Need recommendations for a channel manager to sync calendars,etc

Hey y’all,
So we now have 2 properties that we have only listed on Airbnb and now want to go live on VRBO as well. What is the best channel manager that you have used and love? I am wanting to merge reviews and have the calendar’s ability to will block on each site so there is no double booking. Thanks for your help!

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Did you try searching the forum? There are plenty of threads about channel management.

I hope these will keep you going until other members come along to help. :slight_smile:

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We have the calendars from Airbnb, BDC and Vrbo synched with each other using the ics calendar URL that each platform provides.

This seems to work fine for us

What does a ‘channel manager’ do exactly?

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I use OwnerRez (“OR”). It’s useful for a lot more than just syncing the calendars. I process the payments on Vrbo and my site and send automated emails for routine matters.

The downside is that AirBnB considers you a professional host if you integrate AirBnB with OR. This is a problem for listings outside the US (and a couple of other exemptions) because they force you to use Simplified Pricing, where the host pays the service fee. My competitors don’t use Simplified Pricing, so I won’t, either. So the process for AirBnB isn’t as automated as it is for Vrbo and my website.

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Any idea why Airbnb forces Simplified Pricing on hosts who use channel managers? Is it essentially some sort of punishment for listing on various platforms?

Hi Bev33. Sorry if this is annoying but how do I post on this forum???

Comment posts by new users are restricted and new thread posts are prohibited. After participating awhile most members get posting privileges.

Hosterer, I do the same. But just check occasionally for popular periods that the sync is still working correctly. I got a couple of double bookings and I could not figure out why. It turned out the sync was not working properly. I had to delete and re set-up. Never found out if it was at Airbnb end or BDC end. Now I check every so often for peak periods that dates are blocked, especially on BDC as it is instant book so hard to cancel double booking.

Thanks for the heads up. This is scary :woozy_face:

So far, the syncing of the calendars has worked out fine - and of course if it ever gets screwed up it’s pretty much impossible to figure out who the culprit was…

Just to understand correctly: If we would be using a channel manager - would this protect us from such accidental double bookings in any way? Are there additional protection mechanisms in place for that?

In the many years I have been using ics sync I only know for sure it has happened once. There had been a few other instances of double booking. It has always been where i have blocked on Airbnb as I have had a direct booking previously. Up until the last instance I assumed it was my mistake and I had not blocked on Airbnb when I got the direct booking though I thought I had. But the latest instance I knew positively it was not my error. So know I am wondering if the other couple of previous instances here also not my mistake. When I contacted BDC about it they told be to delete and reset the sync at both ends, so it appears it is not an unknown error.
No experience with channel manager. Because I have picked up the double booking immediately I have been able to sort it out with the guest. I usually offer them a voucher for a big discount for a future booking on the basis that they cancel if I cannot give them an alternative date that suits.

I have not been forced into simplified pricing… But my pricing is pretty simple no cleaning fees

I see the original comment talked about non US listings so that is why I am not affected


Yes, a channel manager ensures there are no other bookings before accepting a booking as long as you are API integrated with all the channels you accept bookings from.

Example: Someone books your place at 11:25 AM over Booking dot com (BDC). At 11:27 AM, someone tries to book through Vrbo for the same or overlapping dates. If you just have the calendar sync, you most likely have a double booking - the calendar sync only runs a few times a day.

But if you use a channel manager and are API integrated with AirBnB, Vrbo, and BDC, the Vrbo booking will be declined. Even if the channel manager didn’t instantly block the dates of the BDC booking on the Vrbo site, it will check AirBnB and BDC before accepting the Vrbo booking. Since the BDC booking is already there, the Vrbo booking will be declined.