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frustrated - could not find my property on booking.com!

Hi, all, 

I am totally frustrated. I haven't received any inquiry, not to mention bookings, this year! 

At the beginning I thought because my property was automatically set as "Nikiana, Ionian Islands, Greece" rather than "Nikiana, Lefkada, Greece". I requested to change the address, but I realized that it was a bigger issue: I simply could not find my property no matter what I searched -  "Nikiana" or "lefkada". 

What was the problem? How can I correct it? Can anybody help? 

Any advice is appreciated!

Sophia

 

 

 

19 Replies

7
Thuild - Your …

Dear Sophia,

I know the problem now after digging into it. You don't have any availability set for your Villas, that's why you cannot find it because it will not show unless you have availability.

If you want professional help with your property, you can send me a message through my site and we can discuss details.

Best regards,

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

1 year ago
2
Villa Soumela

Dear Zsolt,

You must have looked at villa Soumela before you tried to search for "Nikiana". What I and my friends found out was that once you looked at the property, when you search for "Nikiana", you can easily find it, sometimes at #1 in the result.

However, if you simply search for "Nikiana", we still could not find it out of the 90 returned results. We could not find it when we searched for "Lefkada" either.

The villa is available for the period we searched (when we search for "villa Soumela" for the same period, it showed up). So it was not the issue you mentioned.

I don't know why and I really appreciate any advice.

Thank you.

Sophia

1 year ago
7
Thuild - Your …

Dear Sophia,

How is the villa available when I cannot find any availability?

I have a feeling that you've mapped them under the same property ID:

And if it's s, then you will only see Villa Soumela, because that will contain 2 Villas as units (see above).

Best regards,

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

1 year ago
2
Villa Soumela

We do have 2 villas under villa Soumela so that we can better manage it. It was suggested by booking.com representative.

You can try to search for "July 4-11" when the villa is available.

1 year ago
7
Thuild - Your …

As I've said, you have an availability problem:

So the other Villa is Villa Nikiana or it's just the second one linked to the same account?

Best regards,

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

1 year ago
2
Villa Soumela

Thanks Zsolt,

for looking into the issue again.

The issue is that we cannot rent our property for fewer than 7 nights by law. That's why we set min 7 nights as requirement. However, it should not affect the property showing up in the search results.

The message shown on your screenshot is not accurate and misleading.

That is another big issue we are facing.

Do you have any idea what to do? I've contacted booking.com, but haven't received any good advice.

Thank you again.

Sophia

1 year ago
7
Thuild - Your …

Dear Sophia,

If that's the case, then don't use BDC as it's made for other type of reservations.
Usually people book less nights.
Because you have set a minimum stay of 7 nights, the search will only show your property if someone searches for 7 nights or more, therefore you will not appear in the list.

The screenshot is accurate and correct as you have set a restriction on it.

Hope that clarifies it,
Zsolt - www.thuild.com

1 year ago
2
Villa Soumela

Dear Zsolt,

what does BDC mean? Are you suggesting us not to list our property on Booking.com?

We are talking about different problems:

My biggest issue is that when people search for "Nikiana" or "Lefkada" without checking our property, even for 7 nights, my property does not show up.

The second issue is that although we have set a min 7 nights, the property should show up when people search for accommodation in Nikiana or Lefkada, it does not. When the property shows up (in rare cases), the message should be "It is unavailable for 1 night booking" rather than "it is sold out".

This leads to another question: The regulation for private property rental is min 7 nights in Greece. As booking.com have so many private rentals in Greece, I don't know how it is dealing with the regulation requirement. If booking.com forces owners to remove the min night requirement, it is basically forcing them to risk violating the regulation.

It is easy to say not to list on BDC, but I find it not a constructive solution.

Is there anything we can do or booking.com as a company can do?

Thank you

Sophia

1 year ago
7
Thuild - Your …

It is working:

You just need to be careful with the setup.

I understand the law requirements. If it works, then use it as it is.

You can see if people are looking for your property or if it appears in searches in the Ranking page:

That should give you an idea where you stand.

Best regards,

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

1 year ago
2
Villa Soumela

OK, here is what the analytics say:

88 property views (last 7 days)

88/98 your population

It is not good at all. (Remember We and our friends have been checking on this property during last 7 days many times)

Something is wrong and I don't know what it is and how to fix it!!!

1 year ago
2
Villa Soumela

Why is this message "pending approval"

Dear Zsolt,

what does BDC mean? Are you suggesting us not to list our property on Booking.com?

We are talking about different problems:

My biggest issue is that when people search for "Nikiana" or "Lefkada" without checking our property, even for 7 nights, my property does not show up.

The second issue is that although we have set a min 7 nights, the property should show up when people search for accommodation in Nikiana or Lefkada, it does not. When the property shows up (in rare cases), the message should be "It is unavailable for 1 night booking" rather than "it is sold out".

This leads to another question: The regulation for private property rental is min 7 nights in Greece. As booking.com have so many private rentals in Greece, I don't know how it is dealing with the regulation requirement. If booking.com forces owners to remove the min night requirement, it is basically forcing them to risk violating the regulation.

It is easy to say not to list on BDC, but I find it not a constructive solution.

Is there anything we can do or booking.com as a company can do?

Thank you

Sophia

1 year ago
7
Thuild - Your …

Dear Sophia,

My reply before was tho the latter message that you've sent.

Now, people who search for Lefkada will NOT see your property as your property is registered to Nikiana.

As per the previous reply from me, you can see the results, it is available.

Now the following factors apply to why you're having such low views:

1. no reviews, no review score

2. the price is higher than whatever else is in the area

3. availability, note that because of the 7 day restriction, you will have a much lower view rate as your property might only appear 1 out of 10000 searches or less. People usually go for the 1 night search and then when they find a place they like, they pick the dates during the booking phase

Now regarding the availability message, this is only shown if they search for the name of your property, normal searches will not show your property as available.

Now consider this:

They are shown for 1 night booking, so about that law for 7 nights, are you sure you want to keep it?

I see a bunch of properties that are villas, houses, apartments that are available for even 1 night's booking.

As I've mentioned, that's one of your worst enemy here: availability.

Best regards,

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

1 year ago
2
Villa Soumela

Thank you Zsolt, for your response.

As you said, "Now, people who search for Lefkada will NOT see your property as your property is registered to Nikiana." is a big problem because Nikiana is a town on the island of Lefkada. Visitors will search for "Lefkada" rather than "Nikiana". I have requested booking.com to change the location which they did, but it does not reflect in searches.

How can I address this issue again to booking?

As for the reviews, I haven't got even inquiries, how can I have enough reviews?

In terms of the price, it is not higher than properties of the same level. If you search for villas with private swimming pool, private garage, wifi, garden, sea view etc. the price is actually at the lower end.

It looks like availability is the only thing I can work on. If I remove the min night requirement, I have to remove instant booking function because I will need to communicate with the potential guests that the min stay is 7 nights. I personally don't know how come there are many properties available which allow for even 1-night stay. Maybe they realized if they set the min nights, they will be penalized just like us?

Can booking.com do anything to improve the setting?

Many thanks for your effort to help out.

Sophia

1 year ago
7
Thuild - Your …

Dear Sophia,

Your property is the 2nd in the list:

I really don't see the issues that you're seeing, other than the restriction that might be the ONLY cause that is affecting you.

Let me tell you why: when you do a search on BDC, the start date you select will be chosen and then it automatically selects a 1 nigh stay for you. You need to choose manually the dates, which I think many people out of laziness will not do at this point.

Therefore, disable the 7 night minimum and see what happens.

Your property is in Nikiana, it will never be shown as Lefkada if Nikiana is the city/village that it's located in.

You don't really get inquiries through BDC, you get direct bookings. So after you make the changes, things should be better.

The price of a hotel with Spa is cheaper, so that makes me think that if the place should have a per person price. Because mostly 2-4 people will book, not bigger groups and therefore you again cut down your chances of getting anything.

These things are not BDC's responsibility, it's yours, therefore they cannot do more than tell you what you have at hand to work with.

Best regards,

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

1 year ago
2
Villa Soumela

Thanks a lot Zsolt,

for giving me such a detailed message.

When you search, you have to clear the cache because otherwise the results on booking are not objective.

OK, I understand why the night requirement prevents the listing be shown on searches now. I guess I need to remove this restriction.

However, Nikiana is a town on the island of Lefkada, Greece. Actually the property address is "Lefkada".

When you search for "Lefkada", many properties located in "Nikiana" also show up. So I am puzzled why mine does not show up.

What concerns me is that if I get bookings via booking.com and it is shorter than 7 nights, do I obliged to accept it or I can reject it? If I reject, will it affect my standing?

Thanks again for your help.

Sophia

1 year ago
7
Thuild - Your …

Dear Sophia,

1. You have my search for Lekada and it is showing your property, therefore it works

2. Whenever you get a booking you are obligated to accept it as per your contract with BDC. If you request to cancel it, your rank will be affected. If you refuse it, then it's worse because you might end up paying the guest a stay somewhere else.

What happens if you take in guests for shorter stays? Who will actually check that?

Cheers,

Zsolt

1 year ago
2
Villa Soumela

Dear Zsolt,

1. I tried a couple of times with different browsers again, still no luck.

2. That is worrying. The Greek law requires the private rental to have the restriction of 7 nights. So what you said led to the question I had before - "As booking.com have so many private rentals in Greece, I don't know how it is dealing with the regulation requirement. If booking.com forces owners to remove the min night requirement, it is basically forcing them to risk violating the regulations " or be penalized in ranking.

Plus, we simply don't have the bandwidth to handle frequent changeover for the 1000 qm whole property (villa itself, swimming pool, garden, garage etc.) just for one-night stay.

Looks like we are getting into a dead end... unless booking.com is willing to make some changes.

I hope this message can reach booking.com. If you have any influence, please pass my frustration to them!

Sophia

1 year ago
2
Villa Soumela

UPDATE:

I contacted Booking.com regarding that my property is not shown up in searches, here is the answer:

"I have checked the Booking.com website and noticed that the reason you are not showing up in the search results is because you have an internal setting applied in the extranet called Guest Requirements. In this box, it states that guests can only book if they have had a previous stay with us and its tracked only if the guest books while logged in to their personal Booking.com account, otherwise we have no way to track if they made a booking before."

Hope this is helpful for those who ran into the same problem.

1 year ago