A double booking is the vacation rental owner’s worst nightmare.
It usually comes as a confused call from a guest trying to check in when you already have guests staying. Oh no! It usually means hours negotiating a change and arranging alternative accommodation AND probably a bad review AND maybe loss of Airbnb superhost status! Lots of stress.
The obvious solution is some channel manager software to synchronise all your calendars at once, but in recent years most solutions have been too expensive, typically A$100 per month, beyond the budget of small VR owners of just one or two properties. Also some of the channel managers have been unable to synchronise with some of the Online Travel Agencies like Airbnb.
That is all ending as a number of vendors are emerging with low cost solutions. Also the OTAs are realising that it is in their interest to make it easy for any number of channel managers to synchronise their software. The easier it is for owners to synchronise with them, the more owners will sign up to their platform. We are in the middle of a mini revolution.
This is also a perfect time to take the next step in getting more direct bookings.
Not only are there affordable channel managers emerging, they also have online calendars and online booking software that can be bolted onto the VR owner’s own website. View the diagram at the end of this article to see how it works.
As mentioned in last week’s post, affordability, the holy grail of channel managers for VR owners, is now within reach.
A suitable Channel Manager – Update247
I stumbled on Update247 at an affordable price a few months ago, and only got around looking into it recently. It came with glowing recommendations from Dianne, a very savvy vacation rental owner in Melbourne who has been using it effectively for over 5 years.
Update 247 is an affordable A$35/mth, much less than many competitors. It comes complete with a calendar and booking engine (Booking247) that you can link to from your website to take direct bookings online. My colleague Barry from London also uses it and the price is a lot lower there (10 pounds/mth) as they start to penetrate the UK market. Update247 also has a low price guarantee, which makes it useful for any new location. [click to continue…]