In the 1990s, new websites were popping up all the time. It was a logical move to bring the travel industry online. Booking.com was created in 1996 when Geert-Jan Bruinsma founded Bookings.nl. In 2000, it merged with Bookings Online (operating at the time as Bookings.org). Stef Noorden was appointed as the CEO and the site was moved to the domain Booking.com. After these two significant changes, the company really took off. Ironically, Expedia was offered the opportunity to purchase the company back in 2002, but declined.
Another major shift for Booking.com happened in 2005 when the company was bought by the Priceline Group (now known as Booking Holdings) for an estimated price of $133 million USD. The Priceline Group were positioned to disrupt the online travel booking market with its purchase of Booking.com and ActiveHotels.com, a European company that was purchased at the same time for $161 million USD.
As with every successful company, there were some rocky periods for Booking.com, especially during 2002 when the company lost an estimated $19 million. Eventually, Booking.com turned into one of the biggest successes in the online travel space, with the company turning a profit of $1.1 billion in 2011.
Booking.com was one of the first online travel players to recognize that guests were interested in booking accommodations at places other than traditional hotels. It included vacation rentals, small bed and breakfasts and hostels along with hotel listings — a unique decision at the time. From its origins as a second-class player to Expedia to its current status as a leader, it’s fair to say that Booking.com will continue down its path of growth as it transforms the way short-term properties are listed online. In fact, it’s estimated that roughly 70 per cent of Booking.com’s listings are actually non-hotel properties. The company’s aggressive commission structures and innovation forced Expedia to restructure its business model to compete and many experts argue that Booking.com laid the foundation for Airbnb to become one of the world’s biggest brands.
Today the company is publicly traded on Nasdaq Stock Market and employs more than 17,000 employees in 70 countries around the world. Booking.com estimates that they have 29,056,860 total listings, 144,900 destinations and 229 countries, with more than 1,550,000 bookings happening on the website and app daily.
With so many listings in competition on Booking.com, it can be challenging to stand out on the platform. It’s important to show off the features of your short-term rental that make it unique. Put yourself in the booker’s shoes. Imagine finding two properties that match up with your basic needs and budget. The difference will be in the minor details and personal preferences for style and location. Display your suite online with professional photography that gives an accurate depiction of the space. Be sure to list all of the important information surrounding your space including parking, location (highlighting popular destinations), nearby restaurants, shops and anything else that separates your Toronto vacation rental from the other rentals listed on Booking.com. Don’t give your guests any surprises. Does your holiday rental have good Wi-Fi? Will your guests find coffee in the kitchen? The small things matter in the hospitality world and they can quickly turn a 3-star experience into a 5-star one. Guests are more likely to book a suite on Booking.com when the listing includes detailed descriptions, high-quality photography, and a breakdown of any additional information.
The more details you provide, the more bookings you will get. The most successful hosts regularly exceed the expectations of their guests before, during and after they’ve booked accommodations on Booking.com. The Property Page Score provides owners with a great gauge on the quality of the property listing. The score will show you the areas of your profile that are lacking content and the sections with incomplete information.
Communication is another area where property owners can set themselves apart from the competition. When guests ask for clarification or additional details, you need to respond quickly and thoughtfully. According to a study conducted by Eptica, 77 per cent of consumers won’t wait more than six hours for a response to a question they’ve emailed. That’s why QuickStay’s team of experienced vacation property management agents work 24/7 to provide guests with exceptional communication at all stages of the reservation. Throughout the check-in process, our system provides guests with a series of automated emails breaking down the entire check-in and checkout process. Our team will act as a touchpoint for your guests, addressing any special requests they have during their stay. Not only do strong communications help generate more bookings, but it also makes for memorable experiences that guests will be happy to share with other travellers through positive Booking.com reviews.
Before going live with your listing, make sure your short-term rental’s pricing is competitive with other similar listings on Booking.com. Rentals on Booking.com with competitive rates will get more views and generate more revenue. A suite with a 100 per cent occupancy rate at a discounted price will generate less money than a suite booked at 80 per cent at full price. Our team will leverage our years of experience in the hospitality industry to establish rates that generate maximum profits.
Are you looking for a way to increase the occupancy rate for your Toronto vacation rental property and generate more revenue at the same time? Booking.com is an excellent online booking platform with an incredible reputation for providing guests with a wide range of rental options. Stand out on Booking.com and other accommodation booking websites by working with our knowledgeable team at QuickStay. We’ll partner with you to develop a short-term property management strategy that produces consistent results throughout the year. Open up your vacation rental to the world, let us help you succeed on Booking.com.