If you work in the short-term rental business, then you know it’s important to keep your Airbnb calendar as up-to-date as possible. There are two primary reasons for this.
First, you need to make sure that your calendar is up-to-date so that your guests can confidently select the dates they needed, knowing what is available. Nothing is worse than having to call an excited guest and deliver the disappointing news that they won’t be able to stay on your property during their vacation after all.
Secondly, as a host, you need to be able to manage your own schedule! Knowing when you will and will not have renters will let you know when you need to be accessible to your guests and when you can plan to unplug and relax. This will allow you to create a more manageable sense of work-life balance and know when you are on and off call, so to speak.
We can only assume that you want to maximize your profits. And assuming that’s correct, we’d further assume that you have your property listed across a variety of different booking websites. By listing on multiple channels, you can increase visibility on your properties and find new customers by giving them additional opportunities to find your properties. Additionally, you take advantage of variable commission structures across platforms–some properties will have lower fees, and if your guests book with them over others, you will have more money in your pocket.
Despite this, every channel that you list your properties on is another calendar to manage. Unfortunately, most booking platforms don’t typically talk to one another, so they aren’t able to sync together when one booking is made on another website. This leaves you no other option than to manually adjust your calendars each time there is a booking. This takes a lot of time and calls for a better, time-saving solution.
There is one primary format that all booking platforms use to export and import files to sync calendars: Apple iCalendar. Despite this, the updates are not instantaneous and are entirely reliant upon the property manager to regularly update their central calendar.
When you want to sync your Airbnb calendar with your VRBO calendar, you’ll want to export your Airbnb iCalendar file, and upload it into VRBO. Then, you’ll need to export your VRBO calendar and do the same thing for Airbnb. While this method does work, it’s important to know that any delay in syncing can lead to unfortunate double bookings, which can cause headaches for you and your renters.
To merge your Airbnb calendar with your Booking.com calendar, you’ll want to follow the same process you did when integrating with Airbnb. Because this process works in the exact same manner, it can render you equally vulnerable to the hazards of double booking. Beyond that, each additional platform is another workflow of it’s own, so although you are making the right choice in working across platforms, you are invariably adding to your own workload.
If you’ve created your own direct booking website, it’s important that you select reservation tools that allow you to integrate other calendars. Learn which tools are on your website and if you need to, upgrade them in order to ensure the best possible functionality.
While you certainly can manage your calendar manually, it isn’t necessarily the ideal solution. First of all, it takes up time. Every minute you spend navigating back and forth between one calendar and another could be a minute you spend growing your business. Secondly, and perhaps worse, manual calendar adjustments leave a substantial amount of room for lag time, which can allow renters to sneak in with double bookings. These can negatively impact your client satisfaction ratings, among other metrics, which can slow your ability to attract new guests in the future.
This is where a channel manager can be a real game changer for property managers. With a channel manager, you can integrate all of your calendars together, allowing them to speak to one another. This can prevent double bookings and all of the headache and time loss that comes with it.
When you work with Futurestay, you can sync all of your calendars with one another, to create a seamless experience for you and your future renters. You’ll be able to manage all of your calendars from a single dashboard that also includes a direct booking option, that can allow clients to work directly with you, removing the costly middleman from the equation.
Best of all, because all of your calendars will be merged together, you’ll be able to limit delays on your client’s end. They’ll always have the most up-to-date information about your property’s open dates, allowing you to maximize availability. Finally, and most important to us, you, the property manager, will have less headache and be able to create more profit for your business, allowing you to find financial freedom more quickly, thanks to Futurestay.