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Frequently Asked Questions

Industry Category

Seeking answers to your industrywide questions? Here’s a good starting point for your journey to learn about the basics of the hospitality industry without spending much time.

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Industry

What are short-term rentals?
Short-term rentals, also known by the name vacation rentals, short-term lets, holiday lets, and etc. are a type of serviced accommodation that are for the guests who want to stay in an area for a short period of time, for instance, a weekend, a week, or even a whole month. Short-term rentals are used for various purposes, like for leisure travellers, students, business people who are on business trips, and so on and so forth.
Do OTAs charge people for having an account? Or do they charge per booking?
OTAs usually don’t charge you for having an account or listing your properties on them. OTAs commission is a percentage they charge you when a booking comes from their website.
What does self check-in mean?
There are mostly two ways for a guest to check-in. The first one is when the host meets them in person and hands them the key, which is called meet and greet. The second one is contactless or self check-in. In a self-check-in method, the guests can get the key and access the serviced accommodation using a smartlock, keypad, getting the key from one of the building’s staff, etc. Even though some of the hosts prefer to welcome their guests in person, if you manage multiple properties, it is almost impossible to meet and greet all of them. Moreover, the recent pandemic caused contactless check-ins to grow in popularity among both guests and hosts.
What is dynamic pricing?
Dynamic pricing, also known by the names time-based pricing or demand pricing, is a method for setting prices based on current market demand. If you own or manage short-term rentals, it is very important not to use fixed rates. Why? Because if you want to maximise your profits and fill your property(ies) all year round, it is a huge mistake to set a rate higher than the market demand or lower than it; the former leaves you with no occupancy and the latter decreases your bottom line. As this might seem like a professional task that needs knowledge and accurate data, you’ll need tools, which are called dynamic pricing tools, which calculate the right price based on different factors in the market.
What is a PMS (Property Management System)?
A PMS is a software designed to enable property managers to handle the operations of their hospitality business, thus facilitating check-ins and check-outs, administrative tasks, operations and channel management, booking processing, marketing, etc.
What is an aparthotel?
An aparthotel or a serviced apartment is mostly a luxury, fully furnished apartment for guests who seek accommodation for short- to mid-term stays. The main difference between a hotel and an aparthotel is the privacy and the feeling of home away from home they give to their temporary residents. Therefore, during the last years, travellers have tended to prefer aparthotels and serviced apartments over hotels.
What is the difference between API and iCal integrations?
If a hospitality software use iCal links to sync to other websites, when a room or an apartment is booked and no longer available, the dates can be blocked on third party systems. Moreover, linking to OTAs using iCal links may mean that availability is only updated a few times a day. This can lead to double bookings as updates are not pushed out in real time, and moreover rates have to be set manually. On the other hand, API integrations allow rates and availability to be sent in almost real-time. Therefore, if your PMS supports API integrations to channels, your rates and availability are kept in sync between your website and all the channels and OTAs that have an API integration. Whenever a booking is made, whether from your website or a channel, the rest of the calendars are updated. However, if your PMS doesn’t have API integrations in place, this won’t happen instantly so you still face a risk of overbookings.
What is a channel manager?
A channel manager is a tool that helps you push your rates and availably to different channels and OTAs you work with. Some channel managers offer 2-way API integrations. However, others use iCals to sync your data across different channels.
What is the difference between a PMS and a channel manager?
A PMS and a channel manager work hand in hand to help you manage your properties and push your rates and availability to different channels. When your PMS and channel manager are connected, the PMS sends availability information to the channel manager. Aftwerwards, your channel manager transports the inventory updates to the channels you’ve listed your properties on.

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