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Property listing on Booking.com - need advice.

 I am knew to this and sincerely need help  for my 12 vacant rooms since listing as pa Terrance Lodges, Greyston Park. Harare. Zimbabwe. Anyone with time can view my listings on both booking.com and air b and b . I am open to advice.

Problems?

1) Zero bookings since getting listed on booking.com 2 weeks ago. Only 1 air b and b booking from Australia  last December  when i got listed and was booked and positively reviewed by an Australian guest who liked my apartments. 2 direct bookings who equally liked my place  for its tranquility and quietness notwithstanding charging 50% of my competitors fee as a market entry strategy and that was it. 

3) Read all your valuable comments , tips and feedback but still no idea what a channel manager is and how one gets one.

4) I invited a young family member to assist as co host. Presumably she is equally clueless.

6) A colleague in town who is fully booked for her  2 suits in town is most encouraging but that is as far as it goes and I can understand why. She is probably  busy with her own hosting business and so i do not blame her. She is there for me on whatsapp and even tries to offload her double bookings to me but her seem to prefer town compared  to the suburbian location where I am. In fact I thank her for kick starting me with her UK guest for 2 nights  who liked my place and promised to call again.

7) I disparately need bookings and believe my place is excellent as indicated by my only one Australian guest who reviewed me most positively, the UK guest and one direct guest.

8) I have a flat in town 20 minutes from the lodges which gets vacant next month  as my long lease tenant  was offered a job in Australia. My dilemma is do i look for another low return long lease tenant or switch the flat to my listings. Can I do that? can I add another property 20 minutes away in search for high returns when my suburban tranquil 4 lodges with 12 bedrooms in the most sought leafy suburb are empty.?Does it make business sense? Am I not better of carrying on with long leases for the flat or I proceed to furnish it in the hope of getting booked.?

9) I built the lodges specifically for business  but  taking off is proving to be an uphill task due to zero bookings.

10) Passionate about my business but starved of training . Really struggling and need help mates. So when I pumped into this platform and read all your valuable comments, suggestions, advice from ready to assist co hosts I felt the urge to cry out for help.

Kind regards

Kiliana.(Entrepreneur)

7 Replies

7
Aaltje B.

Hi Kiliana

There we go! :) Welcome to the world of hosting. It is great - I promise

First of all, you can't build Rome in a day. So be patient with yourself, it is a stepping- stone process. I am hosting for the 4th year via BDC and AirBnb and still learning!

You look like a motivated serious host, so here are some tips for you.

1 The zero bookings : Everything is set up correctly, you had confirmation etc. And your listings looking good with plenty I mean Plenty of photo's ? What makes your location stand out, or is it the interior, the hosts, the quality etc Choose one topic in your title that make people draw in.

2 ?

3 A channel manager is the crown of your business and arranges all synced agenda's calendars and mediates with finance, like reservation lists and money they pay and what you get. Super handy since you need your time for : hosting And will prevent double bookings and lots of other issues related to doing everything by yourself. I have one for my unit and it only sleeps 2! ps my Airbnb I have not included under my channel manager, since I wanted to be more flexible with my prices. They have a different commission arrangement, and therefor you would lose too many bookings. Booking.com is direct booking, so no requests before booking.

4 Your co-host is young, Ahh she will pick things up like anything. Have you got things sorted in case you receive cash money?

5?

6 The bookings will come if everything is set up correctly, double check! Make it suitable for business, good reception for wifi / Quiet / Easy and quick check in? Ironing board and iron in place. Washing machine for those that stay longer?

7 Bookings will come.

8/9 Add anything you like ,BUT Take it slowly with your first setup of what you have, get used to it and in the mean time rent out for say 3 months to half a year to longer stays. See how you go first. If you really like it, and you have some extra cash, than you can buy the right furniture and good quality beds which I think is the best investment (beds) for good review. People come to rest.

Good reviews are your aim, so if people ask for something if you possibly can arrange it, like diets, washing, curtains that block the light etc. do it if you can BUT : if they go over your personal bounderies for instance more people staying then booked or breaking your rules then you can be kind but clear (firm) Often situations can be solved by looking for alternatives. So it would be good to have somewhere you can send people to apart from your own apartments.

And keep asking questions, that why we're here for.

Don't wait too long if there is an issue.

The help team via Inbox is the paid group of BDC so if you are in urgent need of answers related to money or errors I would contact them first.

Happy hosting and ..

Lots of great, honest, happy, wonderful guests :)

Hope this is helping you

Greetings

Aaltje B. from New Zealand.

4 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

ps I would choose a strict cancellation policy too! It sounds not very friendly, but people don't care often not to cancel.

In BDC system people are allowed to book 5 and only choose one property to stay and can't be bothered to cancel......

Aaltje B.

4 months ago
4
Kibokoafrica

its also great if you dwell to market your property and your country in travel discussions respectively.

4 months ago
3
Sonstbbs

When Googled It comes up as paTerrace Lodges, Grayston (I presume this is you?) and yet your heading reads paTerracce Lodges and in your opening paragraph it reads paTerrance Lodges....if your marketing/advertising/online material is listed as one spelling and you're promoting yourself via Booking.com or any other agent as another spelling potential guests may well be getting 'lost'.....you need to check and double check spelling!

This may help

S

4 months ago
4
Kibokoafrica

By the way Sonstbbs is right. your spelling mistakes could be the cause of you your no booking at all.You market the wrong name and a particular will waste no time to concentrate on your mistake.

4 months ago
4
Kibokoafrica

Also never mix a Capital letter and a small letter when you are marketing your property Mrs. Bangure.Stay solid capital throughout or solid small

4 months ago
3
Sonstbbs

As our good friend Kibokoafrica suggests it is about being consistent throughout all your marketing but you do need to start each word of your name with a capital letter as it's your business name as it's a title so paTerrace Lodges, Grayston, Zimbabwe...(what does the pa stand for btw??).. using all capitals comes across as being a bit 'SHOUTY' and is pretty hard to read and using all lower case looks like it's been written by a 5 year old!! I hope this information helps you out, S

4 months ago