Cheapest realiable channel manager

Following advice on another thread, I’m actively looking for a cheap and reliable channel manager. Lodgify is $13 per month for a basic package that gives messages, channel manager and a website with bookings functionality (which I can use for friends and an agent).

Some questions around this. Is Logify a quality provider? Are there other cheap channel managers to consider? For a single villa owner should I be looking for any functionality from the channel manager that Logify’s basic package doesn’t provide?

I am currently on airbnb and and plan to add Expedia (which I think gives me a bunch of others including vrbo and

Many thanks in advance.

FYI: I’m signed up for OwnerRez, though haven’t booked through it yet. I learned about OwnerRez through this forum and a number of Hosts here use them. For example, @PitonView

I’ve read very good things about Lodgify but haven’t compared them to OwnerRez.

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Just seen that Lodgify charges commission on bookings with its cheaper package, but not on its iCal sync.

Not sure whether Lodgify’s iCal Sync is at a higher refresh rate than the existing sync between airbnb and that I have going at the moment (with no channel manager).

Would appreciate any insight on this.

Relying on iCal Sync got me my first (and last) double booking for Valentine’s weekend 2022. We dumped VRBO after that. The only calendar sync I would rely on is one that uses an API, for near-simultaneous synchronization among all platforms.

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I think this is good advice. I dont want to waste too much money on this tho. Lodgify at $38 per month looks like the cheapest decent service. Unless anyone has seen other better offers?

Just seen a channel manager called smoobu which is USD28 per month for what looks like the full service. Anyone tried this. Cheapest I have seen so far.

I’d discourage you from looking for the cheapest ‘decent’ service.

You can always find anything cheaper. I’d encourage you to limit your evaluation to the well-known names of Lodgify and OwnerRez, maybe a few others. A synching issue that goes awry, poor customer service (which OwnerRez is said to excel at) can dwarf any apparent cost ‘savings’.
My two cents.


Also be sure you evaluate what you want the service to do for you. Some of the cheap ones may not do everything you want.

A heads’ up - if your property isn’t in the United States, it’s quite possible that AirBnB will require you to use their Simplified Pricing (where the host pays the service fee) if you integrate with a channel manager. If you are already on Simplified Pricing, this isn’t an issue. Our property is in the Caribbean and none of my competitors use Simplified Pricing, so I only use the calendar sync from OwnerRez for AirBnB so I don’t have to use Simplified Pricing.


Wise words. Yes, I am outside the US and I have just been reading the reviews. It seems that by API’ing airbnb you trigger the “Simplified Pricing” which means paying a lot more commission. I guess this may discourage me from using a channel manager altogether. Aside from an API sync, the other things I would use the channel manager are nonessentials - 1. automated correspondence (this can be easily set up on the airbnb, booking etc) 2. Quote engine for third party bookings (airbnb now has a quote engine you can use to work out pricing and shows what you would receive net of commission - this is what I use) 3. Automatically shifting rates between platforms (I currently do this on a spreadsheet) 4. Website - we have a property website anyway and so don’t need this.

You don’t have to API integrate with all channel if you use a channel manager. I API integrate with Vrbo and my own website (sort of), and use the iCal sync for AirBnB to avoid having to go to Simplified pricing.
I’m pretty sure we’ll all have to use Simplified Pricing within the next few years, but I’ll wait until then to API sync.

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Probably a newbie question. But does iCal sync on Lodgify etc go any quicker than the site-to-site link between the likes of airbnb and bookings etc?

I don’t know. I don’t think so, because AirBnB goes to the channel manager to get updates, not the other way around.
You can make both AirBnB and the channel manager sync whenever you want, though.

I also recall that Booking dot com recently added the option to “Request to Book” instead of always being “Instant Book”, but I’m not 100% sure on that.

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Thanks so much. There are so many channel managers and getting this info is difficult. The rub for me is that api syncing is the main advantage offered by a channel manager, but if I get api syncing it will cost me increased airbnb commissions. Lodgify offers a free iCal version with limited functionality and I may try this for now. As has been said on this thread, the cheap-cheap channel managers tend to have dreadful reviews and need to be avoided.

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Well, you would of course need to up your nightly price to cover that. Whether that’s a good idea or not tends to depend on whether your competition also uses Simplified pricing or not, otherwise you’d appear to be more expensive. But in some areas, like Europe, the total price is always shown to guests, so it wouldn’t appear more expensive.

Whether the host pays the entire service fee and therefore raises their nightly price, or whether the guest pays the bulk of the service fee and the nightly price is lower, is more or less immaterial- the total price to the guest is basically the same.

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Makes total sense. The downside is that I think the Thailand listing shows the pre-commission cost of villa which would make me look more expensive…I think. I will need to get my calculator out and check!