Sustainable Accommodation 2023

From side project to thriving business – one host shares their holiday rental journey

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Parley Rose, a holiday rental owner based in the UK, opens up about her experience with Booking.com and how it has positively influenced her business.

My entrepreneurial spirit is what led me to explore the world of holiday rentals. What started as a side project gradually evolved into a thriving business – and Booking.com unexpectedly became a significant part of that journey. 

My properties: two approaches, one goal

I manage two properties – one in South Africa and another in the UK, each with its unique approach to hosting.

In South Africa, I take a hands-off approach, relying on my team to maintain the property and ensure a seamless guest experience. Being a hands-off host requires trust in a dedicated team, even if it's a small one. It's not about detachment – it's about entrusting the right people with essential property management tasks.

In contrast, my UK property is where I take a hands-on approach, personalising each detail to enhance the guest experience. It's about creating a warm and unforgettable stay with thoughtful touches. 

Despite the differences, the common thread is my joy in creating unforgettable memories for travellers. It's not just about providing accommodation – it's about being a memorable chapter in someone else's travel story. 

Listing a property: challenges and triumphs

Listing a property on a new platform can be intimidating, but Booking.com made the process so simple. I actually listed my UK property using my mobile. You can see in my TikTok just how easy it was – I was able to list within 15 minutes, and no more than two hours later, I had my first booking! What made life even easier for me was that I could import my property information from other platforms – something I've not been able to do anywhere else.

Being completely transparent, my international listing in South Africa presented a small challenge – I even convinced myself it was because I was using my desktop, not mobile! But it turned out to be such a simple fix and the problem was quickly sorted by the customer service team, who were really helpful.

Benefits of Booking.com: personalisation and protection

One feature I didn’t expect to find on Booking.com, and was pleasantly surprised by, was the ability to approve or decline booking requests. This option allows me to tailor the stay experience to guests’ specific needs and reasons for travel. By knowing who's coming and why, I can personalise their stay, whether it's adding extra amenities for a group or ensuring a stable internet connection for a remote worker. 

Products like liability insurance and damage deposits add an extra layer of reassurance to the hosting experience. They can be essential when it comes to ensuring the protection of your property and creating a sense of security for both hosts and guests. I’ve found that these safeguards can play an essential role in providing peace of mind for everyone involved in the hosting process.

Results with Booking.com: trust and extended stays

I joined Booking.com with the aim to extend my reach and increase bookings to maximise my revenue. I went in expecting to get bookings here and there to fill the gaps left by other platforms, but it exceeded my expectations to say the least. Booking.com not only fully filled my calendar but also brought me my longest booking to date – a two-month stay! 

The guests I've hosted through Booking.com have consistently demonstrated an exceptional level of respect for my properties. At first I was apprehensive because you can’t see guest profiles, but I’ve found that the quality of guests are superb. I haven’t had any challenges with individuals taking advantage of my property or causing damage.

The platform's visibility on search engines is also a game-changer for hosts. For example, since listing on Booking.com, I found that my properties have become more easily discoverable on channels like Google. Now that I think about it, that’s probably one reason why most of my bookings come from Booking.com. The partnership adds a lot in terms of marketing value, making it much easier for me to tap into an international audience. 

An ongoing story of growth

Adding Booking.com to my distribution mix has been a game-changer, bringing many benefits to my business. Above all, it's given me better visibility worldwide, something I struggled with on other platforms. As a result, I now enjoy consistent bookings that keep my income steady. 

 

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Takeaway
  • Parley Rose was able to list her UK property on Booking.com in just 15 minutes, saving her time and effort while expanding her rental's reach to a broader audience.
  • One surprising benefit she found on Booking.com is the capability to approve or decline booking requests – allowing her to tailor the guest experience to specific needs and travel purposes, fostering a more personalised stay for her visitors. 
  • Booking.com not only ensured that she filled her calendar, but also delivered her longest booking to date – a two-month stay, offering a steady and reliable income.