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
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%
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
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.
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