The underpinnings of most vacation rental businesses hinge on their property management software - a system that can help coordinate everything from availability calendars, bookings, and payments to rates, listing data and channel management across multiple properties.
Many property management software (PMS) companies offer integrations with listing channels, but typically these are indirect integrations, running all your property data through third-party channel management software.
The constant transfer of data through that added layer creates a major risk to accuracy. To keep everything up-to-date, the PMS has to copy the data from the third-party channel manager on a continuous basis. Every time the data moves between your PMS and the channel manager a little bit of data can be lost—and that increases your risk, from discrepancies in prices, to unwanted rate markups, to double bookings.
That constant communication may seem simple at first, but when you factor in multiple properties, multiple channels, and all user interactions with your listings, this data becomes immense. The transfer of this vast amount of data increases the chances of your PMS breaking down or losing bits of data along the way.
A direct integration means that your PMS is connected to a listing site with no middleman - namely no third-party channel manager. This leverages something called an application programming interface (API for short), software that acts a bit like a restaurant’s menu: A menu allows diners to know what offerings are available to them. A customer orders through a waiter who sends the information along to the kitchen to prepare the dish for the table. In the same way, the API explains what data a channel manager can ask from the listing site.
A third-party channel manager may pull only a small subset of the information that the API actually makes available. Following the analogy, the menu is prix fixe - only offering the diner a few of the potential dishes the kitchen can make.
With its built-in channel manager, MyVR offers complete and direct channel integrations to the five major brands and their network of 70+ listing sites. Here are 4 reasons why that’s a good thing for your vacation rental business.
1. Create a closer connection to your marketing partner
Your vacation rental business revolves around multi-channel marketing—the listing sites, direct bookings, and online travel agencies (OTAs) who keep a steady stream of bookings coming in. Extra layers mean more complexity, with a greater risk that something could go wrong or be overlooked. Direct integration doesn’t just mean faster and more accurate data transfers; it means your PMS has the credibility and expertise to make it work. For example, MyVR is one of Airbnb’s Preferred Software Partners.
2. Be in control of your property data
Direct integration ensures visibility and accuracy, but it also means you’re in tighter control of your data: You make a change in your PMS and you can be confident that the same information has synced with your listings. A third-party channel manager isn’t just an extra layer for that data to pass through—some can mark up your rates without your knowledge or consent.
3. Stay up-to-date with the latest technology
When a PMS offers direct integrations, it means their software has been built and maintained to match each channel’s unique API. PMS providers typically use a third-party channel manager, and many either don’t take the time to set things up correctly from the start or they fail to keep their connections up-to-date over time. This doesn’t just increase the risk of errors, it also means they can’t fully leverage the latest technology, such as dynamic pricing and improving options for automation.
4. Be linked directly with payments
A direct integration with a listing site such as Booking.com, HomeAway, or Expedia, makes you the merchant of record. This means that any credit card transactions can go directly into your account. When you rely on a third-party channel manager to process payments, however, those payments could be subject to delays and extras fees - not to mention more administrative activities for you.
Above all, closer connections between vacation rental distribution network and your property management software bring you a more holistic approach to managing your operations while ensuring your business is well-positioned to compete.