What is the problem?
For hosts, trying to increase exposure is of utmost importance. The greater the exposure, the greater the audience one can reach, and thus the greater the chances of increasing occupancy rates. With increased occupancy rates comes greater profits. However, increasing exposure can require a lot of time to ensure that rates are kept up to date and that no overbookings occur. This is where channel managers come in handy.
Channel managers help with synchronising rates and availability to increase exposure, while at the same time reducing the risk of overbookings. However, time and again you hear stories of hosts whose rates are not syncing fully with channels, or where their availability is only pushed to OTAs a few times a day, resulting in overbookings.
How can Zeevou's Channel Manager Help?
Channel managers come in different shapes and forms. Some channel managers will offer native 2-way API integrations, while other channel managers will sync using iCals.
iCal links allow a system to provide information surrounding events that can be imported into other apps or softwares. Google Calendar for example provides iCal links for events entered in it. Similarly, hospitality softwares can communicate with each other to a limited degree through iCal links by telling each other when a room or apartment is no longer available. However, the frequency with which this occurs depends on the receiving system. Most OTAs do not pull iCal updates more than a few times a day. This increases the risk of receiving a double booking. Moreover, iCals do not allow for synchronisation of rates between your PMS/Channel Manager and the listing platforms. This means you still need to change your rates manually on the target site each time you make a change on your central reservation system.
API integrations are the backbone of how hospitality softwares communicate with each other. They allow for both rates and availability to be sent pretty much in real time (it can take a few minutes for a rate to push across), thus ensuring your rates are pushed out as soon as you make a change. Moreover, it vastly reduces the amount of effort that it takes to ensure rate parity or to increase prices differently by channel in order to cover their commission. At the same time, it also helps prevent human error caused during manual data entry across multiple sites.
Zeevou’s Channel Manager offers 2-way API integrations with over 200 channels. This enables us to push rates and availability in real time, reducing the chances of overbookings. Once a booking is made on one of the listing sites or OTAs that Zeevou links to, it flows directly into Zeevou. As soon as the booking hits Zeevou, an email can be triggered to the guest to initiate Zeevou Book’s automated booking processing which streamlines the processing of bookings regardless of source.
When mapping the rate plans of your units to channels, you can add a fixed amount or a percentage specific to each channel. This allows you to include a mark-up in your pricing that covers the channel’s commission, however you should be mindful of any rate parity clauses that may apply to your contract with various OTAs (this will depend on the country your properties are located in and the terms of the OTA themselves).
Zeevou does not sync images or other content to OTAs. This means you need to create the listing on any site you wish to connect to and in Zeevou separately, and then link them up. On the bright side, if you are moving across to Zeevou from another channel manager, you can keep all your existing listings and just hook them up to Zeevou once you have listed the properties on our system.