Help | Getting Started

How to maximise your potential for bookings

This article is for: Managers

Here are our tips on how to optimise your listing and get the best bookings.

Look at your listing through the eyes of someone who’s searching:

Listing quality: Do the photos and description do it justice?  Is pricing defined?

Pricing: Is your pricing realistic?  Compare other properties of similar size.  Tip: filter search results by number of bedrooms/bathrooms and key facilities to get properties more like yours.

Pecking order: Where are you on the basic search results page?  Clear all search filters and find your property.
- If your Dashboard Checklist is incomplete that will be hurting you.
- If you’re low-ranked and on the Performance Plan, you could increase your success fee - just until you get that all important Christmas/New Year booking - or until you’ve got some feedback (testimonials) - and then scale back your success fee.
- Consider increase your exposure by adding a Showcase Listing.

Look busy: Properties with bookings look more popular than those with blank calendars and are more likely to get enquiries.  Add your own bookings and any other rental bookings you’ve got confirmed.

Be realistic about minimum stay: Over Christmas/New Year for example, you’re more likely to get two back-to-back 7-night bookings than a single 14-night booking.

Once you receive a booking request you should move quickly to secure the booking.  Chances are your enquiry is one of a number that’s been placed by the same individual.  Vet quickly, provide a firm quote (include your all-important rental terms) and be clear about when you need a deposit by (rental terms are good for that).

Finally if you’re stuck with any of this, we’re more than happy to advise.  Getting the best from your listing on Bookabach is important for both of us!

Related help articles

What is the Checklist and where do I find it?
How does Bookabach order (rank) properties on the website?
How do I change my (Performance Plan) Success Fee?
How do I set up Rental Terms?

 

 

What is the Checklist and where do I find it?

This article is for: Managers

If you are the Rental Contact of a property, you’ll find a handy Checklist in the lower left-hand side of the Dashboard page. 

The Checklist is a way we can clearly indicate to you, in a single place, all the things that need to be completed.  Some items in the Checklist are related to you (as the Rental Contact) and some are related to the property (e.g. pricing or listing completeness).  If you have multiple properties, your Checklist may be complete on some properties but not on others.  The Checklist items are subject to change at any time.

Completed items are shown in the Checklist with a green tick.  Incomplete items are shown with a red cross.  The link on each Checklist item takes you through to the relevant section of the website.

If your listing is incomplete, the “+Listing Completeness” box at the top of the page will indicate what needs attention.  Click the “+” in front of “Listing Completeness” to expand the box, then click on the word(s) next to the red cross to take you to the relevant page.

NOTE FOR LISTING TEXT: Any changes to your listing text won’t be saved if the character limit is exceeded in any of the fields (indicated by a negative number in the “Characters left” box), or there aren’t enough characters (you’ll get an error message).  The Title and Sub-title fields require a minimum of 20 characters and the Description requires at least 400 characters (50 - 80 words).

By completing the Checklist you add 20 points to the score for that property.  This affects how this property is ranked (positioned in the page).

How do I edit (make changes to) my listing?

This article is for: Managers

To edit your listing: 1) Go to http://manage.bookabach.co.nz and log in. 2) Go to Listing then go to Edit Listing.

In the menu across the top of the page you’ll find all the features you need to edit your listing.  To ensure you complete everything, try using the green Step Me Through It wizard button located on the top right-side of your screen.

NOTE FOR LISTING TEXT: Any changes to your listing text won’t be saved if the character limit is exceeded in any of the fields (indicated by a negative number in the “Characters left” box), or there aren’t enough characters (you’ll get an error message).

How do I set up Rental Terms (a rental agreement)?

This article is for: Managers

To define your online Rental Terms:

1) Go to http://manage.bookabach.co.nz and log in.

2) Go to My Settings > Rental Terms

3) Select the online Rental Terms option and complete the basic questionnaire. 

Once you save the questionnaire form, the following information is created:

* Payment Terms: What portion of the payment should be paid when (e.g. deposit vs. balance)

* Cancellation Terms: Settings associated with how you handle cancellations. 

* Cancellation Charges: What amounts are forfeited when a booking is cancelled.

* Other Rental Terms: Any other Rental Terms you want to include in your agreement.  For example, you may have a policy on pets, parties, breakages, or on-site camping etc.

Once you’ve created your Rental Terms, you need to validate them before they can be used.  Once they have been validated, they’ll be included on a Booking Statement (see the separate help article on this).

Note that we “snap shot” your Rental Terms on each booking request.  So if you make changes over time, you still have a record of what terms applied when a booking was lodged.

How do I Confirm an Accepted booking?

This article is for: Managers

You should confirm bookings once a deposit has been received as security.  To convert an Accepted Booking to a Confirmed Booking:

1. Go to http://manage.bookabach.co.nz and log in.

2. Click the Bookings Tab

3. Find the booking using the search facility at the top of the page, or by clicking the down arrow in the date-range box and selecting “All future bookings”.

4. Click the “Confirm booking” link (on the right-hand side).

We give you the option to send an email to your customer indicating that the booking has been confirmed.  Confirmed bookings show as red (booked) on your calendar and red (booked) on your listing.

How do I set up an email template?

This article is for: Managers

You can set up email templates for standard responses you need while managing bookings through the website.  For example, you may want a standard “accept booking” template that includes how to pay a rental deposit; or you may have a standard response for when a booking is cancelled.

You can choose the template you want to use at the time you send your email correspondence through the website, and the website will remember the last template you used for that given action.

To set up an email template:
1. Go to http://manage.bookabach.co.nz and log in.
2. Go to My Settings and then Email Templates.  You will find our default email templates for different stages of the booking process.

To create your custom version of an existing template:

  1. Locate the template you want your email to be based on and click ‘Copy’.
  2. Edit the text of the template, and use the ‘Insert Field’ option to insert Guest, Booking and Contact details that is specific to that particular booking.
  3. Save all changes.

To create your own template, please click the “+Add template” link.

NOTE: If you manage multiple properties then we recommend you keep these templates generic and don’t include property-specific information in them.

How do I manage bookings on Bookabach/Bookastay?

This article is for: Managers

Bookabach helps you keep track of the state of your bookings.  For rental bookings the following states apply:

REQUESTED > ACCEPTED > CONFIRMED > COMPLETED

1) When you receive a booking request, the entry will show in the REQUESTED state (shown in YELLOW)

2) After vetting the person, you will decide whether or not you wish to rent to them.  Should you decide to go ahead and accept the booking, the state becomes ACCEPTED (shown in BROWN).  An Accepted booking is one where you have both committed to the rental, but you have not yet received a deposit to secure the booking

3) Once you have received the deposit, you should confirm the booking to block off the dates on the listing availability calendar.  The booking then shows in the CONFIRMED state (shown in RED).

4) After the scheduled departure date has passed for a CONFIRMED booking, it shows in the COMPLETED state (shown in BLUE) - you don’t need to do anything for this to happen.

If you decline a booking, or if the booking is cancelled, it shows as DECLINED or CANCELLED (shown in GRAY).  Note that declined and cancelled bookings won’t show on your calendar by default - you’ll need to click the “Show deleted” check-box to reveal them.

How do I Accept or Decline a Booking Request?

This article is for: Managers

When someone enquires about a stay at your property, you will receive a booking request via email.  The same information shows up on your bookings calendar as an entry with status REQUESTED.  You will also find a link to a Requested booking in the Notifications section of the Dashboard page.  It is up to you to vet the enquirer for suitability.  After you’ve done this, you need to make a decision on whether you want to accept or decline this booking request.

To ACCEPT the booking request:
Once you both agree on terms of rental, you can accept the booking.  To do this:

1. Locate the booking on your Calendar by either:
* Clicking the link in the email you’ve received; or
* Going to http://manage.bookabach.co.nz and logging in, and using the link in Notifications; or
* Using the booking search facility at the top of the page and typing in their name; or
* Clicking the “Bookings” tab, clicking the down-arrow in the date-range box and selecting “All future bookings”.

2. Click the “Accept booking” link on the right-hand side of the entry.  Please note that you can click the “Open Booking” link to expand the entry and find more options to update it.


To DECLINE the booking request:
If you don’t want to accept the request, locate the booking as above and decline it by using the “Decline booking” link.

In either case, the system will then give you the option to send an email to the renter.  Any emails you send via the site appear in the History section of the opened booking.

How do I edit pricing on my bach?

This article is for: Managers

To edit pricing:

1) Go to http://manage.bookabach.co.nz and log in.
2) Go to Listing > Pricing and deals.

To set up pricing, you must first set-up your “tariffs”, which are “price levels”.  Once your tariffs are defined,  you need to apply these across the date ranges you want.

Step 1: Setting up tariffs

Use the ‘+Add tariff’ link.  The following fields are defined:

* Tariff name: Choose a descriptive name that will help you like "high-season"
* Week-day and week-end/holiday rates: Bookabach automatically displays the correct pricing depending on the day of week and whether it’s a public holiday.
* Occupancy (for up to..): allows you to set a lower base price level if fewer people stay.  Note: You can’t select “N/A - Max occupancy” if you want to charge for extra adults/children.
* Minimum number of nights: Define a minimum number of nights stay for dates of this tariff level.

Step 2: Apply your tariffs across date ranges

1) Select tariff you wish to apply (by clicking the circle on the left-hand side of a coloured box).

2) Enter the date range in the “From” and “To” fields (use the calendar icons to select dates).

3) Click the “Apply tariff” button.

4) Repeat the above steps with each different tariff until your pricing is 100% complete and at least covers the period your booking calendar is open.

Each tariff can be applied to a number of date ranges as many times as you like.  To help you, we show you public, regional and school holidays in the calendar (marked with coloured corners). 

The pricing calendar is live, so you’ll have to periodically update your pricing to keep up with the passing days.

If you want to offer a long stay discount, e.g. 7 nights for the price of 6, then add a Special Deal to your listing.

How do I add my own rental bookings?

This article is for: Managers

We encourage you to manually add any rental bookings you have received from other sources to your Bookabach calendar.  The more up-to-date your calendar is, the more useful it is for people visiting the website.

To do this:

1. Go to http://manage.bookabach.co.nz and log in.

2. Click the Bookings Tab.

3. Click the green +Add booking button.  You’ll find it on the right hand side of the screen.

4. Select the dates, select the booking type, enter the booking details and click the “Save” button.  You only need dates and a first/last name - but can add more information if it’s useful for you, in which case use the “Save & Edit” button.

Note for Performance Plan customers: We DO NOT charge Performance Plan success fees on externally generated rental or manually added bookings, only on rental bookings you receive via Bookabach.

Help for Owners/Managers

Getting Started

Read the online versions of our Owner-Manager Induction series:
1) The basics
2) Complete your checklist
3) Managing bookings

Or, check out the most relevant Getting Started help articles.

Search the help pages first!

You'll find help on most topics. A search that uses as few words as possible tends to yield the best results!

Email support

If you've checked out online help but you're still stumped then then email us a support request.

Phone support

If you're really stuck and want us to talk you through it then call the technical support hotline:
0800 24 44 48
Owners and property managers only please!

Help for Renters

Sorry, we can't do your searching for you

Please note that we are not property managers. We provide a website that match-makes renters with property owners/managers. So, please don't email us with specific requests for accommodation.

Searching for a bach or holiday home?

This section provides help on how to use the website. If you're searching for a place to stay click here.

If you've already made an enquiry

If you're in communication with an owner/manager then please direct any follow on enquiries to them.

Email support

If you've checked our online help and can't find an answer to your question then email us a support request.

Phone support

Sorry, we can't provide direct phone support to renters.