What is vacation rental management software?
Vacation Rental Management software is, typically, a Software as a Service (SaaS) created by a company that facilitates individuals, agencies, and property managers to list properties and create websites for bookings, then post the listing on the major provider sites (such as Airbnb and Booking.com) from a centralised location. With a Vacation Rental Management site, instead of creating a listing, then setting up accounts on every platform, users can use the software as a single point of reference for bookings, pricing, data, and communication, as well as for a range of integrated applications.
The software that companies provide allows for simple website setup with no prerequisite technical knowledge necessary, including mobile compatibility and SEO optimisation. Most examples of this software also provide an automated email facility as well as the chance to automate every single stage of a holiday home booking, from reservation to check out. This means that there is no owner physical presence necessary. In short, these types of software are aimed at providing convenience.
The software is usually priced based on the number of properties, and often offers tiered pricing to unlock extra features such as scheduled payments or yield management features.
Who are the leading providers?
The vacation rental management market is growing, with several companies offering website builders and automated pricing / communication:
Providers either offer downloadable software, a mobile app, or cloud-based hosting with automated mobile functionality. While the majority of providers focus more on providing a service for individual owners or small agents, others, such as Lodgify, cater equally to larger-scale property management firms, and vast quantities of separate properties.
What are the key features?
Vacation rental management software providers offer a range of features to help property owners and agencies maximise their output. These include:
- Automated booking, check-in and check-out
- Automated, customisable communication
- A website builder with SEO optimisation, themes, and Google Analytics integration
- Automatic price optimisation and yield management
- Mail marketing
- “Guest extras” pages for services such as bike rentals, day trips and up-to-date event information
- Automatic and / or scheduled payments
As the market develops, software providers are also adding more and more third-party integrations, and customisable API so that the user has near-total control.
What are the pros and cons of vacation rental management software?
The main plus point of vacation rental management software is that it provides a centralised point from which a property or multiple properties can be listed on a range of sites. With website builders and a range of optimisation options, after the initial set-up, these types of software are designed to make the process as hands-off as possible.
The only real drawback of using this service is that through centralisation, comes a slight loss of control over each external listing. This is because the platforms such as Airbnb will have their own proprietary functionalities, with the software you use only drawing on certain aspects. Of course, there is also the extra price to consider, although the costs are far from astronomical.