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In my experience booking.com is ridiculously slow in replying to e-mails. See if you can trace the telephone number of their help desk in your country. I have found the operators to be well-informed, friendly and very helpful.
Hi @Alan Smith, I agree, it would be a great feature to see where other hosts are from, as well as what size establishments they represent.
I am sure this is a problem most of us have encountered. The safest way to protect yourself against damages is to either require a breakages deposit, or to inspect the room (with the guests present) before they leave. None of these options are practical for us.
If the damage is extensive or expensive, we would call the guest and diplomatically discuss the matter of replacing the broken items. We also have a lot of bookings from corporate clients, and if this direct approach does not work with the guest, we write a gentle, yet firm e-mail to the corporate office, requesting payment for breakages.
If the guest is private and is not prepared or willing to pay for damages, there is nothing one can do, except make note (or if on Air B&B) comment on the guest's behaviour for other hosts to take note.
One always needs to weigh up the pros and cons and expenses of damages, while taking into consideration the potential negative effect one's actions could have for the establishment's reputation. More often than not, it is better to write off damages and incorporate average annual breakage costs into the next accommodation price costing exercise.
It would be interesting to hear how other people handle similar situations.
Contact the listing sites your property is currently listed on, and tell them it is a transfer of manager / owner. (Owner taking back business from manager.) Ask them to specify what they need AND how long it will take. Some places take longer for a transfer than for a new registration. If you register new, ensure the old listing is deleted/discontinued. Depending on how long in advance most of your booking enquiries are made, you may wish to start that process before take-over.
Hope your reclaiming goes smoothly. Why do you want to re-list? Can't you just take over the listing accounts? It takes hours of work to update some of the listing sites after you have written your texts and selected (and modified and resized) your high quality photographs. If you could take over the existing accounts on the listing sites, you will save hours of work.
The only situations where you would ask listing sites to take down info, is when the old listing is no longer applicable, or is replaced with a new listing. If it is a listing site with an annual subscription (as opposed to a commission percentage) you may as well continue until the expiry date. Then you may ask them for statistics on views, clicks and actual reservations made through their site, before deciding to renew subscription.
As far as lower rates go: Here you would have to compare and research the local market. Sometimes a lower price attracts a lower quality guest. I have found that keeping prices stable, but rather offering specials or limited period discounts, works much better to attract more bookings.
It would be interesting to hear what other hosts have to share.
Apparently these poor folk are so overworked, it takes from 2 to 6 weeks to register a new establishment. For a change of ownership, it took them 2.5 months before we were listed again. So I suggest patience. Lots of it.
I agree that threads will make conversations easier to follow. Still manageable now, but it will grow into chaos as more hosts start participating regularly.
I like Erin's comment above to have a link to the property of the contributors here.
This forum is a very good platform for hosts. People are pitching in, and I have learnt a couple of new things. One can also recognise what difficulties we all experience, and which changes or additions on the extranet the hosts would like to see.
Thank you for this platform.