Best Vacation Rental Channel Managers 2022

Best Vacation Rental Channel Managers 2022

Are you looking to strategize and optimize your vacation rental business? If so, a channel manager is an important distribution tool especially for vacation rental property managers who manage numerous properties with more than one listing. In other words, it simplifies tasks and reaches a wider audience who list on several booking platforms.

According to AirDNA, hosts earn two times who follow a multi-channel distribution strategy compared to hosts who use just one vacation rental booking platform.

Though, with several options in the market, how do you choose the best channel manager fitting your needs? Let’s explore more on:

  • What is a Channel Manager?
  • Why do you need a channel manager?
  • How to choose the best vacation rental channel manager?
  • Our top 10 Channel Manager Picks for 2022

What is a Channel Manager?

What is a Channel Manager?

A channel manager is a software tool allowing the distribution of vacation rental listings across major online travel agency websites (OTAs) such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, and VRBO. More so, a channel manager is a 2-way integration meaning you can manage your vacation rental by automatically updating pricing, adjusting availability, communicating with guests, and reservations all in one system.

Why do you need a Channel Manager?

Keeps your Calendar up-to-date

With a channel manager, you do not have to worry about double bookings. This means that when a guest books your vacation rental on one OTA such as Airbnb, this will automatically synchronize the availability on other OTAs, leaving no room for error. Hence, keeping your calendar up-to-date.

Saves time and effort

With channel management software, it allows property managers to save time from the hassle of manually updating listings and cross-checking availabilities on each platform. Therefore, property managers can focus more on other areas of the business.

Maximize profit

Keeping your calendar up-to-date is vital as it removes the chances of overbooking or double booking which therefore minimizes losses. With that said, a channel manager allows you to track your channels from one channel and see which gives the most value, meaning you can evaluate the data given and adjust pricing to maximize your profits

Manage all your bookings all in one place

With the use of vacation rental software, the use of multiple accounts to adjust your listings manually is not necessary. As a matter of fact, a channel manager enables a two-way integration that automatically updates your listings on several platforms from one place, saving time and effort.

Increase brand visibility

A channel manager helps property managers optimize listings while increasing their online presence on various platforms. In other words, a channel manager is the most cost-effective form of advertising allowing you to list on various channels gaining a wider reach to potential guests which may result in more bookings.

How To Choose The Best Vacation Rental Channel Manager?

Take note, a channel manager is not a tool made available for free for property managers where, therefore, is important to take the time to research and evaluate each choice before deciding on what tool fits your vacation rental business.

With that said, here are some pointers on how to pick the best channel manager:

Do Your Research

It is important to first do research on channel management providers, list options, and do a comparison with one another before making a decision. Make sure that you do not rely only on ratings alone but what’s best suited to your needs.

When deciding, consider some pointers mentioned below for you to help decide on what tool suits your vacation rental need and value for money:

  • What are the reviews?
  • What are the pros and cons of each channel manager?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • How is the pricing?
  • What features are provided?
  • Does it provide qualified customer service?

Do A Free Trial or Demo

Once you have selected the software tool catering to your needs, see if the channel management provider offers a free trial or a demo. A free trial allows you to understand whether the tool meets your requirements and how user-friendly it is.

More so, with the free trial, you can also ask questions from the professional support team to learn more about the tool. While a free demo allows learning more about the tool and asking questions in helping in your decision-making.

Take Pricing Into Consideration

One important feature before deciding on a channel manager is its pricing. Take note, the pricing model differs according to the channel management provider. Some may require a commission-based fee whereas others can price separately for each channel.

Nevertheless, select a pricing model that offers a flat fee that is ideally charged monthly. Doing so will not let you go over the budget and avoid unforeseen spikes.

Decide What Fits Into Your Business

Let’s take a look at the following features when choosing the software for your vacation rental business:

1. A Dependable connection to the top OTAs

The heart of channel management software is a reliable all-in-one integration connection with major OTAs such as Airbnb, Booking.com, VRBO, TripAdvisor, etc. Doing so will allow having fast and smooth communication between both channel platforms and channel managers.

No one wants to miss out on bookings especially because of poor connectivity. With that said, ensure that all aspects of your listings are made available and consistent across all platforms. More so, a good channel manager will recommend listing your properties on channels that you haven’t listed on helping you to increase visibility resulting in the possibility of more bookings.

2. Recognized as a trusted partner to Top OTAs

Ideally, a good indicator of a good channel manager is by the number of OTAs badges they have which, therefore, recognize them as trusted partners. However, take note, OTAs have strict requirements for partners they select to work which means having endorsements indicates the expertise and reliability of a channel manager.

3. Qualified Customer Support

It is important to select a channel management software that provides a customer support team. Without a support team in place, you may face issues or malfunctions that may affect your experience that eventually may stop you from using it.

More so, a qualified support team helps with any inquiries or issues that may arise as well as interacting with the development team, reporting for bugs or glitches.

4. Mobile App

Ensure a channel manager’s feature should have a mobile app in place, capable of carrying out business operations on the go, making necessary updates, and accessing vital information with the use of a smartphone.

5. Easy to Use

Take note, it is important for a channel manager to provide customers with easy-to-use functions for various channels allowing them to manage a group of listings all in one place.

More so, without spending too much time on onboarding, it should have a user-friendly interface.

Our Top 10 Channel Manager Picks For 2022

1. Hostaway

Hostaway

Hostaway is a leading all-in-one solution and market leader in marketing, sales, management, reporting, and communication for property managers. It is one of the largest marketplaces in the vacation rental industry and has deep integrations with all major OTAs.

More so, Hostaway is the preferred choice and trusted by thousands of property managers as it helps hosts spend less time on monotonous tasks and focus on scaling their business. It is also known for stability, performance, and service. Perfect for large-scale property managers. Never forgetting, great for property managers on the go as it comes with a user-friendly mobile app.

Main Features:

  • Channel Manager: integrate listings across channels like Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, and VRBO

  • Auto-task manager: manager cleaning and maintenance staff all in one place

Other useful tools:

  • Website builder
  • Unified inbox
  • Multi-calendar
  • Mobile accessibility

Pros:

  • Saves time with automated messages and tasks
  • Great platform as it is easy to use
  • Top tier API integrations
  • Qualified Support team

Cons:

  • Not suitable for daily use for Guesthouse

Pricing: On request

2. Syncbnb

Syncbnb

Syncbnb is a cloud-based vacation rental booking synchronization solution ideally for freelance, small or midsize businesses. More so, the platform allows users to advertise their vacation rental properties across more than 200 distribution channels guaranteeing zero-double booking. Their biggest strength is keeping all your calendars in sync without every worry with double booking.

Main Features:

  • Availability and Rate sync
  • Expense Management
  • Reports and Charts
  • Team Access

Pros:

  • Sync over 200+ channels
  • Great customer support
  • Zero Double-Booking Guarantee

Cons:

  • No guest messaging or other automation features

Pricing: $15/listing/monthly.

3. Rentals United

Rentals United

Rentals United is a cloud-based channel management solution for vacation rental properties, with integrated online booking, rate management, real-time updates, and more. Ideally for large-scale STR property managers and works with a range of property management systems including Vreasy, CiiRUS, 365villas, and Guesty.

Main Features:

  • Channel Manager
  • Book Direct

Other useful tools:

  • Data Studio
  • Guest Communication
  • Quality Checker
  • Guest Planner

Pros:

  • Good customer service
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • No guarantee from double bookings
  • Some complaints are on functionality
  • Cost

Pricing: Subscription starts at €199 per month for up to 19 properties (Yearly Contract)

4. Lodgify

Lodgify

Lodgify is an all-in-one vacation rental management solution for small to mid-size property managers providing customized tools needed to build advanced book direct website builders. More so, offers direct API integrations with the top OTAs as well as convenient features for hosts and property managers.

Main Features:

  • Channel Manager
  • Property Management System

Other useful tools:

  • Website Builder

Pros:

  • Direct booking website builder
  • Affordable price for the value

Cons:

  • Poor customer support
  • Account Management

Pricing: Starts at $12.00 per month + 1.9% booking fee (only available as a yearly plan)

5. IGMS

IGMS

iGMS is a low-cost property management solution ideal for small-scale property managers and hosts that aims at being efficient at managing properties and streamlining repetitive operations. More so, iGMS allows your business to be put on autopilot, and with its user interface and experience, it’s just simple to use and navigate.

Main Features:

  • Channel Manager
  • Automated Messaging

Other useful tools:

  • Financial tools
  • Cleaning and team management

Pros:

  • Flexible pricing plan available
  • Tons of advanced features for property managers

Cons:

  • UI could be more intuitive
  • Limited integrations
  • Lack of book direct website builder

Pricing: Starts at $9 per month per property (for new users only)/ $14 monthly per property

6. Avantio

Avantio

With over 20 years in the industry, Avantio is an all-in-one technology service ideal for vacation rental professional agencies offering three key features: Vacation Rental Management System (VRMS), Channel Manager, and customized web design services. Additionally, it either stand-alone or integrate into a full 360-degree solution, meaning less work dealing with complication of third-party communications.

More so, offering 7+ languages and connected with 50+ different global and niche channels.

Main Feature:

  • Channel Manager

Other useful tools:

  • Vacation Rental Management System
  • Customized Web Design

Pros:

  • Great API connection to all bigger portals with no downtime
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Customer support
  • Expensive
  • Mobile functionality
  • Lack of features

Pricing: Starts at $200 per month per feature

7. Uplisting

Uplisting

Uplisting is a cloud-based hotel management solution specifically designed for short-term rentals. It automatically imports listings directly from OTAs in a matter of minutes as well as offers automation on repetitive tasks saving hours of time. More so, its software is flexible allowing users to manage their vacation rental properties at any time, anywhere, via any internet-enabled device.

Main Features:

  • Channel Manager
  • Automation Tools

Other useful tools:

  • Cleaning Scheduler
  • Uplisting Protect

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • User-friendly
  • Tons of extra convenient features
  • Great customer support

Cons:

  • Expensive

Pricing: Starts at $100 per month

8. SiteMinder

SiteMinder

SiteMinder is one of the trusted and customer-centric hotel commerce platforms for smart and simple reservation management. Even more, it is an all-in-one place at selling, market, manage and growing your hotel business with its ecosystem of 700+ of the industry’s best channels and applications.

Main Feature:

  • Hotel Channel Manager

Other useful tools:

  • Online Booking engine
  • Hotel Website Builder
  • Business Intelligence

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • User-friendly

Cons:

  • Does not have HBSi connectivity
  • Customer Support

Pricing: Starts at $29 per month

9. Zeevou

Zeevou

Zeevou is a property management system and Channel Manager solution designed for small and mid-size vacation rentals that let you automate various aspects of your business, optimize processes, and minimize human error. More so, with its 2-way API connection with 200+ channels, it’s an opportunity for hosts to advertise listings on different booking sites.

Main Features:

  • Channel Manager
  • Multi-location PMS

Other useful tools:

  • Contactless check-ins
  • Website Builder
  • Real-time reporting

Pros:

  • Excellent Premium Support
  • Automation

Cons:

  • Sometimes hard to search by the names of the guests.
  • Design of the booking engine

Pricing: Has a free version. Paid subscriptions start at $33.21 per month.

10. OwnerRez

OwnerRez

OwnerRez is an end-to-end vacation rental management software specifically designed for small and mid-size vacation rental businesses. Its main aspect is allowing property managers to manage properties all in one dashboard and supports integrations with channels like Airbnb, TripAdvisor, and HomeAway.

Main Features:

  • Channel Manager
  • Calendar

Other useful tools:

  • Channel Bridge browser extension

Pros:

  • Great customer support
  • Flexible, ‘a la carte’ pricing
  • Advanced features for property managers

Cons:

  • Learning curve
  • Not the most modern or user-friendly UI

Pricing: Starts at $35.00 per listing per month. Premium features not included.

Conclusion

Take note, every property manager has different business needs which therefore choosing the right channel manager is vital. It is important not to rely on ratings alone but to research and narrow the options catering to your business needs. Before committing, consider pricing whether there are no hidden fees.

With that said, Hostaway is our top recommendation as it offers automation, website builder, unified inbox, multi-calendar, mobile accessibility and so much more. In fact, Hostaway is the preferred choice among major OTAs like Airbnb and VRBO and is trusted by thousands of property managers. More so, Hostaway helps hosts spend less time on monotonous tasks and focus on optimizing their vacation rental business.

Ready to find out how Hostaway can transform your business?