Basic pricing set-up guidelines

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There’s lots to think about when you’re setting your rates and deciding on a pricing strategy to help maximize occupancy and achieve success. This guide covers all the essential info you need to get started, from setting up a base rate to using more tailored pricing products and proactive solutions to generate extra bookings. We’ve also included answers to some of the most common questions you might encounter as you work on your pricing set-up.

1. Rates

Different travelers have different needs, especially during uncertain times like these. Some are early birds who prefer planning ahead and want to secure a great price far in advance. Others are willing to pay a bit more in case their travel plans change. There are also some who tend to book last-minute and don’t need the extra flexibility.

Establishing a strong foundation of rates can help you appeal to a variety of travelers and secure more bookings.

Here are some essentials to consider when you’re deciding on your rates:

  • Keep in mind how much it costs you each night a guest stays in one of your rooms or units, then work out your preferred rate from there.
  • Consider adjusting your rates when public events in your area—like carnivals, football games, concerts, and sports tournaments—create more demand.
  • Setting up more compelling rates for weekdays can help fill rooms or units when they might otherwise be empty.
  • Adjust your rates according to demand during your area’s peak and off-peak seasons.
  • Use the Analytics tab on the Extranet to access business reports and real-time info. This can help you take the rates of similar properties in your area into account, then find ways to drive more bookings.
  • If your occupancy is lower than you’d like it to be, think about adjusting your rates to make them more compelling for travelers visiting your area.
  • Review your rates regularly to check what’s working and how you can adapt to boost your property’s occupancy and revenue over time.
2. Rate Plans

One of the first steps you take as a Booking.com partner is deciding on your Rate Plans, which consist of a number of fundamental elements of a booking. We offer three Rate Plans. Our data shows that if a property has all three active on Booking.com, on average it will experience a 5% increase in bookings, an 11% increase in visibility, and a 9% reduction in cancellations.

Furthermore, any other opportunities you activate on our platform are more effective if you already have at least two Rate Plans in place.

We offer three Rate Plans. They are Fully Flexible, Non-Refundable, and Early Booker. We recommend using a number of these to optimize your Rate Plan set-up and to attract a wider variety of customers. Doing so can also help you get more bookings in advance, reduce cancellations, and minimize the need for steep last-minute discounts to fill rooms or units.

The fundamental elements of a booking that make up all our Rate Plans include:

  • Cancellation policy
  • Price
  • Number of days between booking and check-in
  • Length of stay
  • Room or unit type
  • Meals (if available)

a. Fully Flexible Rate Plan

A Fully Flexible Rate Plan offers travelers more freedom in case their plans change. Travelers are willing to pay more for extra peace of mind, so these rates tend to be the most expensive on Booking.com, and also generate the most reservations.

To find out how to set up a Fully Flexible rate, take a look at this article.

b. Non-Refundable Rate Plan

A Non-Refundable Rate Plan helps you secure more guaranteed bookings and revenue, and can appeal to travelers looking for the best value. That’s because these rates are generally lower than Fully Flexible rates. They can boost overall bookings by up to 5% and reduce cancellations by at least 9% on average.

To find out how to set up a Non-Refundable rate, take a look at this article.

c. Early Booker Rate Plan

An Early Booker Rate Plan helps you appeal to travelers who prefer planning ahead. These rates are usually the least expensive and can help secure more bookings in advance. They also tend to reduce cancellations because travelers are more committed to their reservations. You can combine them with cancellation terms or a Non-Refundable Policy.

To find out how to set up an Early Booker rate, take a look at this article.

The opportunities described later in this article can help further boost your bookings by appealing to an even wider variety of travelers.

d. Weekly and Monthly Rate Plans

One of the best ways to stabilize revenue and reduce workload is to make longer stays at your property more attractive to guests. You can offer discounts by setting up a Weekly Rate Plan for stays of 7+ nights and a Monthly Rate Plan for stays of 28+ nights.

You can set up Weekly and Monthly Rate Plans by going to the “Rate plans” page on the Extranet’s Rates & Availability section. If you don’t see a “Rates & Availability” option, click Calendar & Pricing instead. To find out more about Weekly and Monthly Rate Plans, take a look at this article.

3a. Child rates

Using child rates can help you appeal to the lucrative family market. We’ve also improved the way rooms and units are configured and displayed on our platform. Paired with child rates, this makes it easier for you to attract both families and those who are traveling as a group.

You can now set child rates by room or unit—rather than just at the property level—and even base them on children’s ages. Not only does this enable you to better tailor your property to families, but travelers can also see clearer info about the total price of their stay when booking. That reduces the chance of unwelcome surprises at check-in, streamlines the process for you, and results in a better guest experience, which increases the likelihood of a positive review.

To find out more about setting up child rates, take a look at this article.

Before your child rates become active, you’ll need to set up policies, prices, and rooms/units for families. To find out more about doing this, take a look at this article.

3b. Other proactive solutions

To find out how to improve your property’s performance even more, take a look at other pricing products such as Genius, Mobile Rates, Country Rates (only available in certain countries), and campaigns and deals.

 

4. Cancellation policies

The need for greater flexibility is more important now than ever. People want to continue dreaming and planning travel for the future, while still feeling confident that their bookings are flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances.

While convenience and a wide selection remain important to travelers, our research shows that a great price and flexibility are what ultimately matters most to them now. At the same time, you’ve told us that driving occupancy is still one of your top needs, especially during these challenging times.

You choose which cancellation policies to offer as part of the Rate Plans you set up on Booking.com. You can review your current cancellation policies by logging in to the Extranet, clicking “Property,” then Policies.

The Fully Flexible Rate Plan offers the most flexibility, appealing to travelers who are willing to pay more for greater freedom. The Non-Refundable Rate Plan offers the least flexibility and—because these rates are generally lower than Fully Flexible rates—they tend to be more visible to travelers looking for the best value. You can set up an Early Booker Rate Plan together with a variety of cancellation terms, or in combination with a Non-Refundable policy.

To find out more about cancellation policies, take a look at this article.

For step-by-step instructions on changing cancellation policies, take a look at this article.

5. Payment policies

You can help create a positive guest experience by letting travelers know ahead of time what payment methods you accept, including cash and credit cards. To update the payment policies that appear on your property page, log in to the Extranet, click “Property,” then “Policies.”

To find out more about setting up payment methods, take a look at this article.

a. Online Payments

You may also be eligible for Online Payments. This allows you to easily secure payment from guests who can’t or don’t want to pay by credit card. We collect payment from these guests online using their preferred local payment methods, then we send you a guaranteed payout using a virtual credit card that you can charge like any other credit card.

Online Payments not only make it easier for travelers to pay for their bookings the way they want. Guests who pay online on Booking.com are up to 4 times less likely to cancel. Since they already paid in advance, guests are also more committed to their bookings, which can help reduce no-shows.

Online Payments isn’t available everywhere yet. If you’re eligible, you’ll see the “Online Payments” section under the Extranet’s Finance tab.

To find out more about Online Payments, take a look at this article.

b. Prepayments and damage deposits

If you’d like to set up or change a prepayment that you charge guests, take a look at this article. To find out how to set up a damage deposit, take a look at this article. Keep in mind that charging a damage deposit can reduce the number of bookings you receive and increase the chance of cancellations.

If you’re a new partner, you might be unable to view guests’ credit card details, except for no-shows or canceled non-refundable reservations where fees apply. You may also be unable to set prepayment policies. During this period, you’ll need to collect payment directly from guests when they check in.

To find out more about these restrictions, take a look at this article.

6. Occupancy-based pricing

Occupancy-based pricing can help you increase your bookings, ranking, and visibility by offering more flexibility in how you display the possible occupancy of each room/unit.

If you only have one price set up for each room/unit based on its maximum occupancy, you could be missing out on bookings from groups of different numbers of guests who could still fit into that room/unit. Our data shows that setting up occupancy-based pricing brings in an average of 30 bookings per year.

We understand that setting up occupancy-based pricing can be time-consuming, so we now display price recommendations for each group size. To make things even easier, you can see a walk-through of how to set up occupancy-based pricing if you haven’t done so before. To access this, log in to the Extranet and click Rates and Availability or Calendar & Pricing. The walk-through should start automatically.

To find out more about occupancy-based pricing, take a look at this article.

7. Common questions about pricing and rates

We understand there’s a lot to think about when it comes to setting your rates. Here are some of our partners’ most frequently asked questions around pricing and rates.

 

How do I set up a base rate?

After you create a Rate Plan, the next step is to add rates, which you can do in a number of different ways. Keep in mind that rates need to be entered per day, based on the maximum occupancy of each room or unit you offer.

To get started, log in to the Extranet, click “Rates & Availability,” then “Calendar.” If you don’t see the Rates & Availability option, click Calendar & Pricinginstead to see your monthly calendar.

To add a rate for a particular date in your calendar, just hover over the date and click the box that appears. Type the price you want to charge and press “Enter” to add the rate.

 


 

What if I make a mistake or my rates are displayed incorrectly?

Your rates are only displayed to potential guests after you save them. Once you save them, we recommend taking a look at your Booking.com property page to make sure everything looks the way you want it to. If you find a mistake, just go back to your calendar and change your rates there.

 


 

How can I adapt my rates to attract specific types of guests?

After you set up a base rate, you can use pricing products like Genius, Mobile Rates, and Country Rates to help attract specific types of guests.

 


 

How can I set up rates for additional guests?

If you have rooms or units that can accommodate one or more extra beds, you can set the rate you charge for this service. To do so, log in to the Extranet, click Property, then Policies. In the “Children & extra beds” section, click “Edit” under “Extra bed & crib options.”


 

How do I set up Mobile Rates?

To set up Mobile Rates, log in to the Extranet and click Rates & Availability or Promotions.” If you don’t see the “Rates & Availability” option, click Calendar & Pricing instead.  


 

How can I change my rates?

To change a price you already added to your calendar, just hover over the price and click the box that appears. Type in the new price and press “Enter” to make the change.

You can also quickly update the price for a number of consecutive dates. Just click and drag the cursor over the dates you want to change, then click the box that appears. Type in the new price and press “Enter” to make the change.

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