First steps on Booking.com: get ready for the first reservations

19 December 2023

First steps on Booking.com: get ready for the first reservations

Starting on Booking.com and don’t know how to stand out?

At Icnea, we understand that landing on a new platform can be a difficult process. How do I get bookings once I’ve listed my accommodation? Do my listings have the necessary to stand out against my competitors? These are just some of the questions that came up when you start on Booking.com

That’s why we want to dedicate this post on our blog to help you in your first steps at Booking.com and get your listings ready for success.

Prepare your listing page

Work properly on your accommodation listing page is the first step to start getting booking on the platform. Below, you’ll find some best practises recommended directly by Booking.com to improve your page once it’s created. Have in mind that is recommended to keep your listings updated periodically after the first setup depending on market trends or your business objectives. This will help you to ensure that you are showing to potential customers what your accommodations has to offer.
  • Add at least 5 representative photos of the property: Booking.com recommends uploading at least 5 photos with special focus on rooms such as bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen. Recent data shows that listings with 5 or more photos get 29% more bookings than those with fewer images.
  • Tell customers why your accommodation is unique: explaining and accurately describing with precision the facilities and features of your property is essential to catch the attention of potential customers. At this point you need to list every feature of the property to appear when people apply filters to their search. If you fail to list some of your features, you will not appear in the search results of customers who filter for features that you have not listed. Equally important is highlighting the main places to visit and the nearest transport options for getting around the city.
  • Improve your score on the Property Page Score: your listings are scored by the platform from 0 to 100 depending on how complete they are. To see your score and learn how to improve it, click on the link found in the “Property” tab of the Extranet.
  • Use Payments by Booking.com: the platform includes a tool to make it easier for your customers to pay, offering several payment options known by customers around the world. People who use Booking.com come from many different countries, so it’s a good idea to accept all the payment systems they’re used to work with.

Choose and set your rate plans

When customers search for an accommodation on Booking.com they prefer those that offer flexibility and attractive price range. Keeping this in mind, take the time to evaluate your rate plans and choose the one that best suits with your business objectives and your customers. However, Booking.com data shows that 75% of properties with flexible cancellation policies are more likely to get a booking than those with a stricter policies. Remember that Booking.com offers the following rate plans:
  • Fully Flexible: These is the most popular rate plan. This plan allows, customers to cancel the booking up to 5 days before the check-in. They are willing to pay a little more to guarantee flexibility in the event of a sudden change of plans. However, this means more possible cancellations for the host.
  • Non-refundable: Created to secure more bookings and revenue. Those who choose this rate plan can’t cancel for free. You may earn a little bit less on each booking, but the bookings you receive are guaranteed.

Try combining a fully flexible plan with non-refundable rates to adapt your business to each customer’s needs and see how it works for you.

Take advantage of Booking.com deals

Booking.com offer discounts to help you attract new customers. For new properties you can use the New Property Deal to offer your customers 20% off their booking within the first 90 days of activity or until you get 3 bookings. Next, we introduce to you some examples of popular deals you can find on Booking.com, and if you need help setting them up in your listings, we recommend you to check out this link.
  • Early Booker Deal: ideal for attracting customers who book in advance.
  • Last-minute Deal: for customers who are in a hurry to look for an accommodation.
  • Secret Deal: only available for people who have an active account on Booking.com or have signed up for their newsletter.
  • Limited-Time Deal: to offer a great discount for a short period of time.
  • Standard Deal: flexible deal to suit with your rate strategy and your business objectives. When you set up a Standard Deal, you’ll have to choose the discount, availability dates, minimum stay and stay book dates.

Pay attention to your area data and information provided by Booking.com

Booking.com gives you access to data about your business area, which will be very helpful at the beginning. To find it, you’ll have to check the Home tab under the Data section or in the Demand dashboard in the Analytics tab. This data will help you to prepare a price strategy for your business:
  • Time in advance: data on how far in advance people book in your area can be useful in preparing an advance booking or last-minute rates.
  • Length of stay: the length of stay can help you decide how to set your rates. weekly or monthly rates can be useful if stays are longer in your area.
  • Type of traveller: you should know what the people visiting your city are like. Are they groups of friends, couples, families with children? Taking this into account can help you, for example, to create special rates for kids and families with children.
  • Origin of travellers: depending on which are the main countries from which your come from; you can consider a country-based rate-plan.
Now that you’ve learned the basics of how to stand out with your listings on Booking.com, we recommend you dedicate some time to check your properties, rates, and availabilities to make sure everything is ready to start getting bookings. It is important to check your listings regularly to ensure that all your information up to date and that your accommodations have long term availability in order to receive bookings from customers who plan their trip in advance.

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