As a property owner or manager, you’ll already know about the huge quantity of channels available where you can advertise your property in order to reach potential guests. You’ll also have noticed that each channel is different, brings different benefits to your business, has its own promotion system and its own set of rules.
Knowing the ins and outs of each channel you’re present on is a good step towards success. We know there is a lot to learn – that’s why we’ve put together this informative guide about listing on Booking.com. Not only will we show you how to advertise your rentals, we’ll also offer some specific advice which will help you to increase bookings on the platform.
What is Booking.com?
Booking.com is one of the biggest sharks in the vacation industry. It’s an OTA (online travel agency) that offers properties in over 227 cities, it’s available in over 40 languages and it receives on average 4.5 million bookings each week.
Why should you be interested in advertising on Booking.com?
Besides the visibility that advertising on this channel can bring (putting your property in front of lots more potential guests), counting on Booking.com for support has other advantages:
- You can decide the requirements that your guests must meet in order to be able to rent your property. Screening guests is a very practical step which can protect your property in the long-run.
- Related to this, if you do have any issues with your guests, their 24-hour customer service team are on hand to help.
- The site is optimized for mobile bookings and puts your listing on Google, Bing and Yahoo.
- There is no long-term or lock-in contract. This means that if you decide to stop using their services, you can disappear from their website whenever you like.
- They don’t charge the guest any additional fees. Unlike other OTAs which usually charge travelers, the price you set on Booking.com is the price that guests will see.
Booking.com only allows listings with instant bookings. While for some this may seem more like a hindrance than a help, it doesn’t have to be! Guests prefer having the freedom and flexibility which enables them to book travel the moment they decide – without having to wait for approval of an inquiry. That said, by offering instant booking, you need to have an up-to-date calendar and stay on top of all guest communications.
Other things to note about Booking.com
As every vacation rental owner has different needs, it’s important that you know what Booking.com requires from you. If their requirements adapt to you and your business needs, go for it!
It’s an instant booking channel
Perhaps the most important characteristic of this channel is the fact it only allows instant bookings. This effectively means that as the property owner, you have to accept all the reservations that are made for your property. In the case that you don’t accept them all, a cancelation fee will apply. You will have to add the difference that the guest had to pay to be relocated to another vacation rental (in case it’s more expensive than yours) to this cancelation fee.
That said, remember that Booking.com allows you to specify the type of guests you want to host. Having this filter in place will help avoid having to cancel any confirmed bookings.
Booking.com only charges commissions to the host. In other words – you – the property owner or manager. Booking.com takes around 10-15% of the booking amount each time you receive a reservation. This can vary depending on factors such as the location of the property. The good thing is that creating your listing on Booking.com is free – you only pay the commission when you receive a booking.
Your listing description should contain all the information that Booking.com requires. For example, you should specify things such as how many bedrooms or bathrooms the property has, check-in/check-out times, and any cancelation policies that Booking.com needs you to comply with. You should also add at least 10 amenities that you offer in your property and at least 10 high-quality photographs which measure at least 2048×1536 pixels.
In any case, Booking.com will remind you of what to include when you start to create your listing.
Rates and payments
Finally, if you decide to use Booking.com as one of your distribution channels, they will provide a payment gateway for you to accept online payments. When you are setting your rates on Booking.com, you can select price per guest, price per night or price per stay. This is great for hosts as you can choose the option which best fits your business!
How to integrate Booking.com with your Lodgify account
We understand the importance of distribution for your vacation rental business, that’s why we offer a full two-way connection with Booking.com. This means that, from inside your Lodgify account, you can manage everything related to your listings on Booking.com. If you already have a Lodgify account and you want to list on Booking.com, it’s super easy to set up. What’s more, you won’t have to worry about modifying calendars and rates on both platforms – you can do it from one place inside your Lodgify account.
Our team of experts are on hand to facilitate the Lodgify and Booking.com integration. This connection is completely free and will help to save you a lot of management time!
Steps for advertising your vacation rental on Booking.com with Lodgify
1. Register on Booking.com for your free account.
2. Set up your properties so that they correspond to the properties in your Lodgify account.
3. Select Lodgify as your “Channel Manager” in Booking.com.
4. Contact us and we’ll help you connect the two channels.
Tips for Maximizing your Booking.com Listing
Respond to any inquiries immediately
As Booking.com is an instant booking channel, all communication with prospective guests will have to be as quick as possible. That means always being alert to any new messages that you receive, and, if you want to save some time and effort, preparing autoresponders. By having ready-made answers which resolve the most frequently asked questions, you will be able to reply to your inquirer in just a few clicks.
Be crystal clear with information
Autoresponders are a good solution, but it’s even better when you don’t have doubts to respond to! So, how can you reduce the number of questions you receive? By being as clear as possible in your listings. Put yourself in your guests’ shoes and think of all the questions you might have as a possible renter. What information would you need before making your booking? Explain in detail and include everything that a stay at your property provides.
Show it off with photos
Guests who are searching for their next vacation property want to see it from all angles in order to imagine themselves there. Be sure to include high-quality photos of every corner of your property so that travelers know exactly what to expect from it. Photos can also help resolve any doubts about the type of beds you provide, whether the kitchen has an oven or not and so on.
Choose your amenities well
When inputting the amenities that you provide at your vacation rental, be sure to include them all – however basic they may seem! If you can, check out your competitors (properties in the same area as yours with similar bedroom/bathroom numbers) to see what amenities they have. You may even be able to offer something that they can’t, which will help your rental stand out from the crowd.
Now that you know more about one of the biggest OTAs in the world, there’s no reason to wait to take advantage of its benefits. By following the advice we’ve laid out here, not only will you have a great listing on Booking.com which will help you achieve more bookings, but you’ll also be able to manage them alongside your direct bookings via Lodgify’s channel manager.