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BNBninja » Blog » Channel manager system » What is a channel manager: Definition

What is a channel manager: Definition

As a long-term super host on Airbnb and digital marketing experts in the vacation rental industry, we know the importance of having everything in place to make a business run better.

However, over the years, we have also grown used to seeing terms that discuss vitally essential concepts within the industry we (and you) work within.

A term that is an excellent example of this relates to channel managers. If you are reading this, you likely want to know:

What is a channel manager? A clear definition.

Before we look at anything else, though, it’s useful to have a simple channel manager definition that you can look at.

A channel manager is a tool used in the short-term rental sector to manage your bookings, availability, and pricing across various platforms in one location.

What, though, does “channel” stand for in channel manager?

A channel is any platform that allows you to offer your home for rent. This might be large platforms like Airbnb, booking.com, and VRBO, as well as your own direct booking website.

A channel manager, in other words, is a tool that allows you to manage all of your channels from one location rather than individually adjusting each property.

You may now manage all of your reservations, communicate with customers, establish price margins, arrange availability, and customize anything else you need from one simple location.

As you may imagine, keeping track of varying reservations and prices across platforms is both time-consuming and likely to result in errors.

What does a property channel manager do?

Hotels first implemented it and it has since become a popular choice among short-term rental hosts like us.

An online channel manager keeps bookings synchronized and current at all times. Calendars, availability, and options are always up to date across each platform.

When a customer makes a reservation through any medium, it will instantly update across all other channels.

If another person tries to book the same house for the same dates at around the same time, they will be notified that there is no space available.

In essence, a channel manager allows us to:

Manage all your reservations from all properties from one place & Keep your calendar synchronized between all platforms.

  • Set your different prices for certain dates in your channel manager, and it will automatically update all your channels.
  • Manage all the communication with guests in one place; you receive all your messages from all your different channels in 1 single inbox making communication with guests a breath.
  • Manage the availability of your calendar in 1 place. When you change the availability, your calendar will also synchronize in real-time on all your other booking platforms.
  • Get your bookings synchronized in real-time on all your channels. Without a channel manager, your bookings take up to 3 hours to be synchronized on your other channels, leading to getting double bookings.

Many CMs offer website builders that let you build your direct booking website. They have limitations and require time, but they can be handy for some people.

Some channel managers even let you set promotions for your properties that apply to your different channels.

By working with a property management system (PMS), a channel manager helps cut down on mistakes, makes double bookings a thing of the past, and ensures that all available rooms are promoted accordingly.

That can do wonders for booking rates, reducing cancellations, and building a real relationship with short-term visitors.

Advantages of using a channel manager

Many hosts rely only on Airbnb to get bookings when they could have their properties on many other channels. This will assist you in getting more bookings and filling up your calendar.

Using a channel manager helps you manage your short-term rental properties listed on different booking platforms like Airbnb, booking.com, VRBO.

After reading “What does a property channel manager do?” above in this post, you understand that you can list your properties on many different channels to:

Centralized dashboard: Organize and track your vacation rental properties in a single location, and your modifications are immediately updated across OTAs (Online Tourism Agencies).

Many platforms: You'll be tempted to list your short-term rentals on as many platforms as possible, such as VRBO, Trip Advisor, Agoda, and Expedia, to name a few.

Boost bookings: As you expose your rentals to a broader audience on many booking platforms, you will see an increase in bookings, which is generally associated with a higher occupancy rate and thus greater returns over the year.

Increase earnings: Increased occupancy rates provide additional income for your short-term rental company, allowing you to improve your lifestyle or reinvest in more houses, resulting in a self-sustaining cycle.

Do you need a property channel manager?

We believe that running one or two successful properties on various booking platforms is doable without a channel manager.

But you run the danger of getting double bookings for your property if you don't have a channel manager. It will happen sooner or later.

Regardless of the number of booking platforms you have, a channel manager must ensure that your calendar is synchronized across all platforms in real-time.

As soon as you have an account on two different platforms, it’s time to start looking at property management software.

Trust me when I say that it is effortless to wind up with double bookings and other mistakes that could harm business and reputation alike, even with few properties.

Using a channel manager, we increased my booking and revenues because I managed my short-term rentals more accurately on all my channels when I used only to update Airbnb; as for the other ones, it was more like set and forgot it.

So, suppose you have one or more properties that you want to rent at the full potential with maximum exposure on many different channels. In that case, we highly recommend using a channel manager.

The small investment will bring in big rewards. Over time, it can lead to greater consistency, easier property management, and fewer mistakes due to listing errors and technical confusion.

Why do we recommend using a channel manager?

The simplest way to run a business in the short-term property rental industry is to automate everything. As a result, the vast majority of bookings and requests will come from the internet.

As such, we have bookings automatically managed and updated depending on availability is a huge time-saver.

It cuts down on the challenges involved, allows for easier control in the office or at home, and means you can constantly adjust on your own instead of relying on someone else.

We highly recommend that you use a manager channel if you intend to bring in clients via third-party platforms like Airbnb.

This will ensure that listings are accurate, up-to-date, and fears regarding double bookings can become a thing of the past.

With one calendar as opposed to lots of calendars to update, managing bookings becomes so much easier.

The best property channel manager solution to consider

We have used a few channel managers, and the variety of choices can make deciding needlessly confusing.

We want you to get the best deal, though, so here is the top channel manager I would highly recommend investigating.

One of the most popular channel managers today, Lodgify offers a host of useful solutions to make short-term rentals easier to control.

Reservations are managed through one simple platform and help unify everything from availability to rates to reservations and other useful services to help day-to-day management.


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