If you’re a property manager looking to maximize your short-term rental income while minimizing your workload, you’ll want to know what tools and software are available to make your life easier. Let’s take a look at the top short-term / vacation property management software and tools of 2023, their features, and how they can help take your vacation rental business to the next level.
What Do We Mean by Short-Term Property Management / Vacation Rental Management Software & Tools?
With the fast-paced growth of the vacation rental industry, there’s been an influx of software solutions and tools geared towards property managers to help automate tasks, streamline workflows, and provide valuable insights to improve the guest experience and increase revenue.
From automated messaging and channel managers to dynamic pricing and property management systems, there are more choices than ever before to help you succeed.
Types of Short-Term / Vacation Rental Management Software & Tools
These tools come in various forms and serve different purposes.
Property Management Systems, Channel Managers & All-in-One Vacation Rental Management Software
Property management can be very time intensive, especially if you own multiple vacation rental properties. Thankfully, property management systems (PMS), channel managers, and all-in-one vacation rental mangement software exist to simplify the process. These tools integrate various operations onto one platform, making management more streamlined and efficient. While a PMS is designed to automate operational tasks, such as managing reservations and maintenance schedules, a channel manager tracks all your listings in one place. An all-in-one vacation rental management software, on the other hand, combines the essential functions of both a PMS and a channel manager, providing an even more comprehensive solution for managing your vacation rental properties.
Benefits of Property Management Systems, Channel Managers & All-in-One Vacation Rental Management Software
These tools allow you to seamlessly integrate all aspects of your business in one place. You can automate tasks like guest communication, cleaning and maintenance scheduling, and financial reporting. As well as managing your listings across multiple online booking platforms, such as Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo, all from a single dashboard. This not only streamlines the booking process, but ensures that availability and pricing information is accurate and up-to-date, while also preventing the potential for double-booking. As a property manager, the size of your business or the number of homes you manage can determine what solution is best for you. Larger property managers may require a wider range of functions and would benefit from integrating a powerful PMS and channel manager, while smaller property managers who don’t need all the features can get everything they need through an all-in-one solution.
Individual, Standalone Tools to Improve Vacation Rental Management
These tools can improve the efficiency and productivity of your vacation rental management. They can take the form of dynamic pricing tools to automated messaging and booking software.
Benefits of Individual, Standalone Vacation Rental Management Tools
Using individual, standalone tools to manage a short-term rental property can give property managers the flexibility to choose only the tools they need to improve their operation. It’s like building a toolkit tailored to your specific needs. This approach allows property managers to choose the best tools for each task and helps to prevent paying for unnecessary features.
Top PMS, Channel Manager & All-in-One Vacation Rental Management Tools
Managing short-term rental properties can be a challenging task, but with the right vacation rental management tools, it can be made much easier. To give you a better idea on which solutions can help you, here are 3 great options:
Hostaway is a top all-in-one vacation rental property management system with a variety of useful features for short-term rentals, including automated messaging and guest communication, channel management and listing distribution, payment processing and invoicing, and advanced reporting and analytics. Hostaway also offers unique features like cross-listing optimization and has a strong list of integrations, one of which is Safely who provides seamless short-term rental protection and guest screening for each reservation. Hostaway also offers customized pricing that scales with your growth, making it a top pick for its robust features and integrations, despite its higher price point.
This platform includes features such as automated messaging, payment processing, task management, and advanced reporting tools. With its user-friendly interface, property managers can oversee their short-term rental properties efficiently. In terms of pricing, OwnerRez offers a flexible subscription model based on the number of properties you manage and has a starting point of $40 per month, making it a great option for both small and large-scale property management operations. The platform also offers several integrations with third-party services, including Safely, helping you to protect your properties. Whether you’re a new or experienced property manager, OwnerRez makes it easy to streamline your operations.
Offering solid lead management and booking tools, Escapia has a user-friendly interface that includes a convenient smartphone app for on-the-go management. Also boasting a strong set of features such as an owner portal, reservation calendar, basic accounting features, and reporting, Escapia is a great option for busy property managers. Escapia charges a flat monthly fee based on the number of properties you manage with no percentage fees per booking, no additional cost for listing on Vrbo, and promises no surprises. If you’re looking for a tool with robust booking and lead management capabilities, Escapia might be worth considering, especially since it can integrate with Safely to help you manage your short-term rental liability risks.
Top Standalone Tools to Improve Vacation Rental Management
Each of these tools offers unique features and benefits that can help property managers maximize their revenue potential and streamline their operations.
Pricing Tools for Short-Term / Vacation Rental Property Managers
These tools use algorithms and data analysis to help you set the optimal price for your rental property based on factors such as demand, seasonality, and local events. Having a pricing tool can be a huge benefit in saving and making a profit, as well as ensuring your properties are occupied as often as possible. Here are a few great pricing tools:
PriceLabs is a top standalone tool for vacation rental property management that offers revenue management features, including dynamic pricing and rate management. Its dashboard provides real-time data and analytics, and it integrates with over 70 vacation rental channels and platforms, including Airbnb, Lodgify, OwnerRez, Guesty, and Rentals United. PriceLabs is an ideal option for larger property management companies with lots of properties and bookings, as they offer bulk adjustment options and a 0% fee pricing structure.
Wheelhouse is a revenue management tool that provides dynamic pricing and rate management, and integrates with over 40 vacation rental channels and platforms. Although a newer player in the market, it is rapidly growing, boasting over 40,000 customers. With a variety of pricing options, users can pay a percentage of each booking or a flat monthly rate per listing. Wheelhouse offers 10+ pricing adjustments and the option to choose between conservative, recommended, or aggressive pricing strategies. It also provides seamless integration with popular platforms like Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Hostfully, BookingSync, and many more. We recommend Wheelhouse for its flexible pricing options and commitment to developing reliable features and new integrations.
Market Intelligence Tools for Short-Term / Vacation Rental Property Managers
These tools provide insights into your short-term rental business, including occupancy rates, revenue, expenses, and guest feedback. This data can help you make informed decisions to improve your business.
Key Data is a business intelligence tool that provides insightful solutions for the vacation rental industry. It offers accurate, trustworthy, and anonymized data, replacing hours of spreadsheet compilation. Key Data Dashboard’s features include geo-targeted heat mapping, estimated rental potential, and intelligent supply and traveler search data, making it one of the leading performance analytics and comparative data dashboards for property managers and hosts.
AirDNA is a premier provider of vacation rental data, offering market analysis and insights on short-term rental industry trends and performance. As one of the world’s most robust providers of vacation rental data and analytics, AirDNA tracks the daily performance of over 10 million listings in 80,000 markets globally on Airbnb, Homeaway, and many more OTA’s. AirDNA’s future-looking data helps you plan your strategy according to how booking activity in your market is pacing compared to previous years’ trends. The platform is equipped with 25+ must-have KPIs for your vacation rental property, making it one of the most trusted names in vacation rental data and analytics.
Payment Processing Tools for Short-Term / Vacation Rental Property Managers
These tools automate payment processing, making it easy to collect payments from guests and disburse payments to staff and contractors. It’s important to have reliable payment processing tools to ensure timely and secure payment collection from guests. Here are a few options for payment processing tools and what they do:
The Lynnbrook Group is a payment processing tool that specializes in vacation rental payment processing. Their platform is designed to be user-friendly and efficient, with features such as automated invoicing, online payment acceptance, and secure credit card processing. Lynnbrook also provides support for international payments and multi-currency transactions, making it a great option for managing international properties. Lynnbrook is both seamless and reliable, making it a solid option.
Yapstone is another payment processing tool designed specifically for vacation rental property managers. They offer a range of features including split payments, flexible payment options, and advanced fraud protection. Yapstone integrates with popular property management systems and channel managers, making it easy for property managers to accept payments from guests. They also offer dedicated customer support and a user-friendly interface. Yapstone is a reliable payment processing tool for vacation rental property managers looking for a secure and flexible payment solution.
Cleaning Management Tools for Short-Term / Vacation Rental Property Managers
These tools help you manage housekeeping and maintenance tasks more efficiently, allowing you to schedule and assign tasks to staff and contractors, track progress, and get alerts when tasks are overdue.
Breezeway is a top cleaning management tool designed for vacation rental property managers. It comes equipped with advanced features such as property management with automated tasks and maintenance tracking, housekeeping management with task scheduling and tracking, and guest communication with automated messaging and check-in instructions. Breezeway also offers quality control features like photo verification and property inspection reports to ensure that your properties are up to your standards. The tool integrates seamlessly with property management and channel management software, making it easy to streamline your vacation rental property management tasks. With Breezeway, you can automate many of your tasks, ensuring that your guests enjoy a seamless and stress-free stay.
Turno (formerly known as TurnoverBnB)
Turno is a comprehensive platform that offers automated cleaning scheduling and management for vacation rental hosts. By syncing with your property’s calendars on platforms like Airbnb, VRBO or iCal, TurnoverBnB allows you to schedule cleanings automatically based on bookings. It also offers features such as housekeeping management with task scheduling and tracking, as well as quality control with photo verification and property inspection reports. Turno also integrates seamlessly with property management and channel management software, making it a great choice for short-term rental property managers. And, it provides guest communication with automated messaging and check-in instructions to streamline your rental process.
Accounting Tools for Short-Term / Vacation Rental Property Managers
There are several accounting tools available that can help property managers oversee their finances effectively. These accounting tools offer a range of features such as invoicing, financial reporting, income and expense tracking, and tax management. They also integrate with other property management software (PMS), such as channel managers and PMS platforms, to provide a comprehensive solution for property managers.
Ximplifi is an award-winning accounting plug-in that automates trust and operations accounting for vacation rental businesses. By connecting property management systems, channels, merchant processors, and more with its modern accounting VRPlatform, Ximplifi streamlines data transfer, posting and updating invoices, reconciling deposits, and more. Additionally, Ximplifi offers ongoing professional accounting support through their VRAccounting Membership levels, freeing up time for vacation rental property managers to focus on other tasks.
Xero is a cloud-based accounting software that offers features specifically designed for vacation rental businesses, including the ability to track multiple properties and income streams. While the software is easy to use and affordable, it requires an internet connection and may not always be compatible with other software. Xero also offers automatic payment reminders and integrations with popular vacation rental platforms.
Noise Monitoring Tools for Short-Term / Vacation Rental Property Managers
These tools use advanced technology to measure the decibel levels in your rental property, giving you real-time information on noise levels and helping you to identify potential noise disturbances. Some of the best noise monitoring tools for vacation rental property managers include Party Squasher and NoiseAware.
Unlike traditional noise monitors, this device is an occupancy counter that alerts you to large gatherings before they even begin. By connecting to your Wi-Fi, Party Squasher counts the number of mobile phones in and around your property, allowing you to set your occupancy limit and receive a text or email if that limit is breached. This discreet and easy-to-use tool is perfect for detached properties and gives you a chance to act fast and prevent complaints from neighbors. So, say goodbye to noisy parties and hello to peace of mind with Party Squasher!
NoiseAware is a must-have tool for property managers who want to stay on top of noise complaints. With an average resolution time of just 15 minutes, this monitoring device helps property managers handle noise issues quickly and efficiently, with 75% of incidents resolved remotely. In addition to the monitoring device, NoiseAware provides 24/7 service and support to help you manage noise complaints across your entire property portfolio. But what sets NoiseAware apart from other noise monitoring tools is its advanced technology that goes beyond detecting decibel levels. It can differentiate between sporadic and continuous loud noises, ensuring that you won’t contact guests over a slammed door. With NoiseAware, you’ll receive alerts with a link to their Noise Risk score graph when sound above your decibel threshold is detected.
Home Automation and Smart Lock tools for Short-Term / Vacation Rental Property Managers
Home automation tools allow property managers to control various aspects of their properties remotely, such as lighting, temperature, and appliances. This is a time saver, as managers can adjust settings without physically being present. Smart locks are another popular tool, allowing guests to access the property without the need for traditional keys. Smart lock tools can be controlled through an app, allowing property managers to grant access to guests remotely and keep track of who enters and exits the property. This enhances security, as managers can monitor access and change access codes when needed.
With its reliable and secure cellular-based technology, PointCentral has already proven its worth in more than five million US homes, making it the largest enterprise-class smart home solution provider in the vacation rental market. Unlike other smart home systems that require Wi-Fi, PointCentral’s technology is cellular based, making it more reliable and secure. The platform integrates with Escapia and offers a range of features, including access control, temperature control, HVAC, water monitoring, property awareness, and more. PointCentral offers both a mobile app and an enterprise dashboard, giving customers real-time property intelligence to manage their rental properties more efficiently.
With properties in over 230 cities, Lynx offers a manufacturer-agnostic automation software that seamlessly integrates with a variety of smart locks and over 300 home automation devices. The software automatically syncs reservation information from property management systems to provide time-sensitive PIN codes for guests and staff, allowing for effortless access to the property. Lynx’s platform also manages temperature and noise levels, monetizes services like early check-ins or late checkouts, and collects emails from guests, making it a comprehensive solution for vacation rental property managers.
Building the Perfect Vacation Rental Tech Stack for Your business
Building the perfect vacation rental tech stack will depend on your specific business requirements. For example, using a channel manager with a property management system and a smart lock system will help automate bookings, check-ins, and property access. By creating the perfect vacation rental tech stack, you can optimize your business operations and ensure success in the competitive vacation rental industry.
Who We Are
A valuable addition to your vacation rental tech stack is Safely. As the leading provider of short-term rental protection, we offer robust short-term rental insurance and rigorous guest screening. Safely helps homeowners and property managers grow revenue, reduce risk, and confidently provide a better guest experience. Based in Atlanta, Safely has protected over more than one million guest nights since its inception.
Why wait, get in touch with Safely today!
Safely’s Short-Term Rental Protection