If you’ve been using a Channel Manager to run rentals but you’re not 100% happy with it, it might be time for a change.
Don’t be scared: it may seem like an overwhelming task, but it can be done efficiently.
And once you’ve found the perfect software solution for your needs, the results will make the entire transition process worthwhile.
Some channel managers may offer iCal connections, as opposed to a much more reliable API connection to listing sites. Making sure you inquire about the connection type (two-way, iCal, full API) should be a priority when your software shopping.
If you’d like to start diversifying your distribution and listing your properties on new booking platforms, you need to look for a channel manager that connects with all the large, niche and regional listing sites instead of just covering the basic ones.
If you feel like you’re overspending on commissions or advanced features that you’re not using, choose a software solution that fits your budget and/or the owner’s costs if you manage multiple properties. Analyse your ROI, costs and savings after a full business year or different seasons.
Smart channel managers will allow you to set advanced rates, such as price-per-night, weekend pricing or changeover days, and give you the option to easily alter your rates to cover channel fees.
It’s a given that you’re looking for a trusted partner for your business. So look for a company that’s transparent, offers exceptional support and makes customer feedback a key part of their improvement.
Choosing a channel manager from the hundreds of software products out there can be challenging. To identify the right channel manager for your business, you’re going to have to do a bit of research.
You can use websites like Capterra to compare and contrast the different channel management tools out there. Start by looking at the star ratings, but don’t make your decision based on solely that.
Read as many user reviews as you can, because this is how you’ll learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each channel for a business like yours. If you like a software provider based on what you’re reading, go to their website and investigate further.
If a channel manager is recognised as a Preferred Partner of the largest listing sites like Airbnb or Booking.com, that’s a good indicator of how trustworthy their technology actually is.
If these sites have openly declared that they prefer certain providers, it’s because they have a good working relationship and trust that their partners are the best choices for property managers advertising on their websites.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch directly with other property managers and ask them about their experience with the channel managers that they use.
Ask them about everything from connection quality to the number of channels and onboarding experience.
If you don’t have any other property managers in your personal network, try asking questions on online vacation rental forums.
As you’re doing your research, keep an eye out for the following:
When making changes in the backend of your business, the last thing you want is for it to have an impact on the front-end.
In other words, as you’re making the switch from one channel manager to the other, you need to make sure that your listings don’t disappear from any of the channels you’re advertising on.
A few minutes of downtime is inevitable, but you need to make sure you’re picking a channel manager that can guarantee you won’t miss out on too many valuable bookings.
You also need to make sure that it won’t take ages to upload your properties into the new channel manager.
The whole reason why you’re using a channel manager is to save time. You don’t want to have to spend days feeding your properties into new software.
Channel managers like Rentals United allow you to manually upload your properties in less than 15 minutes per unit. In the case of Rentals United, you can also add them via your PMS, through API sync and soon more options.
Once you’ve picked the lucky winner, make sure you check off these points from your to-do list.
Are you ready to switch Channel Managers? Discover how Rentals United can help you get more bookings with better channel connections.