An ever-growing number of properties are now using laterooms and booking.com to generate extra bookings. Between them, these two companies command a massive share of Internet bookings – some estimate as high as 70% in their sector.
With the economy as it is, these extra bookings are often welcome and could in some cases be a lifesaver. Yes, laterooms and booking.com charge what some consider a high commission, but how can you win?
Winning Strategy: Offer your property on BOTH laterooms AND booking.com
1) You will benefit from the massive exposure that these companies can generate. Your property will be seen by customers who would otherwise never know you existed. By picking the two biggest, you get the most coverage with the least effort.
2) Bookings through these companies will cost you commission, but they will also increase bookings on your own website as a certain number of customers will search for you directly after finding you on laterooms or booking.com. This reduces your overall commission if you have commission free booking on your own website.
3) As the number of properties using these systems increases, any one property will likely have its share diluted as bookings are shared out between more and more properties.
4) By working with both companies, you spread your risk and avoid putting all your eggs in one basket (websites can go down!). If you work with both companies you can play them off against each other.
5) Find a good value Channel Manager so you can update both without extra effort, freetobook have one of the best. http://www.freetobook.com/plus/channel.php
Important note: Don’t work with laterooms and booking.com if you do not have online booking on your own website as you simply drive customers back to their websites and pay commission on every booking. Similarly, if the booking system on your site charges commission….you are losing money on every booking.
(look out for next weeks bite sized winning strategy “Monitor your website”)