There are three ways to keep your Airbnb calendar in sync with the Booking.com calendar. In this article, we will talk about the pros and cons of each. The vacation rental industry has become more popular, and it's now even more competitive. If you are the property owner or operator that wanted to grow your Airbnb business, you need to consider getting your property listed on more than one platform other than the Airbnb app. By advertising the property through multiple channels, there is a high possibility to reach more audiences around the world. It gives more opportunities to generate more bookings.
Let say you are now listing your property on Airbnb and looking to advertise the same property on Booking.com. You might think of how to manage the calendar seamlessly to prevent overbooking. Don't worry. I got you covered in this article. I will show you how to manage your property across multiple channels without hopping from one account to another.
More Channels, More Opportunities
Each OTAs has its strength. Some are more popular in the business traveller segment, while some inspire travellers who their next destination. In addition, we found that each of the OTAs has a different market share in other countries and segments. If you're keen to learn more, you may find it in our Guide to Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) ebook.
More channels mean more opportunities to get more bookings and bring more revenues. However, many hosts stick to one channel (e.g. Airbnb) because of the hassle to keep the calendar up-to-date and the extra work required to manage multiple channels. Those hosts which manage many units resolve to use Airbnb management software to automate the manual work. There are pros and cons of each method.
Ways to keep your calendars update
The room calendars need to be updated in real-time to avoid overbooking. Airbnb will penalize host who has overbooking issue by locking their account. Once locked, your listing on Airbnb will no be accessible by any potential customers searching on their portal. So, the stake is high.
There are three different ways to keep your calendars update, and each of them will give you a different experience. Future thinking owners or managers will always choose the best and easiest method, of course.
- Update them manually by log in to each of the channels (so manual and outdated); OR
- Use iCal connections to synchronize the calendars between channels (it's free but!); OR
- Use a Channel Manager to sync the calendars, price rates and reservations across all channels (Wow!)
Talking about option #1, you can do it manually if you only have fewer than two channels. But what if you have more than three units? Of course, it is a big NO. Let's see the difference between the #2 and #3 options.
iCal vs Channel Manager
Before the invention of the channel manager, many hosts would prefer using iCal because it is free. However, since Channel Manager evolved around the world, many hosts see the benefits of using it.
iCaliCal involves a simple process during the setup. However, it is not reliable if you manage more than three channels, and overbooking can still happen. There will also delay for the calendars to synchronized to each of the channels. For example, you use iCal connections to sync the calendar between Airbnb and Booking.com. During peak booking season, there is a high possibility of double booking due to the synchronization between both channels will take place around one hour or even more than that. You will also need to know that not all OTAs can support iCal.
Channel ManagerChannel Manager is a system that helps to sync both calendars and room rates across all channels. Even though you will need to put some budget to have a Channel Manager, there is no doubt how Channel Manager is dominant nowadays. You don't have to worry about split inventory, and the best part is, you can list your property to as many as OTAs you want to reach more potential customers.
Read also: Reasons Why You Should Invest in Channel Manager
Channel Manager for Airbnb and Booking.com
Having a Channel Manager will help you to sync your calendar's availability and price to Airbnb and Booking.com. Imagine that you are renting three units of apartments on both Airbnb and Booking.com. When someone makes a one unit reservation through Booking.com, Channel Manager will receive this information and push the reservation to your Hotel PMS. At the same time, the remaining number of units available will be automatically updated on both Booking.com and Airbnb.
Through this automation, you will no longer have to worry about overbooking and manual updates. The integration between Channel Manager and PMS will do their job, and the updates will be done automatically in real-time.
iCAL is the solution for hosts if they are managing one unit and only use one channel. Channel manager is for hosts who manage more than one unit and use more than one channel.
Managing vacation rentals through multiple channels without smarter tools would be troublesome, time-consuming, not cost-effective, and leads to overbooking as well as bad customer experiences. This is where Channel Manager exists to help the Bnb management company working efficiently while focusing on bringing more revenues.
What do you think? Have you found a better way to manage your booking channels?