In this blog we will outline five major reasons why using a Channel Manager benefits you as an accommodation provider.
What does a channel manager do for an accommodation business?
A channel manager connects you to online travel agents (OTAs) like Booking.com, Expedia and Airbnb. It tells them how many rooms you have available each day and what your prices are. When someone makes a booking through an OTA, a channel manager collects all the bookings together in one place.
The best advantage a channel manager gives you is the ability to list with multiple online travel agents. The more channels you can connect to, the more people will see and book your property over others. A good channel manager will allow you to connect to all the big name channels, as well as many smaller channels. The goal is to get as many eyes on your property as possible.
A channel manager will keep your availability consistent across OTAs and your website, greatly reducing the possibility of overbookings. Most channel managers also include availability managements tools so you can, for example;
If you’ve used big OTAs before, you may have noticed that they are very particular about properties displaying the same rate across all channels - they call this rates parity. Some will even incur punishments for not having rate parity - for example, they might place your property further down in their search results. If you are using a channel manager, it is very easy to send the exact same rate to all channels, and avoid these punishments
OTAs (Online Travel Agents) take commission from all bookings they receive for you. Ideally you want as many bookings as possible coming to your own website instead, so you pay out less commission. A channel manager not only provides a website booking screen for you to use, but will also let you set a lower price on your website to attract more direct bookings.
One of the best things a channel manager can do for you is help manage your rates. Set minimum night restrictions on long weekends (to reduce your time spent cleaning!), link a non-refundable rate at -10% your normal rate, or set up an advance purchase rate. A channel manager makes all of these easy to do and easy to keep track of.
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