Hotel Property Management Systems (PMSs) and Channel Managers have been around for some time. Whether you’re the owner of a few family properties, a manager of a B&B, a hotel or a real estate company, chances are you’ve found yourself researching which software is the best to help you out. In this article, we break down the major differences between Property Management Systems and Channel Managers to help you better understand these platforms and make an informed decision.

Property Management Systems (PMS)

Property Management Systems (PMSs) are software solutions developed to facilitate the day-to-day operations management of vacation rental companies, hotels or real estate businesses. Their focus is to help organise, schedule and assign tasks and they’re particularly useful when it comes to staff management, accounting and reporting. Originally created as front desk hotel software, PMS systems have been able to follow market trends and redirect themselves towards an expanding sector such as vacation rentals.

In short, a PMS allows you to free yourself from the old pencil and paper method which is extremely time-consuming and inefficient and some of them also offer connections to different distribution channels. They generally connect to the most important channels, such as Airbnb or HomeAway, but the clever ones usually choose integration with specialised Channel Managers in order to develop a much wider range of connection options. Over 50 Property Management Systems are integrated with Rentals United Channel Manager.

What a Property Management System can do for you:

– Centralise property information and all booking tasks & transactions
– Housekeeping and check-in staff management
– Reporting, accounting, invoicing and more

Channel Managers

Channel Managers, on the other hand, specialise in the distribution of short-term rentals onto listing sites, from OTAs (e.g., to Vacation Rental sites (e.g. Airbnb) and Metasearches (e.g. HomeToGo) to GDSs and wholesalers, niche and global.

In view of the multiplication of demand, the offer has also increased. It is becoming more and more difficult to find your way around more than a hundred different listing sites. That’s why Channel Managers offer you a simple solution that brings together all listings websites, allowing you to advertise on each of them from a single platform.

For example, by uploading your properties to the Rentals United platform, you can easily advertise on more than 60 different sites. You can select the sites that best suit your needs or those whose target audience corresponds with the customers that you want to reach.

In addition, some Channel Managers, such as Rentals United, offer the basic tools to help you run your daily business. The particularity of Channel Managers like Rentals United is the variety of integrations they offer. They can be connected to several external services, such as proper PMSs, but also yield managers, communication apps, and many more.

What a Channel Manager can do for you:

– Distribution across multiple listing websites and markets
– Automatic update of availability, rates, bookings and property info
– Advanced pricing options to maximise revenue


To sum up, a PMS is more useful if you want to become an expert in managing the daily tasks related to your property management business.
On the other hand, if you wish to become an expert in the distribution of your listings, a Channels Manager would serve you better.

In addition, there is a wide range of external services that are more or less integrated with both Property Management Systems and Channel Managers. Ultimately, they can help you maximise profit and save time. All these tools can be beneficial for your company, but considering their costs, you must be aware of your needs and opportunities before subscribing with one or another.


Need personalised software advice on Property Management Systems and Channel Managers? Get in a free call with one of our specialists.