Are you wasting several hours managing hotel inventory, updating availability, and taking care of double-bookings, among other things?
Well then, you’re probably doing it wrong. If you run a small hotel and only have to manage about 5 rooms, you can probably do it manually. However, if you have more rooms to manage, almost half of your day will go into completing tasks that can quickly be automated.
Trust us when we say that investing in a Channel Manager will definitely make your life easier!
What is a Channel Manager?
Channel Management is a software that helps you manage your inventory on different distribution channels available around the world. With the help of a Channel Management software, you will be able to directly connect with different travel agents, including Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), Global Distribution Systems (GDS), and other smaller third-party agents.
Here is an article explaining in detail what exactly is a Channel Manager and how it works; and here is a list of the 10 Online Travel Agencies we recommend you connect to today. Additionally, here’s a list of the most frequently asked questions about the best Channel Management software.
Why do You Need a Channel Manager at your Hotel?
If you run a small hotel or manage a few apartments, a Channel Manager may not be of much use. However, if you have to take care of several rooms and properties, you should plan on using one.
Whatever the size of your property: if you’re already open and you're not already using a Channel Manager, you're doing it wrong! Why? Because it will help you send and synchronize your availability and rates in real-time to more Online Travel Agencies than you could do it manually.
Getting your property listed on different OTAs is not just a key part of your Distribution Strategy, but it is also an essential element of any respectable marketing strategy - geared towards increasing healthy direct bookings thanks to, among other things, the Billboard Effect.
Using a Channel Manager provides many benefits to the day-to-day running of the hotel: it helps reduce overbookings while increasing front desk efficiency. It also saves time while helping boost occupancy.
To put it simply, the best Channel Manager will help maximize online distribution, in turn increasing your hotel’s bottom line, while making your life easier! If you wish to learn more about maximizing online distribution with a Channel Manager, take a look at this article.
What are the Channel Manager Software Features you Need?
When you’re planning to invest in a Channel Manager software for your property, you may get overwhelmed by the choices available. However, looking out for a few key features can make the process a lot easier. Keep in mind that the best Channel Manager manages bookings, rates, and availability in real-time and supports your strategy of increasing sales.
Another important factor to consider when looking for a Channel Manager is the software’s integration capability - will it integrate with your existing tech stack? While integration with other tools is a must, you must also ascertain whether the software will automatically connect with other distribution channels or will it require manual inputs from the end-user.
Apart from these, there are several other features that you should look for when choosing a Channel Manager. We’ve created a list of the most important features to help you end your search. You can also take a look at the top tips on choosing a hotel Channel Manager for your property.
Which Channel Manager is the Best? How to Choose for your Hotel?
The question, "Which Channel Manager is the best?" is probably what you would like answered right away? And you're not the only one: we've asked the same question sometimes several times a day!
Here are the main things to consider when choosing a Channel Manager:
- The size of your hotel
- Your budget
- The other applications you're already using
- Your needs and expectations
For more tips about choosing the right Channel Manager for your hotel, check out: 7 Questions to Ask Vendors When Choosing a Hotel Channel Manager.
Standalone Versus Bundled Channel Manager
Channel Manager has moved from being the core system to being a simple cog in the hotel tech stack. While Channel Managers used to be a completely separate piece of software that was very often not even connected to the Hotel Property Management System (PMS).
However, things started changing in the 2010s. The PMS started controlling the Channel Manager by pushing rates, availability, and restrictions to the software via an API. Next, vendors created PMS solutions that came integrated with a Channel Manager.
Best Bundled Hotel Channel Manager Software
Bundled as in: must be purchased and used with another product (like a Property Management System) and not available on its own.
If you didn’t find a suitable solution on this list, have a look at our Partners Marketplace for more options and special offers!
Best Channel Managers for Hostels
While historically hotels have been investing in Channel Managers, things too have changed in the hostel industry. Hostels are now integrating their existing tech stack with a Channel Manager software and enjoying the benefits of real-time updates on bookings and cancellations across all distribution channels. To find the right Property Management System for your hostel, click here.
Best Channel Managers for Short Terms & Vacation Rentals
Managing your short-term rental business with a Channel Manager makes it easier to manage various channels - because, why restrict yourself to selling only on Airbnb? Whether you’re managing a single villa or a short-term rental agency with a lot of properties, using a Channel Manager will have a major impact on your sales while cutting down on operational expenses.
In the past few years, short-term rentals have attracted travellers around the world. This has pretty much changed the landscape of the hospitality industry. Earlier, vacation rental management companies had to make do with hotel software, now they have access to several apps and platforms that are designed for their unique needs.
If you manage a few short-term rental rooms, apartments, or vacation homes, then take a look at this specialized Short Term Rental software.