For years, Booking.com has been the world leader of booking portals market. Even though the company started its activity in the hotel industry, the portal applies more and more to the vacation rental owners. The term “vacation rental” is used more often in its advertisements. Moreover, the owners’ registration has been simplified to allow private owners to subscribe more easily.
But how to register your flat on Booking.com as a private owner? Here the explanation…
Register your vacation rental on Booking.com
The subscription process on Booking.com is quite easy, however you will have to wait a few days before being able to connect. First, you will have to fill up an initial form, even if you plan to start working with them in a few weeks. One of the reasons for the delay is that some steps can only be done with Booking.com support. But above all, the address verification takes several days. Usually, Booking.com sends a letter to the specified address to verify it. Therefore, make sure that the mailbox is visible and clearly identifiable.
Create your listing
As with any portal, you must write the content of your ad. Booking.com places particular emphasis on photos. The texts are secondary, so it is enough to copy the standard texts of other advertisements. On a regular basis, Booking.com gives recommendations to improve the quality of your listing. The captions of the images add many points, so you must also write them. This is a way to appear in a good position in the Booking.com ranking.
Calendars / price management and connection to booking engines
After creating your listing, you must define the prices and availabilities. Booking.com offers freedom regarding prices, all you can imagine. If there is a parameter that you cannot find on the Extranet, Booking.com very good customer service will find a solution for you. However, Booking.com does not offer much room for maneuver regarding the calendar. Booking.com does not allow ‘reservations upon request’, so all reservations are instant. This is why the maintenance of the calendar is the most important at the beginning and also later, during the operation.
To facilitate this calendar maintenance, Booking.com offers some interface partners to solve this problem. The so-called ‘Channel Managers’ link different reservation portals and, therefore, guarantee that there are no overbookings. While there are many solutions for hotels, the choice for private owners of vacation rentals is limited. At Smoobu, we offer a simple application that manages Booking.com calendar and prices.
Special features on Booking.com
Rent several properties
Several apartments in the same location
Booking.com lists all properties in a location under an ID. If they are in the same location, the properties will have different sub-IDs or room IDs.
My apartments are in different places
If they are in different locations, you should request several property IDs at an early stage. These can be combined later in a group account.
Listings by room type
As a classic hotel portal, Booking.com often thinks as a hotel. This is evident with the possibility of creating listings by room type. While it makes sense that 50 double rooms are combined under a single secondary ID, it is always better to create separate secondary IDs for each room and set maximum availability to “1”.
Only instant bookings
As mentioned above, there are only instant bookings on Booking.com. Many vacation rentals owners are often unaccustomed, since the other booking portals still allow the option of booking upon request. Booking requests are a curse and a blessing at the same time. If you keep your calendar updated, these are the most beautiful reservations: you have no work and you can enjoy immediately all the nights booked. If you have previously neglected calendar maintenance, now is the time to start. In case of excessive reservations, Booking.com helps to change the guest to another accommodation. However, it may occur on certain dates that replacement accommodation is much more expensive. The costs are taken care of by the owner. That’s why we always recommend working with Smoobu. And so these problems will be part of the past.
Concerning payments, Booking.com is a bit different from most booking portals. Here, they don’t charge money to the guests by default. However, there is now the possibility that Booking.com will take over the collection of the money on behalf of the hosts. We recommend using it, since the work load will be even smaller and, above all, the cancellation rate will be reduced.
Be online and bookable
If you followed each step mentioned above, there is nothing that can prevent your offer from being booked. However as long as you’re working on the ad or that your prices and availability are not set, your ad can’t be bookable. Once the ad done and verified by Booking.com, your offer is online and “bookable”. Thanks to big marketing campaigns and a great customer support, Booking.com became very popular. In general, it doesn’t take long before getting your first bookings, so start now.
If you have followed all the steps above, nothing prevents you from “being bookeable”. However, while you work on the listing, or if you have not defined your prices and availabilities, your property can not be “bookeable”. When the listing is done and verified by Booking.com, the property is placed online and is “reservable”. Thanks to large advertising campaigns and good customer service, Booking.com has become the most famous portal. In general, it does not take long to receive the first bookings, so we recommend you start now.