Managing a short-term rental is hard. You have to ensure you have advertised it on multiple online travel agencies (OTAs) to increase and optimize your bookings, but you also have to keep an eye on each of these channels to ensure you don’t double-book. This process gets even harder when you have multiple short-term rentals, all spread out on multiple OTAs at once.
Luckily, there is a solution that can make this easier. Channel management can streamline your booking process and ensure everything runs smoothly. It makes your job easier and ensures your guests have a better experience as well.
Are you considering channel management? Go through this detailed guide on the subject to find out all you need to know.
The definition of channel management
In simple terms, channel management is the process of organizing and maintaining listings on various OTAs and channels for your short-term rentals. This can be done manually by yourself, where you upload your listings by yourself and go through them each day to see if someone has made a booking. However, this can take up a lot of time and make the entire booking process more complicated than it needs to be.
Most of the time, people will ask for the assistance of a channel manager. This can be a person you hire to take on the heavy lifting for you, or it can be an online solution that removes the risks of human error and manages all your listings 24/7.
Most short-term rental owners will opt for a channel manager tool with various features to make their day-to-day lives easier. Not only will they keep an eye on all the listings on the different channels, but they can also publish them and increase their overall exposure.
You’re provided with a central dashboard with all the listings you can look at daily, but the channel manager will be working in the background to ensure they are optimized as much as possible. They will automatically notice when a booking has been made and make that property unavailable on all other OTAs. So you can make changes everywhere with a click of a button, which takes away a large amount of stress on your part.
How channel management works
It can seem too good to be true that there is a form of technology that can look after all your listings at once. However, channel managers use Application Programming Interface (API) connections that allow their dashboards to communicate effectively with all the OTAs you have uploaded your listings to.
The API connections built into channel managers allow for two-way synchronization, which means you’ll never have to worry about double bookings and unhappy guests. They can connect to a wide range of OTAs at once and optimize your listings so you gain more bookings and increase your yearly revenue.
Benefits of a channel manager
A channel manager is extremely important in enhancing your business plan when you own a range of short-term rentals. Not only that, but it makes your life a lot easier by offering a vast number of benefits, such as:
If you’ve uploaded a short-term rental listing onto multiple channels manually before, then you’ll know just how time-consuming this can be. You must sign up for accounts on each OTA, upload the images, write the description, and provide your booking availability. If you have multiple properties, this can take even longer.
With a channel manager, this can all be done with a click of a button. All you need to do is enter all the relevant information, select which channels you want your listings advertised on, and voila! It is all done. No more hours spent clicking and typing, but rather a simple solution that gets it all done at once.
No double bookings
Have you ever tried to book an Airbnb or other short-term rental, but then you’re told they’re already booked? It is incredibly frustrating, especially if it appeared on the website that they were available before. Double bookings are a huge problem when people manage their listings manually because it is hard to keep an eye on every channel at once.
Double bookings lead to unhappy guests, and that is bad for business. Luckily, a channel manager's job is to ensure this never happens. The API technology used to run channel manager software ensures that the dashboard and the multiple OTAs communicate with each other. That means that if one channel has received a booking, the channel manager will automatically tell the other channels that the rental is no longer available for these dates.
Reach new audiences
As a short-term rental owner, your main goal is it increase your bookings and overall revenue. However, when you’re only listing your property on a few sites and don’t market it properly, it can be hard to stand out among the crowd. Channel managers allow you to distribute your listings across many channels, such as the 40+ available with Hospiria.
The dashboard will allow you to optimize your listings, market your property on more sites, and ultimately reach new audiences. As a result, more people will view your rentals, increasing the chance of a booking. This is great for business and will ensure you reach your revenue goals for the year.
Advertise on unique channels
When you manually upload your listings to OTAs, you will only be able to advertise on the sites you know about. These are commonly the ones with a lot of competition, and it can be hard to stand out as a new property. You ideally want to be able to post a rental on an exclusive site and reach quality guests.
Channel managers provide you with access to unique channels that you wouldn’t be able to advertise on if you were doing it alone. This opens you up to a much wider client base, with guests looking for specific and quality properties.
Choosing the best channel manager for you
There are several factors that you’re going to need to consider before you select which channel manager you’re going to use. Since there are various unique channel managers on the market, and packages such as the three solutions offered by Hospiria, you’ll want to look at these five things before making a decision.
Fits in with your budget
While a channel manager is a fantastic investment worth spending money on, you shouldn’t spend outside of your budget if you’re just starting out. Luckily, there are many different packages available, ranging from basic to premium, and you should purchase the one that best works with your annual expenses.
If the channel manager works (which it will), you should have been able to increase your overall revenue, and then you can consider upgrading to a higher package. You’ll be able to take your business a step further and use the extra features offered by a more expensive channel manager.
Handles your number of listings
Do you only have one short-term rental? Or are you juggling ten at the same time? How many listings you have will help you determine which channel manager to opt for. There’s no point paying more for software that is known for handling more properties when you only have one that needs looking after.
Similar to when you’re figuring out your budget, you can also choose different packages based on the number of listings you have. If you decide to increase the number of short-term rentals you own in the future, then you can consider switching out for a more premium channel manager.
Works with your channels
Chances are you’ve already uploaded your property on some OTAs, and you just need a channel manager to upload to extra channels and manage your current listings. You’ve likely built up a client base already and want to keep these listings running. In this case, you’ll want a channel manager that works with the sites you are already using.
You don’t want to purchase a channel manager to then discover they can't look after the listings you’ve already set up. That’s why you’ll want to browse through the list that the software is compatible with before you consider choosing them.
Trusted by different channels
Even if a channel manager advertises itself as working with different types of OTAs, there may be a chance that the channels themselves don’t trust it. This can affect the quality and speed of the channel manager, and you may find that you have more errors than if you were to do the job manually.
Look up reviews for the channel manager you are considering using and see what other sites and people say about it. It is the best method of ensuring you’re getting what you are looking for and you aren’t stuck in a contract with a piece of software you can’t use.
Seamless onboarding process
Every quality piece of software should come with an onboarding process that shows you exactly how it works and how you can use all of the features. It may take a little bit of time, but it is worth it in the long run as it ensures you get the most out of your investment.
However, although you may need to put some time and effort into the onboarding process, you want to ensure that it doesn’t take too long. You are purchasing a channel manager to save time and help your life easier, not to put more work into it. With a tool like Hospiria, you can get the onboarding done seamlessly so you can use the features as quickly as possible.
Hospiria as your channel manager
Hospiria is a channel manager that has been designed specifically to make the process of looking after short-term rentals and their bookings easier. We offer three different packages ranging from basic to premium, and each of them comes with the following features that will streamline your management:
Distribution via 40+ platforms
Short-term rental owners typically upload their listings on three or four OTAs without a channel manager. This is because it is time-consuming and can be challenging to keep track of more websites. Hospiria has the capacity to distribute your property onto more than 40 platforms, handling all the work and increasing visibility.
Single property page
Instead of clicking between different pages to try and handle your multiple properties, you can now look at them all on one page. When you load up Hospiria’s user-friendly dashboard, you can view and manage all your listings in one place. From making changes to a description or uploading a new image, updating multiple listings has never been easier.
The biggest no-no for a short-term rental owner is double booking their property. Luckily, Hospiria uses the latest API technology, which will fully sync your bookings list across multiple channels and ensure there is no overlap between guests. This increases client satisfaction and removes stress from your job.
Single and multi-calendars
Whether you have one property or ten, Hospiria is here to help. You can set up multiple calendars to let all your listings know when you have availability on your short-term rentals. In addition, you can easily load all the calendars up at once, giving you the flexibility to make updates and see all your properties in one place.
Want to see how well your property is doing? Hospiria has you sorted. If you are looking at ways how you can increase bookings on certain short-term rentals, you’ll be able to view your reporting performance in one dashboard. It provides you with your key metrics by company or property and helps you make the changes to increase capacity.
|Distribution via 40+ platforms including major, affiliate, select access* and niche platforms
|Single property page - Manage all your listings from within the platform
|Booking management - Fully synced Bookings list
|Single & Multi-calendars - flexibly update your availability and see your properties all in one place
|Performance reporting in one dashboard - see your key metrics by Company or Apartment
|Dynamic pricing - Managed in-platform and powered by Pricelabs, to increase revenue through rate optimisation.
|Enquiry management - Track, action and convert direct bookings in one place
|Smart Availability Search - Match enquiries with available properties through smarter searches.
|Automated customer communications - Customisable email templates for all your communication needs
|Automated Scheduler - Aut-schedule your field activity inc. check ins, cleaning and maintenance
|Deep third-party integrations - Connect your automated schedule to Breezeway, Keynest and more
|Customisable pre-check in process - Check-in and out times, special welcome packages & upgrades
|Deposit management - Track, amend and action deposits from Hospiria
Our Service Support
Most companies just offer a technology. We offer a support service as well, taking care of everything from onboarding to reservation management.
Platform & listing management
Access to exclusive channels
Account management with all platforms
Host insurance through our specialist partners
Professional listing and expert optimisation
Pricing management from our experts
All payments handled
24/7 reservation desk
Customised pre-check-in services