As a vacation rental manager, listing your properties on multiple OTAs (online travel agencies) is the surest way to guarantee you’re getting as many bookings as you can. After all, the more OTAs you utilize, the more travelers you reach. When you list on only Airbnb, you are limiting your pool of potential bookers to those who use Airbnb, and the same is true for any other booking site.
That said, advertising your vacation rentals on multiple booking platforms poses quite a few challenges.
Challenges of Listing on Multiple Vacation Rental Channels
First of all, managing listings across multiple OTAs is time-consuming, especially if you’ve got more than one property on each.
To publish each of your listings on each platform, you have to upload photos, write a description of your listings, specify your house rules, identify which amenities you offer, determine your pricing and define the minimum number of nights travelers can book.
The work doesn’t end there. Property managers who are interested in optimizing their revenue must regularly adjust their pricing for each listing, on each channel, to reflect demand.
They must also communicate with potential guests and answer inquiries that come through each of their channels.
Another major concern when listing on multiple OTAs is the possibility of double bookings – accepting more than one booking in the same property on the same date. If one guest is booking through Airbnb and another through HomeAway, what’s to stop them from reserving your rental on the exact same night? Since cancelling a reservation is met with negative reviews from guests as well as unfavorable consequences from most OTAs, property managers must constantly be on top of their bookings and manually block out reserved dates on each and every channel they list on.
The Solution for Listing on Multiple Vacation Rental Channels
Thankfully, there is a way vacation rental property managers can reap the rewards of listing their properties on multiple channels without the challenges.
A channel manager is a software tool designed specifically for property managers who wish to utilize more than one channel to promote their listings. It is a central dashboard where vacation rental managers can publish all of the details of their properties, including photos, descriptions and prices, and then push that information to the OTAs of their choosing.
Property managers can edit their listing details at any point and then publish those edits to their channels in seconds.
Best of all, a channel manager will automatically block off dates that have been reserved through any one channel, making it impossible for travelers pursuing other channels to double book the listing.
Some vacation rental software also offers a centralized inbox, making communicating with potential guests across several channels easier and less time-consuming.
With the right technology, property managers don’t need to limit themselves to just one or two channels and can truly optimize their bookings.