Airbnb Channel Managers: The 2021 Updated List For Vacation Rentals

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Do you struggle with:

  • The time-intense and nerve-wracking repetition of managing your listings manually across multiple channels?

  • Feeling overwhelmed and triple-checking everything to avoid making a mistake?

  • Constantly stressing about updating your availability to prevent double bookings?

We’re all human and mistakes happen all the time. But getting a double booking, messing up your dates or confusing a guest’s name is an important indicator that you need help managing your listings.

Don’t let double bookings cancel out the hard work and time you’ve invested into your business. There’s a simple way to sort this all out - and most successful short-term rental hosts are already doing it.

So how can you become a more efficient host too? By automating your Airbnb and using a channel manager.

Channel managers let you synchronize your listings across all the booking sites you’re listed on, saving you time, preventing double bookings and earning you more money.

Displaying your real-time availability on all your channels is extremely important. So let’s look at how channel managers work and how they can help you keep your calendars up-to-date!

What is an Airbnb channel manager?

Vacation rental channel managers are software solutions that allow you to:

  • Manage all your listings and bookings from one place.

  • Synchronize your calendars across all the channels you advertise on.

  • Automatically update your availability every time you get a new booking.

Channel managers retrieve booking data from online travel agencies (OTAs) like Airbnb and Vrbo through API integrations. Thanks to this connectivity, all your information gets updated instantly, in real-time. Most channel managers let you manage at least two or three of the major booking sites. 

This means you don’t need to log in to each of your accounts separately every time you need to access a booking, respond to a message or check your calendar. Everything is centralized in a single platform. 

Just imagine how much easier and more efficient managing your bookings is when you have a unified inbox and synced calendars! Try our airbnb channel manager 30-days for free.

how does an airbnb channel manager work

Another way that channel managers can retrieve information from booking sites is through iCal links. 

iCal is a standard calendar format that most rental platforms support. If your channel manager doesn’t have a direct API integration with a specific booking site, you can export your calendar from that booking site and import it into your channel manager. The only requirement is that your channel manager supports iCal import.

The benefits of using a channel manager for Airbnb

Channel managers are indispensable tools for all property managers who advertise on more channels than just Airbnb.

A channel manager can help you:

  • Save time. You don’t have to update your calendars or listings manually, so you have more time to spend on other aspects of your business.

  • Prevent double bookings. Your calendars are instantly updated across all your channels, so guests always see your true availability.

  • Increase your occupancy. You can get listed on multiple channels without worrying about overbookings or having to spend even more time manually managing them. Instead enjoy increased visibility, get more bookings, and boost your occupancy.

  • Increase your revenue. More bookings and a higher occupancy rate translate into bigger profits.

  • Improve your guest messaging. Most channel managers have a unified inbox where they collect your messages from all your channels, so you never miss a guest inquiry and keep your response rates high.

Best vacation rental channel managers

Now that you know what a channel manager is and how it will help you, let’s look at the best providers currently on the market. Depending on your budget and if you have one or multiple properties, this list will help you identify the channel manager that best fits your needs. 

The prices are displayed per listing per month, paid on a monthly basis. The more listings you have, the lower the price per listing is for most channel managers.

1. Airbnb channel manager and automated messaging tool: Host Tools

Price: $5.00 per month per listing

Minimum listings: 1

Free trial: 30 days

Host Tools is an intuitive and easy-to-use channel manager built by a property manager for property managers. It lets you sync your calendars and update your availability across all your different channels. 

Host Tools has direct API integrations with Airbnb and Vrbo, and allows you to import booking information from any channel - including your direct booking website - using iCal. 

Besides being a channel manager, Host Tools offers you a useful set of features to optimize and simplify almost all aspects of being a short term rental host:   

  • messaging automation, including helpful message templates

  • a unified inbox to manage all your guest communication

  • review automation

  • smart lock support, 

  • and a rule-based pricing tool. 

multi-calendar airbnb channel manager host tools

This is a preview of the multi-calendar view in the Host Tool channel manager

Highlighted features: Longest free trial period on the market (no credit card required), and reliable customer service.

2. Lodgix

Price: starts at $7.14 per month

Minimum listings: 7

Free trial: 30 days

Lodgix is a web-based vacation rental management software with features like automated guest communication and reporting tools, and a channel manager.

The platform has direct integrations with Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Expedia, Flipkey and TripAdvisor, allowing you to manage all your listings across these channels.

Lodgix works for a diverse range of customers, from hosts with a single listing to B&B owners with multiple rooms and large vacation rental property managers with 100+ units. 

Highlighted features: Best for hosts who manage a large number of units.

3. YourPorter

Price: starts at $9.00 per month

Minimum listings: 2

Free trial: 21 days

YourPorter is a short-term rental software that lets you manage your day to day tasks with features like messaging automation, task scheduling, and channel management.

The tool integrates directly with Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com, and allows you to import other channel calendars via iCal.

Additional highlighted functionalities include: a website builder, a mobile app, and income reporting.

4. Smartbnb

Price: starts at $9.00 per month

Minimum listings: 2

Free trial: 14 days

Smartbnb is a tool that lets you improve your guest experience and automate many of your operations. 

Its features include automated smart messaging, task management, a single inbox, and a consolidated calendar.

Smartbnb has a direct integration with Airbnb and Vrbo, so it lets you synchronize your calendars between these two platforms.

Highlighted features: Best suitable for hosts who advertise on Airbnb and Vrbo, as it doesn’t allow you to import other calendars using iCal.

5. Tokeet

Price: starts at $9.99 per month*

Minimum listings: 1

Free trial: 15 days

Tokeet is a one-stop-shop for short-term rental management solutions. 

Tokeet has integrations with all the major bookings sites to help you keep your rates and availability updated across all your channels. 

Highlighted features: Besides channel management, it has tools like dynamic pricing, invoicing and payments, contract signature, website building, and more.

*The Entry Plan only includes the reservation manager, channel manager and mobile application.

6. Beds24

Price: starts at $11.70 per month*

Minimum listings: 1

Free trial: upon request

Beds24 is an all-in-one management software for hotels, B&Bs, and vacation rentals. It’s for property managers of all sizes, from one property to a hundred.

Beds24 integrates with all leading booking sites including Airbnb, Vrbo and Booking.com.

Highlight: The platform includes a property management system (PMS), a booking engine, payment processing, and a channel manager.

*Excluding channel management which has a fee per property and per channel. It is $14.02 per month per listing if you connect to one channel.

7. Lodgify

Price: starts at $12.00 per month + 1.9% booking fee*

Minimum listings: 1

Free trial: 7 days

Lodgify is an all-in-one vacation rental software for property managers of different sizes. 

Lodgify lets you synchronize your listings via API connections with Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com and Expedia. If you advertise on more channels, you can import your calendars via iCal links. 

Highlighted features: Whether you manage a single Airbnb or multiple units, Lodgify has a wide range of tools for you. Apart from being a channel manager, it’s also a property management system, a website builder, a booking software, and a payment processing tool. 

*Only available as a yearly plan.

8. Smoobu

Price: starts at $23.00 per month

Minimum listings: 1

Free trial: 14 days

Smoobu is an all-in-one cloud-based vacation rental management platform for property managers of all sizes. 

It’s a complete solution with a reservation system, a booking engine, a channel manager, a centralized calendar, a unified inbox, a website builder, reporting tools, and more.

Highlight: Smoobu allows for availability and price synchronization for the most popular booking channels, including Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, and Agoda.

9. OwnerRez

Price: starts at $29.98 per month*

Minimum listings: 2

Free trial: 14 days

OwnerRez is an end-to-end management tool for small homeowners and large property managers alike.

It has a simple calendar display with all your bookings, as well as helpful automation and reporting features.

OwnerRez has direct API integrations with Airbnb, Vrbo, Tripadvisor, and other major booking sites. 

Highlighted features: If you need more data than what the channels provide through their APIs, OwnerRez has you covered. Its proprietary Channel Bridge browser extension lets you download all your booking data from listing sites (including things like transactions and pet info) and upload it to OwnerRez in a few simple steps. 

*Including the channel management premium feature.

10. iGMS

Price: starts at $30.00 per month*

Minimum listings: 1

Free trial: 14 days

iGMS is a vacation rental automation software that lets you manage your listings across all your channels. 

iGMS has direct API integrations with Airbnb, Booking.com and Vrbo, and lets you add other channels via iCal.

Highlight: It has additional features like, native smart messaging, automation tools, cleaning and team management tools, and financial reporting.

*You can choose between two pricing models: a subscription-based and a commission-based one.

Comparison Chart of Airbnb channel manager

You can find a side-by-side comparison of even more channel managers in this spreadsheet. We constantly update it and invite you to add your suggestions too!

Have a look at the table below to compare providers at a glance and check out the review and comparison page for Host Tools vs Your Porter vs Smartbnb: Vacation Rental Automation Software:

Header
Host Tools
your porter vs smartbnb


smartbnb

Free trial

30 days

21 days

14 days

Monthly price per listing*

$5.00

$18.00**

$18.00

Setup fee

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Channel integrations

Airbnb, VRBO

Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com

Airbnb, VRBO

Messaging automation

Review automation

Pricing automation

Availability sync

Smart lock support

Multi-calendar

Unified inbox

iCal support

Accounting

Cleaner management

Noise detection

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