Looking for a Channel Manager to manage single property on multiple platforms

Hi everyone!

My wife and I are new to hosting (listing went live Jan 17, '22) and this is my first post.

Our rental is currently listed on both Airbnb and Vrbo. I’ve “synced” the calendars, but I’m aware of the lag between sync cycles, such that double bookings are inevitable. My current technique is to accept a booking, or when I get an IB, to immediately block those dates on the other platform, wait for the calendars to sync, then delete the block (keeps things cleaner). This is tedious and nerve-wracking, but the single double booking that we had to cancel and take the hit on has convinced me that I need to do this to prevent future collisions. I’ve determined that channel manager software is essential for multi-platform listings, as the API keeps things synced in real-time, rather than waiting sometimes hours for the two calendars (or more in the future) to align.

My problem is that as soon as I started looking into channel managers I found there are, like, 100 of them all claiming to be THE BEST CHANNEL MANAGER. I gave iGMS a try for their 14-day free trial. Didn’t like it. When I disconnected the API from Airbnb, I didn’t realize that it also deleted my Vrbo sync at the same time. That’s when someone booked Valentines Day weekend on Airbnb even though it had been booked for over a week on Vrbo. Now, I’ll achieve all the superhost metrics in a month or so, but the cancellation percentage alone will likely be over 1% for maybe a year (2-night minimum gives a max of 15 stays per month. That means with zero future cancellations I’ll get below 1% by no earlier than 7 months, and that’s only at 100% occupancy AND if I shut off Vrbo which would dilute my ratios, so realistically it’ll be after Valentines next year when we’ll grab superhost status).

So. Which channel mangers have you used? Which ones would you recommend? I need help thinning the herd of managers to check out a few and decide on one. And, as they say on Game of Thrones: “Spring is coming!” :wink: That’s our busiest visitor season in the high desert, and I don’t want to go crazy with my “workaround.”

Thanks in advance for all your insights!

Bob

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Bear in mind that to synch with Vrbo, via the API, you’ll need to do your own payments, as in charge the cards yourself. You can’t use their API when you let Vrbo process payments.

We use Beds24 and had no issues in three or so years. @RiverRock uses Homesrezz and hasn’t moaned about them, to my knowledge, which again suggests no issues.

JF

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Thanks, @JohnF for the info! I’ll start looking into those. Why does Vrbo need to make it so hard…

I recommend OwnerRez.

They don’t do it deliberately, it’s just the way they are, and have been for years.

Compared to Airbnb, their system is rock solid, but if Airbnb is all you know, there is a learning curve. Same applies to BDC.

JF

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So regardless of the channel manager I choose, using the Vrbo API forces us to process those CCs ourselves? I suppose then finding a Channel Manager that supports CC processing natively would be crucial.

Yes. That said, the decent CM’s have that capacity, but generally speaking the configuration element is down to you; but it’s not rocket science.

JF
(Caveat, I’m in Europe, it may be different elsewhere)

Don’t worry about Super Host status. It means very little. Concentrate on getting those 5* reviews and you’ll get booked.

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I use OwnerRes

No issues, great support.

RR

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I was close…

:rofl:

JF

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So, what do you think of OwnerRez as @georgygirlofairbnb recommends?

I’ve looked into them and they look GREAT!

I especially like the insurance that you can require the guest purchase for each stay – and the fact that that could be a small profit center for you (you get to mark up the premium!) is an unexpected bonus.

I’m planning to go with them and am interested in your views as you’ve presumably been evaluating this since February (though I understand not continuously).

Have you found something better? In the same ballpark?

I gave up. I really only wanted to use Airbnb and VRBO, but if you set up the API connection with VRBO you lose their CC processing and I’d have to do all the charging, refunding, discounting, myself. And without their API managing the calendar blocking, the lag for iCal to update makes it too easy to get a double booking, which is why I wanted a channel manager in the first place. So we decided to delete our VRBO listing and stick with ABB. Life is simpler. I should update my account profile here as I’m no longer in the market for Channel Management.

I see that as a positive!

RR

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another reason today. the new Host penalties for double booking are severe. OR prevents a double booking

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