Short Term Rentals: Booking.com Updates To Entice Property Owners

Short-Term Rentals: Booking.com Updates To Entice Property Owners

After speaking to their partners, Booking.com has recently updated its website with a whole host of new features that can benefit short-term rentals and vacation rental owners. In an effort to woo these vacation rentals away from Airbnb, these new features are part of a short-term rental marketing strategy that aims to make your experience a lot easier when using the website. These changes are announced at the VRMA International Conference in Las Vegas. You can now check these out at the Booking.com property managers portal.

Here are the main ways the short-term rental experience has been improved.

Control which Guests can Book your Short-Term Rentals

Why control direct booking on your vacation rental website? Wouldn't this seem counter-intuitive to your short-term rental marketing?

Controlling which guests can book your short-term rental provides several advantages and can be beneficial for hosts. Here are a few reasons why hosts may choose to have control over their guests:

  1. Security and Safety

    Hosts can prioritize their property's safety and security by screening and approving guests. They can review guest profiles and previous reviews and communicate with potential guests to assess their trustworthiness and suitability for their rental. This helps reduce the risk of damage to property, illegal activities, or disruptive behavior.

  2. Protecting Property and Neighbors

    Hosts may want to respect their property and the surrounding community. By controlling who can book their rental, hosts can minimize the likelihood of parties, excessive noise, or other disturbances that may inconvenience neighbors or violate local regulations or homeowners' association rules.

  3. Maintaining Property Standards

    Hosts often take pride in their short-term rentals and want to maintain their condition and cleanliness. By selectively approving guests, hosts can choose individuals or groups who are more likely to treat their property with care and adhere to any specific rules or guidelines set for the rental.

  4. Targeting Specific Guest Preferences

    Some hosts may have a specific target audience or niche market they wish to cater to. For example, a family-friendly rental might prefer to accept bookings only from families or guests with children, ensuring their property is well-suited and equipped for such guests. By controlling who can book, hosts can align their rental with their target audience, enhancing the overall guest experience.

  5. Personal Comfort and Compatibility

    Hosts may also consider their personal comfort and compatibility when approving guests. They may have specific preferences regarding guests' age, occupation, travel purposes, or other factors that align with their hosting style and the overall atmosphere they want to create.

It's important to note that while having control over guest bookings offers benefits, it's crucial to comply with anti-discrimination laws and regulations, ensuring that decisions are based on legitimate criteria and not in violation of fair housing laws or principles.

Sadly, problem guests can be quite common in the world of short-term rentals. According to PhocusWire, the new changes will allow you to report guest misconduct straight to Booking. This will, in turn, mean you can block these guests from booking again in the future.

You can filter out what kind of guests can book your vacation rental property in the first place. New controls mean you can restrict bookings so only people with verified contact details can book.

You can also change your settings so only those who have previously booked via Booking can stay at your property. These guests will already have stayed at other properties and not received misconduct reports, which limits the risk of them causing problems at your rental.

Personalise your Short-Term Rental Experience

Modern tourists love getting to know the personal story behind the properties they are staying at, and Booking has responded to this. Hotel News Resource has reported that you can now update your personal profile. If you wish, This profile info can be displayed to guests considering your property. In this profile, you can include a personalised message, details about your property, and location info tailored to guests who stay at your property.

Here are five fresh ways to personalise the experience of your short-term rental property guests

  • Provide a Welcome PackageCreate a personalized welcome package for your guests with local maps, attraction recommendations, and handwritten notes. This thoughtful gesture shows your guests that you genuinely care about their stay and want to enhance their experience by providing them with valuable information about the area.
  • Tailer Customized Amenities:Take the time to understand your guests' preferences and needs by asking them about any specific amenities or requirements before their arrival. Whether it's providing extra towels, a baby crib, or stocking the kitchen with their favorite snacks, tailoring the amenities to their liking adds a personal touch that will make their stay more comfortable and memorable.
  • Promote Local ExperiencesOffer curated local experiences or activities that your guests can partake in during their stay. This could include guided tours, cooking classes, or unique events happening nearby. By providing these options, you help your guests explore the destination like a local and create lasting memories beyond their accommodation.
  • Offer Personalized RecommendationsProvide personalized recommendations for restaurants, cafes, and attractions based on your guests' interests. Take into account their preferences, such as vegetarian or vegan options, family-friendly venues, or places that cater to specific dietary restrictions. Sharing insider tips and tailored suggestions adds a touch of personalization that enhances their overall experience.
  • Create Special Occasion SurprisesIf your guests are celebrating a special occasion, surprise them with a small gift or gesture to commemorate the event. It could be a bottle of champagne, a bouquet of flowers, or a personalized note congratulating them on their anniversary or birthday. This unexpected act of kindness shows that you value their celebration and goes a long way in making their stay extraordinary.

The more info guests receive, the more likely they are to push that book button. Adding this personal touch has shown to be popular over on AirBnB. Booking is now making itself far more competitive in the short-term rental space.

Save time as a Short-Term Rental Host

One of the biggest advantages of the new update is streamlining the platform to save you time. TTR Weekly mentions the Group Connect feature. This allows you to set up template guest messages and create an automatic scheduling system. This ensures your guests automatically get the right information at the right time. You won't have to worry about sending an email to every individual guest.

They have also set up Bulk Action Tools. If you run multiple short-term rental properties, you can change them all at once. This gives Booking the edge over other websites where you have to edit each property individually.

All of these features are now also available on all of Bookingโ€™s platforms. This includes their website and the pulse up. This helps you to make urgent changes whilst on the go. You can then tweak them when you have more time to access the extranet.

All of these updates have shown Bookingโ€™s commitment to enticing new short-term rentals to the platform. Though direct bookings are a better option, this update has placed Booking as one of the best OTRs for gaining those initial bookings. They have hinted at future updates based on partner feedback – so watch this space!

Would you like to learn more about marketing your short-term rental? Check out our resource: Marketing Strategies for a Vacation Rental Property.

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