Updated: Apr 20, 2021
If you’re reading this article, then the chances are that you’ve listed your property on Booking.com and have come to the conclusion that it’s NOTHING like Airbnb…
But as difficult as Booking.com can be to navigate, it’s worth the learning curve…
As you can see in the image below (from similarweb.com), Booking.com has 170,570,000 more monthly active visitors on their site than Airbnb.
That nearly 4X more potential guests.
At BeyondBNB.io, we get roughly half of all Bookings through Booking.com.
But the big question is…
How can you promote your listing to a greater percentage of these monthly visitors, to increase your number of bookings?
Here are 10 actionable steps you can take today to start to maximize your earnings on Booking.com…
1. Get The Basics Covered
According to Booking.com, you can get up to 18% more bookings if you reach a 100% property page score.
What does that mean?
It simply means completing your listing to the best of your ability.
Booking.com will actually give you a list of everything you need to complete in order to reach your 100% property page score.
Log into Booking.com and go to the “Property Tab”, then click on “Property Page Score”:
From here, you'll be presented with a list of changes to make:
Go through and complete each step to bring your property page score to 100% and start getting 18% more bookings!
2. Photo Tags And Amenities
To understand why this is important... let's first look into the guest booking process.
Let's say you're looking to book an apartment in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.
It's a great beachfront suburb, so naturally, you wish to stay somewhere with ocean views...
It's been a stressful last couple of weeks at work, so you'd love to find a place with a sauna and jacuzzi.
Unfortunately, you need to do a little bit of work on your trip, so you'll need a place with a desk.
Now, you're probably asking yourself how this is relevant to your property... but stick with me...
If you search Burleigh Heads, you'll find 45 properties in the search results...
But when you refine your search to only include properties that have everything you want (based on the above information)...
The search results will be refined to just ONE property that matches your requirements.
Why are there so few properties?
Although I'm sure there's not a ton of listings with all these amenities, I'm positive there would be more than just one.
But the others don't have their photos tagged, or have the correct amenities listed to be displayed in this refined search.
So to put this into perspective...
If you haven't tagged your photos and added your relevant amenities...
Then any time a guest refines their search, even by ONE filter, such as "ocean views"...
You WON'T show up in the search results.
This is such an easy fix that has one of the biggest impacts I've seen on search page visibility.
To fix this, go to your "Property" tab, then select "Photos":
Then go into each photo individually and add your relevant tags:
Then add your amenities by going back to your "Property" tab and select "Room Amenities":
Then just go through the list of 173 items and select "Yes" or "No" for each to complete.
3. Booking.com's Genius Program
According to Booking.com, "On average, this leads to an increase of 18% in bookings, 40% in visibility, and 17% in revenue." (Booking.com statistics)
So what is the "Genius Program", and is it worth it?
Essentially, it's a way for Booking.com to incentivize hosts to offer a 10% discount to guests on their "Genius Loyalty Program".
In exchange, they'll promote your listing to 40% more guests.
Is it worth it?
Well that depends on your current predicament...
There are two things to consider...
Firstly, if you're already getting booked at 80%+ occupancy year round, then there's no point dropping your rates where the same dates might have been booked outside of Booking.com for a better rate anyway.
Secondly, if you're already getting a high percentage (50%+) of bookings through Booking.com.
If none of the above apply to you, then I would recommend giving it a go.
You can even try increasing your rates by 10%, so when they offer the 10% discount to guests on their "loyalty program", you'll still earn the exact same. And if you receive bookings from guests outside of their program, then that's just a bonus!
4. Become A "Preferred Partner"
Would you pay 3% more in booking commissions to receive a 65% increase in page views?
Here's how Booking.com promotes their program:
Preferred properties get greater visibility in the search results and receive a special ‘thumbs-up’ icon which acts as the Booking.com seal of approval. These factors can lead to Preferred Partners getting up to 65% more page views and, ultimately, 40% more bookings. (Source: Booking.com)
This is available to hosts who are in the top 30% of the following categories:
If you're eligible, I'd 100% recommend opting in for this.
Just be sure to increase your Booking.com prices by 3% to account for the increase in booking commissions.
To see if you're eligible for the program go to your "Opportunities" tab, then click "Preferred Partner Program".
5. Visibility Booster Tool
So by now you might be noticing a trend...
Booking.com will try everything they can to increase their commissions...
Rewarding you with a boost in visibility in exchange.
Which is smart if you think about it...
Essentially they're promoting the listings that pay THEM more to a wider audience, so a greater percentage of bookings made are from listings that are paying a higher commission rate.
But with the visibility boost, it also works out well for the host.
Here, we're presented with a sliding scale...
The more commission you pay them, the more they promote your listing.
The interesting thing here, is that you can actually select the dates you wish to improve visibility for...
Let's say your calendar is looking empty for March, you can select the entire month, and increase your booking commissions to Booking.com for that period, in exchange for a boost in visibility.
For example, you may choose to increase your booking commission from 15% to 20% for the month of March, and raise your prices accordingly, to account for the additional commission.
Still not getting booked?
Drop your prices back down to where they were originally, and accept the 5% discount to achieve more bookings.
Still not working?
Offer to pay Booking.com 30% commission in order to receive maximum visibility.
A night booked at 15% less than normal is better than an empty night worth $0.
To access your "Visibility Booster", navigate to your "Opportunities tab", and click "Visibility Booster".
6. High "Property Score"
This one is pretty self-explanatory...
Much like Airbnb, Booking.com rewards hosts with higher property scores/ ratings.
Guests can actually filter their search results by properties that have over a certain score, to ensure they're getting the best quality stays.
In order to increase your "Property Score" (apart from the obvious of providing an unbeatable guest experience...) be sure to send guests a post checkout message, asking them to kindly leave you a review.
7. Consistently Update Your Prices Based On Supply-And-Demand
If you're not getting booked at 80%+ occupancy, regardless of the booking channel, then the first aspect you should look at is your custom pricing strategy.
Your prices need to be determined by market supply-and-demand to achieve the best possible rates for each date.
Getting booked every weekend?
Time to start increasing your prices to find your "pricing ceiling".
Not getting booked on weekdays during low-season?
Time to start dropping your weekday rates in increments until you start achieving 80% occupancy.
If you're looking to learn more about how to maximize your Airbnb's earnings, click the link below to join me for my next free training event, where I'll go into detail on how we've helped hosts increase their earnings by up to 112%:
I hope this information has helped!
Co-Founder - BeyondBNB.io