3 vacation rental tools that help you save time
Vacation rental management can be a profitable business. However, managing an Airbnb property is also very time-consuming. The to-do list is always filled with tasks like managing guests and housekeepers, tracking and maintaining the availability calendar, and updating listings when things change. And when you run multiple properties at the same time, it can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day! Fortunately, there is software available that takes this work off your hands by digitizing and automating it. But which tools are the most suitable? Here, we’ve listed three of the best to help you save time.
1. Channel management software
Of course, you want as many bookings as possible. But to get bookings, you need to be visible. One way to be more visible is by listing your property on multiple booking platforms at the same time. That sounds easy, but this way of working can become time-consuming because you need to keep your listings up-to-date across the various platforms. Furthermore, it can be a challenge to keep track of all the separate tools. On top of those issues, you could face problems such as double bookings.
There is a solution so you can be active on multiple platforms like Airbnb, VRBO and Booking.com, and not run into these drawbacks: channel managers. With channel managers, you can easily:
- Create listings and push them live on all platforms.
- Synchronize your rates across platforms, with updates executed automatically.
- Synchronize your calendar across platforms automatically to avoid double bookings.
- Unify your inbox. In other words: collect messages from all your platforms in one place. Easy!
Depending on the booking platforms you use, you can select different channel managers. Are you curious to start using one? Try it out! Most channel managers offer you a 14-day trial for free.
2. Vacation rental software/property management software
Vacation rental software or property management software can help you to manage most aspects of your vacation rental property. By using vacation rental software, you can automate a variety of processes. For most hosts or property managers, this is the core software tool they use.
Most vacation rental software:
- Features a direct booking engine
- Uses a central reservation system
- Helps you build your website
- Enables communication with guests
- Contains analytics and reporting
There is a broad range of vacation rental software available with different types of features – from managing reservations to customer support and marketing. Some vacation rental software solutions even include a channel manager feature.
Depending on how you like to run your business you can compare different types of vacation rental software. Do you need some help choosing? Capterra and Software Advice have a great guide to help you decide!
3. Guest experience software
While most vacation rental software systems manage aspects of your business as a host, the features are tailored to the management of your property, not to the guest experience. That is a missed opportunity. After all, guest experience is one of the key elements of building a successful hospitality business. Guest experience software could be a good solution if you want to deliver the best guest experience during all parts of the guest journey – from booking to check-in, through to check-out and beyond.
Guest experience software usually features:
- The availability of a guest app
- Digital house manual
- A smart chatbot
- Local recommendations
- Proactive and personalized offers
- Smart lock integration
- Guest verification
- Digital check-in and check-out
By using a guest app you can digitize and automate all guest interactions beyond the booking. Furthermore, you offer your guests a way to personalize their stay. It follows that if you are hosting short-term rentals, you’ll need to spend less time on guest management. You’ll also delight your guests with unique offerings. As a consequence, the chance that they will come back or recommend your spot to others increases dramatically. By using guest experience software, you thus maximize your revenue. Not convinced? Read about why improving the guest experience is important for you.
It’s up to you!
Running a vacation rental brings a variety of challenges. The three tools mentioned here help you to digitize and automate most of the processes involved – processes you’re probably doing manually at the moment. Of course, it’s up to you how you want to run your short-term rental, and how much time you want to spend on it. Just be aware that there are tools out there that can help you save time!
Curious how you can save time in other ways? Read our previous blog on 4 ways Airbnb Hosts can save time.