As the name suggests, channel managers allow properties to efficiently manage the different online distribution channels that their property sells through.
They allow small properties to give booking sites their up to date rates and inventory, using a pooled inventory model.
This means that no matter where a booking is made – be it direct on your website, through a third party booking site, or at your point of sale – inventory is always up to date and you are never overbooked.
B&B channel managers give small accommodation providers two main benefits:
For travellers, channel managers allow them to instantly confirm a booking from third party websites – typically trusted OTAs that have special rates, and whom they feel comfortable booking with.
Watch how Little Hotelier distributes your rooms to the world with the Best Bed and Breakfast Channel Manager
Without a channel manager, you spend hours updating multiple websites for changes in rates and inventory, and it’s not a one-off job. In fact, each time a booking is made on one of your sales channels, you have to make sure your availability is reflected correctly on all of your booking sites. An all-in-one online booking solution like Little Hotelier will combine your booking engine, front desk system, and channel manager, meaning you only have one place to manage your hotel from. You can update your rates and apply stop-sells at a click of a button. The channel manager will automatically reduce availability when a room is booked on any one of your sales channels. All your booking sites will display the right inventory without you having to adjust a thing! There’s no lag time in inventory updates, so double bookings are a thing of the past.
It goes without saying that in order to manage your revenue successfully, you need to be able to see all your revenue streams – from the online booking websites where you advertise your property, to your marketing and sales efforts. A good channel manager will allow you to easily track and measure which online sales channels are working. This gives you the knowledge you need to negotiate commissions and end partnerships that aren’t working for you.
Bed and breakfasts don’t need the added hassle of using separate systems for each. Find an all-in-one hotel reservation system that is suited to bed and breakfasts, like Little Hotelier is. Make sure the software you choose lines up with the needs of your small property, especially in terms of flexibility and cost. Some solutions will enforce contracts, and structure their pricing based on a percentage of commission per booking, but it is difficult to grow with such a pricing model. On the other hand, systems like Little Hotelier operate off a no contract, fixed monthly fee, which makes it easier for you to budget your expenses. Make sure you take a free trial of each of the systems you look at – they are standard in the industry. If no free trial is available, at least request a demonstration of the product. You want to play around with it to make sure that it is truly the easiest and most comprehensive solution for your small property.
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