Preferred Partner Programme

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  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Hi there!

    I've recently also joined the Preffered Partner Programme on one of my properties because of everything that I've heard. 

    A lot of the people on this forum believes it's a Must have. Because it does boost your visibility a lot and also, guests who see the little thumbs up icon feels more at ease booking your property. It's like Booking.com is vouching for you and guests like that. 

    I hear what you're saying about how will it benefit you if everyone in your area already has it, it still benefits you. Because Booking.com spends effort to ensure you get viewed. My understanding is that you will even pop up in searches where clients wasn't specifically looking for your property but maybe for something similiar. 

    Let's see what the rest of the forum has to say, but it's a yes from me.

    Keep well!

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    I agree with Leandri - I was offered the Preferred Partner Programme a few months after I joined BDC and I accepted. You said ' how would it benefit me if everyone joined' ? Look at it the other way. How would you look if you were the only one in the area not in the programme? As regards those who choose to increase their visibility by paying higher commission (I tried it for a while) - it is their choice to make less money or increase prices to compensate for the higher commission. So the Preferred Partner Programme is a no brainer if it is offered to you as it costs you nothing and can only be of benefit. 

  • Avatar
    Ccpddb

    I too think that the preferred partner program is worth it. I am curious though Joey stated that it is free?? I thought I was paying an additional 3% to be a part of it, am I not? I am now confused!

     

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    Ccpddb oh Gosh, I'm sorry. Thanks cassid , I had never seen this. I am going to ask BDC right now whether this applies to me as some features of booking.com are different depending on the country. Thanks once again guys!

  • Avatar
    Lee

    I have been trying to get into Partner-program but it seems Im still far behind. I have 8.9 guest reviews but Im not sure what else needs to be done...

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    Lee  from what I see from my own case apart from high reviews you need to have lots of bookings. I saw this because when I took a couple of weeks off one of my two scores fell. Meanwhile I must apologise for a mistake I made (and this goes on to show that for important questions it is better to ask BDC directly than ask here). This is what BDC told me: "Please note that the preferred partner program is what actually causes the commission to go from 15% to 18%."

  • Avatar
    Bandara Hotels & Resorts

    @Nicbritton  It depend on where is your property located and depend on how many competitor hotel you have in that area. For some area there is no need to join Preferred partner program if they have a few page of hotel list. Which if your hotel already on high traffic demand you will be on first page properly on top five hotel list anyway.

  • Avatar
    Aitsa Nicoline

    I agree with leandre Klopper

  • Avatar
    Lee

    Have you noticed any diffrence when joining the preffered partner program?

    I am always fully booked so I don't think it applies to me.. I guess I would put prices a bit higher if joined!

  • Avatar
    SaKats

    It is very simple why you should join. If they don't see you they won't book you. There aren't many guests who will search multiple pages back to choose their accomodation. Especially if you want early bookings.

    I joined it in July and I have seen a very big boost in reservations for this and for next year. My property immediately started showing in top 5 in my area and even showed up in searches for cities near.

    For my country Greece it needs a 20% commision, which now that I see that every other country has only +3% sounds very unfair? What's up with this discrimination?

    Anyway it is at least much better than the Genius program, which requires a full 10% discount and also from my experience, brings guests of often questionable quality. As soon as I joined I quit the Genius program immediately and never going back.

    Unfortunatly it is very difficult to stay in the preferred partner program for long if you have few rooms.

     

  • Avatar
    Lee

    SaKats- very detailed and useful information. Thank you

  • Avatar
    Aitsa Nicoline

    I fully agree, it worth it

  • Avatar
    Akwador

    What no one has mentioned, 70% of your inventory needs to be with Booking.com. I have had a 9.4 Review score over 5 years but since taking on Expedia as well - our sales are now:

    1) Booking.com

    2) Expedia

    3) Direct Bookings

    The issue now is that Expedia and Direct Bookings combined have reached 40% so Booking.com is writing telling me I now fail to meet the criteria. What am I to do - Expedia monitors our inventory and if we allow more rooms to Booking than them we run foul of our agreement with them - we are suppose to offer same rates and same spread.

    What is happening is that Booking.com are failing to sell enough rooms in time and the slack is being taken by an increase in Direct Sales (commission free to us) and Expedia. 

    I work on the principle that although preferred partner is great, if I cannot be in it and Booking sell less, I will simply have more exposure in their competitor so it is a bit of a own goal by Booking.com in my view.

     

     

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Hi Akwador ,

    Thanks for posting. Does Booking.com need 70% off all the stock you have??? I didn't know that.

    Where did you get that information? Where is it on the contract, or did they tell you this on email?

    Hope to hear from you soon. 

  • Avatar
    Akwador

    That information came from a Booking.com communication to me saying I was not meeting the criteria for preferred partnership programme. Not much I could do other than to restrict other agencies - I work on first come first served basis so it is totally possible for Booking to c70% - if they give me the guest bookings faster!

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    I have also joined recently the preferred partner program as soon as I had five excellent reviews from my guests. My property is showing on the top when searching and expecting more bookings.

  • Avatar
    Aitsa Nicoline

    M Adamopoulou,

     

    Wonderful, Concratulations!

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Oh I see Akwador , thanks that makes sense. I nearly had a small heart attack. I understood something else. 

    Well done M Adamopoulou ! You will not regret it. I've recently met with my account manager and he has advised that it really is a good program, and not just because he works for Booking.com and he has to say it.. but because he says it really does make the Performance difference. 

    Super congrats again! May it keep going well

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    Thanks Leandri Klopper for your comment. I hope my reservations go up because my property is located up in the hills away from touristic areas

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Pleasure M Adamopoulou !

    It should. Our one property is really far off, it's also up in the mountains (literally built on one) and is a hectic drive. But people LOVE it there. Funny enough, that resort is not on the Pref. Programme. Our quite, close to the city, resort is on the programme and has seen an increase in bookings. 

    Our account manager has explained to me that it's not just about appearing on the top part of the list that generated the bookings but people likes booking something that looks like it has some sort of "special" or is "valueable to obtain". So that little icon makes your property look Special, like Booking.com itself prefers your property. LOL okay I'm a bit excited by this, but I finally understand what the fuss is about. 

    Have a great weekend!

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    Leandri Klopper thanks again for your support and incouraging suggestions, very helpful indeed.

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Massive pleasure M Adamopoulou  :-D Thanks for saying thanks. Joey's post has taken root :-)

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    I've read what I wrote about the preferred partner program some months ago in this thread. I have been part of it for almost as long as I have been with BDC - as they offered it to me a month or so after I joined. But now I am asking myself - If I was doing so well that I ' qualified' to join this program which lets BC take 18% commission instead of 15% (work it out - that gives them 20% more commission) why did I have to join in the first place? 

    If you look at your preferred partner status you will find two scores - the second one is straight forward - it is directly related to good reviews. But the first score is very mysterious. There is no real explanation as to how it is calculated - why did I for example go from 20% (yesterday) to 75% (today) in the space of a few hours?

    Do not be too gullible. Remember that we are giving BDC more commission for something which is not clear at all. Using the argument that - everyone else has it -  is the herd mentality which only benefits those who earn the commission.

    Are we so stupid as to fall for the same ploys used on guests where they are called ' genius guests'  because they used BDC TWICE in TWO years?

     

  • Avatar
    fluff

    Hmmm, preferred partner seems to be a double edged sword. On the one hand we are being charged more for qualifying....erm, what? We have, however, seen our listing storm up the "charts" for general searches.

    On the other hand, we've also seen a decline in BDC reservations with Expedia and Agoda both overtaking in recent months, since joining PP. Seems a bit screwey.

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    fluff  When you say "We have, however, seen our listing storm up the "charts" for general searches." what do you exactly mean? When I search for my property (remember to use incognito / private mode) without being too specific as regards area I find myself on the 11th page or so behind properties with higher prices, lower scores, no preferred partner status etc. However when I search for my property using the specific area I am always in the first page. The thing is it was always like that, even before I joined the program. 

  • Avatar
    fluff

    Joey 

    I will use a reasonably specific search because of the dense packing of hotels where we are.

    Therefore, if I pop in the resort town (528 hotels up to a medium price bracket, we are budget), in private mode on the BDC customer search, I've risen from page 12 (from memory) to page 2.

     

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Hey all,

    You can see how much your property showed up in searches etc on the home page on the Extranet. And PP really did an excellent job of making those numbers soar. I'm struggling with the actually Bookings still. My property is currently showing up in 5600 search results, out of those I get 4265 property views, but the bookings are not so high. That means about 4 thousand people see the place and book somewhere else. . . which is discouraging. 

    I'm hoping the Genius programme will get more people to actually book. Doesn't matter if they have booked once of twice to get the status of Genius guest, as long as the Noddy Badge works to get people to book. 

    The way it was explained to me is, would you rather buy a Coke or the Coke that comes with a noddy badge for cheaper? It's supposed to be a marketing strategy. 

    Keep well 

  • Avatar
    Paul Johnston

    I find the preffered program very inflexible if you only have a few rooms. Even though my propoerty has a 9.5 star rating and is almost exclusivly booked through BDC they took me off the program because the conversion rate was "not high enough". This is the algorithm wagging the dog if you ask me!

    Does not really work for vacation rentals.

  • Avatar
    Ccpddb

    I used to believe this program helped! It does!! It helps BDC, lots. As for the rest of us it does absolutely nothing unless you are in a very large city where there are many, many pages of places. For the rest of us we simply pay more money to BDC. I have had a 10 now after a year in business it is a 9.9. I had some lovely guests who stayed and loved it yet nmarked me down for things that I never claimed to have! Anyway Booking just kept harassing me to do this and that, which I did, to no avail! I have only one room and the algorithm does not like it because you are either 100 percent full or empty. The algorithm is set up for a business to maintain a certain percentage of occupancy. Most of us smaller places will not benift.

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Hey Ccpddb ,

    Thanks for sharing. You see our properties are large and have many competitors so the PPP works wonders. I wonder if BDC is looking into a programme for properties like yours? 

    I sincerely hope you sent this feedback to them, and perhaps suggest a program for properties like your own. This might help a lot of people. 

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