Booking.com who already boast to have the world’s largest selection of “incredible” places to stay has indeed reached an “incredible” milestone this week by acquiring 5 million non- hotel listings. This surpasses their rival Airbnb and really is quite an achievement. Having experienced Booking.com personally I can see how they have achieved this.
Booking.com was established in 1996 as a Dutch start up business and has grown to one of the largest e commerce travels sites in the world. But what is it that makes Booking.com so successful and why do I think property owners should list here?
Firstly I realise that Booking.com isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but as you will know if you have read any of my previous blogs I just love them! I recently had a conversation with a new B&B owner and I asked how business was going. “It’s ok “they replied but we are not on Booking.com because we don’t want to pay the 15%” It made me wonder why someone would acknowledge the strength of Booking.com in the market place but then choose to have less business because they didn’t want to pay Booking.com commission?
The first thing I always tell potential new owners when I meet them is that “You can do this yourself – you really don’t need me” This may seem strange coming from a holiday let agent but I firmly believe in telling people the truth and empowering them to run their own business. Luckily for me many owners do need me (otherwise I’d be out of a job that I really love) as they simply can’t run their holiday home themselves. This could be for a multitude of reasons, like they live too far away, already work long hours or they simply just don’t want to do it.
However for those that can and who ask me what they should do I tell them to list on Booking.com. No need for a website or calendars or payment gateways – Booking.com do it all for you and with more than 1,550,000 room nights reserved on their platform every single day I think you are in with a more than fair chance of getting some of that action. If your property is up to spec of course – but that’s for another blog.
Today is a prime example of the speed of success you can achieve by using Booking.com. We helped an owner list her property in under an hour and within a further few hours she had her first booking! She was delighted and so were we! Here’s the actual property below and you can see listed 10th April 2018 and its first booking showing as 6 hours ago.
Its not just Booking.com’s commitment to digital technology that has given them this success though. What I also love about Booking .com is that despite their immense size they really are an easy company to communicate with and their customer service is extremely high compared to their rivals, in my experience. If you email them they reply, if you call they pick up the phone and amazingly they sometimes call you just to tell you what a fantastic job you are doing and to congratulate you on your great reviews! Yes, this actually happened :-))))
So, if you are looking for a great place to start advertising your property I’d give Booking.com a try.
Things to be aware of:
Just to balance this blog so that it doesn’t sound like I’m a fully paid member of the Booking.com fan club and no Booking.com are not paying me to write this, here’s some things to be aware of when advertising with Booking.com
- Booking.com GUARANTEE the booking to guests instantly so if you need to cancel or you have double booked you will need to find, and in some cases pay any excess for, alternative accommodation for the guests.
- If you are a newly listed property you can take advantage of Payments by Booking.com where they will take the payment on your behalf for the guest. Please be aware that you will only receive the funds on the 15th of the FOLLOWING month after the guest has checked out – so bear this in mind for your cash flow.
- Their extranet can be a bit daunting at first to use.
- Yes, the commission is 15% per booking and rising to 18% if you want to become a preferred partner – fact.
The flip side
I’m sure there will be comments from owners who perhaps haven’t had the best experience with Booking.com and I’m not saying it’s all a bed of roses but in my experience if you want the near certainty of obtaining bookings and as a starting point before setting up your own website etc this is where I would advertise (and I do).
I’d love to hear your comments and your experience with Booking.com and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to post below.
Good luck and well done Booking.com!