The Ins and Outs of the Booking.com Genius Program

/

Blog

The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
June 20, 2024

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

The Ins and Outs of the Booking.com Genius Program

Airbnb Management Services by Houst | Short-Term Rental Experts

About Houst

Houst is a leading property management company specialising in short-term and medium-term bookings in eight countries. With over 7 years of experience and managing over 300,000 bookings, we help homeowners make the most of their properties.

Learn More

If your place is listed on Booking.com, you’ve probably heard about the Genius program. Maybe you’re thinking about joining but aren’t sure if it’s really worth it. Or perhaps you’re already a Genius member and are questioning whether to stick with it.

Let’s clear up any confusion you might have in this blog.

Table of Contents

What is the Booking.com Genius Program?

The Genius loyalty program on Booking.com is designed to benefit both property owners and guests. For hosts, joining the program means more visibility and higher occupancy rates. For guests, it means discounts and exclusive perks. There are three Genius levels, each offering more benefits as you go up.

This setup encourages both hosts and guests to stick with Booking.com instead of switching to other booking sites.

When a property owner joins the Genius program, Booking.com applies a minimum 10% discount to their rental price. This discount comes out of the property manager’s pocket. If you manage a property with multiple rooms, the discount will only apply to the cheapest or most popular room.

How Booking.com Genius Works for Travelers

Travelers can join the Genius program just by signing up on Booking.com. Once logged in, they can easily find and filter all the Genius accommodations.

The program has three levels:

  • Level 1: Open to everyone.
  • Level 2: For those who’ve booked at least 5 stays in 2 years.
  • Level 3: For those who’ve booked at least 15 stays in 2 years.

So, why would travellers choose a Genius property?

Firstly, it’s a mark of quality; only places with a minimum score of 7.5 can join the Genius program. Also, members get a minimum 10% discount on hotel rates. This discount increases to 15% at Level 2 and 20% at Level 3.

Levels 2 and 3 have extra perks like free breakfasts, room upgrades, and priority customer service.

How Genius Works for Lodging Businesses

If you run an accommodation open to the public, with at least 3 reviews and an average rating of 7.5 or higher, you can join the Genius program on Booking.com.

To enrol, log into the extranet, click the "Opportunities" tab, and select the Genius program.

Once you’re in, Booking.com will automatically apply a 10% discount (which you cover) to your best-selling room. This is usually the standard room or the ROH (run-of-house) room, the most commonly available room category.

This 10% discount on the ROH room is fixed, but you can add 10% discounts to other room categories.

You can suspend the Genius discounts for up to 30 days a year, whether those days are consecutive or not.

What are the Benefits of Joining the Genius Program?

Joining the Genius program comes with plenty of perks. If it didn't, hotels would ditch it after trying it out. But that’s not happening.

Instead, hundreds of thousands of hotels worldwide are sticking with it and finding it very rewarding.

So, why is that?

Get Visibility

Joining the Genius program boosts your property's visibility in two major ways. First, Booking.com favours Genius hotels in their search rankings, so your place gets seen more often. Also, travellers can use the Genius filter to find accommodations, meaning your property shows up in more search results.

Get More Bookings 

Not all room categories need a 10% discount to benefit from the Genius program. When you join, the visibility boost applies to your entire property. Many hotels see an uptick in bookings for non-discounted rooms, too, which naturally increases your average margin per room.

Experience Fewer Cancellations

Booking.com claims that Genius customers cancel less often than non-Genius customers. This might be because users need to log in to get Genius discounts, which records all their contact details and reservations. This reduces the feeling of online anonymity and discourages casual cancellations.

What are the Disadvantages of Joining the Genius Program?

Every rose has its thorn, and the Booking.com Genius program is no exception. So, here are its key downsides:

You Pay for Booking.com's Loyalty Program

One significant downside of the Genius program is that it's Booking.com's loyalty initiative, not yours. It's designed to encourage users to consistently book through their platform, discouraging them from seeking deals elsewhere.

Similar to loyalty cards at supermarkets, where you join to get discounts or accumulate points, Booking.com’s loyalty program operates similarly. However, unlike supermarkets, which cover the cost of discounts and rewards, it's the hoteliers who foot the bill.

So, when you offer a 10% discount to Genius customers, you're essentially funding Booking.com’s loyalty program out of your pocket.

Genius Rates Can Impact Your Direct Sales

Booking.com has started advertising Genius rates on metasearch engines like Trivago or Kayak. Promoting discounted rates could potentially undermine your marketing efforts on these platforms.

When Booking.com displays rates equal to or even lower than what’s on your website, it diminishes the effectiveness of your direct sales strategy. As a result, Booking.com might capture some of the sales that would have otherwise gone directly through your website.

How to Become a Genius Partner on Booking.com

Wondering how to become a Genius partner on Booking.com? It's easy if your accommodation meets the criteria:

  • Log in to your Booking.com extranet.
  • Go to the “Opportunities” section.
  • Choose “Genius partner program.”
  • Booking.com will automatically apply the discount once you're enrolled in the program.

How to Suspend the Booking Genius Loyalty Program

If you’re a Booking.com Genius partner and need to suspend the program temporarily, you can do so for up to 30 days (non-consecutively). 

Here’s how to suspend Genius:

  • Open the Booking.com Extranet.
  • Click on “Opportunities.”
  • Select “Genius partner program.”
  • Click on “Suspend Genius discount.”
  • In the “Choose dates” section, pick the dates when you don’t want the Genius discount to apply.
  • Confirm by clicking “Suspend dates.”

How to Remove Genius from Booking.com

If you decide to deactivate the Genius program on Booking.com, you can follow these steps:

  • Log in to the Booking.com Extranet.
  • Go to the “Inbox” section and click on “Booking.com messages.”
  • Click on “See contact options” -> “Property details” -> “Other.”
  • Under “See all contact options,” select “Message.”
  • In the message text field, specify that you want to opt out of the Genius program. You can also attach any necessary documents.
  • Send your message.

That’s it! Booking.com will process your request to remove your property from the Genius program accordingly.

Ultimately, Is it Worthwhile to Join Genius?

When you ask consultants, revenue managers, and marketers about the Genius program, you’ll often hear two contrasting viewpoints:

  • Pros: Advocates believe activating Genius can boost revenue significantly.
  • Cons: Critics argue that investing the same funds in direct marketing could yield better outcomes by retaining control.

The truth, as always, lies in the specifics of your situation.

Simply saying "yes" or "no" without evaluating your circumstances doesn’t provide a meaningful answer.

For some properties, joining Genius leads to increased demand and significant benefits.

However, others may not experience such pronounced results, prompting them to consider suspension.

Before making a final decision, analyse your data:

  • Determine if activating Genius increases overall bookings.
  • Assess if it boosts sales of non-discounted rooms.
  • Monitor if it drives traffic to your website.
  • Evaluate if Genius customers cancel less compared to other OTA users.
  • Based on these insights, you can decide if participating in the Genius program aligns with your revenue strategy.

Considering professional property management companies like Houst provides valuable insights, similar to evaluating the impact of joining the Genius program!

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

Commission-Based
Pricing From

12%
of your
rental revenue
The commission depends on
the property profile and location

Complete property management services

We streamline the process of short-term lets and assist in maximising your rental revenue in London.

Listing Management

  • Multi-platform listings
  • Professional photography
  • Listing creation
  • Price optimisation

Guest Management

  • Guest vetting
  • Guest check-ins
  • Linen and toiletries
  • Guest communications

Property Management

  • Cleaning and housekeeping
  • Property maintenance
  • Property insurance
  • Property management software
I hope you enjoy reading this blog post!
If you want my team to just manage your Airbnb for you, just book a call.
Click here to Get More Bookings!
See How Houst Can Elevate Your Airbnb’s Visibility
  • Listing Optimisation – Maximise your listing’s potential. Experience tangible growth.
  • Professional Photography – Captivating visuals that instantly attract guests.
  • Guest Screening – Ensuring only the best and safest guests for your property.
Close

We hope you enjoy our blog!

If you would like to find out more about how our team can help you get the most of your Airbnb, just book a call with us.

Thank you for providing your contact information!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
J’espère que vous apprécierez la lecture de cet article de blog !
Si vous souhaitez que mon équipe gère simplement votre Airbnb pour vous, réservez simplement un appel.
RÉSERVER UN APPEL
Cliquez ici pour obtenir plus de réservations !
Découvrez comment Houst peut améliorer la visibilité de votre Airbnb
  • Optimisation des annonces – Maximisez le potentiel de votre annonce. Faites l’expérience d’une croissance tangible.
  • Photographie professionnelle – Des visuels captivants qui attirent instantanément les invités.
  • Filtrage des invités – Garantir uniquement les invités les meilleurs et les plus sûrs pour votre propriété.
RÉSERVER UN APPEL
Close
Looking to scale your serviced accommodation?
Join Houst’s partnership program — book a call for details.
BOOK A CALL
Starting your Airbnb business?
Houst can help you get started in the serviced accommodation sector:
  • Fastracked growth: Quick portfolio expansion and up to 20% booking commission for property managers.
  • Guest Support and Tech: 24/7 support and tech streamlined operations, enhancing occupancy and guest service delivery.
  • Pricing Optimisation: Increased earnings with algorithm-based pricing strategies.
BOOK A CALL
Close