Vacation rental software is software that is designed to help vacation rental managers efficiently manage the many aspects of their operations, and ultimately deliver a consistently delightful customer experience throughout their stay. It is also known as Airbnb management software, short term rental management software, and property management software (PMS).
It is used by vacation rental hosts and property managers to track, monitor, manage, and evaluate their processes including multichannel distribution, reservation management, sales and marketing, customer management, and vacation rental team. A good vacation rental software also integrates with various more specialized applications that property managers may need to enhance their vacation rental operations.
Vacation rental software can be used to manage one or even hundreds of properties across one or many distribution platforms.
Vacation rental software or PMS offers property managers a broad range of benefits and is considered essential to manage and operate a high-performance vacation rental business. The advantages of vacation rental software include:
Diversifying your channel mix by listing your vacation rental on multiple booking channels is a critical strategy to grow your occupancy, rates, and revenue. The multi-calendar synchronization and management features of vacation rental software allow you to safely incorporate multichannel distribution by eliminating the myriad issues, such as double booking, that frequently arise when attempted without.
By integrating with an entire marketplace of vacation rental tools such as dynamic pricing, marketing, guest screening, etc, a PMS expands the automations and services you can utilize to increase operational capability and efficiency even further.
Running a vacation rental requires multiple tasks to be completed concurrently and a host who does not utilize vacation rental software is forced to take care of each and every one, all day long. Using vacation rental software streamlines your entire operations and provides for automation of entire workflows, saving you considerable time and effort, so you can focus on growing your business
Because a PMS enables you to considerably reduce the amount of work required to be done manually through automation and organizes your processes to be efficient, you don’t have to hire as many staff members (or any at all) as you would otherwise, allowing your vacation rental business to function automatically with a much leaner team.
By significantly decreasing the time and effort you need to expend to run your vacation rental, you can easily take on more and more properties to manage, helping you scale faster and at less cost.
The combination of automation, efficiency, and added capability; multichannel distribution; cost reductions; and ability to scale faster, allow you to grow your revenue and maximize profits.
Typically, a property management system will include a number of core functionalities that are considered essential for the effective and efficient operation of one or more vacation rentals. These are offered within an integrated software environment and include:
The central component of vacation rental software is the efficient management of reservations. Sometimes known as the central reservation system, this allows property managers to manage the entire reservations process, from guest inquiry and booking confirmation to guest messaging and reviewing, self-check-in, marketing and CRM, upselling, staff management, payment invoicing and processing, etc.
Sometimes offered as a standalone service, the channel manager component allows property managers to list on multiple booking platforms, making sure the booking calendars across all listings are synced and updated continuously. It also enables hosts to populate other updates, such as pricing, messaging, and screening, across their many listings.
Also known as a multi-calendar, a centralized calendar will display your updated booking calendars, across your different properties and channels, in a unified view.
A single interface where all guest communication is gathered, a unified inbox makes it easier for property managers to view, respond, and manage all types of guest communications across the booking channels their vacation rental properties are listed on.
A good PMS will provide users the ability to automate repetitive tasks such as messaging guests, reviews, cleaning tasks, payments, etc.
The reporting and analytics features utilize the data gathered through the various components of the vacation rental software to provide hosts with an overall view of their performance, generate reports across key performance indicators, and offer valuable insights.
Leading vacation rental software providers will also provide website-building capabilities along with a booking engine so users can build their own vacation rental websites and take bookings, managing it alongside the bookings received through online booking channels.
Vacation rental software enables integrations with companion applications such as dynamic pricing tools, guest screening software, cleaning services, smart locks, payment services, accounting software, etc. By plugging-in these third-party software into the PMS, users gain added capabilities for managing their properties.
A good PMS will come equipped with a mobile app that offers full or near-complete functionality so vacation rental property managers and hosts can check in and utilize the features on-the-go.
Hostaway is the leading all-in-one vacation rental software in the market worldwide. The award-winning platform offers everything property managers need to streamline every aspect of their operations and automate their vacation rental management business. Hostaway connects every stage of the guest journey from a unified software interface.
As an all-in-one PMS, its features include vacation rental operations management, property management, channel management, communications, marketing, reporting and analytics, automations, website builder and booking engine, owner portal to better manage the homeowner relationship, guest portal to simplify customer relationship management and upsell, and mobile app available on iOS and Android.
Hostaway is a top-ranked vacation rental software across a variety of trusted review sites. For example, it has been rated 4.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot and recognized as a GetApp Category Leader 2023, SourceForge Leader - Summer 2023, G2 Leader -Summer 2023, and Software Advice Front Runner 2023.
Hostaway has been awarded the highest possible recognition by Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com in their 2023 partner programs. Hostaway is the only combined PMS and channel manager to hold the ‘triple crown’ designation having achieved Airbnb Preferred Plus Partner, Vrbo Elite Partner, and Booking.com Premier Partner status, which speaks to the strength and seamlessness of its integration with the three big online travel agencies (OTAs). Hostaway is also integrated with Google Vacation Rentals, enabling its users to list their short term rentals across Google Travel, Google Search, and Google Maps. These recognitions translate into reliability and quality for the user.
User-friendliness of vacation rental software is of significant importance to users and Hostaway has long been recognized for its ease of use by its users. Recently, it was awarded the Capterra Best Ease of Use 2023 recognition.
From free demos to onboarding and post-implementation support, Hostaway provides its customers with support that they can count on. Most recently, its support services was recognized by the award of Crozdesk Happiest Users 2023 for High User Satisfaction.
Integrating third-party tools into their PMS is important to most vacation rental property managers, enabling them to expand their operations and automations and ultimately get more bookings and earn more revenue. Hostaway’s marketplace has over 150 integrated software partners, making it the largest in the industry. Furthermore, short term rental hosts can utilize Hostaway’s connection with Zapier to access over 3,000+ additional connections, delivering endless possibilities. Hostaway even allows users to build their own connections with the platform’s open API.
Hostaway has been intelligently designed so each module enables property owners and managers to grow from 5 to 20, from 50 to 200, or even from 1,000 to 5,000 properties across booking platforms large and small. These range from Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Expedia, and Marriott to Hopper, Got2Go, GetawayGoGo, Whimstay, Golightly, and many more.
In May 2023, Hostaway announced it has received $175 million in funding, an all-equity-round, that is being hailed as the single biggest investment in the industry. Provided by a sole investor, PSG Equity, the funding will enable the platform to expand and improve its offerings and support services and extend its customer base beyond the 100,000 properties it manages across 100 countries. The investment highlights its potential and future prospects in the industry and the growing value it can deliver to its users.