 1, the existing interfaces and functionality for CRM emails/texts, inquiries (Vrbo & direct website) as well as Airbnb Messaging have been combined into an intuitive new screen. This guide will explain exactly how it works.

The following functionality is deep in the works and will be added to the next phases of Unified Inbox to be released:

  • Deeply integrated notifications system
  • Vrbo guest chat sync
  • Email & SMS relay
  • Text snippets/macros
  • Additional interface modifications & shortcuts



To access the Unified Inbox, go to:

  1. Communications
  2. Unified Inbox

The interface is divided into two sections:

  1. Message List
  2. Message Thread

Each component is separated by a drag bar, so you can easily expand or contract the table to show more information or apply additional sorting and filtering.

Message List

The message list includes two views to toggle between:

  1. Guest Messages  - All integrated inquires/messages from guests
  2. System Alerts - Internal notifications such as new booking or inquiry alerts

Guest Messages include the following:

  1. Vrbo inquries
  2. Website & GuestPass inquiries
  3. Airbnb Messages

In the first phase of Unified Inbox, Vrbo and website inquiries are a one-way sync meaning you can respond to the guest from the inbox which will send an email to the guest's email address. If the guest responds, the messaging will be handled externally outside of the Unified Inbox. In phase two, communication will be threaded and centralized in the Unified Inbox.

Whereas Airbnb messages and inquiries are stored and threaded within the Unified Inbox.

Sorting the Grid

Unread messages are bold and the checkbox within the 'New?' column is checked:

Below the grid, cycle through pages, if applicable. Use the 'refresh' button above the grid to load new messages into the table:

At a quick glance the grid displays unread messages, the source, the date of the last message, the guest name and the listing name. Hover over the middle section until the arrow appears to drag the grid to make it wider to show more details:

Like with any grid in CiiRUS, it can be sorted or filtered. To sort the grid by a particular column such as the 'Source,' click the 'Source' column header to sort it in order by Airbnb messaging followed by Vrbo and then website:

Alternatively, filter any column by typing in the white space under the column header. For example, to only load Airbnb messages in the table, stat typing 'Airbnb' in the white field in the column:

The same applies to quickly find a message from a particular guest. Start typing the guest name in the white field within the 'Guest' column to locate the message:

To clear a filter, either backspace the filter field in the white space or un-check the checkbox below the grid with the applied filter. (See screenshot above)

Message Thread

The message thread area is where messages can be responded to. It's divided into three sections:

  1. Heading Area
  2. Thread Content
  3. Response Area

The heading area shows a snapshot of information about the thread including:

  • The emblem of the message source and the guest name
  • Shows the responding system user's avatar and name (Learn how to upload a profile picture here)
  • Shows a summary of important at-a-glance information
  • Search keyword field to filter the thread and show messages based on these keywords

Messages from the guest are displayed in a blue background and left justified, whereas responses from the responding agent are pink and right justified. Above and next to the message, see the date, time sent/received and the source/guest/agent name. Also see the method used to send or receive the message such as Airbnb Message, email, SMS or internal note.

To respond to the guest, type a message in the 'Write a Message' box. For Airbnb Messaging, use the new 'Advanced Editor' to format the message, add snippets and templates, add smart tags (tokens) and choose the response message.

Vrbo & Direct Inquiry Responses

Currently, for Vrbo, Website and GuestPass inquiries, it is a one-way messaging system and the entire conversation is not stored in the inbox. Responses can be sent to the guest email address from the inbox.

To respond to an inquiry, enter text in the free-format text box. If the guest email address and phone number is on file, choose to send via email or SMS and then click the blue arrow to send the message.

Please note, when responding to a Vrbo or website inquiry, only the free-format messaging is available. This message will be sent via email or SMS to the guest. If the guest responds back, it will not appear in the messaging thread and instead communication will be handled externally via your email provider (Outlook, Gmail, etc).

When responding to a Vrbo inquiry, the response will be sent directly to the Vrbo messaging portal and the guest will be notified that their inquiry has been responded to. If the guest responds again, their response will not be stored in the thread in the inbox, and instead messaging will be handled through Vrbo's portal.

Airbnb Inquiry Responses

Responses to the guest from CiiRUS are delivered directly to the Airbnb portal rather than the direct email address of the guest. To save time, respond to messages from Airbnb guests in the Unified Inbox, as opposed to logging into the Airbnb website. If the direct email or phone number is on file for the guest, responses can be sent to the guest direct email or by SMS instead by changing the "Send via" destination in the bottom right of the response area.

Just like with Vrbo & direct inquiries, respond to a guest by typing the message into the free-format message box (see above). Alternatively, use the Advanced Editor to send messages from pre-configured templates or snippets and use smart tags (tokens) from the Template Editor to deeply customize the message.

Click "Advanced Editor" to open this mode:

The Advanced Message Editor is split into three sections:

  1. Tokens
  2. Templates
  3. Message Writing Area

Show or hide the message thread in the editor to quickly reference the message from the guest:

Similar to the Template Builder, create personalized messages using tokens or smart-tags. For example, instead of manually typing the arrival and departure dates, insert the 'Arrival Date' token to automatically populate it when the message is sent. Double-click on a token to insert it into the message:

To save even more time when answering frequently asked questions from guests, create pre-configured automation templates using the Template Builder. These can be treated like snippets or macros that can easily be inserted to a response. Some examples of these pre-configured templates that can be created include:

  • General greetings
  • Not pet friendly/is pet friendly  
  • Early check-in available/not available
  • Booking request denied/accepted

After creating the template in the Template Builder they will load into the 'Templates' tab within the editor. Just like with the tokens, double-click on the template to load the content into the message box:

Only templates using the 'Automation' category and that have an 'Airbnb' version of the template are supported here.

Before sending the message, click "Preview" to see how the message will look with the tokens or template populated. When you are ready to send, click "Send Message."

When a guest responds back via Airbnb, the message will automatically load into the same guest thread in the CiiRUS inbox.

Add an Internal Response

In some cases, you may want to leave a note for another responding agent inside your organization without making it visible to the guest. Follow the steps above to write the message in the free-format box and change the "send via" type to 'Internal Message.' The message will display in the thread with a yellow background.

System Alerts

Switch between guest messages and internal system alerts by toggling the tabs above the grid:

System alerts display new booking notifications, new inquires and any other important booking notifications. Unread alerts will be bold. Click on an alert to load the information on the right-hand side:

Remember, CiiRUS Unified Inbox phase 1 is in continuous development. While this phase combines existing functionality into an improved interface, the following will be added in upcoming phases that are already under development:

  • Deeply integrated notifications system
  • Vrbo guest chat sync
  • Email & SMS relay
  • Text snippets/macros
  • Additional interface modifications & shortcuts



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