You have probably started to hear the term Channel Manager kicked around lately. It's a relatively new concept in the vacation rental industry that has been growing in facility and popularity.
So What Is a Channel Manager?
A Channel Manager is software that facilitates rich data integration with many different listing sites ("channels") for convenience in a single dashboard. Channel Managers are usually 3rd-party services, but in some cases they are a part of the property management software.
What's So Great About a Channel Manager?
Channel Managers can take your property data (features/amenities, rates, taxes, photos, etc.) from Bookerville and automatically distribute it to listing sites like Booking.com, AirBnB, Expedia, HomeAway/VRBO, FlipKey, etc. This convenient arrangement enables you to manage all your properties and bookings from one (beautiful!) dashboard in Bookerville. Extending rates every quarter? Do it once in Bookerville, and you're all set everywhere.
Full, real-time calendar synchronization is provided, which all but guarantees no double-bookings. And bookings from the listing sites appear in your Bookerville calendar, complete with guest contact information, booking amounts, and ready to be managed with all the Bookerville tools you can't live without. Channel Managers provide a vastly superior calendar sync than iCal, for example.
What Does a Channel Manager Cost?
There is no additional fee to use the Channel Managers, and you don't have to pay anything above your Bookerville subscription fee to use them.
The Channel Managers are commission-based. The cost of using them is the cost of the commission the channel itself charges, plus the commission of the Channel Manager. However, you can choose to pay any portion of those commissions yourself, including zero.
They will inflate your rates by whatever it takes to cover the difference, so the guests are unwittingly paying the commissions. This concept is often referred to as Net Rates
How Do I Get Started With a Channel Manager?
Bookerville integrates with two Channel Managers: BookingPal and Rentals United. Follow these links to learn more, and also find short forms to submit for them to contact you for more information, and how to get started:BookingPalRentals United
Channel Managers provide a very easy, very risk-free way to get your properties exposed to multiple listing sites, without going crazy trying to update your data and synchronize your calendars in numerous dashboards. Additionally, the platform should only improve with time, as more listing sites ("channels") are being added all the time. Another bonus: forcing the various listing sites to compete like this should also help reduce commissions over time.
John Amato, June 15, 2017:
You have to go and get the email address from your AirBnB dashboard, because they typically don't put that in their iCal feeds. But in some cases I've seen it in the description field, in which case Bookerville does try to pull it.
If you want better integration with the major listing sites, consider using a Channel Manager.
rkmaui.com, July 13, 2017:
Does Bookerville intergrate with RedAwning as it does with Rentals United and Bookingpal? Or have any plans to?
pch, January 11, 2018:
Thanks John. I will send each of them a request for their current information.
John Amato, January 11, 2018:
Very good pch, let me know how it goes.
John Amato, January 11, 2018:
rkmaui.com: my apologies for not replying to your previous post. I see you are actually hooked up to BookingPal. Are things meeting your expectations?
rkmaui.com, January 11, 2018:
Thank you for the note. We are actually connected to and working successfully with Rentals United. - S. Williamson
John Leslie, May 21, 2018:
Is there a preference between the two?
rkmaui.com, May 21, 2018:
I spent many, many months on the setup with Bookingpal, prefering that mode as it has an office in the US. However, after many failed attempts to onboard, the communication was so poor that I opted out. Rentals United while a foreign establishment (Spain), has been easier to work with. And it is work...