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What channel manager do you currently use?

#1

Simple question really :slight_smile:

Who do you use and why?

JF

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#2

Lodgify. Because it does what it says on the tin.

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#3

I use smartbnb.io as I am impressed with the automation features based on AI. It saves time and has had a noticeable improvement on my communication stats.

I am also starting to get into the statistical analysis that it can generate.

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#4

I use Lodgify and it’s OK.

Major problem atm is that despite claiming that if you use their Airbnb Pro API you get real time updates of your calendar, I got a direct booking on Monday that took 59 minutes to register on my Airbnb calendar. The odds of someone else on Airbnb (where I have IB) or Booking dot com (ditto) booking my place on a date that overlapped are small, but if it happens the penalties to me are horrendous. I am trying to figure out a way to delist from Booking dot com (not great for me anyway, at least 50% cancellations) without scuppering my two existing bookings with them.

Lodgify customer service has ignored me for 40 hours and counting.

UPDATE: reply from Lodgify came as I was typing on this forum.

" I would like to explain how the connection with Airbnb professional works: each time that you make a change in rates or availability or receive a booking inside Lodgify, our channel manager automatically sends the update to Airbnb. However, the changes are not automatically shown in your Airbnb’s back-end or in the calendar.
But, if someone tries to book on Airbnb, this platform will ask to Lodgify to send the last information about availability and rates and show the right price or free days.
So the information will be updated before confirming the booking on Airbnb.

Moreover, if you wish to see an automatic update on Airbnb’s account, you can click on Menu --> Channel Manager --> Airbnb professional Box and than click on the little pencil beside the listing and from the drop-down menu select “refresh” ."

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#5

I can’t use smartbnb because I want to build my own brand and have my own website for direct bookings - smartbnb is great but only works if you only list with Airbnb/VRBO/HomeAway

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#6

That’s not good as the primary purpose (for me anyway) of using a channel manager is to avoid these issues.

That also is poor, and makes me wary of using them.

JF

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#7

John, see my update above - I’m going to have to test it but if correct this would allay any fears about double bookings.

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#8

Thanks, let us know how you get on with your testing.

As regards BDC, go into the calendar in List View and simply adjust the “Rooms to sell” row to zero.

JF

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#9

Thanks for this which I have just tried - ironically, because I hooked up to BDC via Lodgify, I can’t adjust the row to zero since it’s reading the info off my Lodgify calendar. I have emailed Lodgify to ask for advice!

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#10

If it’s only two bookings, why don’t you just disconnect it from Lodgify? Ok, you’ll need to deal with them manually via the BDC web site, but it is just two and soon as they’re over you can deregister from BDC.

JF

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#11

That’s really good advice - thank you John!

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#12

I only have a couple of places and it doesn’t take me too long to manage them so never saw the need to use one.

For those of you who use them - what do you see as the key benefits?

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#13

You don’t use IB then? They take away the double booking issue when property is advertised on more than one platform.

JF

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#14

I am on IB but I dont use anything .
Do it all myself. Unless one uses another platform with IB I dont see any point of not managing ourself.
I am not sure how do people list with other platforms such as booking.com
I listed with them for 10 months and all in had is trouble. Yes I could make more money there but the managing part was exhausting.
What other platform people use where they can be booked instantly But Airbnb?

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#15

HomeAway/VRBO. Some people allow Instant Bookings on their own website. I believe TripAdvisor may have Instant Booking. And, of course, everything on BDC is Instant Book.

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#16

Really interesting discussion. I’m a new host (I started out September 2018) with a new property, and while my aim is ultimately to be mainly direct booking, repeat custom etc. I listed on a number of platforms to get known. It is insanely hard work to coordinate the different platforms depending on your pricing strategy, and I have to say Lodgify while by no means perfect has been the best of any channel managers I’ve looked at (and I have looked…)

Airbnb is proving very good to me so far so I’m rethinking my strategy a bit - probably direct bookings plus Airbnb only - but I’ve had it up to here with the different demands and payout structures of other listing sites and am disengaging from them.

If you only list on Airbnb (and have no direct booking) it’s so much easier to manage and there are many tools you can use to automate offers, responses etc. I personally would never put all my business eggs in one basket - should for any reason Airbnb sour for me, I would have to start from scratch - I need to have control of my brand which means I need to build it myself, and Lodgify is a good tool to help me do that. (Except for the lack of a blog feature on my own web pages, that’s just bonkers, but there).

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#17

Yes I do, but at the moment I only book directly or use Airbnb. Is it only useful if you use multiple platforms?

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#18

Interested in hearing others’ results with this issue.
I have IB on Air and inquiry-only on Homeaway, and I manually update the Homeaway calendar with my Air (and my off-platform) bookings, just because of the fear of double bookings – as helengray says, you have a low probability but of a really bad outcome. I set up iCal to link calendars but I feel it’s too risky to rely on that.

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#19

Folks use them for different purposes, such as automating replies etc, but from my perspective it’s to cut out the possibility of double booking across two different platforms. So, as long as your direct booking method doesn’t allows an IB type of booking, the syncing feature wouldn’t be much help to you.

JF

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#20

I do not. I just use Google calendars layers and the iCal sync links. Works great for me.

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