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Understanding booking.com for Airbnb style hosts

I have been a host on Airbnb for couple years before listing up my properties on booking.com. Coming from Airbnb world, I was not ready for the roller coaster ride. Although booking.com ended up outperforming Airbnb for my listings, there are few key differences people should understand between Airbnb and booking.com...

A> On Airbnb, you have the option to accept/decline booking requests based on the guest profile.

B> On booking.com, there is no such thing. If its available anyone can book it. You have no say on who books your property and cannot cancel. If you cancel, then you pay relocation fee

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A> Airbnb charges the guest 5-10% fee and 3% to the host

B> Booking.com does not charge guests any fee to book, but charge hosts 15-18%

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A> Airbnb guests must complete a profile and get "verified". Guests can leave for host and host can leave review for guest

B> Booking.com guest do not have to have a profile. Guests can leave review for property but host cannot review guests

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A>Airbnb collects the payment on your behalf and pay you through your payment preference on check-in day

B> Depending on which region you are, booking.com now gives the guest option to pay directly to booking.com or to the host/hotel.  If booking.com collects payment (in limited places), then then booking.com gives you their own unique credit card number which can only be charged the booking amount. In that case, you have will have to have credit card processing system (i.e. stripe). If the guest is paying directly to the hotel/host, then booking.com will send you the credit card of the guest and you have charge the credit card yourself using system like (stripe, square) or any other payment processing solution

If you attempt to charge the credit card and it is declined, you have to take the following steps

1. Mark the credit card as invalid on booking.com. Then booking.com will notify the guest to update the card

2. If guest update their credit card, trying charging the card again on your payment processor. If it still fails, repeat step 1

3. If the card is still not updated or invalid for 24 hours, you can request to cancel the booking

4. You can also attempt to call the guest or email them to see what they want to do prior to cancelling it

If you get a lot of such booking, you can use third party system such as ChargeAutomation.com to automate the above steps.

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A> On airbnb, because you have option to accept/decline booking request, you can control your calendar

B> On booking.com, reservations can come in at any moment so your calendar has to be updated upto the minute. If you are on a budget, you can sync your calendar using iCal. iCal is not instant and can sometimes take 30 min - 2 hours to update. If you are professional host, perhaps you may want to use a channel manager such as ) BookingAutomation.com, kigo.net, guesty)

 

I hope you find the above helpful. Disclaimer, these information can change anytime so double check to make sure the info is still accurate

16 Replies

5
Blagoje Acho

And I would add Airbnb guests ask million questions before and during their stay while Booking.com are more independed ones.

1 year ago
1
Marni Angel

Not worth the price of admission.  I have had Nightmares with the unchangeable cash only policy, at the beginning of my listings and still happenning, despite all my settings being changed by a rep (supposedly!).  Homeless people (not the nice kind, but active drug addicts, sometimes prostitutes), sleeping in more than one room, leaving without paying.  Booking.com is franky outdated, does not protect hosts and it’s precisely that they Do out perform Airbnb that they will never change the policies that work almost Entirely for the guest and not the host.  

Let’s add the multiple transfers partners have to go through to even talk to someone.  

I wasted a year trying to make things work as a host on booking.com.   Obviously Very spoiled by Airbnb. 

28 days ago
1
Alen069

I totaly agree with Blagoje's cooment but i have a problem.

I have set up a listing both on airbnb and booking and a i have extremely good season on airbnb but on booking-0 reservations..

1 year ago
2
Info

There are pros and cons to both sites. Neither of which, are geared up specifically for apartments so there will always be flaws. Until both sites are updated and terminology changed there will always be issues to deal with.

Airbnb encourage relationship building with the host before arrival. Where guests can try and negotiate on price because they are renting on the cheap. After-all why would you stay in a strangers house if they could afford a hotel?

Booking.com are geared up for hotels where you have to list whether there are meal options, if a guest can pay on arrival, and there is 24hr assistance. None of these apply to whole apartments that are exclusively used as a short let.

I would like to see more control on both sites and protection for the property owner/manager.

1 year ago
1
Marni Angel

Add to This that the guests rarely understand what they’re getting/coming into, when they book thru booking.com; whereas, somehow the way Airbnb showcases their listings, the guests always know if its an actual bed and breakfast or a private unit, etc.  Again, a year into hosting on booking.com and same problems, despite all fixes and work arounds recommended and executed with booking.com

28 days ago
1
Millyfit4life

Airbnb is superior in managing my money... booking don't have a clue half the time n the other half they inform you of the cost being reversed to you the host...

+2
1 year ago
1
Fe Rooney

I have just joined booking.com. It took a month to receive my verification code in the mail. Already I am finding it more of a nuisance! Having to constantly enter a text code and booking.com charges way more in commission to me than Airbnb. It seems a total rip off. I like the simplicity of Airbnb and being able to control who books my place as I have set it so only those with good reviews can get an instant booking.

Not sure all the rigmarole with getting paid by booking.com is worth it either. And then being invoiced afterwards? What a complete hassle.

+2
1 year ago
1
Katrien Blaauw

Same here, Booking is so messy in comparecent to Airbnb. I received a first Booking and the guest never showed up. Because the guest just booked and never paid anything to anybody.. Airbnb is far more organised with their payements. In the meanwhile I had to block the whole week for Airbnb, but nobody showed up. I am thinking of quiting Booking... 😫

+1
1 month ago
1
Marni Angel

Add to that No Insurance provided to hosts, whatsoever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Omg.   Horrifying!!!

28 days ago
2
Info

Unfortunately it doesn't get easier. I have listed on booking.com for several years now and still face hurdles just by trying to log in. I am mobile most of the time so use different devices. The booking.com site doesn't seem to like this as I have to verify who I am every time I use my tablet or phone even though my password is saved on these devices.

With the payment process. I have to agree, Airbnb are by far superior and so simple. Booking.com are way too over complicated and I am not impressed with their credit control dept. They have closed my property without notifying me so I cant take any bookings in a very busy period, this is over an invoice payment they claim hasn't been paid. This is not the first time they have claimed payments have not been made. What is more infuriating is that they didn't even give me the courtesy of a phone call before they did this.

I had to get my bank to provide a tracking number for the payment. 2 days in and I still haven't had a response from booking.com and the property is still closed.

In my opinion booking.com do not earn their commission I have now limited the properties I advertise on their site.

+1
1 year ago
1
Marni Angel

I have Literally day had The Worst two days due to the my bad experiences, as a host, on booking.com.  Am so glad to have found this board. Just telling the truth here.  

28 days ago
1
Fe Rooney

^^^^ I’ve found the same issues already. Yesterday I had to enter a code 7 times in between using a laptop and my phone!
This is not sounding good at all. I might just stick with Airbnb after my first booking is done with.

1 year ago
1
Millyfit4life

Credit manager is a joke, spoke with her for 30mins. Conclusion, absolutely no idea how to deal with customers/host.

1 year ago
1
Pembalak

Airbnb - security deposit an ease.

Booking- Security deposit is a joke. Need to collect cash from guests first. and return back cash to guest when check out. Not good for self check in and self check out.

+1
11 months ago
1
Hanlie Lott

I'm still new to this but I enjoy hosting and the diversity of it all. Guests from Airbnb read the listing and are mostly budget travelers, however had a guest from booking.com last night, basically walked in and told everyone else to leave... with him being Italian there was a massive language barrier and trying to explain that the common areas are shared and the other guests are welcome to stay. I referred him back to the listing but was very upset that he didn't have the entire property to himself! I asked if he'd like to refund the other guests because thats the only way he will have paid the value of the property! Needless 2 hours later he left. People book and cancel so much on booking.com its ridiculous, we prep food for bookings, block out rooms and loose business with the looseness of guests having full control over my rooms. I also don't enjoy that I cant change the description of my property and after ALL this hassles Can't cancel my listing because I have bookings coming up, which will most likely be canceled a day in advance! Their help centre is not helpful AT ALL!!! Terrible that I now Can't get out of booking.com

+1
9 months ago
1
Marni Angel

Omg hilarrrious!!! (and horrifying!!).  My booking.com

Guests never fully understand what they’ve booked, thru booking.com.  I came to expect it before I shut all my listings down, on bookng.com.  Not worth the madness, at this point.  I need time for other things in life. 

28 days ago