Booking.com instant results

Since becoming an Airbnb host nine months go, I have only had 20 bookings. Granted, my Airbnb is in a semi-remote Northern California mountain region. But I am close to 20 wine tasting rooms, fine-dining restaurants, golf courses and many popular tourist sites.

To increase my online visibility, I also listed my two downstairs guestrooms on Flipkey and TripAdvisor two months ago. But I have had no reservation results from these two companies.

Yesterday, I posted my guestrooms on Booking.com. Within 20 hours later, I have a two-night, two-bedroom booking in June, which totals $500.

Plus, I can include my personal website address, e-mail address and phone number in the Booking.com message boxes to my guests. Airbnb will hide this contact information.

I wish I could “sync” my Airbnb reservation calendar to Booking.com, which I can with Flipkey and TripAdvisor.

Have any hosts had good and/or bad experiences with Booking.com? Thanks.

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https://airhostsforum.com/search?q=booking.com

Here are previous threads about booking dot com

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Mmmm. What’s your cancellation policy on BDC? I have the 30 day policy, and have had two of my four BDC bookings cancel. With the strict ABB policy (IB so free cancellation within 48 hours) that hasn’t happened yet.

I’m just off to deactivate my BDC account to focus all my attention on direct bookings and ABB - I’d rather do fewer platforms better.

Horses for courses - let us know how you get on!

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My wife and I have a very lenient cancellation policy. I chose Booking.com’s 7-day minimum time limit to cancel a guest’s reservation with us.

Sounds like it might work for you - good luck and keep us posted

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Well …some guests show on booking, other don’t. How are you collecting? Via credit card? We are cash only and I am listing both an entire condo and homeshare rooms.

I might want to add that guests on booking have no qualms about double booking places and cancelling at will.

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We’ve been listed on BDC for over a year and no bookings. From what I read, it seems that the BDC cancellation rate is about 50%. Not to be a “debby downer”, but I would not spend that $500 just yet. Hopefully, it works well for you. We aren’t a good fit for them - three bedroom whole house rental in a fly-to Caribbean island.

@Don_Burns Booking dot com scares the pants off me as you MUST provide alternative accommodation in a (possibly ritzy) hotel if for any reason you cannot host the guests.
That clause is I guess OK for a hotel with 400 rooms that has sharing arrangements with other hotels if there is a convention or something. But not for private homeowners; it could be ruinous.

I’m wondering what is up with your Air visibility. Do you update your calendar daily? Do you have your own website?

Nowhere in the T&C’s does it even hint at “ritzy”. If you’re hosting a homestay, then another home stay is perfectly acceptable. If it’s an apartment, then another apartment is acceptable. If you do end up in an overbooking situation, BDC are happy to help you source alternative accomodation for the guest you are letting down.

By suggesting you find accomodation that is similar or better, they are not saying put someone up in a 5* star hotel, they are making sure you don’t pop the guest off to the local hostel at €12 a night.

The exact wording is:

Try and find accommodations nearby that are of a similar (or better) standard. If you need help with this, our Customer Service Team is available 24 hours a day.

Additional costs are covered:

As part of the guest’s relocation, we ask you to provide private transportation to the new accommodations. Any other reasonable costs should also be reimbursed, for example, cost difference between your property and the alternative accommodations, transportation, phone costs to the guest, etc.

BDC are a good platform, we get about 40% of our bookings from them; but they’re not for everyone. If you don’t feel confident enough to manage your calendar (or your property) to ensure any bookings made are honoured, then stick with Airbnb.

JF

John, how much it costs depends on the property. We are about the highest-price whole-home rental in our area, but three hotel rooms (we sleep six) at a comparable hotel - if they even have space - is $500 or more a night higher than our place. We get booked a week at a time, so we’d pay $3500 or more to move them.

But you are correct. You only have to re-house them at a comparable property.

That is asking for trouble my friend. How do you even find a “comparable” in-home rental??? Open to endless dispute. Where the guests say they want the Four Seasons which is what they wanted all along.

So, anyway, if that doesn’t scare the pants off you, what do you think of the issue that you can’t limit the length of the booking?

My VERY FIRST booking from them was 2 Nigerians with zilch web presence who wanted 6 weeks in high summer in my little abode. I look for 10 days or less typically.

It was no doubt the latest scam going around to milk a new Booking listing for $$$. Anyway, I’m glad it’s working for you, but it’s pure danger IMO for many small hosts.

Hi, I personally dont like booking for 3 reason:

  • they take 15% off the price I want. ABB adds their commision on top of the price I set (I want)
  • they are very keen on keeping all of your bookings. In other words if you have a double booking, they will fine you (money).
  • they dont do the accounting part for me. They want me to process credit cards or paypal or whatever. I prefer the way VRBO and ABB do where they take the payment, pay whatever taxes for me and transfer the rest into my account. With booking you are on your own. I wouldnt know where to pay occupancy taxes.
  • with VRBO and ABB I can fill out the schedule E (as a landlord) as opposed to schedule C (as a corporation). I dont want to become a business just to be able to rent on booking

PuppyLover: Yes, I constantly update my calendar.

The ways I advertise my Airbnb are:

  • My private website devoted to my guestrooms.
  • My Facebook devoted to my guestrooms. I often update my Facebook postings with the latest guest review and upcoming local events (concerts, festivals, etc.) to attract future guests.
  • Double-sided business cards, with six color photos of my guestrooms on the back.
  • Full-color rack cards (4" x 8") displayed in local stores and wine tasting rooms and given to our departing guests and visiting tourists I meet.
  • Display ads in major-city newspapers within 140 miles from my Airbnb.

It is not an AirBnB, or do you now cal your place a Bookingdotcom too?

Using social media is good, I would advice to start using Instagram too. Facebook is losing momentum, young people are moving away, old people are stuck there.

Ads in newspapers, are people still doing this? Are you really getting guests from them?
For my business it would be a waste of money, but I do not know your audience.
What kind of people are you attracting at the moment?

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Chris: The majority of our guests are couples, ages 40 to 60, staying here on weekends. Most live 60 to 150 miles away.

Rarely has anyone stayed for more than one consecutive night with us.

I know you don’t like Airbnb and think they “ruined the business” as you put it. But the reality is that the Airbnb brand has become synonymous with home stays. Just as people call all face tissues Kleenex (I’m only speaking of the US here) people call home and room rentals Airbnbs. You can insist on saying “photocopy” instead of “Xerox” or “internet search” instead of “Google,” but most people when engaging in marketing want to use the terms most familiar to the greatest numbers of consumers.

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I agree but I wish it wasn’t true.

I read an article recently about a problem “Airbnb” but it was actually a listing on VRBO.

A grouchy acquaintance proudly announced that his posh community banned Airbnb rentals. Smartass me asked, “So are VRBO rentals OK?” His response, “Sure, those rentals don’t cause problems.”

This goes full circle to the uninformed thinking Airbnb rentals cause all the rental problems because the press tends to call all Short Term rentals Airbnb.

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Our Airbnb is in an HOA gated-community. My wife and I live upstairs full-time, as we rent our downstairs two guestrooms.

Within our HOA is a VRBO four-bedroom house, but the owners live 500 miles away.

Loud parties, too many parked cars and numerous neighborhood complaints at this VRBO are giving my small Airbnb a bad name. I am waiting for our HOA board of directors to ban all short-term rentals in my community.

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I found an issue with your site, that needs some attention: Your site has no SSL (http instead of https)

Google is very focused on “secure sites”: sites without Https get very low search rankings.

So if someone will google for “Forest Meadows” your site will not show up.
Contact your hosting provider, they will help you to get an SSL certificate.

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My condo community is preparing to send a reminder of community rules including minimum 12 month leases.

HOWEVER there are at least two of us in the community who offer shorter terms. I offer 3-12 month furnished rental of my condo that was formerly on Airbnb. Actually mine is a 12 month lease with a 30 day notice clause after 2 months to be eligible to end the lease due to “extenuating circumstances”.

The other host, lives in her condo & rents her upstairs.

The HOA Board has decided not to look on Airbnb or VRBO for violators. To go looking on the various websites (Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, Houfy, and a zillion more) will take a lot of time for a volunteer board member.

However, if/when there is a report of unruly guests, the HOA Board will demand cease & desist of the reported property owner.