What is the Difference Between a Property Management System and a Channel Manager?

Running a hospitality business like a hotel, B&B or hostel can be both time-consuming and stressful if you’re trying to DIY it. Many hoteliers have help from a system that can take care of most of the tasks they’ve been doing manually. Perhaps you’ve been thinking of trying out something like this for yourself? In this blog, we will explain the differences between a Property Management System and a Channel Manager so that hopefully it will make your search a little easier to navigate.

Property Management System

A Property Management System, also called a PMS, is an online reservation system that will take care of the day to day running of your property. A Property Management System can carry out complex tasks like organizing housekeeping, emailing guests, accepting online bookings and handling payments plus much more.

Everything you need to manage your property is now automated which means almost no paperwork or double bookings, and you won’t have to worry about emailing guests their confirmations as the system does it for you. With all that free time you’ll probably need to start thinking about taking up a hobby or maybe just a well deserved break!

A PMS also makes it possible to receive direct bookings through its online booking engine, but many hoteliers want to use channels as well to ensure even more people find their business. But in order to receive bookings from channels you are going to need one more thing…

Channel Manager

So first things first, what is a channel?

A channel is a website where hoteliers can add their hotel, B&B or hostel so that people can book them online. Some popular channels you’ve probably heard of are Booking.com, Hotels.com, and Expedia.

If you have a website then you will need to ensure that your availability is updated when bookings are made via the channels or you run the risk of overbookings. And if you want to be connected to one or many channels, your PMS needs to communicate with the channels to ensure this happens. This is where a Channel Manager comes in.

A Channel Manager receives the booking and lets other connected channels know that a room has been booked and is no longer available. If it’s integrated with your PMS it will also update your website availability.

Sirvoy’s PMS has a built in Channel Manager with a two-way integration which means that if you get a booking through a channel, it will show up as unavailable on your website, and if you get a booking through your website, it will show up as unavailable on the booking channel. Pretty nifty huh?

We are always hearing stories from our clients about the amount of time and stress they have saved by using a channel manager. Here are just a few quotes from some of our happy customers:

I had never tried a channel manager. How did I EVER get along without it?? ~ Marcella

Sirvoy is a very intuitive system to use and requires minimal training compared to other systems. Price is very reasonable and it’s easy to integrate with both our own sales channels and partners ~ Simon

All channels connected and updated in every booking or change made by us or our clients. No more double bookings ~ Viktor

Sirvoy has turned into an indispensable weapon for me. Even though our hotel has only five rooms, it would be easy to get overbooked if we didn’t have Sirvoy ~ Lourdes

If you would like more information on channel managers check out our blog, How to Choose the Right Channel Manager for Your Business

Use them together

So to sum this up, a PMS and a Channel Manager wear very different hats and have very different roles, but to maximize your time and revenue it’s best to use them both.

It’s recommended that you find a PMS with the option of using a Channel Manager, so you don’t have to use two different systems. This makes sure everything in the booking process is automated and seamless between the channel and website. Also if you’re ever in the need of support it’s always handy to have just one company to contact with your issues instead of two.