1) What is a channel manager?
A channel manager is a 3rd party company that has already built connections to various OTAs like Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity and many more. By connecting to a channel manager it drastically speeds up the time frame that it would normally take for a PMS to build each OTA connection directly.
RezStream Cloud in conjunction with our channel manager will automatically update your availability and rates to all of your 3rd party OTA channels.
2) How much does a channel manager charge in fees?
Each channel manager is different. Some charge a percentage per reservation, some a flat fee per reservation. Our channel manager charges a low monthly fee based on your total number of rooms. This model allows for unlimited reservations through the various OTAs.
3) Where can I see a list of all the channels RezStream's channel manager connects to?
4) Does RezStream charge anything for this feature?
Yes. RezStream's channel manager is a part of our professional subscription. This subscription level is billed at $12 per room, per month.
5) What do I need to do as the property to be prepared?
As the property you will need to have your account setup with your OTA(s) of choice. You'll need to reach out to RezStream to upgrade your account to the professional subscription (if you don't have it already).
You will also need to activate your account within the channel managers portal.
6) How do I create an account with RezStream's channel manager?
This will be done with the help of a customer success consultant directly within our Cloud PMS. We'll schedule a mutually convenient day/time to walk you through each step of this process.
7) How long does the setup take?
The setup can vary from 15 minutes to 48 hours depending on the channel. The larger OTAs can be done in a matter of minutes, whereas the more obscure channels can take longer as manual confirmation of the connection is required from the channel themselves. The general process includes the following:
- Sign up for the channel manager account (Username and Password)
- Create a secure credit card retrieval password (Separate from your account password for compliance)
- Create the rooms you wish to list
- Map those rooms and rates from the PMS to the channel manager
- Select the channels you wish to map to
- Enter your credentials and/or log into the channels extranet to enable the channel manager connection
8) Do I need to retrieve the credit card details from somewhere?
Yes. Initially you will need to retrieve the credit card details from the channel manager, which we'll link you to right from within the Cloud PMS on that reservation. Later on, we'll have completed the automatic retrieval of the credit card information which will display automatically within the Cloud PMS. This feature will only be available for those clients using integrated credit card processing with our Shift4 payment gateway.
9) How does opening and closing inventory work?
You can open and close inventory from directly within the Cloud PMS, eliminating the need for you to do this in your OTA extranet. BEFORE INITIAL CONNECTION OF THE CHANNEL MANAGER YOU MUST OPEN ALL PREVIOUSLY CLOSED AVAILABILITY WITH YOUR OTA WITHIN THE EXTRANET. If that process is skipped the Cloud PMS won't be able to open that previously closed availability, you'll need to do that with your OTA.
10) Is there a limitation to room types?
Yes but it shouldn't be a problem. Unlike RezStream's former connection with InnLink, there are 100 unit types you can setup vs. the limitation of 16 in the past.
11) Do I need rate parity?
Rate parity is recommended by each OTA channel so that no one OTA has an advantage of another. However, there are lawsuits taking place in Europe around rate parity so in certain situations I've heard OTAs being more accepting when clients push back. My advice would be to deal with your OTAs independently on this topic.
12) What else do I need to know?
RezStream will walk you through this process step by step to ensure it's done properly. Don't worry, we wouldn't let you navigate this alone!
Some channels do not allow for the syncing of rates, one example is VRBO. Each channel is different so please speak with your channel if there are any concerns.