At PriceLabs, we have hosts/managers who not only list on Airbnb (which is one of the popular short term rental distribution "channels")
and use our integration there, but also those who list their properties
on multiple channels (think Booking.com, TripAdvisor, HomeAway/VRBO,
etc.) and their own websites.
One of the frequent questions we get from hosts who are diversifying
to other channels is about how they can get prices from PriceLabs to be
updated to all the different channels.
And this is where a Property Management System (PMS) or Channel Manager (CM) comes in! If you haven't heard those terms before, this post is going to be SUPER useful.
Think of the PMS as a centralized calendar for your property (they do
a LOT more - you can find details on their own websites that we've
provided links to at the end). A channel manager acts as a link between
your centralized calendar and all the different channels. This is
beneficial in many different ways:
Note that some PMSs have their own channel manager. And also that
some channel managers don't need a PMS to host the centralized calendar.
The biggest benefit to come out of this is that now you can list and
get bookings from many channels, which usually results in higher
occupancy because you're reaching a wider audience. Other than these
benefits, they also let you streamline a lot of processes
(centralized/automated guest communication, advanced reporting, etc.).
For hosts who want PriceLabs prices to be updated to all the
different channels they use, this is how it works (picture at the top of
this article explains this as well):