If you are a hotelier, ensuring your guests have a seamless hotel experience must be one of your top priorities. To increase your revenue, you will have already considered listing your property on two of the premier travel websites- AirBnB and Booking.com. But what happens if two different guests book your property on the same date from these different platforms? To avoid such confusion, syncing your Booking.com and Airbnb calendars might be the answer.
What is Booking.com
Booking.com is a popular online travel agency that allows travellers to search for and book hotels, apartments, hostels, and more. For hoteliers, Booking.com can be a great way to increase bookings and fill up empty rooms. Based in Amsterdam, it has listings in more than 228 countries, and is available in more than 43 languages. With a wide range of customers and more than five million listings, it comes as no suprise that it is one of the world leading OTAs.
How Does Booking.com Work For Hoteliers?
Hotel owners are a significant part of the Booking.com model. Through the platform, hoteliers can list their property, manage bookings, and promote their business to a global audience. So let us explore how a hotel owner can function on Booking.com.
To register their property on Booking.com, the owner must sign up for an account. To do that, Booking.com requires them to provide information about the listing, including room sizes and essential documents related to the listing.
This is the next crucial step that helps the company know if your property is genuine or not. For this, they verify the authenticity of the information provided during sign-up.
After your documents and property have been verified, you can add more information about your listing, including pictures and videos. After completing these steps and ensuring that all the information about your property is visible online, your site can go live.
What is Airbnb
Originally named AirBedAndBreakfast.com, Airbnb as a company was started by two friends from San Francisco that has exploded over the years. Airbnb hosts a range of properties that can include literally anything from an entire house or a single room, to a tree house or even a boat.
How Does Airbnb Work For Hoteliers?
The following is are the elements you’ll need to be a successful Airbnb host:
Being Alert and Responsive
Responding quickly is one of the most important aspects of hosting on Airbnb. Your response rate measures how effectively you manage communications with your customers. Having a high response rate is a great way to attract more customers.
Cancelling confirmed bookings can even result in financial penalties. Hosts should avoid this at all costs because travellers might have to face a lot of hassles, including a complete change or cancellation of their travel plans.
As a host, one of the most important things you can do is to get reviews from your guests. These reviews not only help you to improve as a host, but they also give potential guests an idea of what they can expect when they stay with you.
Positive ratings are extremely important for you and your business, no matter what stage you are in your hosting journey. Acquiring reviews can be difficult, however, especially if you’re just starting out. One way to encourage your guests to leave a review is to mention it at the end of your conversation with them. You can also send them a follow-up message after they’ve left, thanking them for their stay and asking if they would be willing to leave a review.
What is a Channel Manager?
A hotel channel manager is a tool that distributes your listing on various online Travel Agency websites or OTAs. It helps to seamlessly list your property on all the OTAs without managing them individually. They are widely used all across the globe by hoteliers and independent hosts to increase the exposure of their listings on the internet. A channel manager collaborates closely with PMS or a property management system. While your hotel channel manager handles the marketing of your listing, the PMS is its operational manager.
How to Use a Channel Manager to Sync Airbnb and Booking.com Calendars Together
How to connect a Channel Manager to Your Airbnb Calendar
To do this, you will need to enter your credentials into the Airbnb dashboard of your channel manager. Next, to synchronize your information, your hotel channel manager will give you the option of choosing between two APIs- Everything or Limited. The Everything API syncs absolutely everything, from rates and availability to content. The Limited API, however, only synchronizes availability and rates, so the content has to be updated by you manually. Your channel manager might also require a verification code to validate its connection with Airbnb.
How to Connect a Channel Manager to Your Booking.com Calendar
First, you need to log in to the Booking.com extranet, select “Account”, and then “Connectivity Provider”. Now, you need to search for and select your hotel channel manager features. Choose which aspects you want to synchronize, including availability and rates. Next, complete the XML Agreement and go back to complete the setup process with your hotel channel manager. A wait time of 24 hours can be needed for your connection to be approved.
Airbnb vs. Booking.com for Owners
Ease of Listing Property
Since the properties listed are quite extensive, listing a property on Airbnb is more hassle-free than listing it on Booking.com. The debate of Airbnb vs. Booking.com is one that has been around for a while now. There are pros and cons to each interface, and it really depends on the owner’s preference as to which one they prefer. Airbnb is great because it offers a more personalised experience for both the owner and the guest. Owners can add personal touches to their listing that make it stand out from the rest.
Booking.com, on the other hand, is great for owners who want a hassle-free experience. However, because Booking.com is a more traditional platform, it doesn’t offer the same personalisation options as Airbnb does and listing individual rooms can be a very lengthy procedure.
Interactions between Guests and Hosts
On Airbnb, you will already have talked to your guests multiple times before they set foot on your property. So, you have a fair understanding of how they are. However, on Booking.com, guest-host interactions are very limited.
Hosts are charged a fixed 3% commission when bookings are made on Airbnb. Next, 13% is charged as a commission which the guests themselves bear. The other type of commission on Airbnb is the one where the hosts are charged 15% of their total income. On the other hand, Booking.com charges a minimum of 15% commission. So, listings can earn more from Airbnb than Booking.com.
It is easier to cancel reservations for hosts on Booking.com, while Airbnb fines hosts quite heavily for the same.
Why You Should Use BOTH Booking.com and Airbnb
However, despite the apparent advantages of one over the other, it is best to use both Booking.com and Airbnb. Here’s why.
Increase Occupancy Rate
If your property is listed on more OTA platforms, it will be exposed to more people. The chances of your property getting sold out for a season increase.
A greater number of bookings mean increased revenue, and this will be excellent for your business.
Be Where the Customers Are
By listing your properties on both Booking.com and Airbnb, you are ensuring that you are ever-present and ready to host. As a result, more bookings will come your way.
How to Sync Airbnb Calendar with Booking.com
If a guest has already booked your property for a few days on Booking.com, the same days won’t be available for booking on Airbnb. Both Booking.com and Airbnb use the calendar format of iCal, which can also be synchronized with your Google Calendar.
Importing Airbnb Calendar into Booking.com
First, go to your Airbnb dashboard and click on Listings. On selecting a listing, go to Pricing and Availability and then to Calendar Sync. Next, click on Export Calendar and copy the Airbnb Calendar URL. Now, go to your Booking.com account, select Rates, Availability, or Calendar, and then click on Sync Calendars. After completing, click on Add Calendar Connection, where you have to paste the URL, name it, and finally click on Next Step.
Importing Booking.com Calendar into Airbnb
Note that you are still in your Booking.com account. To copy your Booking.com iCal link, click on Copy Link. Now, go back to your Airbnb account and click on Important Calendar from Sync Calendars. Finally, paste your calendar link from Booking.com, name it, and click on Import Calendar.
How Preno Allows You to Manage Both Booking.com & Airbnb at the Same Time
With Preno, you can grow your online influence with multiple OTAs. You can manage your online inventory by connecting with your preferred hotel channel managers and taking out the intermediaries.
Managing Bookings Seamlessly
With Preno, you can manage all your bookings from one place, maximize occupancy in your listings and avoid double bookings altogether.
Updating booking details or listing information on Preno will be updated on all OTAs to provide a hassle-free experience.
Room availability is always updated with a real-time synchronization between the online booking platforms and your PMS.