What is a Channel Manager for Short Lets
Many short let companies now use a dedicated Channel Manager to attract bookings. But what is a Channel Manager for short lets? We break it down for you.
What is a Channel Manager for Short Lets?
A Channel Manager for Short Lets is a software tool. It shares property data and availability with companies known as channels (such as Airbnb), and blocks dates in the bookings calendar when guests make reservations.
The amount of property data shared with the channels depends on the type of connection between the Channel Manager and the channel.
How does a Channel Manager support a vacation rentals company?
There are different ways for a property manager to advertise vacation rental properties.
The goal is to ensure that the property is booked for the right periods, for the right price, by the right type of guest.
One way is to promote accommodation on Channels (also known as portals and OTAs) such as Airbnb or Booking.com.
What is a Channel?
A Channel is a marketing website where you can promote your property listings to gain more visibility, and receive online bookings.
There has been a significant rise in the number of Channels, and the services they offer vary dramatically.
Some Channels promote properties globally, whilst other channels work with more niche markets. These specialised markets include:
- by location eg. attracting Swedish or American guests
- by type of guest group eg. attracting families or singles
- by price eg. attracting high spenders
- by type of property eg. cottages, caravans, or lighthouses
- by reason for travel eg. business travellers
How can a Channel Manager prevent double bookings?
A Channel Manager has a role to play in sharing availability data after a guest makes a reservation.
- Upon receiving a guest reservation, the channel shares this information with the Channel Manager.
- The Channel Manager blocks the central bookings calendar.
- The Channel Manager also blocks the calendars in other connected Channels and the Property Managers website, to prevent double bookings.
Why use a Channel Manager for Vacation Rentals?
Managing properties on multiple Channels can be complicated and time-consuming.
It is important to keep control of prices, photos, content, offers and existing reservations on each Channel. As more bookings come in it is equally critical to stay on top of the property availability.
Any failures here increase the risk of double bookings and can damage business reputations.
What is the best solution?
The solution is to work with a software called a Channel Manager which is usually integrated into your Property Management System for Vacation Rentals (PMS).
Channel management provides a centralised location that synchronises property information, which can include property inventory, rates, bookings, availability calendar, and guest information.
This means you can view your portal and bookings information in one place, and easily keep track of vacation rental reservations whilst preventing overbookings.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I choose a Channel Manager?
- How to choose the best Channel Manager for your short let business:
1. Make a short list of Channel Managers with connections to the channels you need.
2. Choose Channel Managers with direct connections (2-way API connections as this will reduce your workload).
3. Read reviews of the company looking for positive reviews of saving time and avoiding double bookings.
4. Set up a demo and talk to the Channel Manager company.
5. Speak to other clients who use the Channel Manager to understand their customer service.
- Why do you need a Channel Manager?
- Using a Channel Manager for holiday lets homes and hotels reduces the time and effort required to attract and manage bookings, in one central location.
1. Automatically synchronises property information across multiple channels, eg, Prices, Number of bedrooms, Photos.
2. Automatically shares Availability, and updates it when a new booking is received on any of the channels.
3. Presents all booking and guest information in one central location when a booking is made on a channel.