We examined the benefits and drawbacks of rapid booking in part one of this series; now it’s time to examine the vacation rental booking process from the other perspective. The discussion about booking requests is now in part two!
What are requests for booking?
When visitors are prepared to make a reservation for a vacation rental home, but the host doesn’t provide an immediate booking option, they may submit a request to the host for a reservation, which often results in visitors making their booking.
Before the booking payment is confirmed, hosts and guests may communicate with one another via booking requests. If the host agrees to the visitor’s reservation request, the payment method used by the guest will be charged, and the reservation will be confirmed.
While some hosts like the personalized aspect of personally receiving and accepting booking requests, others think it is a cumbersome approach to accept bookings for their property. Let’s delve into and examine the many benefits and drawbacks of using this technique.
Benefits of making reservations
You Have the Choice
Simply because they get to choose who stays (and who doesn’t) in their holiday rental, many hosts prefer the more conventional approach of responding to booking inquiries. This may be especially helpful if you are aware that your home is unsuitable for infants or young children, for instance. In that case, you can politely deny the prospective guest’s request and let them know in no uncertain terms.
Hosts are reminded that this is not a chance for discrimination, even if the nature of the booking request dictates that you will evaluate your possible visitors to some degree. Sites like Airbnb have put rigorous anti-discrimination rules in place to make sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to rent a home.
Avoid conflict (or sniff it out in the process)
Though the majority of vacation rental frauds originate from the hosts, sometimes a “guest” may raise more than just a few eyebrows or even actual red flags when making a reservation.
You’re in a better position to determine whether there will be any issue with your visit if you only take bookings upon request. If their home address is listed in their profile or direct email and it is just 20 minutes away, you should consider why they would need to rent a space. Is it as a result of the next party? Take cautious and keep in mind that if anything about a booking request doesn’t seem right, it isn’t!
Fill Your Schedule in Any Way you Choose
Not only can you control who comes, but you can also determine when every booking needs your permission. Let’s imagine you get three queries for the same two-week span during your peak season: one for only a weekend and two for a full week. You may choose the mix that, without any bothersome length gaps between stays, best fits you (and your rental revenue) before accepting any of the reservations.
Learn About Your Visitors
Requests for reservations may be a more intimate method to enquire about a vacation home. In addition to introducing themselves to the hosts in the first request, inquirers provide hosts a fantastic opportunity to get all the information they need about potential guests before their stay (and vice versa!).
Make Sure Visitors Understand Your Regulations
You can make certain that prospective guests are aware of and agree to all of your house rules as part of the process of getting to know one another before the booking is approved. Both sides gain from giving your visitor a copy of your rental agreement before they pay for their stay since everyone is clear on their responsibilities.
More Appropriate for Novices
For their first few visits, inexperienced hosts may wish to keep to booking requests so they have time to get everything perfect. The first few reviews from guests are crucial and have the power to create or ruin the reputation of a vacation property.
You may prevent any problems from occurring while you’re still getting acclimated to hosting by making sure that only approved requests are allowed to remain at your house. That includes tasks like cleaning up after guests and the dreaded double bookings! Decide if you want to abandon booking requests altogether or continue with them after becoming more comfortable with hosting.
Cons of making reservations
Some hosts may discover that just accepting booking requests quickly turn off visitors, who then immediately book elsewhere. Guests may not have the patience to wait for your replies to their inquiries or sudden choices to leave town, much alone for you to approve their booking request. This can reduce the number of bookings you make and give hosts a poor occupancy rate.
By putting up autoresponders that send out your FAQs or by outsourcing your communication management to virtual assistants in other time zones, you can quickly remedy this.
This issue is related to the fact that getting fewer reservations may result in more missed queries. It is difficult to remain up all day to react to and accept inquiries if you manage your vacation rental alone. However, if you don’t do it right away, your visitors could search (and book) somewhere else.
Your visitors are more likely to choose another host who offers fast booking if you don’t take steps to prevent missed queries.
With the Big Names, Competition is Tougher
If you simply advertise on sites like Vrbo/HomeAway and Airbnb, you may not receive as much attention to your listings as your rivals, who have enabled fast booking. Hosts with their websites will have their marketing strategy in place to attract direct reservations.
In contrast to their fast book equivalents, booking request listings are often placed at the bottom of results. Therefore, even while it’s fantastic to be able to check out guests before the booking is finalized, it won’t mean much if you can’t get people to your listing in the first place.
Additionally, hosts who just accept booking requests will have a harder time becoming Superhosts on Airbnb since those hosts must finish every reservation without canceling and have a response rate of at least 90%.
You now know all the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing booking requests for your holiday property. Which do you prefer, quick bookings or booking requests? Comment below and let us know!