You’ve listed your properties on Booking.com, and you’re still waiting for your first reservation.
Don’t worry – getting your first booking on a new channel is a frustrating challenge for many property managers.
But as soon as you get the ball rolling with a booking, you’ll build trust on the website. And this, in turn, will help you rank higher and earn more bookings.
In this article, we’ll reveal 5 exclusive tips from Booking.com for securing your crucial first booking.
Follow these tips and check out Booking.com’s guide to optimising your property listing and you’ll have bookings rolling in in no time!
5 tips for getting your first reservation on Booking.com
To get your first Booking.com reservation, follow these 5 tips.
1. Have a flexible cancellation policy
According to Booking.com, you’ll be 75% more likely to get a booking if you offer a flexible cancellation policy instead of a strict one.
So, it’s good to be flexible when you’re new to the channel.
Booking.com’s fully flexible cancellation policy means that your guests won’t pay until they arrive at your property and can cancel free of charge at least seven days before check-in.
A fully flexible cancellation policy will help you attract more bookings during the early days of listing on Booking.com.
Once established on the site, you may decide to switch to a stricter cancellation policy or reduce cancellations with non-refundable rates.
2. Upload accurate photos and listing content
29% of listings are more likely to get a booking by adding five to ten photos (compared to properties with fewer than five), says Booking.com.
Make sure your listing features plenty of high-quality, accurate photos that truly represent your property.
Photos are one of the most influential decision-making factors for guests, so you want to ensure your images shine.
It’s also essential to write a detailed description of your property and add all your amenities.
3. Use “Payments by Booking”
Payments by Booking is a trusted product where Booking.com facilitates payments on your behalf. Listings with Payments by Booking activated may get a boost in rankings.
When you sign up for Payments by Booking, you’ll receive guaranteed payouts by bank transfer for all your reservations (depending on your property’s reservation policy). You’ll be paid after guests have checked out, either weekly (every Thursday) or monthly (on or before the 15th of the month), depending on factors such as your property’s location.
This payment service isn’t available everywhere yet. To see if you’re eligible:
- Log in to the Booking.com Extranet and click Finance.
- If the Getting paid option appears in the drop-down menu, you’re already active on Payments by Booking.com.
- If you see the Payments by Booking.com option, you’re eligible for the service, but it isn’t active yet. You can activate it by clicking Yes, sign me up now.
- If neither of these options appears in the drop-down menu, your property isn’t active or eligible for this service.
You can also activate Payments by Booking through your Rentals United channel manager.
4. Set up occupancy-based rate plans
An occupancy-based rate plan is when you adjust your prices according to how many guests stay in your property.
Occupancy-based pricing allows you to charge a price per guest per night, meaning your rates will be higher for larger groups.
For example, if your property can accommodate up to 5 guests, you can offer lower prices for groups of less than 5 so you don’t miss out on smaller groups.
Data from Booking.com shows that 12% of properties are more likely to get a booking by activating occupancy pricing (compared to properties that do not)
5. Choose the best pricing solution
Booking.com has a variety of rate plans that can help you appeal to particular groups of travellers. Guests are price-conscious, so any discount or promotion you add will be likely to grab their attention.
You can apply Early Booker discount, Child Rates, Mobile Rates and Country Rates, and Long Stay, Weekly, or Monthly rate plans. You can also create a custom rate that fits your needs.
Weekly Rates, for example, allow guests searching for stays of seven nights or longer to see and book your property at discounted rates.
Booking.com says that by activating Weekly Rates you’ll be 16% more likely to get a booking.
Bonus Tip: Optimise your listings with Rentals United
There are many things you can to do maximise your chances of getting bookings on Booking.com.
One of the easiest ways to increase your chances of getting booked on Booking.com (and all other channels) is to optimise your listings with Elevate from Rentals United.
Elevate is our data platform that includes AI-powered recommendations for improving your listings. You’ll get an overall score for each property, plus fully personalised tips and recommendations to help you improve your content to rank higher and convert more guests. All recommendations are ranked by priority so you can tackle the most urgent and impactful issues first.
Start getting more bookings with better listings – start your free trial of Elevate today.
Start getting booked on Booking.com
Booking.com is one of the world’s top OTAs, attracting a huge audience of global travellers.
It’s well worth listing your properties on the site, but if you haven’t received any bookings yet, there are plenty of things you can do to get your first Booking.com guests.
Follow the tips in this post, and check out Booking.com’s page on optimising your property listing to give yourself the best chance of getting booked!