When two or more people reserve a vacation property for the same nights, it is referred to as a double booking or overbooking. Double bookings, however frequent, are tremendously damaging to a vacation rental owner’s reputation. There is a good risk that a bad review will appear because the host had to cancel one of the guests and leave them without lodging.
Managing and preventing double bookings
The best course of action if you have a double reservation is to cancel as soon as possible so that your guests have ample time to find another place to stay. Send them a sincere apology and a discount for the next events.
Using property management software with a channel manager is the best approach to handle multiple bookings and prevent them in the future. If your home is advertised on several online travel agencies (OTAs), such as Airbnb and Expedia, a delay in updates across all channels is probably to blame for your double bookings. We don’t blame you; manual platform updates take a lot of time and work, and there is a risk of human error.
Using a channel manager, you may sync calendars and availability from various channels onto a single centralized platform. For instance, your property will automatically become unavailable on the other channels if it is reserved on Booking.com. These characteristics greatly improve the efficiency and structure of a vacation rental business.
Why Is Avoiding Double Bookings Important?
Double bookings must be avoided because they can harm your brand’s reputation and guest happiness. The money will likely come out of your pockets because OTAs now frequently severely penalize hosts for canceling guests to decrease the number of cancellations. Owners must be aware of the cancellation penalties associated with each OTA because they differ, so they can be ready.
If a reservation is canceled a week before check-in, Airbnb will deduct up to $100 unless you have had 10 consecutive bookings without any cancellations. You’ll get an automated review, and even worse, you’ll be ineligible to be a Superhost for a year.
Canceling because of a double booking directly impacts Expedia’s quality scores. The reputation you’ve worked so hard to establish over the past few months will suffer, and you’ll also have to cover the visitors’ relocation costs.
Booking.com mandates that you pay the price difference between the two places and your guest’s transportation costs to their new lodging.
A Vrbo owner must pay 50% of the rent if they cancel a reservation fewer than 30 days before the stay.
Tripadvisor penalizes hosts who have listings by adding a cancellation charge and lowering their ranking. This implies that you will receive less publicity and reservations.
Not to mention, Vrbo levies a cancellation fee and lowers your score.