How to Choose the Best Channel Management Software

best channel management software

Back in the day, when someone wanted to find accommodations, they’d have to go to a travel agency…or randomly drive into the city or town they wanted to stay in and pick the first option that didn’t look too sketchy



These days, the majority of people find their accommodations, whether it be a campground, RV park, hotel, or vacation rental, using Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Airbnb or Why? Because it’s easy to find multiple options for wherever you plan to stay without having to do a bunch of googling and visit multiple websites (work smarter, not harder) to find accommodations. 

Accommodation providers can use OTAs as an advertising tool to get the word out about their property. A potential guest visits an OTA, sees a pretty picture of your accommodations, and BAM, a booking is made. Plus, most popular OTAs don’t charge you for your listing, only when someone completes their booking through them. 

Listing with multiple OTAs is a great strategy because it increases your reach. You can try a throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks strategy at first and cull the herd after you start to see what’s working and what isn’t. 

Deciding how many and which OTAs to list with is up to you, but thankfully the annoyance of having to visit each site and tinker with their native tools doesn’t have to be a reality. Using channel management software to manage your OTA listings is standard, but you want to choose the best channel management software from the get-go. Otherwise, you’re just exchanging one annoyance for another.

How Does A Channel Manager Online Work?

An online channel manager is a two-way reservation and inventory management system that is able to work in real-time with multiple booking channels using data from your property management system (PMS) regarding inventory. 

A Channel Manager Online Work

Let’s say that you list your RV park on Airbnb,, and Expedia. When a spot is booked on one of those websites, the channel management software will automatically send this data to your PMS, updating your internal inventory and communicating with your other connected channels to update inventory availability on their end. In addition to connected inventory management, many of the best channel management software offerings do the same thing with pricing. This means that if you want to update the price on one online listing, you can have that price automatically updated with all listings at the same time. 

With a channel management system, you can integrate the software with multiple different OTAs and control pricing, images, and descriptions for each one from one centralized location. This not only makes your OTA management way less time-consuming, but it also allows you to easily ensure that the information, pricing, and images on each OTA that you list are consistent. So no weird old images slipping through the cracks, and no guests booking for a price on an OTA that you set 3 years ago. 

Historically, a channel management system and other tools, like a property management system, were separate offerings. However, most modern solutions like Newbook integrate essential tools within the PMS, like channel management, revenue management, bookings, and more. This makes managing every aspect of your business easier by using one system.

The Importance of Channel Management Software: Top Benefits

importance of channel management software

Most people prefer booking through OTAs, so it’s a no-brainer for accommodation providers to implement channel management software to effectively manage multiple listings. But the benefits of having one system to manage your OTA listing expand beyond efficiency:

1. Channel Exposure: Popular OTAs

Have you ever seen a sign flipper? Businesses will hire someone to literally stand on the corner of the street near their store, often dressed in a ridiculous costume, and flip and spin around a sign that advertises their business. It might seem silly, but sign flippers capture the attention of passing motorists and pedestrians, drawing attention to the business being advertised. 

sign flip


Usually, sign flippers are on just one or two corners to grab the attention of people close to the store. OTAs kind of work like this, but your reach can expand further within the right context. 

Here’s an example:

  • Let’s say you have an RV park in Palm Springs, California. If someone searches an OTA for camping options in that city, your RV park might pop up. 
  • On a more granular level, your RV park might also pop up for keywords like Coachella or Palm Canyon Drive. 
  • On a higher level, you can capture potential guests searching for accommodations in Southern California or California. 

It’s like having a sign flipper on every corner of every street in every possible location where anyone would care about your RV park.

There’s also the billboard effect to consider—where a potential guest sees your listing on an OTA and then visits your website to book directly instead of utilizing the OTA. Taking advantage of the exposure that listing with multiple OTAs provides will surely increase your bookings and revenue. 

2. Time Savings with Automation

One of the challenges with managing multiple OTA listings is ensuring that your prices are consistent across all of your listings. This can be very time-consuming to do manually, especially if your prices change frequently. Thankfully, the best channel management software offerings, like Newbook, offer automatic synchronization with your dynamic pricing so that each OTA always lists the right price for your accommodations, even if your pricing changes frequently. This ensures that your prices are consistent across all the online channels you list. In addition to pricing, other data can be automatically updated as well, including photos and listing descriptions. Best of all, this all happens without you having to lift a finger. 

The table below describes the difference between dynamic pricing and static pricing:

Dynamic PricingStatic Pricing
Pricing StrategyAdjusts prices in real-time based on demand and factors like seasonality, events, and market conditionsOffers fixed prices that remain unchanged over time or during specific periods
FlexibilityHighly flexible, allowing hotels to respond quickly to fluctuations in demand and adjust prices accordinglyLimited flexibility as prices remain constant, irrespective of demand fluctuations or market changes
Response to DemandAdapts pricing based on demand patterns and other influencing factors to maximize revenue potentialDoes not respond to changes in demand, potentially missing opportunities for increased revenue
Rate ChangesConstantly fluctuates; prices can change multiple times within a day or week to optimize revenueRemains static, with prices typically set for an extended period or season
ComplexityInvolves complex algorithms and analysis of various data points to set optimal prices dynamicallySimpler to implement and manage, requiring fewer adjustments and monitoring
Revenue OptimizationMaximizes revenue by pricing according to market demand and optimizing room rates in real-timeRevenue potential might be limited as prices don’t adjust to capitalize on high-demand periods
AdaptabilityAllows hotels to adapt quickly to changing market conditions and competitors’ pricing strategiesOffers limited adaptability, making it challenging to stay competitive in fluctuating markets
Risk ManagementCan help mitigate risks by adjusting prices to maintain occupancy levels during low-demand periodsCarries risk of underselling or overselling rooms, impacting revenue and occupancy levels
Technology UtilizationOften requires sophisticated pricing software and analytics tools for effective implementationRelies less on technology and data analysis tools, requiring fewer resources for pricing management

3. Real-Time Updates Eliminate Double-Bookings

Newbook’s channel software also syncs all your availability calendars from each OTA with direct bookings to eliminate the chances of double bookings or booking unavailable units, even if you have multiple properties. This gives you peace of mind that you or your frontline staff don’t have to cancel on a guest because they’ve been accidentally double-booked, meaning you can avoid an awkward phone call and the situation in general. 

4. Seamless Communication with Guests, No Matter Who They Booked With

Digital channel management software also allows you to communicate with guests no matter which OTA they booked with. Having a unified inbox eliminates the need to log in and out of different OTA websites to check for and respond to guest messages. This saves a ton of time, as you can create templated messages for common guest inquiries to keep communications consistent, even if different staff members respond to messages. 

5. Analytics So You Can Choose the Best Channels

If you’re new to using OTAs, you’ll want to experiment with different ones in the beginning to see which are the most lucrative for your business. You get a ton of success listing with one of the big guys like Airbnb, but you also might find that listing with a more niche OTA nets you more bookings. The best channel management software includes analytics that will help you determine which channel connections are strong and which are weak.

Most OTAs charge a commission fee for each and every successful booking that’s done through them (and at varying rates), but using analytics can help you determine whether a booking through that channel is worth the cost. Let’s look at two examples:

  • If an OTA takes a 10% commission on a successful booking, but you get hundreds of bookings through them, you can use that information to help you develop a marketing strategy to attract those customers to book directly with you instead. Over time, you might be able to eliminate the channel. 
  • On the other hand, if the OTA only takes a 3% commission on each booking but nets you hundreds of bookings, it might not be worth the effort and marketing cost to attract customers to book directly. 

At the same time, don’t forget about that all-important billboard effect—over time, your direct bookings will likely increase anyway simply because you are listing with OTAs. 

If you have multiple properties, It’s also important to remember that some channel managers charge you for multiple listings or don’t have the capability to allow you to list more than one property with a single OTA. Newbook, on the other hand, doesn’t limit your listings or charge you extra for them. 

channel manager newbook

Must-Have Features of a Channel Management System

must have features of channel management system

When you’re ready to choose a channel management system, it’s important that you consider the features you absolutely can’t live without. These features should be researched in advance and matched to business needs. For example, automatic price syncing and real-time availability updates across all OTAs are essential features that most accommodation providers heavily rely on. 

Other important features that you should consider in a channel management system are outlined in the table below:

Best Channel Management Software FeatureHow it Helps
User-friendly interface– Reduces onboarding and training time
– Increases employee buy-in; if software is difficult to use and makes their job more difficult, employees will be less likely to embrace it and prefer to use their tried and true methods instead
– Makes it easy to take full advantage of everything the software can do, as software is less intimidating when it’s easy to use
Reliability– High reliability ensures that the software works when you need it to
– Most channel managers boast a 99% uptime, but Newbook has a 99.99% uptime. The downtime with a 99% uptime guarantee is 3 days, 15 hrs, and 39 mins. The potential downtime with a 99.99% uptime guarantee is 52 mins and 35 secs 
Data security– Ensures that your sensitive business information and customer data is protected 
SSL and TLS encryption is standard for data that’s transmitted through websites and is what the best channel management software uses
– Newbook heavily invests in world-class infrastructure through Amazon Web Services, and all data is hosted in Ohio, USA
Unlimited listings– Allows you to list multiple properties with multiple OTAs
– Saves you money with listing costs
– Allows you to easily scale your accommodations business when needed without having to pay for another solution
Integration with your PMS– Ensures that your PMS acts as a single source of truth, and that important information can seamlessly flow between the two systems
– Makes it easier to set up customized automations and data synchronization 
Detailed analytics – Help you determine which OTAs are lucrative for your business and which are not
– Helps you understand different fees and charges and compare them for different OTAs

What To Consider For Finding The Best Channel Manager For Airbnb

Many accommodation providers use Airbnb, likely because it has an insane 28.23% of the online accomodation bookings market share, dwarfed only by the behemoth that is Tripadvisor (they have a 41.81% market share). Because Airbnb is so lucrative, it makes sense that you’d want to learn more about choosing the best Airbnb channel manager, including which features you should look for.

At its core, Airbnb works like most other OTAs: it’s free to list with them, but once a successful booking comes through the pipe, they take a cut (it makes sense; they are a business, and they need to make money just like the next guy). But Airbnb fees can be a bit tricky. Some fees are charged directly to the guest, and others are charged to the host. Value-added tax (VAT), which is the same as General Sales Tax (GST), may also be applicable in some cases. 

It’s important to make note of the fees because you’ll want to make sure that the fees you’re paying for successful bookings through Airbnb make sense. In this case, choosing an Airbnb channel manager that gives you detailed analytics regarding costs is important. 

Newbook has an integrated channel manager that works with Airbnb and gives you detailed analytics regarding the performance of your different OTAs. The system is part of the PMS, so you don’t have to worry about finding a third-party channel software solution. 

How Newbook Provides the Best Channel Management Software Experience


If you seek a comprehensive solution to handle channel management, property management, and revenue management for your accommodations business, Newbook is a compelling option. Its centralized approach guarantees a reliable, up-to-date source of information for both single and multiple properties. 

Simplifying channel management, Newbook eliminates the complications that can arise from using third-party software, reducing the risk of downtime caused by errors or software malfunctions that could affect your listings across various booking channels.

In addition to providing an integrated channel manager, Newbook allows users to easily connect with popular OTAs like Airbnb, Expedia, and with no additional cost for bookings for multiple properties. Automatic price syncing and real-time availability updates ensure that all your bookings across all channels are always updated with the latest information. 

channel manager newbook

Boosting Your Newbook Channel Management Experience

Newbook provides an extensive array of integrations designed to enhance your software experience and complement your technology stack effectively.

These integrations include:

OTA Connections

In addition to its strong OTA connectivity, Newbook has the capability to link with various OTA software offerings, such as:

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence (BI) tools are indispensable for obtaining data-driven insights crucial in making informed decisions across operations, policies, procedures, and beyond:

  • Calumo—equipped with intelligent dashboards, reporting functionalities, and forecasting tools tailored to your requirements
  • Qlik—leverages in-memory processing and on-demand aggregations to unearth profound insights from your data, enabling comprehensive analysis.
  • Tiger TMS—specializes in middleware for smart devices, enabling the extraction of valuable intelligence from usage patterns, contributing to informed decision-making processes

Marketing Automation

Automating your marketing efforts is an effective way to keep your business front of mind with your audience through email and SMS communications. Marketing automation integration partners with Newbook include:

  • Act-on—offers outbound and inbound marketing tactics, lead generation, reporting, and more
  • Mailchimp—provides the ability to send automated emails according to a schedule
  • Shiji ReviewPro—provides insights and information regarding guest experience that you can use to improve operations and customer service

Utilize Newbook’s integration partners to enrich your software experience. Moreover, should you need a connection that isn’t currently featured among our integration partners, we provide comprehensive developer resources to support you in establishing the required connections.

Channel Management Software FAQ

Still have questions about the best channel management software and how these offerings typically work? Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about channel software to help you out.

Can You Use A Vertical Booking Channel Manager Without A PMS?

Yes. Channel software can be used independently of a PMS to simply manage your property’s listings with multiple OTAs. However, integrating a channel manager with a PMS provides a variety of benefits, including:

  • Allows your PMS to gather information from your channel manager to provide more robust insights that can be used to make business decisions
  • When your channel manager is integrated into your PMS, you are using one piece of software to manage everything, which is less complicated than having to switch between different systems
  • The ability to automate tasks and other functions triggered by a channel manager booking, such as housekeeping, maintenance, and more

How Does a PMS Integrate With an Online Channel Management System?

A PMS can integrate with a channel management system through a pre-coded connection that’s enabled through a PMS provider’s online marketplace or through an application programming interface (API)

Activating a marketplace integration is usually a very easy process:

  1. Visit the PMS provider’s online marketplace
  2. Search for the online channel management platform that you want to use
  3. Download the channel application and follow the steps for integrating it into your PMS

Using an API is a bit more complex because the integration will have to be coded from scratch. Thankfully, most channel managers provide their API so that you already have the information you need to facilitate a connection.

Do I Need Channel Management Software If I Have a Small Property?

Even small properties benefit from channel management software. It streamlines the distribution process, minimizes manual errors, and ensures accurate availability and pricing information across channels, which is essential for maximizing bookings and revenue.

How Secure is Channel Management Software?

You might think because channel management software is cloud-based, it has security vulnerabilities, but this is far from the truth. Reputable channel management software providers implement robust security measures to protect sensitive data. This includes encryption protocols, secure authentication methods, and compliance with industry standards for data protection.

Can Channel Management Software Be Customized for Specific Needs?

While the OTAs themselves will have specific requirements for displaying listings, many channel management solutions, including Newbook, offer customizable features and configurations to adapt to different property types, sizes, and specific requirements of the hospitality business.


channel management software thoughts

The landscape of accommodation booking has evolved significantly from the days of traditional travel agencies. Nowadays, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Airbnb and play a crucial role in connecting travelers with accommodations. For accommodations providers, utilizing multiple OTAs can greatly enhance their reach and bookings. 

Channel management software, such as Newbook, streamlines this process by offering a centralized solution for managing listings, ensuring consistent pricing, automating updates, and preventing double bookings.
Book a demo with Newbook today, and let us show you how our software can improve your business.

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