The sharing economy has become one of the most talk-about economic models because it has caused a disruption in the way goods and services are consumed and provided. This term is used to describe an economic system where private personal assets are shared with other people, either for free or for a certain fee.
The vacation rental industry is a prime example of the way the sharing economy works. Because this industry is so rapidly evolving, many technological advances and software solutions are being created to support the demand and make things easier and more convenient. Among those solutions is vacation rental software – a management system that has changed the vacation rental industry. Here’s everything you need to know.
Different Software Types Used in the Vacation Rental Industry
Because the vacation rental industry has grown immensely in the past couple of years, different types of vacation rental software and apps were invented to make things easier and more convenient for both hosts and guests. We can divide it into multiple categories:
- Automated Pricing Tools
Pricing tools are among the most useful solutions for maintaining and improving the popularity of your listing. Many hosts have noticed that, by updating the prices multiple times a day, their ad scores better in search results. That gives more exposure to your vacation rental, which directly impacts the bookings and revenue. Most of these tools have other accounting functions and can be directly connected to your vacation rental platform of choice and allow hosts to set minimum and maximum prices for their listings.
- Key Exchange and Remote Locks
Being always physically available to meet with guests and swap keys can be bothersome and time-consuming, especially if you’re managing multiple properties. For example, apps such as KeyCafe allow guests to check-in on their own by taking the physical key from the lockbox that is unlocked remotely by the owner. Remote locks, on the other hand, are spec.
- Automated Messaging
Automated messaging tools help with response times and overall communication with clients. Owners can prepare dedicated messages that are going to be sent in different scenarios. For example, if a guest is supposed to arrive in a week, the software will send out an automated message containing all the instructions or directions. If you’re a newbie to the vacation rental industry, here’s another pro-tip – fast response time improves the ranking of your listing.
- Noise Control
All hosts have had to deal with noisy, problematic guests at least once in their careers. Hosting parties and not following rules can result in undesirable consequences and can cause damage to the property or problems with the neighbors. Luckily, noise control monitors have been invented to save the day. These devices measure the noise levels at the property and notify the owner in case the guests are too loud.
- All-In-One Vacation Rental Software
This is the most well-rounded software solution for vacation rental owners, and it was designed to act as a personal assistant. This type of software is a great option that helps with listing and guest management, and it’s a lot cheaper than hiring an actual channel manager. Vacation rental software comes with many useful features, such as multi-calendar management, automated reviews, messaging, and task scheduling.
Benefits of Using Vacation Rental Software
Since the popularity of renting private properties on websites such as Vrbo and Airbnb has been at its highest, vacation rental owners need some help with keeping up with the demand. Vacation rental software is like digital property managers. It was designed by tech companies to support the rise of the collaborative economy. Moreover, it helps with saving time on hosting activities, as well as increasing revenue and productivity. These are the main benefits of using these tools:
- It Saves a Lot of Time
Keeping everything organized, especially when managing multiple vacation rental properties, can easily become a nightmare if not done properly and diligently. With this type of software, owners can automate repetitive activities, such as messaging, booking confirmation, and tasking. If owners are posting ads on multiple platforms, vacation rental software allows them to unify all inboxes and control them from a single point.
- Less Room for Error
Notes and reminders can be very messy, especially when you have frequent bookings and aren’t using a proper management system. Because of that, errors such as double-booking, lack of instructions, or forgetting to reply to a message are a frequent occurrence. Property management software works in real-time and constantly notifies owners about critical tasks, leaving no room for forgetfulness.
- Following Analytics
Statistics is the key to knowing how to grow your business properly. Thanks to this type of software, owners can receive detailed analytics and actionable advice based on multiple factors such as income, occupancy rates, etc. That way, property managers will know how to set prices, what to improve, and will be able to analyze customer feedback thoroughly.
- Improved Communication
Another amazing benefit of using such software is improving your response time and communication with clients. Guests hate slow responses, and it’s not unusual to miss a message from time to time, especially during the holiday seasons. Hosts can manage multiple inboxes from one place, manage reservations, use automated messaging to ensure they’ve replied to everyone, and create message templates based on different repetitive scenarios.
How to Choose the Right Vacation Rental Software for Your Business
A smart way to go about it is to think about what you actually need. Make sure to do thorough research into each of the solutions before making a final decision. Here are a couple of tips:
- Always look for cloud-based or web-based solutions
- Check online ratings and reviews
- Compare prices and features
- Before purchasing, always try the free-trial option to see whether it’s a good fit
- Check whether it can be connected and integrated with the vacation rental hosting platforms that you use
If you need tools that will act as a personal assistant, then all-in-one vacation rental software such as iGMS can be a great choice. Vacation rental software was a much-needed innovation in the short-rental space. It creates a more organized environment for hosts and helps them grow the business. At the same time, guests enjoy a better experience thanks to the technology solutions. All owners should seriously consider investing in one, or at least trying out free versions to see if it’s a good fit. A little bit of help can come a long way – you’ll have more time to dedicate to your personal life while increasing your productivity and scaling your business.