What’s a channel manager, and what are the benefits?

A channel manager is a service provider that links the property management system (PMS) you use to manage your rooms and prices, with online platforms like Booking.com,Airbnb and many others.

It lets you automatically update your rates, availability and reservations on several platforms all at once.

When you operate a small hotel, you hear a lot about channel management and how it’s a pivotal part of your overall business plan.It’s important to know exactly what channel management is, and also to identify the best way to execute your channel management strategy.

When you do it right, channel management can increase your bookings and help you generate additional revenue for your inn, Villas, Hotel or bed and breakfast.

How can a channel manager help you?

If you’re selling rooms on more than one online platform, a channel manager will save you time and effort. It gives you a fast, easy way to update your prices across all online channels.

You’re also way less likely to get overbookings because once a room is sold, it will automatically be removed from all other online channels.

If you’re offering availability across various platforms with a channel manager, you’re more likely to sell your rooms for a good price during low season.

Channel management is the process of managing online distribution channels (booking.com, Expedia, Laterooms etc.) in order to sell hotel inventory to various agents across the globe. It is the only way to effectively reach a global audience without risking overbookings.Channel management allows you to partner with large agents, such as OTAs, as well as smaller retail agents in different markets.Using a pooled inventory model means that you’re selling as many rooms as possible – through as many channels as possible – without the risk of overbooking.

Your inventory is updated automatically across all of your channels, so that guests have accurate information no matter where they are booking from.

The benefits of a Channel Manager

  • Your channel manager allows you to maximize your bookings and increase your revenue.

By giving a diverse range of agents the ability to sell your rooms, you will be able to sell all of your available inventory at any given moment. This is the most reliable way to continue to increase your revenue over time.

  • Your channel manager allows you to connect with markets that can be challenging to reach.

Different agents work with different types of travelers. By using a channel manager, you can partner with a wide variety of agents and begin introducing your property to travelers from every corner of the world.

What to look for in a Channel Manager

You don’t want to invest in just any channel manager. You need one suited to your small accommodation needs.

Make sure you consider these two often overlooked items:

  • Number of channels. The more OTAs your channel manager connects you to, the more markets you can tap into. Make sure there’s no additional fee based on how many channels you use.
  • Support and training. Invest in a channel manager that will have support staff available in order to help you navigate the system and connect with the maximum amount of agents.
  • Solid reporting. A good channel manager will allow you to easily track and measure which online sales channels are working. This gives you the knowledge you need to negotiate commissions and end partnerships that aren’t working for you.

 

Channel Manager little Hotelier