Understanding Booking.com for Vacation Rental Managers
Written By Jade Shojaee
Clocking over 100 million visits per month, there’s no denying that Booking.com is one of the most frequented online travel agents (OTAs) in the hospitality industry. Getting your listings live on this powerhouse of an OTA will put your homes in front of some 1,550,000 global travelers looking to book every single day.
The hospitality world is intensely competitive with no shortage of gorgeous vacation homes in all the most popular destinations vying for a place on the credit card statements of wanderlust internet surfers. Getting your listings live on as many channels as possible can significantly increase your chances of getting in front of travelers looking to book. That being said, every channel has wildly different requirements that are so inconsistent, it would make even the most meticulous property manager’s head spin. Confusing contracts, fees, and commission policies can create a pile of paperwork so daunting, the Egyptians wouldn’t dare touch it with a…well…with whatever they built the pyramids with!
It all comes down to one thing, getting your listings up on Booking.com is easy but getting your listings up isn’t enough. Have you thought about:
- How you will manage all the reservations, payments and policies?
- How will you keep your rankings above the competition?
- How will you take photos that show how adorable and well kept your vacation home really is?!
- What about staying up to speed with the latest industry rules and regulations?
Knowing what to expect can make all the difference in avoiding unforeseen bumps in the road, and that’s exactly where we come in.
As a vacation rental manager, you know how to fix a busted water pipe, replace a broken window and troubleshoot a fussy dishwasher. You probably know how to stylishly furnish your vacation rental too as well as stock the kitchen with rainy night-in essentials and provide value-added add-ons that make your guests feel like they’re at the Four Seasons. This is great, those are exactly the sort of things you should be focusing on when it comes to your business!
When it comes to manually loading every property listing to every OTA, you’re not doing yourself any favors by taking on the workload alone, let us help we are experts! RedAwning has dedicated connectivity managers at Booking.com, which means they get complete access to all upcoming tech innovations as well as dedicated support to ensure integration remains the best in the industry. This comes in handy when you are juggling 50+ vacation homes all in need of an upload and a prayer.
We literally launch hundreds of properties on Booking.com every week with our dedicated team working to guarantee the quickest roll-out for property managers and homeowners in the RedAwning network.
Booking.com is the #1 most visited online travel agency (OTA) which means getting your listings up and running there is imperative to increase your bookings and visibility. But, and you know where we are going with this… getting live isn’t enough! It’s imperative to optimize your content, utilize promos, and ensure your listing has the best opportunity to get in front of the most travelers possible.
The internet is a necessary evil whether you are managing five properties or 500 and succeeding in an internet era means mastering things like content optimization, foreign as it may sound. Properly implemented Google ads, SEO optimized web content, and updated calendars are all steps that will keep your rankings high, AKA ensure your listings show up at the top of a traveler’s search whether it be on Google, Booking.com, Tripadvisor and more.
Speaking of content optimization, when was the last time you updated your photos? Do you know what resolution you are using? What is your visual strategy? Visual content is your biggest opportunity to make your listings stand out. Studies show that online visuals have about 20 seconds to capture a shoppers attention. All the legwork you’ve done to get shoppers to your listing now relies on whether or not your photo content stands above the rest.
This takes time and dedication. RedAwning’s Account Management and Revenue Optimization teams work closely with Booking.com’s regional office to stay informed on the most effective strategies for driving bookings and increasing online visibility.
Here’s what you need to know about payment processing and validation. Booking.com does not act as the merchant of record. They are a fantastic vehicle for getting your listings in front of serious shoppers but the payment does not actually process through them so you are responsible for collecting payment and paying channel commissions and fees as needed. This may seem benign but you should also keep in mind the fact that you will be solely responsible for managing credit cards declines and chargebacks.
According to data collected by RedAwning in 2018, 42% of booking.com customers’ cards decline and this can mean trouble when your PMS system blocks off the dates or worse, when they don’t and customers who haven’t checked their email or bank account show up with luggage, pets with nowhere else to crash but your vacation home.
Payment validation and the manual process of reporting declined credit cards is extremely demanding, leaving you prone to error and wide open to Booking.com’s relocation fees. RedAwning has automated this process so declined cards are reported instantly. We act as the merchant of record and ensure only valid and completed bookings to make your life as easy as possible.
Even the most organized vacation homeowner has, on occasion found themselves double booked. Sometimes the PMS system is to blame or maybe you promised your vacation home to your mother and forgot to adjust your availability in time.
Booking.com is very strict about overbookings. When they do occur, you are always liable for the commission on the original booking, as well as the cost to move the guest to an alternative property. If your inventory is limited this can quickly lead to a hefty bill (we’re talking thousands) for overbooking charges.
RedAwning has an aggregation of over 140,000 properties in 10,000+ locations, way more inventory than an individual property manager alone, which comes in very handy when disaster strikes. We’re able to move guests to comparable properties more easily, resolving overbooking issues on your behalf. No other provider offers this service, we’ve looked!
So what are you waiting for, Contact RedAwning today to see how we can help get you listed and improve your Booking.com property listings.