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How our providers boosted the onboarding pace of new properties to Booking.com

Discover how these providers drive property acquisition and increase their share of new listings on Booking.com

Program Manager at the Connectivity Partner Programme Team.

During Q2 this year, we collaborated with some of our Premier providers to bring new listings to our platform and drive acquisitions in selected locations. We provided economic resources within our Provider Innovation Fund available for our Premier providers to help with the costs associated with these acquisition efforts. Additionally, we delivered over 20 webinars localised for different audiences and markets together. 

We asked some of the providers who took part in this campaign for their top tips on attracting new properties – and how Booking.com resources helped their efforts. 

What type of acquisition activities have you executed?

Rafael Koukkoullis, Manager, Account Management at Kigo, says: We launched the Channel Strategy Campaign in April, 2021 – it is a movement focusing on acquisition and education to convince property managers to connect to Booking.com. We have targeted property managers who have yet to connect to Booking.com and persuaded them to reconsider with proven argumentation. Accompanying our campaign, webinars alongside Booking.com have allowed us to reach our clients with our joint message for recovery and growth.

César Augusto Ramos, Head of Partnerships at Avantio, says: For the new acquisitions project, the first thing we did was identify the number of real opportunities we had in the 360 locations that Booking.com had shared with us. Once identified, we took advantage of Booking.com's Promotions API to conduct an educational webinar together with Booking.com, inviting all of our clients. The clients we identified as having properties in one of the 360 locations were also sent communication encouraging them to activate more properties on Booking.com, using Booking.com’s new traveller search insights as a hook.

Héctor Herrero, Head of Operations and Strategy Partnerships at AvaiBook, says: We use a platform to communicate with our clients. Through this platform we organised some advertising campaigns. We targeted clients who did not have all the accommodations advertised on Booking.com yet, or who did not work with Booking.com yet and were located in the selected areas highlighted by Booking.com.

We ran different types of messaging in the campaigns to see and analyse which gave us the best result, all with the goal of pushing customers to create new listings on Booking.com. The campaigns were structured so that each client received several emails with the same general message, but with different ways of advertising it. If the customer was interested in the message, an agent would contact them and explain how to proceed with the activation of the new accommodation. 

At the same time, we have also been actively making calls to contact these types of customers who were not working with Booking.com yet, promoting the platform by encouraging them to create a listing. In addition, our sales team has also focused on attracting new customers in potential areas in order to push the acquisition of new Booking.com listings in that direction as well. 

Anette Törsleff, Co-Founder & Director Channel partnerships at Rentals United, says: As business advisors to our clients we always focus on educating, increasing the quality and sharing performing related data. Our top priority is for our clients to get more bookings, and we help them understand the benefits of partnering with Booking.com and how to increase their performance. We always promote the quality of our connection, the features and promotions Booking.com offers to set up. For this project, we started to identify the potential properties that were not yet connected to Booking.com. During targeted 1:1 sessions we focused on solving any questions, commercial or technical issues to why they could not be connected before. We also conducted a few campaigns and webinars to increase the content quality and educate about Booking.com’s features and promotions.

Matt Gurley, Director of Sales & Customer Service at Channel Connector, says: We allocated resources in our sales team to focus solely on contacting property managers in markets that Booking.com predetermined as a high-demand market. Secondly, we worked directly with our Property Management Software partners to assist in marketing efforts towards property managers who we do not have established relationships with. Lastly, we contacted all existing property management clients that worked with Channel Connector on other services, but did not use Booking.com, encouraging them to join the channel.

Is there anything that you did differently this time?

Rafael Koukkoullis, Manager, Account Management at Kigo, says: We focused on the highest value/opportunity markets – always following new, exciting announcements like webinars and the launch of promotions, for example, mobile rates. Put simply, we built momentum.

César Augusto Ramos, Head of Partnerships at Avantio, says: This time we used our Partner Success department, as they are in constant contact with the clients. We shared the list of clients who had properties in some of the identified locations, and asked that if they talked to any client on the list, they recommended that they activate as many properties as possible to take advantage of the recovery of the market.

Héctor Herrero, Head of Operations and Strategy Partnerships at AvaiBook, says: This time we decided to incentivise the team with an economic compensation for meeting the proposed objective. In this way, we ensured that the team, which is already characterised by the commitment it always shows, was even more motivated. We are very satisfied with the results.

In addition, we organised a campaign with several messages, more than at other times. The number of calls made to customers was also higher than in other actions in which we had participated. 

Anette Törsleff, Co-Founder & Director Channel partnerships at Rentals United, says: We set up proper KPI's for all client facing teams, we refined/improved our cross-company acquisition strategy, and we followed up on the KPI's on a weekly basis.

Matt Gurley, Director of Sales & Customer Service at Channel Connector, says: Co-marketing with our Property Management Software Partners and dedicating a sales resource.

Michal Freier, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Guesty, says: We created a business case for the management team, while setting the incentive goals/thresholds as a KPI for the customer facing teams. 

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What was the impact of these activities?

Rafael Koukkoullis, Manager, Account Management at Kigo, says: A positive shift in PMs vision of Booking.com due to the standardisation by the other OTAs in the industry. We have added units, promotions, improved content and added Booking.com recommended amenities for our clients.

César Augusto Ramos, Head of Partnerships at Avantio, says: It has been very positive, taking into account that there are many factors that cause an Avantio client to not publish their properties on Booking.com. Or for those who do, to not have all their inventory published on a major OTA such as Booking.com. Our constant follow up and educational work with our clients, along with the optimal connection we have with Booking.com, helps to show them the importance of working with Booking.com, or for those who already do, to keep adding properties. The result is fantastic, as we achieved what we were looking for both in terms of increasing inventory and optimising the connection.

Héctor Herrero, Head of Operations and Strategy Partnerships at AvaiBook, says: We consider collaborations like these to be important, because they have a very positive impact on customers. With these actions we have managed to strengthen our bond with Booking.com by working together and growing together, while also strengthening the bond with our customers by generating confidence in our system. We consider it ‘positive marketing’, where the customer sees us collaborating with an important OTA like Booking.com. This also allows us to increase the offer and grow the number of connections in potential areas.

Anette Törsleff, Co-Founder & Director Channel partnerships at Rentals United, says: We have helped clients to optimise their accounts for post-pandemic travel (flexible policies, cleaning protocol, etc), while helping them connect both new inventory and reconnect old properties that were deactivated during 2020.

Matt Gurley, Director of Sales & Customer Service at Channel Connector, says: The dedicated sales resource and dedicated time for our account managers to encourage Booking.com were the most successful aspects. The co-marketing efforts with PMS software proved to generate some impact. However, there is potential to do better here. More time and dedication to this effort would need to be allocated for it to be truly successful.

Michal Freier, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Guesty, says: Guesty customer facing teams actively pushed PMs to onboard additional properties which resulted in an uptick in listings and stayed room nights over Q2, including a 280.6% increase in Stayed Revenue Growth year-over-year, 280.6% increase in Booked Room Nights year-over-year, and a 21% increase in properties year-over-year.

How did the PIF (Provider Innovation Fund) help your efforts?

Rafael Koukkoullis, Manager, Account Management at Kigo, says: It added incentives to drive outbound efforts, while incentivising our PMs to connect and helping to raise awareness in other markets where penetration is low.

César Augusto Ramos, Head of Partnerships at Avantio, says: The PIF helped a lot because we have been able to give bonuses to all the teams involved in the project.

Héctor Herrero, Head of Operations and Strategy Partnerships at AvaiBook, says: All the campaigns we have developed have been based on the information Booking.com has provided us with, and we have used their resources throughout the whole duration of the action. We considered all the information that came in very useful and valuable, and the fact that we were able to rely on it has certainly given us a positive push to reach the result we have achieved.

Anette Törsleff, Co-Founder & Director Channel partnerships at Rentals United, says: It was a great motivator for us to try and deliver more supply than previous quarters. We added it as a KPI into our quarterly company goals. We strategically worked cross company to prioritise actions to be able to connect more properties. It was a true team effort and a great collaboration between all involved teams.

Matt Gurley, Director of Sales & Customer Service at Channel Connector, says: It allowed for an immediate ROI for the time dedicated to the project, and for us to justify focusing a full-time resource based on our expectations of new partners we can bring onboard to solely focus on this project. Working directly with local Booking.com market managers to build joint relationships with property management companies was a crucial part of our strategy once we had property management companies interested in participating. The joint relationships helped engage and launch property managers quickly.

Michal Freier, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Guesty, says:  The PIF helped the team prioritise our goals for the quarter, and in turn set KPIs for the customer facing teams.

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Topics
Takeaway
  • Providers partnered with Booking.com to identify acquisition opportunities and co-deliver webinars specific to the local audience and market
  • Economic incentives supplied by the Provider Innovation Fund made an already committed team even more motivated and enabled providers to give bonuses to all teams involved in the project 
  • Providers helped clients optimise their accounts for post-pandemic travel as well as aid them in connecting both new inventory and reconnecting old properties that were deactivated during 2020

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