If you’re here for the quick answer, here it is:
- Booking channel manager: A software solution for consolidating various listing channels (Airbnb, Booking.com, Agoda, etc.) into a single interface.
- Why you need it: To streamline your workload and give you more control over your property listings. A channel manager will also automate your work and make your business more efficient.
For those of you in the process of researching options for channel management, continue reading for a thorough breakdown!
Q: “I have one property, are the costs of booking channel management software justified?”
A: In most cases, yes!
First of all, let’s establish something important: it doesn’t matter if you’re renting out one room or a hundred properties. Channel management software is going to be able to simplify your business.
To help illustrate the problems that rental channel management software will address, we will use a very modest example. One property on three listing channels with an average of three bookings per month – let’s look at the math:
1 property x 3 channels x 3 rates
3 channels x 4 inquiries/mo
3 channels x 3 bookings/mo = 12 inquiries + 9 invoices + 9 cleanings + 18 updates
Seems like we’re looking at a decent amount of work already. Especially considering many people running a single rental property opt to do cleaning, maintenance, and associated hospitality services themselves.
It’s easy to underestimate the amount of work managing a single property takes.
If you’ve read the beginner’s guide to vacation rental property management, you know how much effort it’ll take to get started. Certainly so if you have a full-time job already.
The responsibility of managing your property starts looking like something you’ll have to pass on to someone else. Unfortunately, on average, property management services are pretty expensive.
To further complicate things, you’re likely to want to make changes to your strategy. For instance, you might decide to start offering seasonal and holiday rate discounts. Or you decide to rent out the two bedrooms in your house rather than the whole thing.
What happens if you suddenly inherit your father’s beautiful beach house along with its remaining mortgage balance?
These are the kinds of scenarios that booking channel management software will allow you to handle with ease.
If you scale up your business to fifty properties, your channel manager is equipped to handle the growth. It’s all under control – revenue, communications, invoicing, listing management, scheduling & availability, etc. You’ll save time and money at every turn by running your business efficiently.
Q: “What Exactly Can Channel Management Software Do for Me”
A: Make your life easier.
So now we’ve (hopefully) established whether or not you’ll benefit from it. The short answer at the beginning of the article gave some pretty vague reasons as to why you need it. Let’s talk about how channel management software goes about achieving all of this.
Essentially, the primary role of any channel manager is to synchronize. There’s tons of booking sites out there to list your property on – each with its own availability calendar. Your channel manager will compile them into one. Whenever there’s a booking on any of your channels, that property’s availability will automatically update across all channels. Most importantly, you’ll never have any double-bookings.
If you want to change your weekly rate for one property on all of your channels, you can handle that directly from your channel manager with a single procedure. If you want to prevent a property from being rented out for the month of December while some renovation is being done, you can manually block out availability from your calendar (again, for all channels).
There’s a fair amount more that your channel management software is going to handle though. For instance, all communications and invoicing will be centralized in your channel manager’s interface. You’ll be able to connect a payment gateway (Stripe and/or Paypal) that’ll allow you to take payments directly from customers.
These are the main features you can expect from a rental channel manager. Tokeet, however, offers many more features to help streamline and automate your business:
- Email and message templates
- Automated emails and invoicing
- Custom property showcase websites with direct booking
- Mobile application
- User account management
So, to return to the original question: do you need a booking channel manager? If you want to streamline your entire business, the answer is a resounding “yes”.