The Hidden Options of Booking.com

February 4, 2018

How to use Booking.com the right way

Many of our customers use Booking.com as a way to get reservations at substantially higher rates on booking.com. Others have been disappointed because they haven't realized the powers of booking.com. We will present to you all the hidden options available and the best practices to use with Booking.com

1. Choose your rate categories wisely

There are three basic rate models in Booking.com. Depending on how you wish to price your place, choose one of these three.

A) Single price

This is a price per night, regardless of number of guests. The price pushed from Hostaway will be what your guests pay.

B) Derived prices

This is the most common price category. You define a price for the maximum amount of guests, and booking.com decreases the rates if you have fewer guests. Hostaway pushes only the base rate, so be careful not to set it too low if you use derived prices. Here's an example.

4 guests - $100 (this is the rate pushed by Hostaway) 3 guests - $80 (this is a setting inside booking.com) 2 guests - $60 1 guest - $40

You can change the amounts of rate category the quickest by calling booking.com. When you adjust the markup in Hostaway, be sure to check the rates for different number of guests to avoid getting bookings at an undesired rate.

C) Double-room rates

This is one of the hidden options available by calling Booking.com. It works fairly similar to Airbnb, where you set a base rate for 1-2 persons and define an extra person fee and maximum number of guests. Here's an example with a base rate of $100 and an extra person fee of $10.

1 guest - $100 (this is the rate pushed by Hostaway) 2 guests - $100 3 guests - $110 (this is a setting inside booking.com) 4 guests - $120

2. Choose your payment method and terms

When people start using Booking.com, they often find it difficult to deal with guest payments and cancellations. However, there are many settings you can adjust to increase guest quality and make it easier to collect payments. Please note that the options available to you depend on your location, number of properties, types of properties and your relationship with Booking.com. If you wish to make changes, the best method is to call Booking.com and ask which options are available for you.

A) Credit cards and CVC

You can require all guests to provide a credit card or even a credit card with security code (CVC). Hostaway is able to upload the credit card details to your Stripe account once it's connected, but it's important to understand how credit card works.

Booking.com will accept valid credit cards, but that doesn't mean they can be charged. There are pre-paid credit cards, stolen or missing credit cards that may be used to confirm the booking. A good method to avoid hassle is to require CVC from all guests. Although this may lead to fewer bookings, it will increase the amount of sincere guests and lower the amount of cancellations as well.

B) Non-refundable rates

If you are able to get non-refundable rates for your properties, you can charge the guest the full amount on the day of reservation and cancel the reservation if the payment is unsuccessful.

C) Cancellations

Guests can cancel free of charge, except if you use non-refundable rates. However, the host is not allowed to pay for cancellations, so make sure to use Hostaway to keep all other sales channels up to date. If you cancel a guest on booking.com, you will have to pay the booking commission and may also have to pay for alternative accommodation for your guests.

D) Booking.com payments

This is a very powerful option available to some users. Booking.com is able to charge the guest and pay you on the day of arrival, just like Airbnb! This option is only available for long-term loyal customers, but if you're interested in this model contact Booking.com.

3. Getting more bookings - make sure your content score is 100%

On booking.com, it's fairly easy to get a 100% content score. If you have less than that, be sure to add pictures, define amenities and write descriptions for all your content. This will ensure you get the maximum amount of bookings. There are two other major factors affecting the amount of bookings you can get.

A) Conversion rate

The number of visitors on your property page that convert into guests is a powerful method for getting more bookings. In order to understand the process, put yourself in the shoes of a few of your guests: a business traveler, a family looking for a holiday place, a couple that wants a romantic getaway or any other target group you wish to accommodate.

Do a search in your area an compare the options. Pay attention to what your property looks like on the search results page and what your actual property page says. You want to attract the guest to visit your property page, but you need to ensure the content page re-assures the guest your place is the best in the neighborhood.

Please keep in mind that the clientele of your booking.com accommodation may not be the same as the clientele on other channels. If you mostly host families on Airbnb, it's possible that the booking.com visitors belong to another segments, such as business travelers or seniors. Each segment has different needs, so be sure to see if you can cater a specific target group that has low competition in your area.

B) Ratings

This is a common factor for all channels. Unlike Airbnb, Booking.com doesn't incentivize or require guests to leave a review. Be sure to use the Hostaway Automations to send the guest a follow-up to leave a review. Even if you don't hit 5 stars every time, the number of reviews is crucial.

We hope these tips will help you be more successful on Booking.com! Please contact booking.com or us for any questions.