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When I first put my property on Airbnb I also put it on booking.com.But never spent much time on that site because it was so much harder. But I finally got around to doing the property verification which is receiving the letter from booking.com and entering the unique code into their site. Now I’ve received a couple of bookings from them and I’m trying to work out how to handle it.
It seems booking.com is more like a hotel so the processes I have in place for my Airbnb will need to be modified. As a guest I’ve booked a few places on booking.com but they’ve always been hotels and not personally managed properties. So I have no personal experience.
For example I send extensive instructions to the guests before they arrive and have instructions in the apartment itself. I’m wondering what other hosts do when they have their accommodation on both sites. The calendar is a slight issue but I have managed to synchronize booking.com with Airbnb so it will never allow anybody to book on booking.com when that room has been taken or Airbnb. But I can’t get in the converse to work so if somebody books on booking.com I have to manually block those dates out on Airbnb.
To me the main issue is insurance or damage deposit. Airbnb appears to cover you in case the guests damages your apartment though I’ve only had smaller experiences in that area. But booking.com requires you ask the guests for a damage deposit which they cannot collect on your behalf. So I’ve created an account on Stripe to see if that will help me accept credit cards.
Uhh… no. Air doesn’t really collect a deposit, even if you have one listed. They will only charge a guest if Air decides that they will collect a deposit after they approve the damages, which must be thoroughly documented (read your Air Host Terms of Service). AirBnB’s “host guarantee” is whatever the Customer Disservice airhead you are talking to decides, even if they are totally wrong. You need to have Short Term Rental (STR) insurance coverage because your regular homeowner’s insurance probably not only won’t cover damage, but may cancel your insurance if they find out you’re doing STR.
I have found Square to be the best payment processor for me. I originally got it when my old portable credit card terminal died the day before St. Patricks Day, a very busy and lucrative night for cab drivers (I now a have a limo) — I spent $10 (refunded with your first charge) to buy their card swiper that plugs into my phone’s earphone jack at my AT&T store and was charging cards in a few minutes. You can also invoice folks by email for deposits if you are taking direct payments.
Import your BDC calendar into Airbnb. As it’s an iCal synch you have to manually import both calendars into their respective counterparts. Remember though, it isn’t an immediate synch from either end using iCal.
An alternative is to use a channel manager. It will utilise the XML connections available between Airbnb and BDC, this means that the calendar synch is virtually immediate.
Well, I think you used the correct term, “appears” is about right. Unfortunately, it’s against the ToS to ask for a damage deposit outwith their system.
You’re correct that BDC won’t collect a deposit on your behalf. You must specify it in the house rules and take it either by cash or card at check in. For self check in I suspect you’ll need to work an online or telephone payment into your process.
I probably mistated that. They have a dispute process whereby if you find damages you can ask for assistance for AirBnB to help resolve it and then if agreeable they can request payment. I have done that a couple of times for minor damages and it works fine.
I think there are many of them around but (and this isn’t the right forum to talk about it) I have yet to work out how to enforce the payment before arrival.
i have imported mu AirBnB calendar into BDC and so I can see from BDC which days are not available. But the reverse doesn’t work so as soon as I get a BDC booking I immediately block out those days on BDC. To tell the truth the traffic from AirBnB is good enough I don’t want to deal with two platforms.
The BDC forums are full of posts from people trying to work this out. Since I only started with BDC I am using their payments platform rather than collect payments myself. Life is so much easier with AirBnB
Yes, but have you imported your BDC calendar into Airbnb?
To be frank, there isn’t much to work out. You either take a deposit at check in or you don’t.
If you use Payments by BDC, then to the guest, this a separate transaction. If you process payments yourself, it should be seamless. Take deposit, refund on check out if all good. You may incur CC fees on both transactions, depending on your payment processor.
What you need is a vacation rental manager. Some of them are actually free when you have less than 4 listings but charge you above 4 listings. And they work really well. I use Smoobu. It’s intuitive and I even use it for tweaking my prices across platforms as well as preventing doublebookings. There are others out there but my preference is Smoobu. And it works. It would solve your problem.
Well I have created an account on Payrexx and that seems to be suitable. I can send a custom URL for a person to pay the deposit via Paypal. And if they don’t have a Paypal account they can use a credit card. And then when the booking is over, and all is well, I can refund the money. There is a service in BDC which I haven’t tested yet but you can automatically have it send out an email when somebody books your property. I have created some text about the damages deposit and the refund in that email template and how if not paid within x days, the reservation will be cancelled.
Just to reply to my own post. Ever since our country went back to having no lockdown, I’ve started to receive more BDC bookings than I’ve ever had before. I wonder if it’s because maybe BDC are marketing harder? I know I spend very little time managing my BDC listing as up till now all my bookings have been via AirBnB.
I much prefer AirBnB since 1) they pay faster and 2) on occasions will help you recover costs arising from damages from guests. But in these times with over 2 months of no bookings, I can’t really turn down business. As for damages deposits, I did work out a way of doing this and actually implemented it but forgot I had Then my first BDC guest used the platform PayRexx and actually sent me a deposit via Paypal, funds arriving which initially I had no idea why they have been sent till I dug into the BDC listing again. I might turn that off since I think it could be a deterrent since a second guest made a booking and then cancelled it.
That’s a good point. I only said I thought the user had withdrawn their booking in the end because they never replied to me about the security deposit. I had BDC (and we are getting a bit OT here) automatically send out an email on booking that provided information on the security deposit, how to pay it and if not paid within 7 days of booking the booking would be cancelled.
I only raise this since in all the BDC’s I’ve ever made I’ve never had to pay a security deposit but then all the properties have been hotels, not single residences like a typical AirBnB place.
Two different guest types although they are converging (Europe).
I use air for longer term and bc for short term and agressive promo. I only open the calendar in bc occasionaly and max for two month as the bc lot loves to cancel.
Pricing bc much fairer to both sides Coms have been ok from air and bc so far.
I use both and others as firewall for cancellations. I may agree but the guest has to ultimately deal with the portal.
Thats what they are there for.
Apologies for the thread hijack, but I cannot see how to post a new thread. Perhaps it’s because I am new.
We tried Smuboo’s free trial for our apartments (we have 12) and found that it didn’t play well with Air BnB. We also seemed unable to get any help from Smuboo themselves, which was odd given that they presumably want people to buy full access.
Can anyone point me to an alternative that has a proven track record please?
Purely theoretical since I only have one property. If you have 12 properties does Airbnb have 12 calendars, one for each property? Then it would seem you would have to export each property’s calendr as iCAL calendar and import that into your management platform. It’s hard to see how 12 properties could be managed from one platform given each apartment has its own availability but as I said, my experience is limited to one property.