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Why You Need a Channel Manager for Apartments

channel manager for apartments

Imagine that you’re someone who is looking for a vacation rental but for several people or for a longer-term stay. Where would you go first? Probably Google, and then a website like Airbnb or Vrbo. After searching around on these websites using their search filters to indicate exactly where you want the apartment to be and what amenities you need, you land on a couple of options to add to your list. 

From there, you’re likely to narrow down your list further based on whatever criteria you want, like proximity to amenities or included features of the property (Wifi, appliances, number of rooms, etc.). When you’re ready to book, you’ll probably use one of the above-mentioned websites. 

These days, the above scenario is more or less exactly what happens when someone decides that they want to rent a serviced apartment for a short or long-term stay in a new area. Because people are often using Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Airbnb or Vrbo to rent these spaces, it’s important that apartment managers and owners take advantage of the increased exposure that these third-party channels offer.

As many as 90% of travelers use the Internet to plan their trips, and 76% of online bookings happen through an OTA. While OTAs do take a commission for a successful booking (and the amount they take can vary widely, depending on the company, your location, the plan you choose, and more) these online platforms can be an invaluable tool for promoting your accommodations business. When a guest finds a property that they like and have a good experience with, as many as 20% of these guests will book directly with the accommodation provider the next time they want to stay there. This means that while OTAs do eat a bit into your profits, they are also an invaluable tool to increase direct bookings.

In this article, we explore the importance of listing your business on multiple OTAs, how to find the best channel manager for apartments, and more

What Is a Rental Channel Manager for Vacation Rental Apartments?

A rental channel manager for vacation rental apartments is a piece of software that allows you to effectively manage multiple different listings with multiple OTAs. This means that instead of relying on each website’s native tools, you can organize and update all of your listings from one place. Because it’s lucrative for vacation rental apartment managers to list with as many OTAs as possible, it’s important to use a channel manager for apartments to ensure that all of your listings are consistent.

Imagine that you want to list your property on a couple of different OTA websites, like Airbnb, Expedia, and Booking.com. Whenever you have to update your availability, pricing, property images, or description, you have to log into each website and make the updates manually. This might not seem like such a big chore, but it quickly becomes hectic when you need to manage multiple properties at once and have to log in to update the availability of your units whenever someone makes a successful booking.

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Think of a rental channel manager like a big map of your property (or properties), with each unit displaying its occupancy status, price, and OTAs it’s listed with. By having all of this information in one centralized view, you can easily keep track of how well your properties are performing online, even if they are distributed in multiple different locations and cater to different audiences. 

Plus, typical features such as:

  • Built-in automation
  • Real-time updates
  • Effective guest and staff management (all available with Newbook, by the way) 

Enhance the usefulness of this tool. 

Importance of a Holiday Rental Channel Manager

holiday rental channel manager

A channel manager for apartments is important to have so that you can maximize the distribution of your property and bookings while managing them effectively. The specific benefits that a channel manager offers includes:

1. Increased Reach Without the Extra Workload

One of the most important features of a channel manager for apartments is its ability to allow you to increase your reach online without increasing your workload. You can freely list on a wide variety of OTAs until you find the ones that work best for you, even targeting specific niches that match your business, such as family-friendly, pet-friendly, and more. 

With a platform like Newbook, your channel manager directly syncs with your booking engine and property management system (PMS). This means that when a guest uses an OTA to make a booking with you, you can easily set up triggered automations that take care of certain administrative processes, like scheduling a cleaning or sending a receipt for payment or deposit. This means that no matter how many OTAs you list with, and how many bookings you receive, you won’t be increasing your workload with additional administrative management. 

2. More Bookings and Revenue

A natural result of listing with OTAs is increased bookings and higher occupancy rates, which of course, leads to more revenue. While listing with as many OTAs as possible in the beginning is a good strategy to see which ones work for you and which do not, some platforms charge you for multiple listings with one OTA provider (like when you have multiple properties that you want to list, for example), charge for listing with certain OTAs over others, or only allow you to list with a certain number of OTAs before they charge you for any extra listings. This can be limiting, especially when you’re trying to find your footing online.

With Newbook, you can not only manage multiple listings for multiple properties, but we won’t charge you for each listing, meaning you can have as many as you want without having to contend with extra charges. 

More bookings, more often with our built in channel manager

Newbook is your all in one property management software. Talk to us today to learn how you can improve operations and increase bookings for your business.

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3. Eliminated Double Bookings and Overbookings

When a booking comes in on one channel, your channel manager will automatically update your availability calendar across all remaining channels, including direct, in real-time. This means that guests can’t accidentally double-book an apartment, and saves you the time, energy, and hassle of having to contend with cancellations and the resulting potential for negative reviews. 

At the same time, there’s no need for an overbooking strategy, as OTAs can pick up the slack with bookings alongside dynamic pricing, which helps determine the best prices for an apartment rental based on internal and external data. 

4. More Consistent Information and Branding 

Every OTA is going to have a different way of presenting their listings, but a channel manager for apartments is an essential tool for ensuring that your messaging stays consistent across all of the OTAs that you list with. This includes images, guest messages, pricing, descriptions, and of course, availability. 

5. Ability to Prioritize the OTAs that Work Best

With an apartment channel manager, you’ll be able to gain information about each OTA that you’re using, including how many bookings they’ve each netted you. With this information, you can easily determine which ones to keep and which ones to remove listings from, prioritizing only the most lucrative channels for listing your property or properties. 

Features of an Apartment Channel Manager

An apartment channel manager serves as a centralized platform that enables property managers or owners to efficiently manage their listings across multiple online booking channels. Here are some key features typically found in a channel manager for apartments:

1. Real-Time Updates

It’s important that each of the OTAs that you use have access to your latest pricing information and unit availability to prevent double bookings. With an apartment channel manager, the software automatically sends any updates made to your pricing as well as availability directly to each OTA in real time. 

This means that if you use dynamic pricing as part of your strategy, for example, you’ll be able to always ensure that the OTAs you list with will have the correct listing price, without you having to do any additional work. On the other hand, if you update your marketing images or property description, then your OTA listings will be updated with that information as well. 

2. Integration With Dynamic Pricing and Property Management Tools

To take full advantage of a channel manager for apartments, it’s important that you integrate the tool with the other software that you use in your tech stack. Most channel managers are able to be integrated seamlessly with PMS as well as dynamic pricing tools. 

With Newbook, your channel manager is already fully integrated with Newbook’s PMS and dynamic pricing capabilities, meaning you don’t have to spend extra time facilitating third-party integrations. Plus, if something happens that requires technical or customer support, you’ll work with individuals who know the software inside and out. 

3. Centralized Reservation Management

One of the most important features of a channel manager for apartments is integration with a centralized reservation management system. Having each booking, regardless of whether it’s direct or through an OTA, come to one place for easy management is essential to stay organized. Plus, the integration can set off a chain reaction of automations, from scheduling cleaning staff to altering maintenance to do a once-over of the apartment before the guest checks in. 

4. Reporting and Analytics

A rental channel manager that provides robust analytics and reporting capabilities is essential for giving owners and managers the information they need to make informed business decisions. 

The software should provide these important insights:

  • Performance metrics regarding various channels
  • Booking trends 
  • Occupancy rates
  • Guest demographics (high-level and per channel)

5. Security and Data Protection

With so much information being transmitted through different platforms, it’s important that the rental channel manager you choose has robust security and data protection. Newbook heavily invests in world-class infrastructure for data security, handling all data through Amazon Web Services. All data is stored on US soil, and data security is viewed with the utmost importance through partnerships with leading encryption (encodes information so that it is only viewable by the right people), threat anomaly (identifies if there are any weird changes in a typical communications pattern), penetration testing (tests how secure a system is), and more. While this stuff sounds very techy, it’s necessary to keep customer data safe and secure. 

What to Consider When Looking for the Best Channel Manager for Apartments

best channel manager for apartments

The first thing to keep in mind when looking for a property channel manager is whether it has the features that are the most important to your business. For most apartment managers and owners, these features are going to include, at the very least:

  • Real-time updates of pricing and availability
  • Dynamic pricing capabilities or ability to integrate with existing dynamic pricing
  • Centralized reservation system support

Aside from these features, other important considerations that you should keep in mind when choosing a channel manager for apartments are outlined in the table below:

Best Channel Manager for Apartments FeatureWhy It’s Important
Ease of use– Reduces onboarding and training time
– Increases employee buy-in; easy-to-use software encourages adoption and utilization
Reliability– Ensures the software is available the vast majority of the time
– Newbook offers an uptime of 99.99%, minimizing potential downtime significantly compared to standard 99% uptime guarantees
– The downtime with a 99% uptime guarantee is 3 days, 15 hrs, and 39 mins.
– The downtime with a 99.99% uptime guarantee is 52 mins and 35 secs
Data security– Protects sensitive business and customer data
– Standard encryption security for online data transfer uses SSL and TLS, which is what the best channel manager for apartments offerings use
Unlimited listings– Allows you to list multiple properties with multiple OTAs for no additional cost
– Provides unlimited scalability potential, which is essential for future-proofing
Direct integration with vacation rental websites– Out-of-the-box connections with popular OTAs make it easier to take advantage of the reach of major players
– Direct connections usually mean that you can create a connection with a channel with just a few clicks
PMS integration– Ensures seamless data flow between the channel manager and the PMS, helping to maintain data accuracy and consistency
– Simplifies setup of custom automations and data synchronization between systems
Detailed analytics– Assists in helping you select lucrative OTAs for your business
– Provides insight into OTA fees and charges, allowing you to prioritize your spending accordingly

How a Channel Manager for Serviced Apartments Can Be Used to Improve Your Business

The main way that a channel manager for serviced apartments can improve your business is by reducing your workload. It can be difficult to rely on technology, especially if you have established ways of doing business that you’ve been using for years, but in today’s online-focused world, having a tool that organizes how your business is presented online (aside from your own website) is essential.

Put yourself in the shoes of your potential guests and consider the first impression that your vacation rental apartment conveys. Chances are, if you’re manually managing your OTA listings, there are going to be discrepancies, whether it’s pricing, property images, or descriptions, as it can quickly become difficult to keep up with the administrative workload, especially if you’re an owner or manager with other responsibilities. These discrepancies can negatively affect the way your potential guests view your business, which may even result in them not bothering to book with you. 

Remember, guests are likely going to be viewing many different pages of the OTA’s website before they make a decision on where to book and when. The average traveler views around 141 pages of travel content in the 45 days before they decide to book, which can increase all the way up to 277 pages for travelers in the US. While this likely includes blogs and other travel-related information, this still means that your listing needs to be eye-catching to stay front of mind, especially since the day a potential guest decides to book, those page views increase to 25 pages. 

Having a channel manager to help you organize your listings and ensure their consistency without increasing your workload helps free up your time to spend on other tasks, like delighting your guests. 

Why Newbook Is the Best Channel Manager for Apartments

NewBook

When it comes to a fully-featured channel manager for apartments, it’s hard to beat Newbook’s offering. Newbook offers a centralized system that ensures accurate and reliable information for both single and multiple properties, simplifying channel, property, and revenue management.

By integrating channel management directly into Newbook, you eliminate the possibility of software glitches and other issues that may happen when you try to use third-party software, which reduces the risk of downtime that could negatively affect your listings across your different channels.

Aside from its integrated channel management features, Newbook seamlessly connects users to popular OTAs such as Airbnb, Expedia, and Booking.com without charging additional booking costs for multiple properties. This means you can easily scale your business without having to worry about increased costs for multiple property bookings on one or more channels. With automatic price synchronization and real-time updates, Newbook also keeps all your bookings across channels consistently up-to-date without you having to worry about manual management. 

Boost your Newbook Experience with Holiday Rental Channel Manager Integrations

The short-term rental industry is huge, with major players at the helm like Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo. When you first start using Newbook and get the software set up with your data, chances are that one of the first things you want to do is install out-of-the-box integrations to enhance your experience.

Immediately, Newbook can have connections set up for the following different OTA companies as outlined in the table below:

Newbook Integration (Company Name)Description
BookOutdoorsOne of the fastest growing booking channels online for outdoor travel
Google Hotel AdsOne of the world’s largest digital marketplaces for pay-per-click travel advertising  
HipcampA popular campground OTA that has over 5.5 million users in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the UK
Spot2NiteA popular OTA for campgrounds and outdoor accommodations
The DyrtOffers commission-free booking for outdoor accommodation providers to their userbase of 30 million campers
VrboOne of the most popular digital platforms that people use to book apartments, vacation homes, and more

For other integrations not on this list, Newbook offers a REST API that can be used to facilitate connections with any piece of software that you wish. 

Conclusion                                

The significance of a robust channel manager for apartments becomes evident in a digital landscape where travelers rely heavily on online platforms like OTAs for accommodation bookings. These systems not only broaden your property’s visibility but also streamline operations, enabling efficient property, channel, and revenue management.

By consolidating multiple listings across various OTAs into one accessible platform, a channel manager like Newbook simplifies the complexity of managing multiple properties across different locations. It ensures consistency in listings, updates, and pricing strategies, facilitating seamless guest experiences.

Key advantages, such as:

  1. Increased reach without added workload
  2. Enhanced bookings and revenue
  3. Prevention of double bookings

And more underscore the importance of utilizing an efficient channel manager. Additionally, features like real-time updates, integration with dynamic pricing tools, and detailed analytics contribute to informed decision-making and increased efficiency.

Newbook stands out as a comprehensive solution, offering not only integrated channel management but also seamless connections with prominent OTAs without additional booking costs. Its automatic synchronization and real-time updates across channels ensure accuracy and consistency, empowering businesses to scale without concerns about escalating expenses.

The integration capabilities of Newbook extend to a wide range of OTAs, catering to diverse preferences in the short-term rental market. Its user-friendly interface, reliability with impressive uptime, data security measures, and centralized reservation management further solidify its position as an exceptional channel manager for apartment businesses.
To learn more about Newbook and how the software can help your accommodation business, reach out to us today.

More bookings, more often with our built in channel manager

Newbook is your all in one property management software. Talk to us today to learn how you can improve operations and increase bookings for your business.

Request a Demonstration

Request a Demonstration

Subject to Newbook’s Privacy Policy, you agree to allow Newbook to contact you via the contact details provided for scheduling and marketing purposes.
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