At one point, cookie-cutter hotels and motels were a traveler’s only option – but those days are gone. The rapidly growing short-term vacation rental industry offers travelers nearly endless possibilities. Thus, this multi-billion-dollar industry has attracted the attention of rental investors looking to cash in on this latest trend. However, owning short-term rentals includes some of the same challenges of long-term rentals – along with additional considerations for property owners. So, join us below as we examine the top short-term rental software to grow and manage your business.
What is a Short-Term Rental?
A short-term rental, also referred to as a vacation rental, is furnished spaces restricted to short stays from a few days to a few weeks. Meanwhile, these are widely considered a preferable alternative to hotels for travelers. Moreover, it is a popular investment strategy for owners with second homes looking to generate income.
Why is Short-Term Rental Software Important?
Whether you have a long- or short-term rentals portfolio, property management software plays a crucial role in overall success. The truth is, managing rentals of any kind involves a laundry list of daily and time-consuming tasks. Therefore, utilizing property management software makes it possible to automate and more efficiently complete most landlord responsibilities. That said, most reputable short-term rental software offers certain basic features.
Features Offered through Short-Term Rental Software
- Listing Management – To effectively manage short-term rentals, synchronizing listings, availability, and pricing across all partner sites is critical. Typically, having channel management capability means one change can automatically be sent out to all websites and listings.
- Reservation Management – A reservation system where owners can easily modify new or existing reservation details such as dates and price are essential. Furthermore, booking software allows owners to input phone or in-person reservations directly while updating availability automatically.
- Integrated Options – Convenience and organization are essential, and ideally, a software solution will provide one calendar to manage booking requests across all platforms. Additionally, these integrations can extend to user-friendly payment processing and dynamic pricing solutions.
In addition to the features above, convenience for both owners and renters is critical to your success. Therefore, the short-term rental software you choose should include the latest technology in a user-friendly app. Also, mobile apps continue to be the primary avenue to connect interested travelers with the latest listings in destinations worldwide.
Top Rated Short-Term Rental Software
According to Hostfully, there are more than 25,000 vacation rental companies in the US alone and over 140,000 worldwide. Apart from these statistics, there are countless independent owners that can all benefit from comprehensive software solutions. So, to get the most value, short-term rental software needs to combine the right mix of convenience, features, and service. However, with so many options to choose from, how do owners know which is best? To begin your search, check out this list below of top-rated short-term rental management software below.
Hostaway is a one-stop-shop for short-term rental solutions. With industry-leading property and channel management, this platform makes it easy for owners to streamline and automate tedious daily tasks. Also, their handy app and owner dashboard provides one convenient place to view –
- Marketing and Sales Tracking
- Accounting and Metric Reports
- Incoming Payments
- Renter Communications
Hostaway is a premium member of various popular sites such as Booking.com, Airbnb, Expedia, and VRBO, allowing seamless integration across all platforms. Furthermore, Hostaway subscribers can benefit from a user-friendly booking engine as well as helpful marketing tools. Moreover, plans start at $100 a month but are entirely customizable based on each customer’s needs and portfolio.
Kigo is a global vacation rental platform ideal for owners looking for curated service and comprehensive marketing tools. With Kigo, owners can save time on management tasks while still maximizing their investment’s potential. Offering a web-based and scalable platform, Kigo combines essential solutions into one convenient place. Currently, Kigo includes the following services to help their customers succeed in a competitive industry –
- Short-term Rental Software – Easily manage property data, calendars, guest CRM, and more.
- Website Builder – Commission-free bookings using a “Starter” theme website that allows guests to book online.
- Channel Manager – Cross-list to Booking.com, VRBO, Airbnb, and many others.
- Guest Experience – Manage your guest’s expectations with contracts, arrival details, chat, downloads, and more.
- Payment Processing – Conveniently process online payments, monitor transactions to your bank account, including chargeback assistance.
- Insurance – Easy to use standard damage waivers and traveler’s insurance policies.
- Communication – Modern tenant communication, customer service monitoring, and reporting.
- Revenue Management – Tools to optimize pricing and increase occupancy.
LiveRez uses cloud-based management software to provide exceptional vacation rental solutions. Also, through its full-service approach, LiveRez focuses on growing your business via marketing tools and building partnerships. So, take a look at some of their coveted features below –
- Integrated Management Solutions – Intuitive Booking Grid, Powerful Automation Tools, Flexible Business Rules, Advanced Rate Manager, and In-Depth Property Management
- Best-in-class Management Software – 100% Mobile Responsive, Powerful Online Booking Engine, and SEO Friendly
- Built-In Website Editor – Completely Integrated with Software and Online Owner Portals
- Comprehensive Marketing – Connect with 300+ listing sites, including Airbnb, VRBO, and Booking.com, with real-time integration
- Simplified Accounting – Automated Accounting with Up to the Minute Accuracy
- Automated Communications – Automate Emails to Guests, Manage All Leads in One Place, Built-In Smart Inquiry Auto Responder, Advanced Template Customization with Hundreds of Personalization Options, and Flexible Automation Rules
- Customer Satisfaction Management – Gather and Share Guest Experiences, Create Custom Surveys, Collect Valuable Data, Post Ratings/Reviews to Your Website, and Automate Post-Stay Survey Emails
- Customizable Reporting – Performance Dashboard to Track Key Metrics, Track Year Over Year Pace, Build Reports in Seconds, Export Reports to Excel, and Leverage Bulk Exports and Data Feeds for Completely Custom Reporting
- Streamlined Document Services – Create Custom Digital Contracts and Track e-signature Completion, Personalize Contracts Based on System Data, Automatically Email Contracts to Guests, and Keep Copies of Agreements for Your Record
- Complete Support – Phone, Email, Chat and Online Support, Around the Clock Emergency Support, Hundreds of Online Articles and Videos, Online Partner Community Forum, Dedicated Implementation Manager, and Access to the Partner Success Team (All Former Property Managers)
Managing day-to-day short-term rental tasks is no longer a chore with iGMS vacation rental software. So, owners can easily manage rentals from their computers or through a handy mobile app, thanks to one central platform. Additionally, they offer multiple templates and tools so owners can maximize their rental’s potential and track profitability. iGMS has a risk-free 14-day trial, and plans begin at just $1 per booked night. Special software features include –
- Channel manager
- Unified inbox & message templates
- Automated reviews
- Cleaning & task management
- Team management
- In-app and email notifications
- Key exchange management
- Financial reports
- Direct booking management
- Payment processing
- Dynamic pricing
- Email support
- Live chat support
365villas simplifies and improves your short-term rental business by centralizing everything owners need right at their fingertips. However, pricing varies, but owners can request a free, no-obligation demo to learn about 365villas exciting services. That said, with comprehensive reservation management, owners can easily manage booking calendars, incoming payments, and rental contracts. 365villas is entirely purpose-built for vacation rental management, making it one of the most versatile software in the industry.
Powerful and customizable reporting allows for detailed analytics to help owners increase bookings, plan for seasonal influx, and better manage resources. Other key features of 365villas include –
- Digital Communications – Powerful integrated communications platform that consolidates all messaging from various sources in one place.
- Payment Management – Flexible, automated, and customizable payment schedules and policies.
- Inquiry Management – Generate professional rental agreements and create personalized emails with pre-configured professional graphics, PAY NOW buttons, social media icons, photos, alternative property options, and more.
Get the Most from Your Rental Investment
The rental industry continues to expand exponentially every year. However, not all property management software or property management companies are created equal. Therefore, deciding which one is best hinges on streamlining operational tasks, maximizing profit, and minimizing risk. While short-term rentals are an excellent investment if your property is in a desirable area, many owners looking to generate passive income might do better with long-term rentals instead.
Bay Property Management Group is the area’s leading rental management firm dedicated to making rental ownership the profitable experience it should be. So, if you are on the fence between long or short-term rental investments, give us a call today for a free, non-obligation home analysis.