Deciding to use software for vacation rentals is a big step for your business. As well as looking for a solution that will help save you time and money, you’re also searching for something that will lead your vacation rental to success.
While it’s not the only factor to consider, the cost of vacation rental software can play a major role in your decision. Ensuring you’re aware of the different software pricing models that exist will help you out big time in the buying process. And knowing the right questions to ask early on will also aid you in filtering out any provider with hidden additional fees.
So, exactly what questions should you be asking about the cost of vacation rental software? Let’s take a look at the top 10 things to bear in mind.
1. Does the software charge per rental?
In general, vacation rental software will likely charge you per the number of rentals, properties or listings you rent or manage. Most providers offer one set plan for owners with one property to look after, and a sliding scale which increases as rental numbers increase.
This is the way the pricing plans work for Lodgify users. Single property professional plans start at $11 per month, and multi-property plans begin at $16 monthly for 2 properties and increase to $37 for 50 properties.
2. Does the software charge you per owner?
For property managers who are buying rental software, it is useful to consider if there are any additional costs for allowing owners to access your system’s backend and make updates. Some services will bill you for adding new owners to your database, or even for the owner portal itself.
With Lodgify, each property manager can give their owners access to a built-in owner’s login area – included free of charge in their plan. That means owners will have direct access to manage aspects of their properties or reservations – without having to go through the manager first.
3. What level of technical support (if any) is included?
As some software providers will charge you for support or hands-on help with technical issues, it’s beneficial to ask in advance what these charges are and weigh up whether it’s really worth it.
On the other hand, Lodgify users have access to a free support service. There are three main advantages regarding support at Lodgify. First, there is an extensive Knowledge Base which helps users to independently find answers to the most frequently asked questions, and the Learning Center provides thorough step-by-step tutorials. Secondly, Lodgify has an onboarding team welcoming new users with personalized training sessions, as well as account managers who can help you maximize your business and a connectivity team that will help activate the Channel Manager integrations. Finally, the support team is available seven days a week to answer your queries.
4. Does the software include a vacation rental website?
Most people who are looking for rental software are usually hoping to build their new website this way. Because of this, you’d better make sure that the software includes a website builder! Some companies use this feature as an add-on and actually outsource the work to a designer. This can end up costing hundreds (or even thousands) more than you’d originally planned to spend. Furthermore, if you can’t access the content management system (CMS) at the end of it, you’ll be blocked and have to fork out extra money – every time you want to update your website.
Lodgify’s software includes a user-friendly, intuitive website builder that allows owners to create their own beautiful website in a matter of minutes. Owners can customize any aspect of their website – colors, fonts, logos, photos, content – and update it any time of day without paying extra fees.
5. If it does include a website, is it optimized?
Having a vacation rental website is one thing, but ensuring it’s perfectly optimized for the industry is another. If the software you’re looking at doesn’t let you create a mobile-friendly website; have a customized domain; showcase photos; add reviews and testimonials, or simply brand it the way you want – you’d better look elsewhere.
With Lodgify, you’ll get all these features on your vacation rental website and more. We’ve designed our website builder solely with vacation rental professionals in mind. Even better – it’s so easy to use, no technical skills are required whatsoever.
6. Does the software include an online booking engine?
Being able to accept online, direct bookings is key to staying ahead in the vacation rental industry, so be sure to find out if the software you’re researching has a booking engine already integrated. Some software providers do charge extra for this feature, so it’s worth double-checking before you sign up.
All websites made with Lodgify have online booking capability from the very first moment you publish your site. In other words, you’ll instantly be ready to accept online bookings and credit card payments for your vacation rental, direct via your website!
7. Do you have to pay any extra commissions for taking online bookings?
Before committing to one software or another, find out if you will have to pay any commissions on the bookings you take via your website. Some systems will take a small percentage of your income alongside the monthly tariff, which can add a hefty price tag onto each payment.
Using Lodgify’s software, you’ll simply pay one flat monthly fee. While you can choose to add additional features for a small cost, we’ll never add on any extra commissions, charges or fees without your permission.
8. Are you receiving all the features of the software?
Some features of software services vary depending on how much you’re willing to pay. The cheaper plans may only have access to certain features, while the most expensive will provide a full range of functionalities.
No matter which Lodgify plan you’re on, you’ll have access to all of our key features. These include website builder, booking system, channel manager and reservation system. Plus, you’ll have technical support, unlimited hosting, daily backups and automatic updates.
9. What happens if you cancel?
With some software providers, you are tied into a contract for a certain amount of time, therefore canceling or changing it can incur a large fee. For this reason, it’s a great idea to become familiar with the software cancelation policy in advance – just in case it becomes necessary.
We know that circumstances change – that’s why Lodgify allows users to switch plans any time they need. In the rare instance that you need to cancel your Lodgify account, you won’t have to pay any extra, either.
10. What other factors should you think about?
As well as the above questions, there are a few others that you should think about before making your final decision on software for vacation rentals. For example:
How does it carry out updates?
Will the software help you save time?
How much money can you make with it?
What are the other users’ opinions of the software? (You can do this by checking reviews)
Will the software support your business’ growth?
Will the software work on any browser?
How easy is it to set up?
Does it have a Knowledge Base and Learning Center?
Short-term rental software can be the solution to many owners’ and managers’ problems. Not only can it help save admin time and increase direct bookings, but it can also organize all reservation details into one place and encourage easy updates of your website.
Asking software providers the 10 questions above will help you understand exactly what is included and what’s not. This will help you to decide whether the price is feasible and the package is right for your business!
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