I’m worried about not being able to approve bookings
You may be used to working with platforms that ask you to approve or reject every booking you get – so it’s understandable that the idea of instant bookings might feel like a loss of control.
The reason we use instant bookings is we believe it’s quicker, easier and more efficient for everyone involved.
Guests love it
Let’s start with your guests. These days, people that buy online are used to immediate results, whether that’s grabbing a taxi, getting a new TV or booking their holiday.
And it’s the direction the accommodation market is going in, too. A few years ago, some other OTAs didn’t offer instant bookings at all, but they found that most guests didn’t like the idea of waiting for confirmation once they’ve booked. As a result, they’ve now adapted to customers’ preferences by introducing instant bookings.
It saves you time on admin
From your point of view, instant bookings cut out a whole layer of admin. Every time a booking comes in, you know you’ve got it in the bag. You’re not obliged to initiate a conversation with your guest, or click through a confirmation process. That way, you save time and end up with more bookings.
Technology can help you manage availability
As long as your calendar is updated, you shouldn’t have any issues with overbookings. To help you keep on top of your availability, we’ve added the option of syncing your Booking.com calendar with your other calendars. And, if you promote your property on a lot of other websites, a channel manager can help you manage your availability even more easily – eliminating overbookings altogether.
Use messaging tools to develop rapport with guests
You may be concerned that instant bookings mean you’ll miss out on the chance to start a dialogue with your guests. We understand that, for a lot of hosts, that personal touch is really important – and as guests ourselves sometimes, we know how valuable that can be. Instant bookings don’t need to eliminate that interaction, though. In fact, we’ve put a lot of effort into making sure you have easy and efficient ways of chatting with your guests via the Booking.com system.
Set a damage deposit to cover yourself
One concern some hosts express is that instant bookings take away the chance to vet potential guests. We appreciate that having that safety net can be very reassuring – and it’s completely understandable!
Through the Booking.com extranet, you can share your House Rules with your upcoming guests so that they’re clear on what you allow and what you don’t. And if you’re worried about damage to your property, you can charge your guests a damage deposit before they arrive – and make that clear in the policies on your listing. That way, you’re covered in case things go wrong.
We’re constantly monitoring suspicious booking behaviour
We do a lot of behind-the-scenes work to identify and block bookers with a history of misconduct – and we use advanced algorithms to monitor suspicious behaviour 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So these rare cases are getting even rarer as our processes become more efficient.
We understand that changing your way of working can seem daunting – and in this case, that you might have concerns about what instant bookings would mean for your business. But the change shouldn’t be as big as it might seem. You don’t have to lose the personal touch with your guests, and you don’t even have to work any harder to avoid overbookings. Plus, there are plenty of measures you can put in place to guard against unwanted guests.
Overall, instant bookings should mean a better experience for your guests, and less work for you.