It is true that as a rental owner, when multiplying your presence on booking portals it can be tedious to manage various availability calendars. In this post we are going to explain what a channel manager is, why is it interesting to be present on various portals and highlight the main advantages it represents.
What is a channel manager?
A channel manager is a software solution for rental owners to manage bookings coming from various channels, this type of software is usually used by hotel trade or for the holiday rental management.
Those “channels” or “booking portals” are referring to booking platforms for touristic accommodations, such as Booking.com, Airbnb, Agoda, Expedia and others. Those platforms have build a great reputation over the years and by publishing your accommodation on these channels you will get more bookings.
The objective of a channel manager software is to help sparing time when managing your availability calendars, by synchronizing your availability with your booking portals. A channel manager allows you to control all your bookings from one single platform, it reduces the time spent updating your bookings, avoid copying mistakes and overbooking.
Many channel managers exist, they often offer functionalities that go beyond their main purpose and it will allow you to better manage your properties.
Why publishing your vacation rental on booking portals?
Nowadays, it is difficult to avoid booking platforms like booking.com or Airbnb when planning your holidays somewhere. Those channels are present worldwide. As a vacation rental owner, it is very interesting to publish your rental on a booking portal.
Using a booking portal allows you to be more visible on the web without having to work on your website referencing. A booking portal can be a substitute to your website, but it is always valuable to have your own website to get direct bookings.
Those channels often take care of payments and your guest can directly book online on the channel, no need to worry about transactions anymore and you only need to wait for your guests to arrive. In return those portals take a commission on your bookings or ask for a subscription fee, it depends on the channel you chose, so take time to think it through!
Main advantages of a channel manager
Let’s get back to the channel manager, when is it interesting to subscribe to a channel manager? What are the main advantages? What kind of functions does a channel manager has to offer?
Using a channel manger makes sense when you are an owner of one or more properties and when you want to publish your accommodations on one or more channels. Before, channel mangers were essentially used by hotels traders, but nowadays with the expansion of individuals rental properties via booking portals, the use of this kind of software has become very popular.
The channel manager allows you to synchronize all your bookings and availabilities from one single software. It spares you from doing updates a few times a day, for all your availability calendars and avoid overbooking situations.
In fact, the main purpose of using a channel manger is to avoid overbookings, the nightmare of rental owners! Given that some portals such as Booking.com for example, owners are held responsible for an overbooking. The owner must find another available accommodation to compensate his guests and must support the price difference with the other property, when it’s possible to find one (not easy when it is the full season in a touristic region!). Hence the interest to subscribe to a channel manager!
Moreover, a channel manager by automatically synchronizing your calendars spares you an incredible amount of time in the management of your properties. It makes it easier and centralized. No need to jump from one portal to the other to control your availabilities and of course, it reduces stress.
At Smoobu, we offer a channel manager allowing you to synchronize your bookings, able to synchronize your prices directly from Smoobu platform. In addition, Smoobu offers a booking tool that you can integrate on your website where you can add your Stripe or PayPal account to receive online payments from your guests. Other functions are included such as the creation of automatic emails, the creation of a website, the creation of invoice templates, keeping track of your guests thanks to a data base.