Vacation Rental Software is a system specifically designed to support your vacation rental business with customer management, bookings management and facility maintenance by centralizing the reservations and operational tasks for all your properties.
Rather than logging into Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com separately to manage reservations and communicate with guests, a property management system lets you do it all in one place.
With multiple players in the business, it can be rather overwhelming to identify which Vacation Rental Software works best for your business model. Ultimately, it all boils down to the million dollar questions:
So without further ado, let’s dive into the details!
Utilizing the best technology and software available to you as a Property Manager is crucial to the success of your vacation rental business. Channel managers (CMS) and property management systems (PMS) allow for seamless distribution to key sales channels such as Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, Expedia, and TripAdvisor etc. They also provide the required support to control, monitor, and automate your team, guest, revenue, owner, and operations management.
Whilst there may be minor differences in how Vacation Rental Software operate and what they offer, the key elements pretty much remain the same; which is probably why it is tricky to pick one over another.
With a channel manager, you can change your availability in your property management system and let the change be sent across all of your listing channels. It also synchronizes rates, availability, and sometimes content across all listing sites such as AirBnB, VrBO, Homeaway and Flipkey.
The reservation system module or CRS allows agility to change dates, prices, and other details for existing reservations.
A central calendar where all reservations from all channels for all of your listings are viewable.
Booking software helps increase revenue from direct channels by providing the ability to enter direct reservations booked offline (over the phone or in person) or online (via your own website or booking widget).
Almost all property management systems provide a library of integrations that range from payment processors to dynamic pricing systems to keyless entry solutions. However few provide the depth and breadth of integrations and partnerships as the Hostaway Marketplace.
A feature enjoyed the most by Vacation Rental Owners who manage their properties remotely, the mobile app helps run your business on the go no matter where you are based.
As you probably already know, nothing comes for free. The same is true for Vacation Rental Software. While property management systems arrive with a subscription fee or commission, it definitely costs less compared to bookings and time you lose when your property is not managed using software.
The greatest benefit is perhaps the fact that you can be rest assured that you will not lose out on a booking or receive a double booking, from the moment you set up a Vacation Rental Software and sync all of your channels. They allow you to automate many operational tasks from bookings to guest experience, so you can take it easy and maybe even cut down on staff costs.
For instance, you can configure check-in templates to be sent automatically before arrival and go so far as to set up automated text messages for your cleaning staff to alert them when you need a new cleaning.
Another plus would be the booking engine, which lets you easily accept direct bookings with major credit cards and other mainstream payment methods to rely less on the online travel agencies.
Now that you are coherent about Vacation Rental Software, what they offer and what to expect from them, let’s quickly look at why Hostaway is your best choice.
Launched in 2015, Hostaway has helped customers around the world save time and money by developing a comprehensive Vacation Rental Software that facilitates seamless functionality and a user friendly interface that automates most of your operation.
So, let’s take a quick look at the distinct factors that set Hostaway apart from others.
Understandably, as a vacation rental manager, one of your main concerns when it comes to long term investments is the pricing. To break it down for you, while most other software providers charge percentages, Hostaway has a fixed monthly rate per listing.
Fixed monthly rates are far superior and cheaper for properties with high earnings. The benefit of a fixed expense is the cost remains predictable and in most cases cheaper.
As you read above, Channel Management is a priority feature of vacation rental software. Hostaway has a wide list of sales channel integrations with a 2-way API with its list including major vacation rental sites such as Airbnb, VRBO, , Expedia, Booking.com, and TripAdvisor etc.
While Hostaway has connections to alternative sales channels such as Innclusive, FindRentals, FlipKey, and HouseStays, they’re an official partner of all major sales channels.
Pro Tip: Hostaway exports Ical links that allow you to connect calendars to other OTAs.
As you can probably testify, Automation Tools are lifesavers for managing multiple properties. Hostaway’s tools allow for automatic alerts, messages, and reviews to be sent to guests and team members, which means panicking when you frequently forget to send guest check-in details to your team; is no longer a requirement.
Meanwhile Task Alerts on Hostaway allows you to send automatic alerts to your cleaning team and to schedule maintenance staff, tradespeople and photographers etc.
Hostaway Message Automation allows you to set up templated messages, with variable fields and determine the event trigger, including templated messages, a unified inbox, and support for multiple accounts. Inboxes for all your sales channels can be stored, managed, and monitored directly within the Hostaway dashboard.
The latest addition to Hostaway’s tools is Review Automation. Similar to templated guest conversations you can set up automated pre written reviews for guests and the dashboard lets you visualize all your guest ratings and reviews in a single inbox.
Hostaway is known for the most robust and complete reporting tools with Realtime data including analytics of revenue, bookings, messages, roomnights, nightly rates, occupancy, and much more. The reporting section of the Hostaway dashboard includes graphs detailing the financial performance of your business allowing you to narrow down to individual listings or grouped listings with the use of a tagging system.
With an extensive and expanding list of integration partners who can supplement Hostaway’s system, integrations include automation tools, revenue management, guest communication, task scheduling, guest screening, and payment processing.
Hostaway is currently in the process of completing a Zapier connection which would allow property managers like you to connect to thousands of tools including Quickbooks, Slack, Google Drive, and Salesforce to name a few.
While Hostaway is an all inclusive service with hundreds of features; which means it can take some time for you to understand and utilize the system to its full capability, the team has taken measures to make it easy for you by:
Hostaway is a great tool to upgrade, manage and automate the majority of your holiday rental business. It is perfect for property managers or hosts looking for a full-service vacation rental solution, with its fixed rate pricing structure being much cheaper than commission based models.
It also works well for you that Hostaway invests and prioritizes in optimizing its technology, expanding its features and integrations, to provide excellent user support, thereby becoming your preferred Vacation Rental Software.