As a vacation rental host or manager, getting your hands on metrics for your local market is always a challenge. While there are market analytics software solutions that can provide insights, we believe that more data sources is always better. A few months ago, Booking.com introduced the Supply Flow Score. It’s a new metric to help you understand the quality of your supply, as well as what’s available and offered to travellers on their platform.
How to access your supply flow data
You can easily access your Supply Flow Score in the Booking.com Connectivity Hub. They also provide you with a list of properties with clear availability opportunities, so that you can start supporting them and further improve your Supply Flow Score. The Supply Flow Score also provides you with locally relevant data and performance advice based on the latest demand trends, which you can share with your properties.
How to improve your supply flow
On top of providing insider data to their hosts and managers, Booking.com took the guesswork out of improving the supply flow. According to their findings, they recommend two key action items:
- Make sure your properties have loaded availability for upcoming months. This can increase their visibility and help them avoid missing out on potential bookings. According to Booking.com, more than a third of searches on their platform are for stays within the next three months. It’s important to make it easier for guests to book last-minute trips.
- Reduce length of stay restrictions to help your properties appear in more search results. According to Booking.com A significant proportion of searches are for stays of one or two nights. Yet almost half of connected hosts and managers’ properties don’t show up in travellers’ searches for one-night stays due to length of stay restrictions.
Booking.com also provides the following insights when it comes to supply flow and the impact of restrictions on inventory:
- Properties never appear in search results – no matter what travellers are searching for. Booking.com calls this scenario ‘unbookable due to restrictions’, and it results in zero bookings for hosts and managers.
- Properties have reduced visibility in search results – for example, because a property has set up a restriction that only allows reservations at least one day in advance, while travellers are searching for accommodation they can check into that same day.
- Properties don’t appear in certain search results – for example, because a property has set up a three-night minimum length of stay restriction, while travellers are searching for one-night and two-night stays.
- Reduced brand awareness – Restrictions reduce your properties’ exposure in our search results and to potential guests. By optimising restrictions, you can increase your properties’ visibility and awareness of their brand.
- Benefits for other properties – Other comparable properties with fewer restrictions may enjoy more exposure in search results than your properties, increasing their brand awareness, market share and performance.
- Lack of control – Too many restrictions can impact the volume of bookings properties can achieve, often in ways that are hard to predict. This can leave the property totally unbookable on specific days, without the partner being aware.
Maximize your mid-pandemic recovery
Optimizing your supply flow is one thing, but Booking.com went the extra mile to help boost your mid-pandemic recovery. If you’re listing on Booking.com, here are a few other tips and tricks they recommend:
- Offer flexibility for your travellers – Even though travellers understand the new reality of travel, there is still a lot of uncertainty. To help get more bookings, consider activating flexible cancellation plans (full flex, or 1-day flex for those who want to maintain some level of control)
- Diversify your pricing strategy – Offer length of stay discounts to capture those ‘digital nomad’ bookings. This is a great way to cut down on cleaning and maintenance costs.
- Join the Preferred Program – Booking.com increases the visibility of properties belonging to this program. With just a few clicks, you can benefit from better ranking in their search engine. This is one those free marketing boosts every host and manager listed on Booking.com should take advantage of.
Aside from the tips, Booking.com also offers the following perks to help hosts and managers who list on their platform maximize their mid-pandemic recovery: