Blog details
Blog details

What is channel manager in 2021?

Publish by   Mr. D
Published:   2020-01-14  |   Updated:   2020-12-13

Waht is Channel Manager

Channel manager is a technology solution to a problem that plagues many hoteliers in today’s predominantly online marketplace.

If you are promoting your hotel rooms through multiple online channels – such as online travel agents and your own website – and are finding the task of constantly updating and adjusting your listings a nightmare, then a channel manager can help solve the problem.

Here’s a complete definition of a channel manager for your hotel:

A channel manager is a tool that will allow you to sell all your rooms on all your connected booking sites at the same time. It will automatically update your availability in real-time on all sites when a booking is made, when you close a room to sale, or when you want to make bulk changes to your inventory.

Channel manager is a technology solution for accommodation providers such as B&Bs, hotels, motels etc that will dramatically help the way they sell rooms online.

With travellers continuing to move online to book travel, B&B operators need to react to and manage this trend with a channel manager. It’s the only way to effectively and efficiently stay on top of incoming online reservations.

This blog will tell you everything you need to know about channel managers for your B&B, including how it works, what the benefits are, and how to better sell rooms online.


Why do you need a channel manager?

Every property manager with more than a handful of vacation rentals needs to use a channel manager to avoid double bookings and keep their listings up-to-date.

Most property management systems (PMS) have channel management functionalities. However, these are often built on laggy iCal connections, which can leave you vulnerable to double bookings.

On the other hand, specialised channel managers – like the ones listed in the table above – focus exclusively on channel management. Their expertise and focus allows them to build the most reliable API connections and ensure two-way synchronisation. 

That’s why, according to the Global Short-Term Rental Tech Report, 57% of property managers use an external Channel Manager that integrates with their PMS to manage the distribution of their listings.

Channel managers were first developed by the hotel industry to automate the distribution of hotel rooms to booking sites. However, hotel channel managers don't work for vacation rentals. Despite both operating within the hospitality industry, they are two fundamentally different businesses. 

Short-term rental managers have different distribution needs than hoteliers, and they work with different consumer-facing websites – many of which focus exclusively on short-term rentals, like Airbnb. That's why the vacation rental industry needs its own, specialised channel management solution.

Benefits of a channel manager for a small vacation rental apartments and villas

There are tonnes of benefits to using a channel manager at your small boutique hotel. Here’s a whole list of the advantages:

  • You can manage as many channels as you want simultaneously
  • You can setup multiple room types for each channel you connect to
  • You can manage availability many months in advance
  • How many of the channels that you use are they connected to? You will need to know how many you will need to manage separately.
  • You can connect to hundreds of global distribution channels 
  • You’ll be able to access reports on which channels are bringing the most reservations
  • Multiple staff can use a channel manager at the same time
  • It can be supported in multiple languages and timezones
  • It should be available as a plug and play product – that costs you only a flat monthly fee
  • Channel managers can usually be trialled for free
  • You can integrate a channel manager with your online booking engine

Booking engines, which are commonly known as ‘book now’ or ‘booking buttons’, are another vital aspect of amplifying your online presence. They consolidate and convert your direct web traffic into actual bookings. The capability to add a booking engine to Facebook and other social media sites is a standard feature that will provide another direct booking avenue for your business, so make sure it is on your list.

The channel manager component will be able to manage your rates and availability over your booking engine, alongside the other channels you use.

Better Management of Online Presence

Online Distribution Management is key to increasing sales, thereby impacting revenue. A Channel Manager is the most important part of your strategy.

Using a good Channel Manager, you can send real-time rates and inventory updates to OTAs reselling your rooms.

What’s more? You can synchronize all booking sites with available rooms in the hotel, and instantly update inventory across multiple channels.

Are you looking to increase your hotel’s reach? Let the Billboard Effect work for you!