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Guesty For Hosts, previously Your Porter App, is a mobile-first app for Airbnb and short-term rental hosts. It offers a one-stop solution for channel manager, guest communication, website builder, and teammate management.
Guesty ...Read more
Uplisting is a cloud-based hotel management solution that helps small to midsize vacation rental businesses manage bookings, customer support, housekeeping, commission, payments and more. It allows users to import bookings from va...Read more
Guesty is an end-to-end solution for short-term property managers looking to save time, increase revenue and grow their businesses. The software allows users to manage listings across multiple channels, such as Airbnb, Booking.com...Read more
Bookerville is a cloud-based vacation rental management solution that helps property owners with booking management, contact generation, calendar synchronization and channel management.
Bookerville’s channel management featur...Read more
Streamline Vacation Rental Software is a cloud-based property management solution.
It includes tools and resources for managing online booking as well as integrated modules for streamlining owners, housekeeping and the front ...Read more
Vacation Rental Desk is a cloud-based rental management solution that assists property owners in reservation management, payment processing and channel management. The solution is suitable for all kinds of vacation rentals includi...Read more
MyVR is a cloud-based vacation rental and property management suite designed to meet the needs of landlords, property managers and real-estate professionals. The solution offers reservations management, payment processing, email a...Read more
BookingSync is a cloud-based vacation rental management solution that helps hotel and apartment managers to handle multiple rentals. Key features include booking, payment, guest and channel management.
BookingSync allows prop...Read more
Escapia is a cloud-based vacation rental system that helps vacation rental managers automate property management tasks and online distribution. Key features include accounting tools, lead management, reservations, maintenance, hou...Read more
TRACK Hospitality Software offers a suite of applications for hotels, resorts and vacation rental management companies. This cloud-based solution is platform agnostic and offers mobile-OS specific apps for Android, Windows and iOS...Read more
Cloudbeds is a cloud-based hotel management solution suitable for small to midsize hotels, vacation rentals, hostels and B&Bs. Key features include front office management, central reservations, housekeeping management, online boo...Read more
iGMS is an all-in-one vacation rental software for busy hosts and short-term rental managers. It automates the majority of daily vacation rental management tasks and helps to increase occupancy rate. iGMS enables users to connect...Read more
Lodgix is a cloud-based vacation rental solution that provides tools for online booking, guest management and accounting for owners, vacation rental managers and boutique hotels.
The Lodgix inquiry system helps customers fin...Read more
LiveRez is a cloud-based vacation rental software suite, featuring a property management and central reservation system, customer relationship management (CRM) system, survey and review system, work order system, owner logins, gue...Read more
Your.Rentals is a cloud-based vacation rental management solution that helps property managers and homeowners to list their properties on various short-term rental websites such as Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, TripAdvisor and more. ...Read more
BrightSide is a cloud-based vacation rental solution that caters to rental agencies and property management companies. It offers tools that enable users to manage rentals, reservations, housekeeping, maintenance, accounting, emplo...Read more
Operto Teams (formerly VRScheduler) is the best software for managing vacation rental operations. It gives you a complete view of information on tasks, staff, vendors, issues, owners, and properties.
Staff in the field use a mo...Read more
365villas is a cloud-based vacation property management solution for short-stay rental properties. The solution helps users to manage reservations, handle inquiries, coordinate guest communication and track payments.
Rentals United is a cloud-based channel management solution, which assists vacation rental managers with management of online reservations and guest communications. Key features include room bookings, pricing analysis, messaging a...Read more
Bookster is a cloud-based vacation rental solution which helps businesses in the tourism and hospitality industries to manage bookings and collect payment. Key features include guest review management, arrival reports, email marke...Read more
If you own property in a hot tourist spot, it’s never been easier to make some extra money by leasing it out as a vacation rental.
Companies such as Airbnb and HomeAway have greatly simplified the process, working as listing services or marketplace brokers for long- and short-term properties. You might use these services to rent your apartment during a local festival or to professionally rent a large number of properties. Either way, vacation rental software can help you manage your properties in a more efficient—and profitable—way.
This buyer’s guide will explain what vacation rental software can do for you. We’ll also examine specific features you should take into consideration when you’re looking for a vacation rental system.
Vacation rental software helps you manage, maintain and run a short-term rental property. It could be a small apartment in a big city that you rent out a couple of weekends a year, or a lakehouse that you lease throughout the year.
These properties are not hotels or bed-and-breakfasts, which rent out multiple rooms in the same building to multiple guests. Instead, these are discrete units (whether individual buildings or specific apartments within a larger complex) rented out individually.
As such, owners and managers of vacation rental properties face different challenges than hotel managers, and they require a different type of software solution to traditional hotel management software. In fact, vacation rental systems have as much in common with property management software as they do with hotel management systems.
Vacation rental management software combines the most important software functions used by both hotel and property managers. These tools address the specific needs of vacation rental property owners and managers, no matter the size of their portfolio.
Common Features of Vacation Rental Software
Common features found in vacation rental management systems include:
Track who is renting your property during which dates, so you never accidentally double-book or lose a reservation. Maintain a database of previous renters. Some systems will allow you to accept bookings from third-party online travel brokers.
More robust systems include accounting and financial functions, including trust accounting—to keep business finances separate from personal accounts—as well as tracking important tax information.
Create a website for your properties that makes it easy to accept online reservations. The reservations will be automatically stored and updated in your booking management module.
A detailed, customized and automatically updated calendar that tracks all of your bookings and facilities management schedules. You can also set alerts and reminders about important matters that need to be taken care of at specific times, and to send your customers alerts and reminders about their upcoming stay.
Interface with a listing service such as HomeAway, Airbnb, TripAdvisor etc. so you can accept bookings, update your calendar accordingly and keep your listings up-to-date.
Vacation rental software buyers all have one key thing in common—they own a property (or multiple properties) that they’re want to lease out for short-term stays. However, needs vary among buyers, depending on the number of properties owned and the level of independence of the manager.
Most of these buyers will fall into one of the following three categories:
Independent owner/manager with one property. These are individuals or families who rent out a single property as a way to make extra money, but usually not as a primary source of income. The property may be one that the owner lives in, which is rented when the owner is out of town, or it may be a separate property the owner rents out throughout the year. These buyers do not need a particularly robust vacation rental system. A system that manages the basics of booking management and billing/invoicing, as well as integration with popular online listing services, will likely be enough.
Independent owner/manager with multiple properties. These buyers are individuals or families who manage several properties, either as an extra way to make money or as a primary source of income. They require a slightly more complex system in order to track bookings, maintenance needs, billing and invoicing etc. across multiple properties.
Rental property businesses. These are fully incorporated businesses that rent out numerous properties at multiple locations. They require the most robust software to both manage their properties and keep information (and access to information) consistent across multiple employees. They will also likely have additional business software needs, such as human resources and customer relationship management.
The market for vacation rental systems includes vendors ready to meet a variety of levels of functionality.You can find a system that fits your specific needs, based on the size and scale of the properties you manage and rent, without having to pay extra for features that you don’t really need. If you do need those features, however, they are available in more robust systems.
Still, there are additional considerations to bear in mind when choosing a software product:
Legal compliance. Housing and property codes are constantly being updated, and a vacation rental system can help you make sure all your properties remain in compliance with both local and national requirements as they change. This is a feature of larger, more robust systems.
Separation of accounts. If you make enough income from your rental properties that you want to create a separate business entity to manage them, you will want to keep your financial accounting for that business separate from your personal accounts. A robust vacation rental system will assist you with this trust accounting.
However, if you are only managing one or two properties, avoid systems that exceed your needs. You will likely be fine with a simple system that integrates with a service such as HomeAway or Airbnb, generates bills and invoices and helps you track your contacts and financial information.
Market Trends to Understand
Here are some important market trends that may factor into your choice of a vacation rental system:
Third-party brokers. The current model for vacation rentals relies overwhelmingly on popular third-party websites (Airbnb, HomeAway, TripAdvisor etc.) that essentially serve as brokers between property owners/managers and renters. They provide searchable listings that put your property in front of more prospective renters’ eyes in exchange for service fees charged to both you and the renter. Unless you are a larger business with multiple properties, you almost certainly want to be listed on the most popular sites, so you should choose software that integrates with theirs.
Cloud-based software.Cloud-based systems have dramatically increased in popularity of late because of their relative benefits compared to on-premise systems. Whereas on-premise software requires hardware and some level of IT knowledge, these cloud-based systems are more easily and quickly implemented. They also tend to have lower costs up front. This makes cloud-based systems well suited for smaller businesses.
Mobile functionality. Mobile access is increasingly important to travelers on-the-go. As a result, renters will expect to be able to access your software and information from a phone, tablet or other mobile device. This functionality can be useful for property managers as well, enabling them to make notations while on-site at a property or as they travel between them.