UPDATE 2/14/2017: This post has been updated with two additional rental software options to bring the total up to seven.
Opening your own bed and breakfast is one thing, but operating your own cluster of vacation rentals is a whole other beast. Forget being a manager at a hotel. Imagine managing a multitude of properties.
I can barely manage all my blogs. (Bless my content team and marketers for putting up with me.)
Managing a multitude of properties for a range of guests, especially during the summer months, is challenging. How can you keep track of it all while still remaining in control?
Easy. Invest in vacation rental software.
Apart from managing and tracking guest ratings as well as payment processing, vacation rental software can also help you manage your reservations, social media, and even marketing.
Pretty cool, huh?
So what products should you consider? For me, taking a look at some of the more popular options is a great jumping off point and tends to be a good place to start to figure out both what’s offered in the market and what features you need.
But rather than wasting your time trying to find a solution on your own, I’ve rounded up the top seven most popular vacation rental software options. I’ve based each solution’s popularity on a mixture of their search and social presence as well as their number of Capterra reviews. I’ve also listed their pros, cons, and cost (if available) so you can make the right decision and get back to work.
This web-based solution currently tops the SEO game and hosts a multitude of Capterra reviews, which give this tool a perfect score across the board.
Because Lodgix is web-based, you can access this solution around the world, whether from PC, tablet, or mobile phone. Data security is a key component of the system, making use of Amazon cloud storage and IBM datacenters. No need to become a victim of the next data scam. This solution also includes a “dynamic document creation” component to help facilitate and create unique documents for rental agreements, confirmations, maps, and arrival instructions. Lodgix also offers homeaway and flipkey integration to sync your listings across third-party booking sites, like TripAdvisor. A WordPress plug-in is also available and Lodgix can sync easily with QuickBooks, the latter of which is available as an optional module.
Any cons listed by reviewers were inconveniences that had to do with buyer location or learning curve, and in most cases problems were quickly solved by Lodgix’s tech support team once reported.
Lodgix’s pricing is done through package tiers, with the cost of each ascending along with the number of properties you have and optional modules you choose. A damage and travel insurance module comes free with each package. Cost (without modules) begins at $29.99/month and can reach $34.99/month. A free 30-day trial is also available.
With tens years in the industry, this solution has come to serve major customers like Intuit, FlipKey, and Parakeet.
Highlights of this vacation rental solution include an accounting suite with Quickbooks integration, SEO and marketing tools to help get your properties to that top search engine spot, an email marketing system, and a guest management system (CRM). If you’ve yet to create your own website or think it needs a bit of an update, Streamline can facilitate the process with more stylish templates. Streamline also tracks statement and commissions with travel agents to maximize revenue and ensure profits are split evenly, and you can even use the solution’s property video and virtual tour tools to give your rental that extra edge on listing websites.
Customer complaints are minor, with customer support quickly fixing any reported bugs, according to reviews.
Pricing isn’t available publicly, though you can request a demo and a quote through their customer service line.
This web-based, user-friendly software is a great solution for those still timid about technology and can be accessed via Mac, PC, or tablet.
Aside from a reservations system, Escapia also offers a leads management component to help you convert your leads into bookings, as well as a business dashboard and advanced rates feature to both measure daily activity and year-to-year comparisons as a way to recognize trends and adjust your marketing strategy. Other offerings include marketing and reporting components like integratable coupons and promo codes to host on your site, and website options to help create or streamline a homepage.
Escapia reviews on Capterra have noted a slight learning curve, with one customer stating that the inability to create multiple or recurring work orders was a downside. However, many have mentioned they see Escapia’s customer support responding to quickly remedy problems.
Escapia has a one-time setup fee of $4,500, which may also include additional monthly support and maintenance costs due to additional units and modules. A free demo is available.
Founded in 2012, this solution has quickly shot up the vacation rental charts with a system that can be deployed through cloud.
OwnerRez’s platform is designed for organization and clarity using ribbons, a calendar, and lists, and has a hover feature that lets you view a quick popup with guest details without leaving the dashboard. Users also have access to a rate engine that configures rates for a variety of stays, including weekdays, weekends, and popular vacation seasons. Automated payment collection and auto-generated rental agreements are also available.
According to OwnerRez reviews on Capterra, ease of use could be improved, but no major details stand out amongst buyers.
OwnerRez starts at $19.99 per month, and goes up depending on the property size. OwnerRez also offers a free trial.
With a tagline of “turning lookers into bookers,” LiveRez customers include big name clientele like All Star Vacation Homes, Beach Properties of Hilton Head, and Carolina Beach Realty.
LiveRez is a cloud-based solution, enabling users to access their software from anywhere with an internet connection, and can also help you craft a website to entice potential guests as well as provide a booking platform so they can make reservations right on your site. This solution additionally provides back office support, communication automation, and connection to Quickbooks. Other standouts include a guest review and survey system and the ability to track your operations in real time.
Some reviews note a bit of a learning curve for this solution, though they were able to have customer support help walk them through the process. Cloud computing can also be an issue if you don’t have a strong internet connection.
Pricing for LiveRez isn’t available publicly, though you can request a free, customized quote through their website. A free demo is also available.
Besides rave reviews about customer service, users seem to agree that the software is easy to set up and simplifies a lot of operations for hotel managers who just want something easy to use.
It integrates email and management of all of your reservations, payments, inquiries, and calendar into one place, so there’s no scrambling around trying to figure out where your booking went or digging through your email trying to determine what special requests your guest made that you forgot about.
Reviewers say it’s great for small businesses, and it makes things easier for customers as well.
Users didn’t have much to complain about in reviews, but some customers say there’s a bit of learning curve with this software, so it may take some patience.
365villas offers a free trial and promises no contract, allowing you to cancel when you want. The basic subscription, which covers one property, is $29 per month, while a premium subscription is $49 and a professional subscription, which has all the bells and whistles, is $69.
Ease of use was a big praise point for Bookerville, which boasts no setup fees or commissions and claims to integrate well with AirBnB, HomeAway, Booking.com, and other services.
The dashboard allows you to manage a number of things in one place, including emails, payment options, and bookings. The software has a raft of features the reviewers have praised extensively, such as a dashboard to manage all your operations and a customizable calendar for both guests and management, and the developer appears to be constantly adding new features all the time.
Customers also said the support Bookerville offers for its product is stellar, and highly responsive, often responding to emails or phone calls within minutes.
The software has an almost unanimous five stars from its 88 reviewers, so not many had anything negative to say about the product, although a few dinged it ever-so-slightly in terms of functionality and ease of use (usually a praise point for the software, although as is often the case, not everyone always agrees on this subjective category). Most simply wanted to request other features or options, however.
Like 365villas, Bookerville offers a relatively low monthly subscription rate to customers, starting at $41.67 per month for one property and ranging up to a high of $306.92 per month if you manage 100 properties or units. There’s a pricing calculator on their site to figure out how much your monthly fee would be.
Are there other solutions you think should have made the list? Let me know in the comments below.
Looking for Vacation Rental software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Vacation Rental software solutions.