As a busy property manager, having a powerful online calendar is a non-negotiable. When you’re managing multiple properties, you require and expect a lot from your calendar. In fact, your business quite literally depends on it.
There was a time when using iCalendar - or iCal for short, a basic, default calendar application that is used to sync and store scheduling information - was common for vacation rental property managers, and some still use it as an integrated calendar option. But it wasn’t designed for short-term rental operations, and it isn’t the best solution for property managers.
If you’re depending on a calendar that wasn’t built to suit the complexity of a vacation rental business, there’s a lot that can go wrong. And quite frankly, the problems you could potentially experience as a result of relying on iCal are simply not worth it.
Here are three reasons why using iCal for your property management business is a bad idea.
1. You increase your risk of double bookings
There are many ways to represent time across calendars. Different software and listing sites all have their own unique implementations for blocking off periods of time. Because there is no standard format for this, they can’t detect other software’s indication that a particular property or date is already reserved. Because each program marks reservation days differently, channels using iCal integration tend to book days that are already reserved on a property’s calendar.
iCal’s lack of standardization means trouble for your channel management strategy. One of the best ways to find your properties ranking at the bottom of a listing site is to double book and cancel guest reservations. This risk alone should be enough to make you look for alternatives.
2. You can’t rely on it
iCal is a decent tool to use in your daily personal life, but it’s not a reliable calendar for running your business. You’ve likely experienced an iCal event showing up on your desktop but not your smartphone, or receiving an iCal notification for a deleted event. You may have even experienced adding a reservation in iCal that your team members are unable to see.
These minor annoyances in your personal day-to-day can be overlooked, but in a business where money and your reputation is on the line, this unpredictability is a large and unnecessary risk.
3. You limit your company’s data collection
iCal integrations are limited. The only details it can really gather are reservation dates, omitting special details, listing information, guest names, unit number, property name, and more. In addition to this, your team can’t easily see details that are specific to a particular reservation in iCal - not to mention this makes collecting data for remarketing to past guests difficult. Given the amount of details that are required in order to keep a vacation rental business running smoothly, this shortcoming of iCal is quite problematic.
For property managers, there are better alternatives to iCal
ICal is a simple application that was built for your personal life, not your business. The inherent risk and limited capabilities associated with iCal is more than enough to consider a different, tailored solution for your property management company.
Veteran short-term property managers use property management software (PMS) to solve their multi-channel calendar needs as well as centralize their entire business operations. PMS that integrates directly with channels and is recognized as a preferred partner is the most comprehensive solution to your calendar woes and other property management complexities. Your base level integration shouldn’t just be calendar—it should be everything else in your PMS.
The MyVR availability calendar syncs your chosen channels and website with your PMS, ensuring you never double book a listing again. Our robust property management software allows your entire team to stay up-to-date with your booking calendar and reservation details.