Not all sales channels are created equal, nor are all property managers. The whole premise of Rentals United is based on this notion which is why we continuously strive to make the relationship between these beautifully complicated entities as blissful as possible! In this post we specifically feature the relationship our clients have or want to have with Booking.com. We sat down with Fanny (meet her on video here!), from our onboarding team, and asked her how to advertise on booking.com. She gave us the low-down on how it all works and what you need to know about to make the magic happen.
1. Could you please explain what the onboarding team does?
When the sales people get a “yes” from a property manager, meaning he/she wants a great number of properties published on our sales channels, I help them get those properties up and selling.
Each sales channel is different and some need more work to get on to than others so I am here to guide our clients through these different processes. Getting your vacation rentals on to Booking.com requires a bit more guidance than other sales channels.
2. In your opinion, is advertising on Booking.com for everyone?
I do think that it is for everyone! Even tough Booking.com started off with hotels, they’re now ramping up the functionalities for vacation rentals. The only type of properties that I would hesitate to put on Booking.com are the long term rental properties. At the moment Booking.com isn’t too keen on advertising properties that have a minimum stay of more than a month.
3. So once a property manager does decide to advertise on Booking.com, what do they need to do? What are the first steps?
You need to provide the usual property information but careful because you also need to upload very high quality pictures and include the minimum stay of each property. If they haven’t done so already, the client needs to make an account on Booking.com.
4. What if the client has a lot of properties? Do you provide any assistance with uploading a greater amount of properties since it can be a lot more work?
Yes, we absolutely can. If the client has more than 20 properties then we can conduct what we call a bulk upload that pulls the information from their website, or from wherever they have their property information, onto Booking.com. Because we have a great relationship with Booking.com we can get property owners up and running much faster than if you’d go through traditional ways.
5. And after this is done, what comes next?
Booking.com, like most sales channels, requires those who advertise on its website to work according to a specific set of rules. They know that the terms and conditions are important and should be transparent to everyone so once you get on Booking.com, and before your properties can become “bookable,” your Booking.com account manager will provide you with an in-depth training session on all you need to know about using the site. Rentals United also provides you with extensive information before getting on to Booking.com; something we do before connecting you to any sales channel we work with.
6. What are some features of the Booking.com Terms and Conditions that you think are the most important for property managers to be aware of?
- First, the commission fee, which is 10-18%, and is invoiced when the guest arrives.
- Second, is the fact that the property owner or manager is the one that charges the guest so they need to have a payment provider.
- The third and arguably most important rule of Booking.com is the requirement to accept all bookings that are made through their site.
This last point can be a little difficult for property managers since screening potential guests might be something that they are used to when using other sales channels. However, Booking.com will send you an email that can be used to contact the guest. This will allow you to communicate with the guest freely and give them more specifics about your property.
7. What about cancellation fees? We all know that those can cause a lot of headaches…
You’re right, they can. But they really don’t have to! Since you have to accept all bookings, the cancellation terms are strict, and can be very expensive, but you can avoid this by making sure your availability calendar is up to date. If you do end up having to cancel a booking, you must pay a cancellation fee, and organize and pay for the reallocation of the guest to another property of the same standard, in the same city and area and on the same dates. On the other hand, if the guest cancels, there is no penalty for the property manager. We are a great resource for those wanting to get onto booking.com, and avoid these penalties since our platform synchronizes bookings, prices, availability and all property details in real time.
8. Oh great! That is actually what I wanted to ask you next. Why should property managers choose Rentals United to get onto Booking.com?
Well, what I just mentioned about synchronization is fundamental. We keep track of all of your property reservations and automatically update them on all of your platforms. You want to be on as many sales channels as possible in order to get as many bookings as possible but if every time you get a booking on one channel, you need to block those dates, one by one, on all the other channels, you will not only risk, potentially expensive, double bookings, you will also be spending time updating your availability that you could be using for something much more productive. Rentals United account managers are also very knowledgeable about Booking.com and are incredibly helpful.
So, there you have it! Thank you, Fanny! If you want more bookings, getting your vacation rentals on to Booking.com is THE way to do it. Hopefully this guide has cleared all doubts and hesitation so that you can begin to benefit from the immense opportunities connecting to Booking.com can provide.
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