Booking.com’s new ‘Request to Book’ feature for holiday rentals_2

Stay in charge of your vacation rentals with Request to Book

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Improve your hosting experience with Request to Book – a new feature that adds a layer of approval and ensures your peace of mind. Discover how this feature was created based on your needs and feedback to give you complete control of your bookings.

We're constantly investing in products that prioritize our partners' needs, aiming to make your experience on our platform even better. This has recently led to innovations like Request to Book, a product specifically designed with vacation rental hosts in mind.

What is Request to Book?

In its simplest form, Request to Book is one of our newest tools that enables you to approve or decline booking requests. Request to Book emerged from a vision to redefine the way property owners interact with guests, giving you complete control of your properties. 

“The reason we built Request to Book was straightforward,” says Udit Batra, Group Product Manager at Booking.com. “We heard from partners that they wanted the ability to review booking requests. And there are a lot of reasons to want this. For example, maybe your property isn’t very accessible and you want to make sure you can flag this to potential guests up front.” 

When a guest makes a reservation, you have 24 hours to either accept or decline their request before it expires. If you want to decline a request, make sure you review our non-discrimination guidelines beforehand. 

The beginnings of Request to Book

Request to Book didn’t happen overnight. It was carefully crafted through research with vacation rental owners and managers like you. “Our team actively engaged with vacation rental hosts to understand the nuances of what they, as property owners, needed to feel secure about renting out their properties,” says Batra. “We also considered the expectations of guests, aiming to strike a balance between sharing information and avoiding information overload. And out of all that, Request to Book was formed.

“We had positive feedback in initial pilot rounds. We really listened to what our respondents had to say, optimizing the service based on what you need rather than simply replicating similar services on the market.” 

While the product is currently still a beta version and isn’t available yet to everyone globally, the ambition is to roll it out to all home partners in the near future.

Booking.com’s new ‘Request to Book’ feature for holiday rentals


Benefits of Request to Book

Request to Book offers plenty of benefits for vacation rental hosts – but ultimately, it’s your peace of mind that we care about most. With Request to Book, we're giving you the reins to optimize your property management experience. Coupled with our booking management app, Pulse, booking requests can be managed fast and on the go, further enhancing your operational efficiency.

We want to ensure your hosting experience is seamless and trouble-free, which includes steering clear of any unwelcome complications like double-bookings. We understand how much of a pain point double-bookings can be – and that's where Request to Book comes in. “It’s really comforting to know that when I get a booking through Booking.com, I’m first able to check if I’m booked on another site or directly before approving,” says UK-based vacation rental host Parley Rose. “It gives me a greater sense of control.” 

Request to Book can also enhance your ability to prepare for guests. “When guests request to book, you’re able to get more information on the reason for their stay, which can help you prepare your property,” says Rose. “For example, when I know a guest is coming in for a football match, I can get some little bits and bobs to match the reason for their stay – maybe football cookies. From a hosting perspective, it really helps to make the experience that bit more memorable.”

Request to Book vs. instant booking

While Request to Book answers an important need for some vacation rental owners, it’s not the preferred solution for every host. That’s why we also offer partners our instant booking model so you can choose the approach that works best for you and your business. 

“For me personally, I prefer the instant booking model,” says James Coupland, vacation rental owner and investor. “I think it makes the process so much more convenient for guests. If I’m a traveler in a rush, I just want to know I’ve got my booking in place – so in those instances, it’s nice to instantly book.”

At Booking.com, ensuring you feel in complete control of your property, listing, and finances is a top priority. Enabling you to choose how you prefer to receive bookings—whether through Request to Book or instant bookings—is just one of the ways we do that. 

 

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Discover more ways we help you stay in complete control of your vacation rental when you list on Booking.com. 

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Topics
Takeaway
  • Request to Book requires guests to send a booking request that you can accept or decline
  • Enabling you to see booking requests beforehand can help prevent unwanted issues like double-bookings 
  • This product was created for you – we listened to your feedback and are addressing your needs and concerns to make your experience as a partner easier
  • Choose how you receive bookings – either by letting guests book instantly or by reviewing booking requests before accepting them