Whether you’re a seasoned host or a newcomer, you’ve probably pondered which platform wins the Airbnb vs. Booking.com battle. The response varies according to whoever you speak with.
The sharing economy has grown at a breakneck pace in recent years. Airbnb has established itself as a viable alternative to established lodging websites such as TripAdvisor.
According to Airbnb, the platform will have more than 5.6 million listings worldwide by 2021. While there are more airbnb competitors emerging today, it still seems to be the most logical option for holiday rental operators based on this number and its worldwide brand identification.
Despite this, several hosts vouch for Booking.com as their major source of revenue. Despite Airbnb’s meteoric rise, Booking.com remains the undisputed leader in the online travel booking sector, with over 28 million listings globally. Given that both platforms get millions of daily visits, it’s important digging further to determine which is the greatest fit for your company.
Discover the similarities and distinctions between Airbnb and Booking.com and which platform is the best option for vacation rental operators.
How Do Guests Differ Between Airbnb and Booking.com?
To determine which site is the best match for your short-term rental company, you must first understand how Airbnb and Booking.com customers and their criteria vary. Consider the following:
1. You may learn more about your possible visitors on Airbnb.
Airbnb’s built-in guest rating system is one of its distinguishing features. After completing a reservation, the host may submit a review and assign a star rating to the guest. Each host’s star rating is added together to get an overall viewable rating on their profile.
This is highly beneficial for hosts since it enables them to evaluate a guest’s previous evaluations before accepting a reservation. They may keep track of any remarks about the guest’s conduct on Airbnb or booking history. Additionally, the star rating provides insight into how simple or complicated they may be to host.
2. Guests’ Characteristics and Expectations
While both target consumers need holiday rental accommodations, Airbnb and Booking.com cater to a distinct market segment. Airbnb customers value real experiences more than anything else.
They often seek rental houses that provide a sense of “home-away-from-home.” They seek unique rentals that enable them to experience life as a local in their target city or town.
Booking.com has historically been a hotel, resort, and lodge booking platform, not for private vacation rentals or individual rooms. While this has altered in recent years as the platform has attracted an increasing number of vacation rental homes, customers may still seem more demanding.
Additionally, the target audiences for both sites are rather distinct. The bulk of Airbnb customers is Millennials, who prefer shared experiences. Rather than staying in conventional hotels, they seek unusual accommodations such as themed homes, woodland huts, yurts, and castles. These establishments provide a one-of-a-kind, Instagrammable experience that appeals to Millennials.
Booking.com has a broader audience than Airbnb in general, although it caters to more older tourists and families. These tourists are more concerned with location and convenience and even more so with noise levels. Lodges that provide a complimentary breakfast, on-site dining, and convenient access to public transportation are likely to appeal to them more.
Which Platform Is More Expensive: Airbnb or Booking.com?
Airbnb and Booking.com both charge vacation rental owners a fee based on the number of bookings they get. As a result, hosts must understand the expenses associated with employing both sites’ services.
• Airbnb service costs
Airbnb charges two fees: a Split Fee and a Host-Only Fee. The Split Fee is a service fee split between visitors, who pay around 14%, and hosts, who pay approximately 3% to Airbnb.
The Host-Only Fee is about 15% of the total booking price, while guests are not charged. By 2020, most nations, except the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, Argentina, Taiwan, and Uruguay, will have made the Host-Only Fee obligatory.
While this adjustment may seem annoying, Airbnb adopted it to enhance reservation rates. This is predicated on charging a final sum ahead to customers, so they are not shocked by a 14% price hike at checkout. You may offset this expense by charging a higher daily fee and offering extra services.
• Booking.com service costs
Booking.com charges property owners a commission fee ranging from 10% to 25%, depending on their location, with an average of 15%. They do not charge visitors commissions. A flat rate of 15% or more may seem rather high.
Booking.com, on the other hand, permits you to charge extra costs to visitors, such as a cleaning and towel fee (if applicable). Thus, you may recoup the commission expense by raising your charge and adding other services.
What Are the Differences in Cancellation Policies?
Booking.com and Airbnb have a few distinctions when it comes to cancellation rules. Airbnb now offers six different cancellation policies for vacation rental owners to select from:
- Extremely Strict (30 Days)
- Extremely Strict (60 Days)
Each of these rules differs in terms of the amount of time given before the check-in date for a visitor to cancel and obtain a refund. Each policy has several advantages and disadvantages, and Airbnb enables rental owners to customize their cancellation policy.
There are fewer cancellation possibilities with Booking.com. On Booking.com, property owners may provide three distinct sorts of reservation options:
- Completely flexible policy — Guests will pay only while staying at your property and may cancel for free within the period you choose.
- Customizable cancellation policy – This policy enables you to choose the amount visitors will be charged if they cancel after a certain date.
- Non-refundable policy – If you choose this option, guests will be charged the entire amount regardless of whether they cancel, make modifications, or are a no-show on the check-in date.
How Does Booking.com’s Instant Book Work Differently Than Airbnb’s?
On Booking.com, all reservations are immediate, and there is no opportunity to make them optional. While this is highly handy for visitors, it is less for property owners with minimal control overbookings.
As an Airbnb rental owner, on the other hand, you have the choice of enabling or disabling this feature. Airbnb does compensate rental owners that use Instant Book by increasing the ranking of their listing in search results. However, disabling it gives you more control over your reservations.
How Do Both Platforms’ Ranking Systems Work?
A critical factor to consider is your property’s exposure after listing on Airbnb and Booking.com. As part of your investigation, it’s critical to examine how visibility and ranking function on both sites.
- Booking.com ranking
Booking.com also provides a feature called the visibility booster. In return for a fee increases your visibility and helps your listing rank better in their search results. Therefore, if you want to increase your visibility on Booking.com, you must pay a higher commission fee for each reservation.
- Airbnb ranking
At the moment, Airbnb does not have a built-in feature to assist you in improving the ranking of your listings. If you wish to improve your rankings, you may indicate your host activity by routinely updating your calendar, maintaining a high response rate, and fully populating your host profile. Learn more about how you can improve your rankings on AIrbnb here!
Should Your Vacation Rental Be Listed on Airbnb or Booking.com?
You want to enhance your reach in today’s competitive environment. That is why it is advisable to use a multi-channel approach and advertise your property on many websites.
According to RentalScaleUp, hosts who list only on Airbnb have an average of 16.5 booked nights per month, while those who list exclusively on Booking.com have 12 booked nights per month. However, hosts have seen an average of 17 booked nights per month when listed on Airbnb and Booking.com, with more possibilities.
Maintaining and monitoring your listings on both sites may be time-consuming and complex. Fortunately, vacation rental software such as Lodgable. With Lodgable you will be able to sync your calanders together to prevent the chance of having double bookings.