Essential Vacation Rental Tools
Running your own vacation rental business can be stressful and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are hundreds of free vacation rental tools out there to help owners and managers run a seamless operation, one that means guests leave positive reviews or even come back for another stay. Here is a compilation of twenty essential vacation rental tools — from software to mobile apps to websites — that will improve the business end for owners and the experience for guests.
First, let’s get down to business. Whether you own multiple properties, long-term or short-term rentals, these tools will help you save time, money, and a lot of hassle:
Lodgify is a great solution for rental owners, property managers, and vacation rental professionals looking to manage their business all in one place. The cloud-based software program offers useful features like web design, website builder, channel manager, SEO and marketing tools, and much more. The app also offers a fully digital booking system, integrated with WordPress, SquareSpace, Wix, Joomla, Drupal, and Weebly. Avoid double bookings with Lodgify’s channel manager feature and synchronize all existing rental listings and reservations in one place.
This all-in-one management software offers numerous features like team management, price management, multi-calendar, multi-platform synchronization, automated messaging, direct communication, and many others. iGMS automates the entire business end so that owners and property managers can easily communicate with guests and facilitate the best experience possible. iGMS helps maximize profits with their price management toolkit, which automates discounts and minimum stay rules.
Streamline is another fantastic management software designed to make the business end of your vacation rental company run as smoothly as possible. Streamline was built by property managers for property managers. This vacation rental software condenses task-management into four useful apps: a guest app, a maintenance app, a housekeeping app, and a property owner app. Users can also take advantage of the app’s built-in market data features in order to make strategic marketing decisions.
MyVR is a cloud-based app primarily designed to streamline online bookings and marketing. MyVR allows you to track property, contact, and reservation data, which ultimately creates your very own database. Manage your multiple properties across all platforms, take payments online, and build your own brand using MyVR’s data-enabled features. MyVR integrates with numerous booking sites including Airbnb, Booking.com, and Flipkey.
Beyond Pricing is a great site for owners and managers who are unsure about how to price their rental properties. Beyond Pricing uses up-to-date market data to guarantee the best prices for your properties. Synchronize all of your existing listings to the site and Beyond Pricing will provide the exact prices to situate your listings in a competitive market space. Vayoo.com is another great price management site to help optimize your listings’ visibility.
Finance & Legal Tools
Next stop: payments and avoiding lawsuits. These essential tools will make online payments as easy as a click on your phone or tablet, as well as ensure you are not making any legal mistakes along the way.
You’re likely already familiar with this one. PayPal is one of the most ubiquitous names in digital payment. Vacation rental owners can sign up for a business PayPal account and accept and make payments on behalf of their business. This is a great digital payment service to incorporate into your business. Used by millions of people around the world, PayPal should be a relatively familiar service for your guests to use as well.
Stripe is another digital payment software similar to PayPal. In addition to receiving, requesting, and accepting online payments, Stripe also provides the technical, fraud prevention, and banking infrastructure required to flawlessly operate a solid online payment system.
Wave is a vacation rental software that manages accounting, invoicing, payments, payroll, and receipts all in one place. This service allows vacation rental owners to efficiently create and send invoices. Wave also comes with a neat meeting feature that allows users to privately and temporarily share their locations with guests or clients in order to set up a meeting place.
DocuSign is an essential online tool for vacation rental professionals and property managers looking to cover all the legal bases. Electronically share and sign all legal documents and rental agreements pertaining to your business. Secure the necessary signatures from your customers and employees to keep everything running effectively and legally. Enjoy the software’s essential features like Contract Lifecycle Management, Document Generation, and numerous integrations.
The name says it all. Looking to trademark your brand? Trademarkia is an online trademark and patent tool designed to help users legally solidify their brand. Browse their free site for information and legal advice pertaining to trademark registration, international trademarks, trademark renewal, utility patent, and much more. Users can also search for millions of trademarks and patents on this site.
Guest Experience Tools
Do you want your vacation rental(s) to stand out amongst the crowd? Do you want your guests to have the best experience possible? There are excellent apps out there designed to maximize hospitality services and make sure your guests are always enjoying their stay.
Fibaro is one of the best home automation solutions in the market. Fibaro is an all-in-one home security software designed to protect all of your vacation rental properties. Fibaro offers smoke sensors, flood sensors, door and window sensors, smart key fobs, and much more — all powered by “The Button,” a bright red button that controls all Fibaro systems. Digitally manage heating, gates, lighting, and blinds all without actually being inside your vacation rental. This automated security software is an excellent selling point for guests who want to stay in totally protected rental homes.
Tired of dealing with physical copies of brochures? Yoomando makes it easy to leave as many brochures as you want for your guests all on one tablet. Clue your guests into guided tours, outdoor activities, sights and attractions, top-rated restaurants, off-the-beaten-path destinations, and hidden gems in your city. Yoomando offers two apps: Yooguest and Yoopad. Guests download Yooguest to book activities and Yoopad to access digital brochures.
Houzz is a great app for vacation rental owners and managers looking to spice up the interior and exterior design of their rentals. Houzz provides thousands of inspirational pictures for all rooms including (but not limited to): the kitchen, living room, dining room, bathroom, pantry, bedroom, and garage. Get ideas for indoor and outdoor design using their free and seemingly endless database of pictures.
Handy is an essential vacation rental tool in order to ensure your rental homes are always clean and tidy. Book and pay cleaning services and directly connect with top-rated handiwork professionals through the Handy app. Tackle furniture assembly, TV mounting, wall hanging, and much more through this all-in-one home service app. Make sure your guests always arrive at a clean and well-organized home or room.
Guidal is the digitized version of a hotel’s concierge desk. Conveniently store guests’ needs and information with the Guidal app. Guidal also allows owners and managers to share local attractions, things to do, and directions with their guests. Use Guidal as your mobile concierge service.
About the author: Emily Russo is a writer based in New York. She loves traveling, meeting new people, reading, and being outdoors. She hopes to travel to Italy 500,000 more times in her lifetime.