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Top 7 Best Vacation Rental Channel Managers in 2021 (Comparisons & Reviews)

As a property manager or Airbnb host, you can simplify your life by using a vacation rental channel manager. But with so many options, how do you know which one’s best for your business?

We’ve created this overview of the best vacation rental channel managers to help you decide. After hours of research, reading hundreds of forum threads and customer reviews, and speaking with many of these companies, we have our list of top picks and recommendations. We also included a comparison table of their pricing and features, to help you compare and find the one that best fits your needs and budget.

Here are our top picks:

  • UplistingBest overall — our top pick. Comprehensive short-term rental management software platform. User-friendly, tons of features, great support, and a premium price tag.
  • SmartbnbBest for basic channel sync & automation. Easy to set up, easy to use, excellent channel sync and automation features, and an affordable price.
  • OwnerRez – Best value for property management features. Owner commission statements and payouts, automation features, great customer support, and flexible, affordable pricing.
  • iGMS Best advanced feature set. Comprehensive short-term rental management software platform. Tons of advanced features, and a flexible entry-level pricing level.
  • Your Porter AppBest price for the features. All the basic rental management features (including a direct booking website) at a very affordable price.
  • Syncbnb – Best calendar and rate syncing features. Offers the most channels by far (200+ native, real-time integrations), and a ‘Zero Double-Booking Guarantee.’
  • Lodgify – Best direct booking website feature. Manage all your channels, including website bookings, in one convenient dashboard.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. The information in this post is based on the in-depth research we do in order to recommend the best software to our clients.

What to Look For in a Vacation Rental Channel Manager

Channel managers were originally built for hotels to be able to sell rooms on multiple booking sites at the same time. But as the vacation rental industry has exploded, there’s now an increasing number of companies offering channel managers for vacation rentals to meet the demand.

A vacation rental channel manager is software that will automatically distribute your property listings across multiple booking channels. Depending on the software, this means you can sync calendar availability, rates, and other property details.

There are dozens (hundreds, maybe?) of vacation rental channel managers you could choose from, and more popping up all the time. It can be a bit overwhelming, really.

But not to worry. We’ve done the research for you, as part of our ongoing effort to be able to make the best, most informed software recommendations to our clients. Before we get into our reviews of the best channel managers for vacation rentals, here are a few things to keep in mind while deciding.

  • Supported channels – Do they offer native/API integrations (not just iCal calendar sync) with Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, and any other channels you want to list your properties on?
  • What gets synced – Not all channel integrations are created equal. Some only sync calendar availability, while others can also sync booking details, rates, and property details.
  • Value for the price – Everyone loves a good deal, but it’s important to keep in mind the time (read money) you can save if you choose the best platform for your needs, rather than the cheapest.
  • Additional features – Most of these platforms offer channel management as just one feature in a suite of vacation rental management features—like a direct booking website builder, owner commission statements and payouts, Quickbooks accounting integration, etc. All of our top picks offer automated messaging (excluding Syncbnb) and direct bookings (excluding Smartbnb).
  • Number of properties – Some of these platforms can be overkill if you just have 1 or 2 properties. Others are perfectly suited to that.

With these in mind, let’s get into our reviews and comparisons of the best vacation rental channel managers on the market today.

Comparison of the Best Vacation Rental Channel Managers

Here’s a quick comparison of the pricing, supported channel integrations, and additional features of our top picks. The icons under ‘Supported Channels’ represent API integrations with Airbnb, VRBO (and Homeaway), Booking.com, and Expedia.

PriceSupported
Channels*
Additional
Features
Uplisting logo$$$$Airbnb Logo - Available Channel IconVrbo logo - Available Channel IconBooking.com logo - Available Channel Icon5★
Smartbnb logo$$Airbnb Logo - Available Channel IconVrbo logo - Available Channel Icon3★
OwnerRez logo$$$Airbnb Logo - Available Channel IconVrbo logo - Available Channel IconBooking.com logo - Available Channel Icon4★
iGMS logo$$$$Airbnb Logo - Available Channel IconVrbo logo - Available Channel IconBooking.com logo - Available Channel Icon5★
Your Porter App logo$$Airbnb Logo - Available Channel IconBooking.com logo - Available Channel Icon4★
Syncbnb logo$$$Airbnb Logo - Available Channel IconVrbo logo - Available Channel IconBooking.com logo - Available Channel IconExpedia logo - Available Channel Manager icon++3★
Lodgify logo$$$Airbnb Logo - Available Channel IconVrbo logo - Available Channel IconBooking.com logo - Available Channel IconExpedia logo - Available Channel Manager icon4★

*The channels listed here indicate 2-way, near real-time, API integrations, which offer a much lower chance of dreaded double-bookings. You can connect to other channels via iCal calendar sync, but they may take an hour or two to update.

Vacation Rental Channel Manager Reviews

Now let’s look at each of these platforms in more detail. Below you’ll find a a summary of their pricing and features, pros and cons, and our recommendation on if it’s a good fit for your business.

Uplisting

Uplisting Vacation Rental - Website Homepage
Uplisting logo

Pricing: Starts at $100/mo for up to 5 properties. (More)

Free Trial: 14 days

Channels: Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com (More)

Uplisting is quickly becoming a crowd favorite due to their intense focus on their product’s usability and reliability, and on taking excellent care of their customers. They have virtually no negative reviews.

They also have extra features like security deposits, cleaning scheduling, and lots of other automation features. If it’s in your budget, Uplisting is definitely worth a look.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • User-friendly
  • Tons of extra convenient features
  • Great customer support

Cons:

  • Higher price

Our recommendation: Uplisting is best for owners (2 – 5 properties) and property managers (5 – 100+ properties), who want a comprehensive short-term rental management software platform. It’s solid, reliable, and has great customer support.

Visit Uplisting.io to learn more.

Smartbnb

Smartbnb Vacation Rental Channel Manager - Website Homepage
Smartbnb logo

Pricing: Starts at $18/mo for up to 2 listings. (More)

Free Trial: 14 days

Channels: Airbnb, VRBO (Booking.com, Agoda, and Tripadvisor are on roadmap)

Smartbnb is one of the most popular, well-reviewed, and lowest-priced property management softwares out there. Originally built (and best known) for handling automated messages on Airbnb, it now includes features like calendar sync and operations management.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • Inexpensive
  • Automate guest messaging
  • Operations features to help manage your team

Cons:

Our recommendation: Smartbnb is best for hosts with 1 or a few properties who want an easy way to sync Airbnb and VRBO, and automate routine tasks.

It’s also a great option for property managers interested in scaling with their Operations features.

Visit Smartbnb.io to learn more.

OwnerRez

Owner Reservations (OwnerRez) Channel Manager - Homepage
OwnerRez logo

Pricing: Starts at $35/mo for up to 2 properties. (More)

Free Trial: 14 days

Channels: Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com (More)

Over the years (since 2007), OwnerRez has quietly been growing a loyal customer base, due to their solid software and excellent customer support. They have a flexible pricing model (only pay for the features you want), and lots of advanced features for property managers like a Quickbooks integration and owner commission statements and payments.

Pros:

  • Great customer support
  • Flexible, ‘a la carte’ pricing
  • Advanced features for property managers

Cons:

  • Learning curve
  • Not the most modern or user-friendly UI

Our recommendation: OwnerRez is best for property managers with several (5 – 100+) properties, especially those interested in these property management features. (Read our full OwnerRez review for more).

Visit OwnerReservations.com to learn more.

iGMS

iGMS logo

Pricing: Starts at $20/property/mo. (More)

Free Trial: 14 days

Channels: Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com (More)

iGMS (formerly AirGMS) is another premium, comprehensive short-term rental management software that’s been around the block (since 2015). They have a flexible pricing option ($1 per night booked), which is a great, inexpensive way to get started using a vacation rental management software.

Pros:

  • Flexible pricing plan available
  • Tons of advanced features for property managers

Cons:

  • Higher price
  • Some complaints that the UI could be more intuitive

Our recommendation: iGMS is a great option for hosts with anywhere from 1 (on their Flexible plan) to 50+ properties, who want a comprehensive solution.

Visit iGMS.com to learn more.

Your Porter App

Your Porter App logo

Pricing: Starts at $5/listing/mo. (More)

Free Trial: 14 days

Channels: Airbnb, Booking.com (More)

Your Porter App is perhaps the most affordable way to get all the standard features of a vacation rental management software platform. They also offer features to help improve your Airbnb rankings, among others. If you’re interested in a direct booking website, you can preview yours (without even creating an account) with their Single-Click Website Preview.

Pros:

  • Lower price tag for the same basic features
  • Direct booking website builder

Cons:

  • Some complaints about usability, slowness, and occasional bugs

Our recommendation: Your Porter App is best for vacation rental owners looking for an affordable way to manage their properties (including setting up a direct booking website).

Visit YourPorter.com to learn more or read our full Your Porter App review.

Syncbnb

Syncbnb logo

Pricing: Starts at $15/listing/mo.

Free Trial: 30 days

Channels: Over 200+ including Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, and Expedia

With ‘sync’ right in the name, Syncbnb’s biggest strength is keeping all your calendars in sync. They actually blow the competition away in the particular area, with 200+ channel integrations and a Zero Double-Booking Guarantee. You can sync as many channels as you want and have peace of mind that you’ll never have to deal with a double booking.

Pros:

  • Sync over 200+ channels
  • Great customer support
  • Zero Double-Booking Guarantee

Cons:

  • No guest messaging or other automation features

Our recommendation: Syncbnb is best for professional hosts who want to sync their properties across multiple channels, and don’t require many other vacation rental management features.

Visit Syncbnb.com to learn more.

Lodgify

Lodgify Channel Manager - Homepage
Lodgify logo

Pricing: Starts at $32/mo for 1 property. (More)

Free Trial: 14 days

Channels: Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, Expedia (More)

Lodgify is a great all-around vacation rental management software platform. They have one of the most advanced website builders, offer direct API integrations with the major OTAs, and have a growing set of convenient features for hosts and property managers.

Pros:

  • Direct booking website builder
  • Affordable price for the value

Cons:

  • Some complaints about poor customer support

Our recommendation: Lodgify is a great option if you want to sync your channels with a direct booking website, and want to keep everything in one place.

Visit Lodgify.com to learn more.

Alternatives to Our Channel Manager Top Picks

Here are some alternative vacation rental channel managers to consider. While these didn’t quite make our top picks list, they are still definitely worth a look if you’re interested in comparing more alternatives.

  • Tokeet – Tokeet is an alternative that’s similar to Lodgify in terms of pricing and feature set.
  • Hostfully – Hostfully is another alternative with a similar price and features. They don’t have a free trial, and require a $400 setup fee (waived with an annual subscription). Use code EGNTNJ494 for $100 off your Hostfully subscription.
  • Guesty – Guesty is an all-inclusive, end-to-end solution for larger property management businesses. Their percentage based pricing model can be cost prohibitive, and some reviews say they’re a jack of all trades, master of none.
  • Rentals United – Rentals United is a well-established channel manager for short-term and holiday rentals. They have an open API, and many other platforms actually have an integration with Rentals United, like Syncbnb, Guesty, and others.
  • Lodgix – Lodgix offers a WordPress plugin that might be a good option to explore for those familiar with WordPress or web development.
  • Cloudbeds – Cloudbeds is a large, well-established hospitality software company. They recently acquired OneRooftop, adding vacation rental channel management to their suite of products.

Summary & Our Recommendations

You should now have a better idea of what options are available in the vacation rental channel manager software ecosystem. With these in mind, here are our final recommendations.

Our Favorite Channel Manager

Taking into account your business size and needs, budget, and personal preferences, the ‘best’ channel manager will be different for everyone. But if you want the absolute best money can buy, we recommend Uplisting.

Uplisting is an intuitive, reliable, and modern short-term rental management platform with a ton of advanced features and great customer support. They’re also growing quickly, and they regularly release new features based on customer feedback. Whether you’re a host with a few properties, or a large property management company, Uplisting can help you manage and scale your business. You can start a free 14-day trial (no credit card required) at Uplisting.io, or schedule a demo.

Start a free trial at Uplisting.io

Other Recommendations

If you’re interested in a lower priced Uplisting alternative, with a similar feature set, we recommend Your Porter App or OwnerRez. Both of these platforms offer tremendous value for the price, if you’re interested in additional property management features.

For a simple way to manage your properties across multiple channels (if you don’t need lots of other property management features), check out Smartbnb (with its Airbnb channel manager, automated messaging, and operations features) or Syncbnb (with its unmatched channel syncing and Zero Double-Booking Guarantee).

And if a customizable direct booking website builder is a top priority, check out Lodgify. In addition to being the most advanced vacation rental website builder, they offer a robust channel manager and other advanced property management features.

Additional Resources

We hope this post has helped you get a better sense of your options, and you feel equipped to choose the best vacation rental software for your business. If you have any questions, or you want to know more about our custom vacation rental websites, please get in touch.

Here are some additional resources related to vacation rental management software, direct bookings, and syncing calendars across multiple channels.

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