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I have found that if you have a single property it is very difficult to maintain a place on the preffered partner program. It's virtually impossible to meet the conversion rate criteria demanded by the algorithm, and so eventually you will be thrown off the program.
Despite several attempts to reason with BDC they would not change their position. My property remains off the program, however it is consistantly busy both with BDC and others so I guess it didn't matter?
either way BDC are completly inflexible.
I find the preffered program very inflexible if you only have a few rooms. Even though my propoerty has a 9.5 star rating and is almost exclusivly booked through BDC they took me off the program because the conversion rate was "not high enough". This is the algorithm wagging the dog if you ask me!
Does not really work for vacation rentals.
We have Holiday Apartments in Brighton UK. We take payment in advance (50% non refundable on booking - and the balance 30 days prior to arrival, again non refundable)
We take a security deposit too, although recently we have begun taking Authorisation rather than an actual sale - this tends to avoid freaked out guests when they see £300 taken off their cards in addtion to the rental. We just void the authorisation when they leave - also we dont get problems with currency fluctation and card fees using this method.
We always insist that the guest completes an online google form with all their details and ticks that they accept our rental agreement. We also insist that the lead guest send a photo of their passport by email. This weeds out most fraudsters and undesirables. We don't send the KEYCODE until they have done all this.
We probably lose 1 out of 50 enquiries because of these stringent procedures, but I'm fine with that if it prevents some of the awful experiences we had in the early days.
What a shame. But this is something that will happen regularly without a vetting process I'm afraid. My own feeling is that if you leave it until they arrive to get a look at their passport, you have left it too late (unless you are a hotel of course with 24 hour porterage and a 24 hour reception desk)!
We insist that the guest sends a photo of their passport of driving licence and completes our booking form (which asks about other guests, parking requirements, email and phone numbers). Once we have this and are happy, we take their money and confirm their booking. No ID - no Accommodation. Last month we cancelled 2 bookings because the prospective guests simply wouldn't comply. We will not take a chance - we have been burned too many times, and dont forget - one bad guest that ends in a police call out or a pop up brothel or drugs party, can close down your whole business if the other residents complain!
All booking platforms want to make it easy on the guest NOT the host. You have to look after yourself.
Good idea Lorraine, good idea - we do something similar, but using an online form that the guest must complete before we proceed with the booking. Just be aware that many guests dont read anything you send them - they assume that because they booked through a well known platform everything is already agreed. We regularly have guests arriving in the middle of the night calling us, stunned that there is not a hotel porter to let them in, even though we have sent them full details of how to access the keys from our keysafe!
Hi, This is a prolem with all instant booking platforms of which booking.com is the biggest. It has taken us many years and "tweaks" to our processes and the fine print to get it "right".
Make sure you clearly state in the booking.com advert what your guest criteria is and stick to it.
The biggest single thing you can do to ensure that the guests are who they say they are and they are the ages they say they are - is to insist on a photo of the passport or driving license before you confirm the booking.
This weeds out 99% of frauds. DO NOT rely on any platforms so called "verification" process.
Also if you are at all uncertain - always google them and find their social media and linkedin profiles. This can give you valauble insight if they are dodgy.