Vacation Rental Guide / Choosing Vacation Rental Software / Which Rental Management Software is Right for Your Business?

Organizing and managing your vacation rental business is easier with optimized rental management software. Find out what benefits a solution like this can bring to your rental and how it can help you succeed.

Choosing Rental Management Software

As a vacation rental owner, you have a wonderful opportunity to use this property in order to generate some extra income. With your new business comes the need to rely on some valuable resources, such as vacation rental software – a great solution for managing your company.

When property owners take the time to research what vacation rental software is all about, it becomes clear as to what a valuable resource this can be. It is not only for bookings but also for other property management tasks. When used properly it can set the rental property business owner up for success. One of the great benefits of this type of software is that owners with one or several properties can use it.

Benefits of Reservation Software

Any vacation rental owner has a certain amount of things they must optimize in order to make a profit from renting their property. By using reservation software for rental management, owners can streamline their processes and make the most from their marketing.

Increase Rental Property Exposure and Marketing

Not only do you need to have a good system for reservations, but you also need to have the right resources for marketing your home. You can do this on a vacation rental listing site, or better yet, a second and very viable solution is to have a designated site for the property. So, when you choose rental management software, it should contain a lot of features. In particular, a module that allows you to build a website without the need for any technical skills.

You are entering into a competitive industry and you need to get your property in front of the right travelers. A mobile-friendly website which is suitable for vacation renting and allows you to accept bookings is ideal. It also has to provide a good user experience and contain all the information that your guests will need in order to book your rental property.

The reservation software should provide the opportunity for a property owner to set up this type of website with ease, without necessarily needing any technical skills. Equally, for guests, booking a property using this software should be a stress-free, straightforward experience.

Make Property Management Efficient and Easy

The reservation software must have all the tools necessary for the owner to be able to handle all segments of the rental business. These tools should be the solutions for each task that the owner needs to perform. In addition, the software must have the ability to automate as many of their repetitive management tasks as possible.

Simplify Accounting Responsibilities

Just one of the many duties that vacation rental owners face is keeping on top of accounting. An optimized rental management software program will easily allow you to collect the funds and provide you with the data you need to track your finances. It will also help keep your finances records in order.

Save Time with Proper Management

Being a rental manager also requires you to deal with the maintenance of your properties. Having the right applications to help you deal with administrative duties means that you will have more time for other, more operational segments of your business – such as updating its look.

Enjoy Property Management On the Go

Property management software should also allow you the flexibility to work while you are on the go. Software that has an app or mobile site built especially for this purpose will allow you the freedom you require to perform tasks effectively from anywhere.

Easy Communication with Guests

Guests will need to communicate with you about your rental home before, during and after their stay. A reservation software program should make this an easy task for you. It should have an excellent email system that allows you to handle queries and quotes in a quick and efficient manner, as well as monitor their progress and send automated messages.

Integrates with Other Services

If part of your efforts to rent your home includes using other platforms, you want to be able to integrate these. A quality program will include a feature that will allow you to bring in data from other channels you may have chosen to use. Having resources like this to use in the property rental profession allows you to scale up your company in the future and manage all listings from one place.

Improves Booking and Reservation

When looking at any software management program to help you rent your property, you want to be sure that it possesses an excellent reservation system. Fulfilling your management role means you need access to information as quickly as possible. Part of the reservation system should consist of an easy-to-use and easy-to-update calendar. This allows you to see the status of your properties at a glance.

Automates Processes for Good Time Management

Another crucial function of this software is that it should allow you to automate your tasks as much as possible. For example, automatic updates to your calendar save time and avoid you having to perform manual updates across all the channels you are using.

Meets Guest Expectations

Your guests are the backbone of your vacation rental business. By using a top rated vacation rental software, you are likely providing the best guest user experience possible. At the same time, it’s making your job easier!

WHAT DO YOU NEED YOUR VACATION RENTAL MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE TO DO?

We already know the many advantages of software, but you also need the right features you need to market your properties effectively.

WEBSITE BUILDING

Your rental management software should come with a website building module that allows you to add photos, text and customizations to suit your business. Your rental website also has to be mobile-friendly as many guests will want to book your rental from their handheld devices.

BOOKING ENGINE

The software also has to have a good booking system for easy online bookings. In addition, the software’s CMS should allow you to update your property listings, photos and descriptions any time of day and publish immediately to see the result.

FEEDBACK AND REVIEWS

Feedback from your guests is another important feature that your management software should have. Having reviews on your site is very important for you to be able to improve your guest experiences in person. It also helps you learn how to scale up your marketing to take more rental bookings in the future.

AUTOMATE TASKS

As a vacation rental property manager, you need to be able to rely on a reservation system that is going to help automate a lot of your tasks. Having easy access and being able to track your booking information will help you to stay organized and on top of it all.

ACCEPT PAYMENTS

Another important functionality to take into account is handling online rental payments in a secure manner. Most guests prefer paying by credit card during the checkout process. An optimal reservation management software will allow payment processing as part of the package.

WHAT ABOUT A GUEST RESERVATION SYSTEM?

The software you choose should also have good functionality for communicating with and managing guests.

Business management is more intuitive with a website reservation system. Often, vacation rentals are difficult to manage because of the multitude of email addresses, emails, invoices, payments and vendor contacts. But, with a website reservation system, you can have a centralized inbox. This greatly reduces the margin of error in managing bookings and messages.

The best guest reservation system will increase the efficiency of your hotel or rental management when it comes to guests. Here are the top features it needs.

GUEST MESSAGING

Your customer relationship management (CRM) will be a major factor in whether or not someone decides to stay at your property. Quick, responsive booking and immediate confirmation make a traveler feel secure and worry-free.

Guest messaging should be comprehensive and quick. You need to be able to see all correspondence with a particular guest in one place. With the right guest reservation system, you will be able to see everything you need to know about your visitor, their booking and schedule any messages at that time.

AUTO-RESPONDERS

A great deal of admin time is spent sending out emails, newsletters, booking confirmations, arrival instructions and more. Anyone in the vacation rental industry knows that this type of repetitive work is not only time consuming, but it is also fraught with the opportunity to make silly mistakes.

A guest reservation system can automate most of that communication. There will always be guests who need one-on-one attention, but an auto-responder will eliminate much of the miscommunication. This is also a great marketing tool because guests receive immediate notification of their actions. One of the simplest, most common actions of a hotel manager can be thoroughly automated.

The way auto-responders work is that the guest’s actions trigger certain emails. For example, when someone books, it triggers the sending of a confirmation email. When they send payment, it prompts a payment receipt. Or you can even schedule, ahead of time, instructions that should be sent out in advance of guests’ arrival. The key is to keep your message as personal as possible, considering that it is automated. Keep it updated and keep the tone appropriate.

EMAIL TEMPLATES

Your emails, whether manual or automated, need to convey important messages. Look for a template that will make your emails visually stimulating without being too wordy. Keep details useful and friendly, and include nice graphics or photographs of your home to entice your guests to keep reading.

CENTRALIZED CALENDAR

What happens when a traveler decides to reserve your accommodation? The first thing that happens is that you, or a member of your staff, has to update information on the website, showing that room as unavailable. There is a beginning and an ending date on that reservation, which must be entered. Then, you have to make sure it shows up on the calendar.

But that is just the start. Next, you have to visit each of the OTAs you list on and update those calendars. It is the same if you change the rates at one of your properties, or offer a discount.

With a guest reservation system, management of your reservations couldn’t be more simple. All repetitive tasks are automated to make life easier. This means that when you post seasonal rates on your reservation software, they will automatically apply to your property on other channels.

MANUAL ACCESS

Your system will allow you to enter special rates for manual quotes. This provides you with the ability to treat a particular traveler with a special discount without messing up your computer. As a hotel or rental owner, you know how hard it is to keep every guest happy.

With this in mind, it is important for management to have the ability to enter fees, discounts, and other rate changes manually, too.

MOBILE ACCESS

Finally, your guest reservation system should be accessible to mobile devices. This means the site will adapt to any sized screen, load information quickly and not freeze up a smartphone. Given that over 50% of travelers use mobile operating systems to book hotels, it is foolish of managers to ignore such a major advantage.

HomeAway Is a Prime Example of Reservation Software

Hosts who have used the HomeAway vacation rental software to list their rental properties have a good idea as to what benefits and features a reservation software can offer. It can help with their bookings and other tasks. There is a difference between using the HomeAway software and using reservation software. The reservation software is dedicated to your rental property. You are not dealing with the competition of the others who are using the HomeAway platform. You have your own dedicated site for your property. You determine how you want to market it, which you can easily do via social media platforms, email and other integrations the software has.