Published on October 23rd, 2020 | by Bibhuranjan0
8 Pointers for Choosing the Best Vacation Rental Management Software
In an industry as busy as the short-term rental one, vacation rental management software is an essential tool for hosts and property managers. As a host, you have your work cut out for you. Responding to guest queries, coordinating teams, and keeping track of tasks takes a lot of time. Throw a second or third vacation rental property into the mix, and your workload doubles or even triples.
Fortunately, vacation rental software can help to lighten the load and streamline your daily tasks. However, you might get overwhelmed when choosing from the abundance of software solutions available in the current market. Follow these handy pointers to choose the best vacation rental software for your business.
How to Choose Vacation Rental Management Software
Identify the features that you need
Before you start searching for the ideal software for your business, it’s important to take some time to establish your business needs. Identifying your pain points can help you decide what kind of features you’ll be looking for in your management software. If you’re not sure or are just starting out, property management blogs can provide a lot of helpful tips and resources.
Generally speaking, the best automation software should offer all of these features listed below:
Automated guest messaging and communication. Any reputable vacation rental software should offer messaging templates to speed up and simplify the messaging process with guests to ensure they never wait too long for a response.
Channel manager and multiple accounts management. If you have multiple listings across different platforms, such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo, etc., you’ll want software with a channel manager to control and update listing availability across these listing sites to avoid being double booked.
Cleaning services and team management. Your vacation rental management software should allow you to easily coordinate your cleaning team and assign them automatically-created cleaning tasks that you’re able to track to completion.
Reviews automation. Reviews are important to improve your host ranking and attract more guests. Most guests don’t leave reviews, so leaving a review for your guests encourages them to leave one back. A software solution with review automation functionality provides review templates and enables you to publish reviews directly from the software without logging into your multiple accounts.
Financial reports. Keeping track of financial data and recording payouts is essential for Airbnb property management. Good management software should offer comprehensive financial reporting tools.
Payment processing. Hosts who own vacation rental websites, list their properties on Booking.com or take direct bookings will likely need software that offers payment processing to accept direct booking payments from guests.
Once you’ve done some research and found potential options, take a good look at what each software offers compared to their prices. Try to also find out if any vacation rental management software charges additional costs, like a setup fee, etc. Software that may seem the cheapest could end up being the most expensive because of hidden fees.
Look for a free trial to test it yourself
A great way to get firsthand experience of a particular vacation rental management software is to try it yourself. Most software companies will offer a free trial that allows users to test-run their functionality and capabilities, so they can see if the software is right for them before purchasing.
Request a demo
If you’re not completely tech-savvy, or the property management software you’re interested in doesn’t offer a free trial, the next best thing is to request a demo. Having a trained expert demonstrate and walk you through the software can help you decide if it’s right for you more quickly than if you were testing it yourself.
Simple User Interface
You’re investing in Airbnb management software to save time, so the software needs to be user- friendly. The user interface (UI) should be simple and easy to navigate. If the UI is not well-designed and you struggle to find the functions you’re looking for, this is not the right option to opt for.
Reliable customer support
Make sure that the software you choose has reliable customer support. Ideally, the support team should have several ways for users to contact them, such as a phone number, email, chatbot, etc. They should also respond to you within 24 hours or less. Anything longer than that could result in unhappy guests or canceled bookings.
When in doubt, take a look at the reviews. Reviews and ratings on platforms like Capterra or G2 are a quick way to establish the overall success and popularity of vacation rental management software from other hosts. Taking a look at the overall scope of reviews for a certain software can also help you identify what the software’s advantages and disadvantages are. Bonus points for any vacation rental management software that has won any tech awards!
New features in development
The short-term rental industry is constantly changing, and vacation rental software should be changing along with it. The software that you choose should consistently update and introduce new features to improve the user experience. Without this, you risk being left in the dust by your competitors who can offer a better guest experience with their up-to-date software.
Make a Final Decision
Ultimately, the software that you choose should offer tools and features suited to your business requirements. If you only sometimes rent out your property, then opting for very comprehensive software will end up costing you more than helping you.
On the other hand, if you rent out a property on a regular basis or manage properties all-year-round, it makes sense to go for software that can simplify every part of the management process. Make sure you know what exactly a software offers you before you decide to commit to it.
Although it takes a bit of time and research, investing in vacation rental management software can save you time, simplify your workload, and allow you to focus on reaching your business goals.
An example of a vacation rental software that can do this is iGMS. iGMS is an all-in-one vacation rental software that helps hosts break out of a cycle of neverending duties by offering a range of functions, such as multiple accounts and listings management across the top vacation rental platforms, guest communication, and reviews automation, cleaning, and task management, just to name a few. By opting for comprehensive software, you’ll be able to optimize your business and see how it’s growing from strength to strength.
Cover Credits Photo by Jose Alonso on Unsplash