Stay informed with the latest travel insights, analysis and expertise.
The latest Booking.com developments relevant to your business, while showcasing the great work you do.
Connect online with fellow Booking.com partners for the best tips and advice.
Whatever you business goals may be, our solutions can help you succeed on Booking.com
Find out how to get set up, and read about our services and features.
Unfortunately the world is a complicated place.
Although we haven't experienced anything like the nightmare you have described there are some reasonable steps to take to ensure your reputation remains intact.
Firstly, do not rely on one channel to distribute your product.
Develop your own web site, Google page, Facebook page and YouTube channel. Become a social media expert and if you don't feel you can do that find someone who can to help you.
Create social media and web site content every week if not every day and promote, promote, promote!
Your reputation is based on everything you do not just the rooms your rent out.
Customer service, local knowledge, professionalism and even tourism accreditation all contribute to the way you and your business are perceived by your guests and your suppliers. And don't forget to "dress for success!"
If you win a Booking.com award or any other award make sure it is prominently displayed in your office or reception area.
The surprising truth is that if your business is perceived by some guests to be of less value than they were promised they will treat you and your place that way.
Consider charging a security deposit (or property bond) ... can be a hassle as you have to do the refunds.
If the damage appears to be malicious and extensive you must consider involving the police as criminal charges can be laid (depending where you are).
By the way ... credit card companies have very strict rules on how charges can be made against the guest's credit card. Most operators aren't aware of this. If you try to charge the card the guest can challenge the charge and get it reversed. If they haven't signed anything with you on arrival how will you prove they even stayed?
Do these things at check-in: Obtain a physical impression of the guest's credit card (scan or photo of both sides if you don't have a card machine) along with photo ID of the guest!!! The ID must be a passport or current drivers licence. Scan or photograph the ID as well. Then get the guest to sign a form that you create ... make sure it has all the details of up-front charges for the stay as well as a section for ALL the credit card details. By signing the form the guest is accepting the total charge for the stay along with approval for any extra expenses including damages during their stay. Then process the payment for the stay ... you have the ID, card details as well as guest authorisation for any extra charges incurred. Also consider taking a photo of the guest's car parked in the property's car park to prove they actually arrived.
The guest will be on their best behaviour!!!