The demand for vacation rentals continues to rise, but for property owners the path to securing more bookings – and growing and managing your hosting portfolio – can come with its hurdles.
That’s why we’re committed to guiding our partners every step of the way. From investing in product innovation to driving traveller demand, Eric Bergaglia, Booking.com’s Senior Director of Accommodation Segments, reveals the steps we’re taking to ensure our partners’ continued success.
Click.: 2022 is proving to be a big year for vacation rentals. How are we helping our partners capitalise on this growth?
Bergaglia: Alternative accommodations continue to be a priority focus area for us. We’re investing heavily in demand and other conversion improvements to bring more bookings to our partners, providing a customer reach and overall exposure that would not be attainable otherwise.
And it seems to be working – to date, we’ve delivered over one billion vacation rental guest arrivals through our platform. Additionally, more than 40% of new alternative accommodation listings get their first booking within a week of signing up to Booking.com.
We’re continuing to prioritise and invest in new products and strategies that reflect customer and partner preferences, so we can help our partners attract a larger share of demand on our platform.
Click.: You mentioned investing in new products. How are we making it easier for partners to work with us?
Bergaglia: First and foremost, we’ve always been listening to our partners to clearly identify and tackle any barriers to growth. By tackling these pain points, we’re helping to make our partners’ experience even more seamless. For example, we’ve recently developed a product to handle damage payment requests on our partners’ behalf. This removes collection from guests upfront, which helps reduce operational hassle for partners and friction for guests – increasing conversion as a result.
We’re also working on ways to further support partners when unexpected incidents occur at their property. We’ve recently launched Liability Insurance that protects partners against claims from third parties of up to a maximum amount for every reservation. We’re also piloting a request-to-book function in the United States, France and Australia among a limited group of new partners.
Alongside these improvements, some key foundations for success remain. New partners can still list their properties – for free – in just 15 minutes. Our automated guest messages and free templates reduce the time needed to communicate with guests, while access to 24/7 support in more than 43 languages is available to address any concerns.
Click.: What about partners working with a connectivity provider? How are we improving their experience on our platform?
Bergaglia: We’re continuing to invest in our APIs to make sure new products and features are also available to our connected partners. For example, we’re currently working on a group bulk onboarding possibility via API for our bank transfer payment solution. This will help reduce workload while improving the payments experience for our professional vacation rental partners.
This is just one of the many improvements on our roadmap as we strive to make it easier for partners to improve operational efficiency and manage at portfolio level rather than property level.
Click.: Once a property owner lists their accommodation with us, how do we make sure they find success on our platform?
Bergaglia: We always work in collaboration with partners to ensure they are set up for success from the start. This begins with making sure our registration and onboarding processes are as simple as possible so new properties can be open for bookings faster. For example, partners are already able to import their listings from other platforms and sync their calendars.
Ask any partner and they’ll say that visibility is a hot topic for them. To help new property listings succeed on our platform alongside more established ones, we tag them as ‘new to Booking.com’ to increase visibility and import external review scores from other trusted travel sites to boost customer confidence. We also provide actionable and tailored advice on the most impactful settings to improve partners' pricing, availability, rate plans and content – helping new partners get their first booking faster.
Additionally, we’re investing in features designed to improve the discoverability of alternative accommodations, including an ‘entire home or apartment’ filter.
Click.: How else do we support our partners to make sure we continue to grow together?
Bergaglia: We know that insights help partners to perform by informing better decision making, which is why we’re investing in more tailored reporting. Our partners already have access to market and guest insights, and we will soon provide performance insights on their portfolio to help them maximise their revenue.
Ultimately, beyond getting their first booking faster, we’re constantly working on providing support and guidance to help partners get the most value from our platform.
- From prioritising product innovation to driving traveller demand, we’re continuing to invest heavily in the growth of our vacation rental partners
- So far, we’ve delivered over one billion vacation rental guest arrivals through our platform
- More than 40% of new vacation rental listings get their first booking within a week of signing up to our platform
- We help new partners maximise their revenue on our platform by offering tailored advice, optimising their visibility and more