Most Vacation Rentals are managed by their owners or have a Property Management Company take care of listings.
Because Vacation Rentals are less formal and more fractured then the hotel industry – efficient operations matter, especially when developing the Credibility and Reliability that’s needed with Guests, in order to build trust and keep them coming back.
Methodical and systemized operations keep the rental property in top-shape for new bookings and since most vacation rentals are whole homes, there are far more things to manage when making a vacation rental “guest ready” compared to a hotel.
Given the complexity coupled by limited human resources and time management - vacation rental owners and their property managers need to be nimble and efficient in managing their operation and supply chain compared to a hotel, which usually has more staff and standard operations procedures already in place
Revenue and Profitability – essentially putting “Bums in beds” are the driving force behind how successful you are as Vacation Rental Business.
Managing revenue begins by managing the source of revenue, which is your supply chain or distribution channel. Having an effective system to manage your supply chain can increase your efficiency and reduce waste and provide timely information about your operation.
In todays digitized world - a Channel Manager can help streamline the on-going management of prices, availability, and reservations across multiple platforms in one place.
With a Channel Manager, you put yourself in the driving seat and take advantage by automating the time-consuming daily tasks of managing your source of revenue – something hotels have known for a long time.
To begin with, a channel is a place for vacation rental managers to list their property, and as you've probably guessed channel management is the process of managing “multiple listings” on multiple websites.
In a time where managers relied solely on off-line marketing … such as printing brochure’s and listing the property on a bulletin board, a channel manager wouldn't have been quite so beneficial or indeed necessary.
Yet as the vacation industry has shifted digital so has on-line marketing and the emergence of a variety portal listing websites that work hand in hand with a channel manager.
Listing on large portal websites like AirBnB, Booking.com or Flipkey will allow a vacation rental manager to receive a chunk of their huge website traffic. However, it is also important to share the property on mid-size portals too that are more specific to the rental
Now the benefit of the channel manager in these circumstances, is that the vacation rental manager can promote the property across a variety of portals yet manage everything from one place. This means you can get maximum property exposure without the stress of updating multiple advertising platforms.
So you're advertising your property across many portals but you need to update the listings with new information. Going into each individual listing is not only time consuming but could damage credibility if a mistake is made.
This is where the channel manager will simplify the information updating tasks. From the backend, it syncs together all of the connected listings and allows the property manager to upload rate and allocation information etc. which are then automatically distributed across all of the channels.
Credibility is so important to a vacation rental business brand as it can really determine whether a booking is made or not. One way a property manager can take bookings professionally is by constantly updating availability calendars. An outdated calendar on a vacation rental website and listing channels could potentially lead to nasty double bookings, which I think we can agree neither a guest or a property manager benefit from.
The channel manager syncs together booking calendars and ensures that when a booking is made on one of your channels, this is reflected across all of them. That way, you and the guest know exactly where you stand and bookings can be made instantly.
Choosing the best channel manager can be quite overwhelming, therefore, you need a guide to help you find the channel manager that fits your business.
Here are some tips on how to choose the best channel manager for your Vacation Rental property:
Managing rentals means that you are often on the go, meeting guests at different apartments and locations. This is why you need to aim to have only one platform to manage all your reservations and properties instead of separate systems for property management and channel management. When selecting your channel manager provider “future proof” your choice by checking to see if there’s an all-in-one system, especially as it will allow you to upgrade in the future if necessary.
A channel manager should help you market your rooms on as many channels as possible. Most channel managers work with the top platforms such as Booking.com and Airbnb, Home Away etc … however not all providers will give you the full online visibility.
Try to diversify and pick a channel manager that will integrate you with at least 10 + on-line booking channels. It is a good idea to be present on both local channels and big international distributors such as Expedia group.
Direct Bookings are a very important part of your business. To avoid relying 100% on external On-Line Travel Agents and make sure that your channel manager offers a Booking Engine on your website that you can integrate with for your current booking systems provider.
Before you give your credit card information, ensure that the price quote includes all your requirements. Additional channels and features may come at an extra cost. Clarify frequency of payment as well. There are channel managers that charge hefty commission fees (even 5%!) and have a high setup cost. Make sure you explore your options before committing to anything. If your gross income is substantial probably the best option is a fixed monthly fee.
If you fear a steep learning curve, go for a system that is not too complex. Better, go for a channel manager that offers reliable support, good knowledge base, tutorials, and training pre and post setup.
A smart channel manager is results-oriented. You should be able to utilize the system to analyze your performance across channels, see where you get most bookings from, understand the pricing patterns and learn how to optimize your rate strategies to get more bookings.
The ideal channel manager will depend on your strategy and business needs. A seamless integration is vital as well as reporting tools to keep you on top of channel and property management.
Hoteliers Guru offers an intuitive and easy to use Channel Manager with the necessary connectivity you need to setup your vacation rentals business. The system is scalable and future proofed - meaning you can connect your Direct Bookings Engine today or choose a more complete 3 in 1 system in future that combines our Property Management System to complete your (digital) distribution ecosystem. Want to know more ? … please Call (083) 637 0343 in PHUKET or (099) 419 8735 in BANGKOK.