Why use instant bookings to increase utilization
Some time ago it was still quite common to communicate with the guest before each booking. Nowadays, instant booking is the more contemporary option. The tourists want to book, pay and look forward to the holiday. As a landlord you do not want to spend a lot of time on inquiries that will not turn into real bookings.
Because this is now so self-evident, the booking portals want to do justice to this and increasingly offer this booking option. At Booking.com, Agoda and Expedia there is not even an alternative. With the rather classic vacation apartment portals, there is often still the choice to work with requests.
At Airbnb, for example, each vacation rental owner can decide whether to accept direct bookings or to be bookable on request. Unfortunately, that changes the moment he uses the official Airbnb interface. This means that every ad linked to the API can be booked immediately. Basically, there is nothing against it, because the calendars are indeed correct thanks to Smoobu. Statistically, the number of bookings is much higher, for the objects that are “immediately bookable”. That’s why this is not just what Airbnb would like you to do but also our recommendation. But also we are aware that this is not possible for everybody.
When you synchronize the official Airbnb API interface and receive instant bookings, you will see that some settings are no longer clickable from Airbnb, but you must change them from Smoobu. For example, prices or other items such as cleaning fees, days of check in and check out, etc. These settings can be adjusted in Smoobu settings -> nooking portals -> price synchronization (Airbnb). This is what the screen will look like:
But if you decide to work with requests only you can still sync with Smoobu
Everyone who wants to work with requests and still wants a two-way synchronization can do so with Smoobu. See here how to set it up.
Set up the Airbnb (iCal) interface step by step
1. If you’re currently using the API connection, you’ll need to disconnect Smoobu and Airbnb first.
a. https://login.smoobu.com/en/settings/channels -> Then click on Edit Airbnb and “disconnect account”
2. Turn off instant bookings on Airbnb
Once the connection is removed, you can deactivate the instant booking in the Airbnb listing. Simply click on the flash so that it turns gray.
3. Add Airbnb (iCal) to Smoobu and export bookings to Airbnb
You want to synchronize the calendar in both directions. To do so you can use the iCal sync. This interface however can not synchronize prices. Availabilty and bookings are updated in both directions in a reasonable speed. This interface offers everything you may need.
Follow these steps to set up the connection.
a. Settings -> Booking Portals -> choose as the booking portal “Airbnb (iCal)”. Add portal
b. Copy the Smoobu link (on the left)
c. Go to Airbnb.com
d. Go to the calendar of the object to be synchronized
e. Click Availability Settings
f. Scroll down to the page
G. Click on Import calendar
H. Copy the Smoobu Link into Calendar Address
i. Give the calendar a name, eg. (“Smoobu Apt. 1”)
j. Click Import Calendar
Insert Airbnb calendar in Smoobu to import bookings
Now only the – then confirmed – requests have to be transferred as bookings to Smoobu.
a. Go to Airbnb
b. Go to the calendar of the object to be synchronized
c. Click Availability Settings
d. Scroll down to the page
e. Click on Export calendar
f. Copy the link
G. Go to Smoobu
H. Settings -> Booking Portals -> Edit Airbnb iCal
i. Insert Airbnb calendar link on the right side next to the unit