Property Managers’ Guide to Vacation Rental Software

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Vacation rental software features

When it comes to vacation rental property management, the devil is in the details — and there are a million details to attend to. Keeping track of bookings, housekeeping, guest communications, marketing, owner statements, and more for multiple properties can get complicated quickly. Luckily, many of these details can be automated to both save time and reduce errors. Here are some of the main functions that vacation rental software can offer.

Accounting

features help keep track of financial flows, including income and expenses, and generate financial reports. This is essential for understanding the financial status of your business as well as tax compliance. Trust accounting refers to managing funds that are collected for someone else, such as owner clients, and may be included in software with more advanced capabilities.

Calendar

features help sync various calendars from websites, marketing channels, or other sources in order to keep track of bookings and vacancies as well as events such as maintenance or cleanings. Maintaining a single calendar helps avoid double booking or other errors.

Channel management

offers a way to distribute listings on several different channels, including online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, etc., and manage them from one place. This keeps information consistent across all channels and simplifies management.

Dynamic pricing

uses technology to automatically adjust rates based on supply and demand in order to maximize occupancy and revenue.

Housekeeping management

helps organize cleaning tasks, including scheduling, managing staff, and quality assurance. While some vacation rental software programs include their own housekeeping modules, most integrate with specialty software such as VRScheduler for more comprehensive operational management.

iCal calendar export links

allow syncing of calendar information from various sources— such as various listing websites — by sending information using the iCal computer file format. This allows managers to view all the calendar information on one interface. Some vacation rental software allows managers to sync with other calendar sources via API (Application Programming Interface, which allows programs to talk to each other). In this case, syncing via individual iCal links may not be possible or necessary.

Insurance services

allow managers to obtain property insurance and/or offer guests travel insurance and low-cost insurance waivers as an alternative to refundable security deposits.

Maintenance work order

functionality can help manage work orders for maintenance tasks performed by staff or vendors, including scheduling, communication, and progress tracking.

Owner statement

functionality helps generate financial statements for the owners whose properties you manage, including revenues, expenses, and more.

Reservation management

is an essential function of vacation rental property management software, helping handle all the tasks related to reservations, from inquiries to bookings, deposits, payments, guest communications, and more. Various software programs offer different levels of reservation features and support.

Website building

functionality enables you to create your own website in order to facilitate direct bookings. Programs offer various levels of support, from templates that you can use to build a site yourself to complete customization.

Vacation rental software programs

This guide offers a look at the different vacation rental software options that managers have to choose from to make their jobs easier and more efficient.

[IN NOTE BOX] VRScheduler integrates with all of these programs via API connections to complement their features with seamless scheduling. While these programs are grouped here by target property management sizes, many of them can be useful for property managers of all sizes. [END NOTE BOX]

Great for property managers with 5 to 50+ properties

BookingSync


BookingSync touts its simple, single management platform and extensible ecosystem that can be customized with third-party apps. BookingSync Pro is designed for managers with more than 20 properties, while smaller managers can use another BookingSync product called Smily. BookingSync received 4.5 out of 5 stars on Capterra with 46 reviews. Positive comments include, “The biggest winner is the ability to customize our own website as we see fit,” but some reviewers have issues with customer service: “Their support is very slow to respond and it takes sometimes days! to resolve issues.” BookingSync Pro starts at €240 ($267) per month, with setup fees starting at €690 ($766) per month.

Features:

Calendar
Channel management
iCal Calendar export links
Owner statements
Reservation management
Website building

Checkfront


Checkfront is a booking platform that can be used by many different types of businesses, including short-term rentals. The company touts customization as well as upselling/cross-selling features. It has a Capterra rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars with 230 reviews. Reviewers call Checkfront “extremely versatile” but also say that the “mobile app is not as user friendly as we would like.” Checkfront’s fees, based on volume, support, and number of accounts, start at $49 per month.

Features:

Calendar
Dynamic pricing
iCal Calendar export links
Owner statements
Reservation management

Guesty


Guesty presents its vacation rental software as an “end-to-end solution” for simplifying complex operations, using integrations with online travel agencies as well as third-party solutions. Guesty has a Capterra rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 with 75 reviews. Reviewers call it a “powerful resource” for vacation rental management companies and appreciate the multicalendar function, but wish that it were “possible to set up automated message without customer support.” Guesty raised $35 million in Series C funding in spring 2019. Pricing starts at 3% per booking, plus onboarding costs.

Features:

Calendar
Channel management
Dynamic pricing
Housekeeping management
Maintenance work orders
Owner statements
Reservation management

HostAway 


Hostaway focuses on helping short-term rental property managers boost income and growth with an “all-in-one” solution. It has a Capterra rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars with 40 reviews. Reviewers call it “easy to use and very straightforward” with “exceptional” customer service, but flag “kinks in the system still as they are a younger company.” Hostaway received $1.9 million in seed funding in late 2018. Contact for a price quote.

Features:

Calendar
Channel management
Dynamic pricing
Housekeeping management
iCal Calendar export links
Maintenance work orders
Owner statements
Reservation management
Website building

Hostfully


Hostfully was named the Best All-Around Vacation Rental Software in the 2019 VRMB Keystone Awards. The company highlights its unique user interface and emphasizes that it can help short-term rental owners manage and scale their business. Uniquely among vacation rental software, Hostfully offers a platform for creating high-quality customized and branded local guidebooks. Hostfully has a Capterra rating of 5 out of 5 stars with four reviews. Reviews call it “extremely intuitive” but say that a mobile app “would be nice.” Hostfully landed $1 million in seed funding in May of 2019. Plans start at $59 per month plus a one-time $400 setup fee.

Features:

Calendar
Channel management
iCal Calendar export links
Owner statement
Reservation management
Website building

Kigo


Kigo, recommended for property managers with 20 to 99 properties, emphasizes its ability to help vacation rental property managers worldwide automate vacation rental management. Kigo has a Capterra rating of 4 stars out of 5 with 135 reviews. Reviewers call it an “essential tool for short term rental management” but say that the “system can be a bit confusing at times as there are so many functions.” Prices are based on tiers and performance models; $1,000 setup.

Features:

Calendar
Channel management
Dynamic pricing
Housekeeping management
iCal Calendar export links
Insurance services
Maintenance work orders
Owner statements
Reservation management
Website building

Lodgify


Lodgify highlights its optimized multi-property website builder and “sophisticated solution” that allows property data to be synced with external booking channels. Lodgify received a Capterra rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 with 248 reviews. Positive comments include, “Easy to integrate in our daily business processes and basically runs our business,” while some reviewers said time differences slowed down customer service: “Would love to have some Customer Support on USA time zones so that responses were quicker.” The company secured $5 million in Series A funding in summer 2018. Starts at $32 per month.

Features:

Calendar
Channel management
iCal Calendar export links
Owner statement
Reservation management
Website building

MyVR


MyVR spotlights its single, centralized dashboard and ability to automatically sync data across more than 70 premium listing sites. MyVR received a Capterra rating of 5 out of 5 stars with 40 reviews. Reviewers say that its “capability to sync across multiple booking platforms is a huge benefit,” but lamented its “limited accounting and housekeeping functionality.” MyVR was named an Airbnb Preferred Software Partner for 2019. Starts at $5.49 per property per month, plus a $999 one-time fee.

Features:

Calendar
Channel management
Housekeeping management
iCal Calendar export links
Maintenance work orders
Owner statements
Reservation management
Website building

OwnerRez


OwnerRez focuses on booking and reservations management and business reporting, catering to managers who handle from one property to hundreds. On Capterra, it received 5 out of 5 stars with 38 reviews. Reviewers praise the company’s service and support, saying that it “truly sets the bar for others,” but some say that the array of options can sometimes be overwhelming. Priced according to number of properties, starting at $19.99 per month.

Features:

iCal Calendar export links
Insurance services
Owner statements
Reservation management

VREasy


VREasy is designed for property managers with more than five rentals and touts its built-in API connections to more than 50 main portals such as Airbnb and HomeAway as well as its “guest experience platform.” It received a 4.5 out of 5 stars with 77 reviews on Capterra, with reviewers calling guest relationship tools, such as an easy-to-create guest guide, “its true strength.” Some reviewers say that they would like to see more robust accounting and reporting features. Starts at €120 ($133) per month, plus an onboarding fee.

Features:

Calendar
Channel management
Dynamic pricing
Housekeeping management
iCal Calendar export links
Maintenance work orders
Owner statements
Reservation management

VacationRentalDesk


VacationRentalDesk caters to short-term rental property managers as well as do-it-yourself owners and says it focuses on keeping its products intuitive to use. It also offers the ability to generate keyless entry door lock codes. All of its operations and personnel are located in the United States. VacationRentalDesk received 5 out of 5 stars on Capterra with two reviews. One reviewer called it “Easy use for all levels.” Starts at $29 per month.

Features:

Calendar
iCal Calendar export links
Insurance services
Owner statements
Reservation management
Website building

WebRezPro


WebRezPro assists managers of various types of hospitality properties, but offers special features for vacation rental managers, such as owner statements, and partner integrations for features it does not offer. On Capterra, it received 4.5 out of 5 stars with 105 reviews. Reviewers called it easy to use: “The system is really intuitive, new users can jump right in,” while another reviewer called its interface with POS systems “lacking.” Starts at $60 per month.

Features:

Accounting
Calendar
Dynamic pricing
Housekeeping management
iCal Calendar export links
Maintenance work orders
Owner statements
Reservation management

Built for boutique hotels but also serve vacation rental property managers

Beds24.com


Beds24.com is a channel manager, property management, and booking software that works for a variety of hospitality property managers. The company emphasizes its customization and multi-language capabilities. It was named a 2019 Airbnb Preferred Software Partner and received 5 out of 5 stars on Capterra with 23 reviews. Positive comments include “Beds24 is able to meet all of our specialized requirements. Their Support Team answers our questions quickly providing excellent solutions and is receptive to new feature development,” while negative comments included, “It is quite complex – but that is due to how many options there are for any function.” Starts at €9.90 ($11) per month, plus payment provider fees.

Features:

Calendar
Channel management
Dynamic pricing
Housekeeping management
iCal Calendar export links
Maintenance work orders
Reservation management

Cloudbeds


Cloudbeds is a hospitality management suite with a module specifically for vacation rental property managers. The company highlights its ability to connect properties to hundreds of channels with real-time, two-way integration. On Capterra, it received 4.5 stars out of 5 with 63 reviews. Reviewers liked that the software is constantly improving: “Multiple times we contacted customer service about an issue and a week or two later there was an update adding said feature to make it easier!!” However, some reviewers decried the lack of a mobile app for the software, calling the website “not mobile friendly.” Contact for a pricing quote.

Features:

Calendar
Channel management
Dynamic pricing
Housekeeping management
iCal Calendar export links
Maintenance work orders
Reservation management

ReservationKey


ReservationKey emphasizes its affordability and simplicity. It received 5 out of 5 stars on Capterra with 83 reviews. Positive reviews said, “There are just enough bells and whistles to get the job done but not so much as to make it too complicated,” while some reviewers would like to see the development of a mobile app. Flat-fee, no-contract, pay-as-you-go pricing starts at $29 per month.

Features:

Calendar
Channel management
iCal Calendar export links
Owner statement
Reservation management

For professional vacation rental property managers with 50 to 500+ units

365villas


365villas is a property management software system for vacation rental property managers of all sizes. It emphasizes flexibility to allow managers to choose only the capabilities they need. Add-ons include features such as trust accounting, dynamic pricing and multiple currencies/languages. It received a Capterra rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars with 102 reviews. Positive reviews call it easy to use with “fantastic” customer service, while negative reviews call it “cumbersome and time consuming to build. It also has a fairly steep learning curve for those not so computer literate.” Starts at $69 per month.

Features:

Accounting
Calendar
Channel management
Dynamic pricing
Housekeeping management
iCal Calendar export links
Maintenance work orders
Owner statements
Reservation management
Website building

Direct

Direct caters to short-term rental property managers of all sizes and spotlights its “do-everything” capabilities that reduce the need for multiple management solutions. It received 4.9 out of 5 stars on G2.com with five reviews. Positive reviews called it “very modern/sleek, easy to use on whatever device I’m using, it’s fast, and it keeps getting better and better.” One negative mentioned is that the time lines of new feature rollouts sometimes “are little longer than stated.” Starts at $49 per month, plus 2% of each transaction.

Features:

Accounting
Calendar
Channel management
Dynamic pricing
Housekeeping management
iCal Calendar export links
Maintenance work order
Owner statement
Reservation management
Smart-home management
Website building

Escapia Vacation Rental Property Management Software by HomeAway


Escapia is built for professional property managers and highlights its trust accounting, owner statements, reservation grid, and distribution features. Escapia was founded more than 25 years ago, but has been a part of Expedia since 2017. It has a Capterra rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 with 88 reviews, with positive comments such as “seamless integration with VRBO/HomeAway” and ‘”full-service solution.” Negative comments include “doesn’t work with Airbnb” and “cost is steep.” Contact for a price quote.

Features:

Accounting
Calendar
Channel management
Dynamic pricing
Housekeeping management
Maintenance work order
Owner statement
Reservation management

LiveRez


LiveRez highlights its all-in-one capabilities, intuitive interface, and customer support. It received 4.5 out of 5 stars on Capterra with 69 reviews. Positive reviews include, “Not only do I love the comprehensive system that is LiveRez, I love that they are always adding more features and improving the system,” while one reviewer was disappointed with the API connection to Airbnb: “ I figured it would be robust. I was sadly mistaken.” LiveRez operates on a pay-for-performance pricing model; contact for a quote.

Features:

Accounting
Calendar
Channel management
Dynamic pricing
Housekeeping management
iCal Calendar export links
Maintenance work orders
Owner statements
Reservation management
Website building

RNS


RNS has produced vacation rental management software since 1988 and caters to property managers of all sizes with a full suite of automation features. It received 5 out of 5 stars with three reviews on Capterra. One reviewer said that RNS has “streamlined our entire booking process, saving hours of time and work and we are able to provide better customer service than ever because of it!” while another reviewer said they have had “some issues with delays.” Contact for a price quote.

Features:

Accounting
Calendar
Channel management
Dynamic pricing
Housekeeping management
Insurance services
Maintenance work orders
Owner statements
Reservation management

Streamline


Streamline is built for professional vacation rental property managers. The software offers a full suite of features focused on simplifying the management process for large numbers of properties, including extras such as keyless-entry door code generation. It received a Capterra rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars with 59 reviews. Positive comments said it “comes with a lot of functionality and extras for a price well below the competitor,” but one negative comment said Streamline offers some useful reports but that “it is quite difficult to get information out of the system to analyse/summarise for management or operational reporting.”

Features:

Accounting
Calendar
Channel management
Dynamic pricing
Housekeeping management
iCal Calendar export links
Maintenance work orders
Owner statements
Reservation management
Website building

About VRScheduler

VRScheduler vacation rental software helps property managers organize tasks and coordinate employees. Our software gathers all tasks, employees, issues and property workflow from multiple inputs into one central calendar. It automates task assignment and enables efficient communication with staff to save precious time for property managers.

VRScheduler also easily integrates with other short-term rental software via an open API. This type of integration allows property managers to mix and match different types of short-term rental software for the exact features that they need — because one size does not always fit all.