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What to Look for in a Channel Manager

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

Channel Manager-1
Having the right vacation rental booked by the right guest, at the right price and time, on the right distribution channel is the best strategy to boost your vacation rental revenue. But with an increasing number of distribution channels being introduced to the market every year, one of the pain points that most vacation rental management companies currently face is managing every channel individually.

Despite what others say, managing multiple booking channels, which may range from the most popular OTAs, like Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, and Tripadvisor, to social media platforms and your own website, can be very difficult. But the good news is that the right channel manager can make this task suddenly effortless. With a channel manager, you can easily manage your listings, rates, reservations, and availability across different platforms from one dashboard. Furthermore, a smart channel manager that connects your chosen booking channels to your lodging management system can eliminate inaccuracies, reduce the risk of double bookings, and also save you a lot of time on different manual, repetitive tasks that you may otherwise need to perform. 

Even though the channel manager has become an indispensable tool for any vacation rental management business that uses multiple distribution channels, only the right solution could help you improve and streamline your business strategy. Here are the most important features and characteristics you should look for in order to choose the best channel manager for your company.

Integration Capabilities

Finding a channel manager that perfectly integrates with your PMS solution can help you ensure that all the updates made to your listings, rates, bookings, and availability will flow directly into the lodging management system that you use. Since integration capabilities enable automated exchange of information between multiple distribution channels and your PMS system in real-time, your reservations, cancellations, and modifications will show up on all your connected portals at the same time. Besides the fact that you’ll no longer need to enter data manually into each portal, real-time updates will help you ensure that your availability is always up-to-date.

Direct integration with different booking platforms will also give you a complete view of your bookings, availability, and rates on one dashboard. Having instant access to updated and accurate information will give you valuable insights that you can use to determine booking volumes, define budgets, and build new marketing strategies.   

Exposure

According to industry data, the number of travelers who prefer to visit places that are far away from their home countries has increased over the past few years. Therefore, you should consider a channel manager that can connect your lodging management system not only to local and niche distribution channels but also to international channels. In order to select the right channel manager for your company, it’s important to carefully consider the OTAs that you need. Instead of connecting to channels that may not bring you any reservations, connecting to the right ones will help you achieve your revenue goals faster and with far less hassle. Once you choose the best distribution channels for the vacation rentals that your company oversees, make sure that you check whether the channel manager can be connected to those OTAs.

Accessibility and Usability

While integration and exposure are important considerations, a cloud-based channel manager can deliver many benefits. To begin with, only a cloud-based solution can be accessed on any device, from anywhere, and by all of your employees. Additionally, cloud-based software offers a series of automated configurations that can streamline different activities to ensure optimal performance from the system. A channel manager that uses automation to run workloads in a cloud environment can improve your operational efficiency, while maximizing your budget and resources. 

Revenue Management Automation

The right channel manager can also help you with your revenue management automation. If you use different dynamic pricing strategies, which allow you to automatically optimize vacation rental prices to increase occupancy rates and maximize income, a channel manager with complex functionalities could help you secure more bookings. The reason why you should use dynamic pricing in conjunction with a channel manager is that this combination can help you set the right nightly rates, at the right time. Without the real-time data collected by the channel manager, a lucrative dynamic pricing strategy won’t be possible.

A channel manager is supposed to work with a lodging management solution in order to help property managers stay on top of their listings, rates, reservations, and availability as well as on their business strategies. It is for this reason that our lodging management system provides a complex channel manager as part of its architecture. Because this channel manager is fully compatible with the other modules that we make available, it can meet the needs and wants of many vacation rental management companies. For more information about the features and capabilities of our lodging management system, contact our friendly experts today! 

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