Should I accept immediate bookings? It’s one of the trendiest subjects in the vacation rental market right now, and it’s always up for dispute. While there are several reasons for and against both sides of the coin, many business owners are bewildered and confused, unsure whether they are doing the right thing. Is there anything I’m losing out on if I don’t?
If you wish to permit rapid booking for your vacation rental, the world of spontaneous travel may be helpful to your company. However, if you’ve chosen to disable quick booking, we’ve also got you covered. To turn off immediate booking for all of the main OTAs, go to the bottom of this page.
What is instant booking, and how does it work?
Instant booking is becoming more and more popular among both owners and visitors. Instantly bookable vacation properties do not need prior clearance from the host. Guests just choose their trip dates, agree to the house rules, and submit their money through the booking button, just as they would with a hotel. Above all, hosts on listing services such as Airbnb, Booking.com, FlipKey, and others are more likely to accept quick bookings.
The Pros and Cons of Vacation Rental Instant Booking
This list is for you if you’re still weighing your alternatives for immediate booking. Instant booking may be beneficial to your company, but only if you know the dangers and downsides. You’ll be able to alter your booking choices after learning about the benefits and drawbacks of accepting quick reservations.
Pro: Increased Conversion Rates
Travelers in today’s world have become used to everything being quick. Consider this: they buy their tickets with a single click and then check their bags with still another. Booking lodging is no different, and it’s something that many tourists want.
As a result, rapid booking options may help to increase booking conversion. Owners can compete with hotels that have been utilizing immediate booking for years, and visitors will find the procedure to be just as straightforward as purchasing a hotel stay online.
Con: You Have Little Control Over your Reservations
Accepting quick reservations has the disadvantage of having very little “screening” to ensure that visitors are a suitable match for your house. In truth, they are the ones who determine whether or not they are appropriate since pushing the quick book button is an approval of your stay needs in and of itself. You may always email your house rules separately for more protection, ensuring that they completely understand the conditions they committed to regardless of how quickly they booked.
Even so, a host’s feeling of security or peace of mind may be harmed. Can hosts truly be sure the person staying at their rental is who they claim they are, given that immediate reservations are instantly accepted?
However, you may generally specify criteria for fast booking candidates based on your preferences on listing services like Airbnb. Choose whether you want to host visitors that Airbnb considers eligible for quick booking or limit this option to guests who have earned good reviews or who have been recommended by other hosts.
Pro: The Guests Can’t Get Enough of it
Guests like the rapid book function, regardless of the reason for their trip. When visitors rent your home, it is assumed that they have read and agreed to the house rules.
They like instant booking since they don’t have to wait for you to accept. They may even limit Airbnb results to just display holiday apartments that can be booked immediately! That means they can go ahead and arrange the remainder of their vacation plans, safe in the knowledge that their lodging is taken care of.
Con: Increased Cancellations
Instant booking is a convenient method for some visitors to pass the time (and avoid missing out on a hotel or location for certain dates) while considering their options, particularly if the host offers a liberal cancellation policy.
Avoid last-minute cancellations by explicitly clarifying your cancellation and refund policy on your website or in your ads so that any prospective bookers are aware of the regulations.
Simultaneously, a change toward the promotion of rapid reservations on listing sites may result in increased cancellations on the hosts, negatively impacting listings.
Pro: Less bureaucracy
Instant booking benefits both hosts and visitors by saving hours upon hours of administrative work. The visitor makes their reservation using fast booking, and then both hosts and guests have to worry about is check-in.
Con: You’re the Fault for Double Bookings
Instant booking hosts may find themselves in a difficult scenario if they list on many platforms since any errors, such as duplicate bookings, would fall on your shoulders.
When you accept immediate reservations on numerous portals, you must constantly update your various calendars to block off those booked dates, which may quickly become a chore and, sadly, errors can occur.
For hosts to obtain the most reservations and the fewest mistakes or cancellations, having an up-to-date schedule across all channels is critical. This may be readily remedied by using a channel manager, which updates all of your bookings and calendar availability from a single location.
Pro: More direct reservations
Allowing instant on your vacation rental website can help you achieve your aim of more direct bookings. That’s because you’re not directing them elsewhere else to book, and you’re not even giving them a reason to go elsewhere since you already have what they want! Consequently, you’ll be able to grow your guest email database and nurture previous visitors into repeat reservations.
Pro: Increased Website Trustworthiness
Accepting fast online reservations and credit card payments provides your vacation rental website an advantage over many of your rivals who do not. Accepting online payments helps your site seem more professional, not to mention more trustworthy! Adding a security seal, such as VeriSign, provides social proof to your prospective customers, assuring them that their sensitive information is secure on your website.
Pro: It is Preferred by Listing Sites
Many major listing services, such as Airbnb and HomeAway, publicly declare that their algorithms favor hosts who provide immediate booking because they feel it provides a significant value to their consumers.
This preference may be seen not just in search results, where homes that can be booked immediately appear first, but also in press announcements and updates from the OTAs themselves.
If you’re concerned about attracting the wrong kind of visitors, follow PartySquasher’s advice and make sure your advertisements demand a verified ID or even tailor your parameters to include guests who have previously rated 4-star or above in their reviews!
Pro: You’ll Never be Late for a Meeting Again
Allowing visitors to book instantaneously benefits both of you: they’ll be able to book their desired vacation property sooner, and you’ll never lose out on reservations due to late responses! As long as you have quick booking enabled, visitors will be able to choose your home for the dates they need and book without having to wait for a response or confirmation from you.
Pro: Take on More Last-minute Reservations
If your hotel takes quick reservations, you’ll have a lot more alternatives when it comes to the kind of visitors you may attract. We’re talking about last-minute reservations in particular. Whether it’s out-of-season weekend visitors or those who have opted to remain in a city longer, your house may be the one they select based on this criteria.
Disabling Instant booking on Listing Sites
It’s not an issue if the rapid booking doesn’t appeal to you. Many hosts still believe that hand-picking their guests are the best way to provide the greatest experience. How to disable that functionality is what’s challenging. It’s critical to switch off instant booking if you’ve previously enabled it or if it’s the default option for one of the sites you list to avoid further immediate reservations.
How to Disable Airbnb’s Instant Booking Feature
Airbnb can attract a wide range of tourists, from millennials to workcationers, which is a big plus, but they may not be your intended market. So, if you want to disable this option on Airbnb, you’ll have to do a few actions. To begin, go to your listings and find the property you wish to change. Click the “Policies and rules” tab once you’re on the property’s website. You’ll notice the “Instant Book” function there, and you’ll want to hit “edit” there. You may turn it off and save your settings if you don’t want to use it.
Remember that there are extra advantages to having immediate booking on Airbnb, such as an increased chance of achieving Superhost designation and better search positioning, so you may want to reconsider turning off the function.
How Can I Turn off Vrbo’s Instant booking feature?
Vrbo, like Airbnb, has the advantage of having quick bookings. You may attract more tourists with Vrbo’s quick booking function by appearing in the search option “immediate bookings only” and substantially increasing your listing’s visibility since Vrbo homes with instant booking are displayed on other Expedia Group sites.
Even so, if you decide this isn’t the functionality for you, you can disable it in your settings. After logging into your account, choose the appropriate listing. Click “Property” then “Rules & Policies” in the navigation menu. Choose the Booking type from the drop-down menu, then “Instant Booking” or “24-hour review” according to your preferences. It’s as simple as pressing the save button!
How to Disable Trip Advisor’s Instant booking feature
Tripadvisor’s quick book service is currently unavailable. You’ll be able to change this in your account settings after it’s been reactivated. Tripadvisor also has an immediate booking option similar to Airbnb and Vrbo. You’ll go to “Online booking settings” and turn off or on the Instant book function, then save. The functionality is activated when the toggle is green. Instant booking will be disabled when it becomes grey.
Keep in mind that not all properties are suited for short reservations so this function may not be available to begin with. Instant booking is only available for properties that match the following criteria:
- Have a current acceptance rate of 75% or higher
- Have at least three reservations in the previous two years
- Have a maximum cancellation rate of 20%
- Are on the free-to-list plan
How to Turn off Instant Booking on Booking.com
Booking.com’s quick booking service is a little more sophisticated. A tutorial leads you through setting up your calendar when you initially advertise your property on Booking.com. If you selected instant booking at that step, it became active immediately. You will need to contact the Booking.com support desk since there is currently no option to turn this function off from your account settings.
As you can see from the list above, there are considerably more benefits than drawbacks when it comes to facilitating rapid bookings. This technique can be perfect for you if you’ve been explicit about your home rules, implemented a rental agreement for visitors to sign before check-in, and have the flexibility to take on these types of bookings. Instant booking may increase your occupancy rate while also removing the inconvenience of taking bookings.
Why not give instant booking a go if you’re ready to try something new with your booking preferences? If you decide to turn it off in the end, your website and OTAs make it simple to activate or disable the function.
Reservations will be pouring in in no time, thanks to instant bookings! Instant reservations increase the possibility of multiple bookings, so be ahead of the problem by using vacation rental software that’s up to the job. Use a channel manager and reservation calendar with quick synchronization times to ensure you’re ready.