However, it’s crucial to use the solution that supports the most popular websites, such as Airbnb. What is the best channel manager for Airbnb, and how to choose the right solution?
What is Airbnb?
Before we discuss different channel managers, let’s clear up why this reservation platform has become the leader in its sphere, and why having it among your channels is important.
The world’s fastest-growing accommodation marketplace, Airbnb allows people to reserve apartments and rooms provided by other users. Letting some strangers in your apartment may sound scary, as does the living in a stranger’s home. However, people liked this idea, and this made Airbnb one of the most popular choices for tourists. It has over 6,000,000 listings in 190+ countries, so this channel is nothing to ignore, no matter what kind of hospitality business you run.
Why do people favor Airbnb?
- First, aside from a huge selection of properties, it boasts a user-friendly interface and provides ample information about properties: photos, description, amenities included, and so on. Thus, guests already know what to expect before they arrive at the place. Many people prefer staying in apartments as locals instead of being locked up in a small room in a hotel – that’s where Airbnb come in handy.
- Secondly, Airbnb is very easy in use. All you need to do is create an account and either place a reservation request, or contact the host directly – it’s done right on the website.
- Finally, the most tempting thing about Airbnb is their price range. On this website, users can find apartments and rooms that are significantly cheaper than hotels. For hosts, Airbnb has fixed 3% commission fee, for guests – 6-12% fee.
Undoubtedly, Airbnb is a must for your hotel channel manager, and most of the solutions do have connections to it. Some even have API connection.
Let’s have a look at the features of the best hotel channel manager for Airbnb.
Why do you need a hotel channel manager?
Regardless of whether you’re using just one channel, it would require a great deal of time to manually transfer the bookings to your Property Management System. Since it will take too much time to synchronize your appointments manually, it would create the risk of overbooking. This is where a channel manager with Airbnb and Booking.com connections can help. Once it is set up, it will automatically synchronize bookings from all channels, saving you time and money. The advantages are as follows:
- Prevents double bookings. Channel Manager takes care of that by synchronizing the information about reservations and property’s availability across different channels preventing overbooking.
- Manual updates take a huge deal of your most valuable resource: time. A Channel Manager automates the procedure allowing users to focus on more important things.
- Presence on multiple channels. There are plenty of booking websites on the Internet. A channel manager helps hoteliers to establish a connection with potential guests from all over the world by easing them listing on multiple platforms.
- More income. More bookings lead to higher financial profits.
- Better visibility. Tourists can visit up to 20 websites before settling on their last decision so showing up on more channels can raise the interest about your property and leave an enduring impression. Furthermore, when viewers like a particular property that they find on the channel they often look for the property’s own website, increasing the likelihood for direct booking.
- Ease of use. Property Management System with an in-built Channel Manager boosts management effectiveness by automating the tasks that save management time and work.
10 Features Of The Best Channel Manager For Airbnb
When it comes to property management software, it’s not enough just to have connectivity with the most popular websites – there are many other aspects that are important. What are the ones to keep in mind?
- Quality of connection with Airbnb. We have already mentioned that many solutions support two-way API connection, but that’s not all. Make sure that the channel manager can synchronize and update information categories that are important to you, such as for example availability dates, pricing, discounts, length of stay, amenities provided, changeover days, etc.
- Synchronization speed. Ideally, it should be as fast as possible: once someone makes a booking or cancels it, the information should be automatically updated across all channels to prevent possible overbooking.
- Easy integration with website/Website builder. It’s important to have a channel manager flawlessly integrating into the hotel’s website. Having third-party booking platforms support is great, but you shouldn’t neglect guests visiting your website with the purpose to book direct. To cater for that, some of the best channel managers for Airbnb and other booking platforms alike also provide you with your own ready made personal website.
- Payment processing. It is often convenient for customers and hoteliers to have payments transferred right away at the time of the booking. Ideally, a payment channel should support multiple payment gateways (different bank cards, wire transfers, etc).
- Customer support. What if you suddenly have some issues with reservations, information updates, or tool functionality? You’ll need a quick response from the customer support because downtime costs money. Make sure you can get the right response in a timely manner.
- Analytics & reports. Having the right analytics helps you to make informed decisions. When you know what the market trends, seasonal demands, and customer behavior patterns are, it’s easier to live up to guests’ expectations and deliver a top-notch level of service. Knowledge is power!
- Synchronization with other third-party platforms, such as Quickbooks, MailChimp, etc. That will help you to establish interaction with customers and partners easily.
- Extra services. Depending on your hospitality business, you might need some additional tools, for example, live chat, setup calls, and so on. Choose the system that meets all of your demands, including the extra instruments.
- Compatibility with devices. You want your apartments and properties be available to as many people as possible. Since over 50% of Internet users go mobile, it’s crucial to have a mobile version of channel manager compatible with various devices.
- The central calendar is an additional part that allows hoteliers to deal with bookings more efficiently. It is often included as a part of a hotel management software, but channel manager platforms might provide this feature, as well. Reservations calendar provides basic information about reservation dates, payment status, guests, and gives a good visibility on the possible gaps between bookings.
How to select a suitable option?
Of course, the best channel manager for apartments or hotels is the one that meets your personal demands. The number of solutions available is enormous, but they are not equally suitable for your business. There are several questions you should ask yourself when making the choice.
What kind of property do I have?
This is what defines the choice to a large extent. While some apartment owners might be good with Airbnb connection only, most of the rentals need a wider coverage (connections with Expedia and Booking.com are important). The more properties you manage, the wider your online presence should be that includes having your own website.
Will I host foreigners?
In most cases, apartment owners deal with guests from all over the world, especially when it comes to such platforms as Airbnb. Make sure that a channel manager supports several languages: it will give your potential guests a better insight into your property. Your target audience define your channels that you want to be connected with.
Are my employees tech-savvy enough?
The truth is that in most cases your staff will need to master navigation of any new software – each solution has its own peculiarities and features. However, not all providers provide training options. In the best case, you will have access to video training courses for your employees to learn the nooks and crannies of navigation, as well as responsive customer support. In the worst – they will only have a FAQ section on their website (which may not always be enough especially at the beginning).
What is my budget?
While some basic software are free, they may not necessarily include all the features you need. The choice of the solution often also depends on the number of properties that you manage. For large businesses, it’s more profitable to select fixed-price channel managers with an unlimited number of properties and users. For hostels and apartments, pricing per room can be a better option.
So, what should I choose?
As we’ve mentioned, the best Airbnb and Booking.com channel manager for your hospitality business is the one that meets your individual requirements. Our recommendation is MaxiBooking solution: that is a comprehensive channel manager that works well for both individual apartments and multi-unit properties.
MaxiBooking has extensive functionality and many valuable features:
- Real-time updates across sales channels;
- Connections with leading booking platforms;
- Easy integration with existing websites as well as ready-made and ready to use personal websites that are activated online within minutes;
- Sales and performance analytics;
- Support of multiple payment gateways and currencies;
- Unlimited number of users and rooms;
- User-friendly interface and compatibility with various devices;
- Customer support with various user training options.
The list of benefits is a mile long, but actions speak louder than words. If you want to find out why MaxiBooking is the right choice for your hospitality business, don’t hesitate to use MaxiBooking 15-day free trial!
Have questions? Contact us – our team will be glad to help.