Vacation rental News
Make the most of your demand using promotions to encourage profitable guest behavior with Booking.com
Providing your guests with a comfortable place to stay might be your goal as a property manager, but at the end of the day, you are running a business, and that means you need to sell accommodations.
Your business sales strategies should reflect your commitment to the guest experience while emphasising the importance of booking as many properties as possible at any given time. Whether it’s the peak season or the off season, developing these selling techniques to increase profitability may be very profitable for your business.
Do you offer any summer discounts? Have you heard about the Genius Programme?
Booking.com’s custom promotion tools are an excellent way to advertise your discounts, target your public and increase your bookings helping you to attract potential customers.
In this article, we have highlighted some of these promotion tools and show you how to use them to get the greatest revenue. Let us show you the main ones and how to set up promotional rates through Booking.com’s extranet.
How can promotions drive a property’s business growth?
- Increase revenue by offering discounted rates. Customers initially attracted by the offer may end up booking non-discounted rates on other room or rate types.
- Increase occupancy throughout the year including low season. Offering promotions on low-occupancy dates can help properties increase their bookings. For example, Early Booker and Last Minute deals allow properties to manage their occupancy based on their business needs.
- Attract guests that intend to stay longer. Adding a minimum Length of Stay requirement and offering discounts on longer stays helps properties attract customers who intend to stay longer. It also helps properties increase their occupancy and handle operations more efficiently.
- Attract customers from new markets. Properties can choose specific channels to target customers from new markets. For example, they could limit the running time of a Basic Deal promotion to the timezones of the target market.
- Stand out from the crowd. With a Basic Deal, the property will appear higher in the search results when customers choose to filter their results by price. Properties can reinforce the Basic Deal by making it a Secret Deal, which is promoted by Booking.com.
- Reduce the number of cancellations. Our data shows that guests booking last minute are less likely to change their minds or cancel. Therefore, offering a Last Minute Deal helps properties attract customers reducing the cancellations.
1 – MOBILE RATES
The travel industry will see vacation rental marketing and mobile devices go hand in hand. With this in mind, you need to start making mobile marketing a priority and keep mobile users front of mind with mobile-only strategies.
Mobile rates are exclusive prices offered to guests searching Booking.com on mobile devices. This can be on either the Booking.com app or mobile browsers). Setting up a mobile rate means offering an exclusive discount of 10% or more for mobile users. Once you set up mobile rates, a special badge appears next to your property in search results and on your property page. Mobile rates give properties greater visibility and can ultimately increase bookings from mobile traffic by as much as 26%.
How do mobile rates benefit properties?
In 2018, for the first time, more than half of our accommodation reservations were made on a mobile device. 80% of travellers now use a mobile app when researching a trip. By setting up mobile rates, partners can tap into this valuable and expanding traveller segment.
In addition to more visibility and traffic, better prices also translate into better property reviews, and these help properties rank higher in search results. Two thirds of mobile bookings are made by millennials, who research has shown write more reviews than any other traveller segment. Attracting these bookers can positively impact properties’ overall ranking on Booking.com.
How do mobile rates work?
Connected properties can set up mobile rates in the extranet, under the ‘Rates & Availability’ tab.
Mobile rates are only visible to guests searching on mobile devices, on either the Booking.com app or a mobile browser).
Mobile rates apply to all of a property’s rooms and rate plans.
We recommended a minimum discount of 10%.
Properties can set up 30 blackout days per calendar year, when the mobile rates do not apply.
Do you want to learn more?
2. COUNTRY RATES
Global travel is on the rise, but also domestic since it is a good way to capture domestic demand, which is the one that is currently growing the most. It means more opportunities for your property. Whether you want to jump into new markets, attract guests from specific countries or grow your revenue by offering targeted discounts.
Country rates are targeted discounts that properties can offer to guests from specific locations. They enable properties to tap into completely new markets, fill available properties and generate extra revenue during the local low season. Keep in mind that country rates aren’t available in certain countries because of legal or commercial restrictions. To see which countries they’re available in, visit the ‘Promotions’ section of the extranet and click on ‘Country rates’.
Partners can find personalised country rate recommendations in the extranet’s ‘Rates & Availability’ tab. These recommendations are based on data tailored to their properties and can help partners decide which regions to target.
How do country rates improve properties’ performance?
Country rates help properties grow their revenue by targeting international travellers, who tend to book earlier and cancel less.
Offering country rates in high-demand countries gives properties a better ranking and more visibility in Booking.com’s search results.
Country rates help to fill in available rooms during holiday periods, high-demand dates or local low seasons.
3. GENIUS RATES
Genius is an exclusive programme that brings accommodation partners closer to our most frequent bookers. Joining Genius can help properties get more bookings faster, through a ranking booster and better visibility in search results on our website.
In addition, Genius properties are displayed to a select group of customers who travel more often, book further in advance and spend more when booking. Genius guests are those who have made at least two bookings on Booking.com and completed those stays in a two-year window.
If their property meets these eligibility criteria, a partner can sign up to Genius via the ‘Opportunities’ tab in the extranet. Joining the programme automatically enables a mandatory 10% Genius discount on the least expensive and most popular room. In situations where the least expensive room is not the bestselling one, the discount will apply to both room types.
As soon as a partner joins Genius, they start attracting high-value Genius guests. On average, accommodation partners who join the programme increase their bookings by 18% and their revenue by 17%, after subtracting the cost of the discount.
Do you want to learn more?
4. PREFERRED PARTNER PROGRAMME
Preferred is an exclusive programme that gives greater visibility to accommodation partners who are in the top 30% in terms of performance. Properties that meet the criteria can expect a big boost in bookings in return for a small increase in commission.
Preferred partners increase their visibility in the search results and receive a special thumbs-up icon to indicate their preferred status. These factors can contribute to up to 65% more page views and 40% more bookings for preferred partners.
In order to be eligible, the property must fulfill a specific set of criteria to be able to enroll. Such criteria may include but not limited to:
Partners become eligible to join when they meet these three criteria:
- They have a review score of 7.0 or above.
- Their property’s performance score – calculated using their expected annual sales and customer demand – is in the top 30%.
- The average price difference between their property’s prices on Booking.com and other platforms does not exceed 5%.
Each quarter, we make sure that the partner still meets these criteria. Partners can always check their status by going to the ‘Opportunities’ tab in the extranet and clicking on ‘Preferred Partner Programme’.
How can a partner opt in to the Preferred Partner Programme?
Watch the video here:
How can a partner opt out to the Preferred Partner Programme?
To leave the programme, partners simply visit the extranet and click on the ‘Opportunities’ tab. In the ‘Preferred Partner Programme’ section, they can select the option to leave. The property status and commission amount will change automatically, and they will receive a confirmation message in their extranet inbox.
Keep in mind that once a partner leaves the program, they will only be able to rejoin after 180 days, and if they still meet the criteria.
5. IMPLEMENT CHILD RATES
“Did you know that families stay on average 28% longer and book a 27% higher rate than couples and solo travellers? It is now easier for you to conﬁgure your child pricing and occupancy to attract more families to your property.”
Below you can find the 2 actions you must take to implement child rates.
How do I set up rates for children?
How do I set up a room for children?
There you have it, an online distribution strategy that genuinely boosts your overall revenue performance by increasing visibility and ranking on one of the world’s largest OTA. It increases your direct bookings through the billboard effect.
Benefits for your properties
- Get more bookings. Deals appear in search results, so partners can attract more visitors to their page, which will bring more reservations.
- Increase revenue. A lot of customers initially attracted by the offer often end up booking non-discounted rates for other room/rate types.
- Fill rooms year round. Properties can increase occupancy by targeting dates where they need more bookings. Minimum length of stay deals help secure higher-value bookings.
- Stay flexible. Early Bookers and Last Minute Deals allow properties to manage occupancy based on their business needs.
- Target specific markets. Properties can choose specific channels to target new markets. With Basic Deals, they can time the promotion to fit the time zone of the target market.
- Stand out from the competition. With Basic Deals, the property will appear higher in the search results when customers are sorting by price. Properties can reinforce the Basic Deal by making it a Secret Deal, which gets extra promotion by Booking.com.
- Reduce cancellations. Around a third of all bookings on our platform are now made with a mobile device. 40% of all smartphone bookings are last-minute bookings, which have a low cancellation rate. With Last Minute Deals, properties can attract these customers.
Avantio always offers you the best tools, tips and strategies to boost your overall channel sales efficiency and take your properties revenue performance to new heights.