Vacation Rental Guide / Choosing a Channel Manager / PMS Channel Manager for Vacation Rentals

The vacation rental business is experiencing an increase in traffic, making it important for owners to have a PMS channel manager that can keep up with rapid developments. Typically, you will need a channel manager to organize and synch each external service you use. According to some sources, Europe and Canada are going to be popular destinations for travelers. In addition, the brightening economy in the US means that more people will be taking vacations, rather than staycations.

Last year, Americans spent nearly 10% more in the UK than they did the year before. In fact, nearly one-half of the population of Florida says they plan to take two to three vacations this year. Hotel owners in the US can expect to see around a 65% occupancy rate, with the numbers rising into the next year.

Add an increase in the number of people using their handheld mobile devices when reserving rooms, and accommodation owners find a need for PMS channel manager that will function on multiple sites for numerous properties.

Functions of a PMS Channel Manager

A PMS channel manager serves an invaluable function for your vacation rental business. Use of the internet has revolutionized the hospitality industry, placing independently-owned hotels and bed and breakfasts on equal footing with well-known chain hotels.

Your software handles the needs of your business on your website, but you may also have listings on various other channels and OTAs such as HomeAway or Airbnb. These types of sites have their own search functions so that users can find your property amongst your competitors.

But how do you organize all of these listings? That’s where a channel manager comes in. This will update rates and availability across all of the external sites you use. It greatly reduces the margin of error, keeping your guests happy and making their travel experience with you much smoother.

What to Look for in a PMS Channel Manager

There are several features that will make an effective tool for your vacation rental.

  • Full interface with a booking system
  • Uses existing hardware
  • Handles multiple listings
  • Real-time efficiency
  • Creation of flash sales

Interface with Booking Software

Property management system should interface with your booking engine. This ensures flawless cooperation that will keep units available for reservations and immediately register cancellations. Quick response on cancellations will put your home back online sooner.

Your channel manager will immediately take the information supplied by the booking system and notify every OTA of the change in status. This helps eliminate empty rooms and double bookings.

No Extra Hardware

A PMS channel manager will operate with your existing systems. This means that you don’t need any additional, expensive hardware, and you will not have to deal with incompatibility between systems.

Multiple Channels

Each OTA you are listed on is another “channel” for your rental. You need to make sure your PMS supports multiple channels in order to be able to effectively market your hotel or room in different places across the internet.

Real-Time Efficiency

As soon as a search engine responds to a query with your hotel availability, the wheels are in motion. The guests may make a reservation for their travel dates on the spot. At that time, your back end will register that the room is no longer available. Changes in pricing will also be noted.

Within seconds, your PMS channel manager will make note of availability on each of the booking services with whom you contract. The rates will also be updated as soon as changes are made on your website.

Your inventory of available rooms will be kept by the software on your site, but reservations will also be recorded by your channel manager. This keeps them up-to-date and ensures that what potential guests see reflects true availability.

Creation of Flash Sales

Hotel owners often find themselves with last-minute cancellations that threaten them with empty calendars and loss of income. Or, perhaps a larger property becomes available earlier than you previously expected.

At times like these, you may want to have a flash sale to boost the possibility of taking a reservation. Your PMS channel manager can immediately update all external sites to promote last-minute deals for your hotel.