If you have ever been in a situation where you had to apologize to a guest for double booking, move them to a different place to stay, and pay any extra charges that were required by the website they used to book the accommodation, then you know how difficult it can be. The positive takeaway is that there are steps you can take to ensure that you never experience the inconvenience of double booking again.
This article will provide guidance on the typical causes of overbooking and how to prevent them from happening. Read on!
Defining Double Booking
A double booking occurs when two customers make a reservation on different online platforms for the same time frame. This type of overbooking can be costly for property managers in both time and money and can lead to a decrease in their listing's visibility.
The Causes of Double Booking
Listing on Various Platforms
If you are listing your property on multiple websites, it is crucial to ensure that all websites have the same information regarding your availability. This means you need to make sure that all of the websites are updated at the same time. Otherwise, there will be different information on different websites, which could lead to confusion.
When someone books your rental via Airbnb, the dates they select will be blocked off on your calendar. However, on Tripadvisor, your rental will still appear as if it were available, making it possible for a second person to book the exact dates. This can result in double bookings if you are not careful.
You can manually sync your Airbnb calendar with other channel calendars. To do so, you will have to first export your Airbnb iCal calendar and then import it to all the other channel calendars. By utilizing this feature, you can ensure that your schedule is kept up-to-date in all your calendars. That way, you can avoid any potential conflicts when making appointments.
Listing More Than Once on Airbnb
You'd like to list a beautiful house on Airbnb and make it available to visitors. It would be great to rent out the whole house, but you can also rent out the individual rooms. Each room can accommodate a couple of people, so you are going to create separate listings for each room.
Be careful to ensure that the calendars associated with the listings you just created are connected; otherwise, you could potentially encounter the issue of double-booking. If someone books a room in your house for a certain period and then another person books the same room during that same period, you now have two bookings for the same room and will not be able to accommodate both guests.
Hosting Indefinite Guests
When tenants are uncertain about the length of their stay, it can create a dilemma for both host and guest. You don't want to completely take the dates off your calendar if the long-term guests don't extend their stay, but you also don't want to miss out on potential bookings if they don't decide to stay longer.
If you do not keep track of your appointments and do not set limits on how much time you can commit to, you may find yourself with two appointments simultaneously. To avoid potential problems, it is best to ask your long-term guests to let you know their plans in advance. Remind them that if their plans change and they decide to book your rental at a later date, it may not be available.
Double booking can be a major issue and a source of lost income. For the hosts, having a reliable and secure system is vital to ensure that double bookings do not occur. To minimize the chances of double bookings, hosts should have a straightforward method for tracking bookings and a reliable system for confirming confirmed bookings. By following these steps, you can avoid double bookings and the losses they can cause.
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