Vacation rental management software has become a lifesaver for many hosts across the globe. As the vacation rental industry has grown over the years, the competition on the market has intensified as well.
For many hosts, their side hustles have evolved into fully-fledged businesses. However, managing more properties and hosting more guests comes with its challenges. Hosts are working hard to juggle multiple responsibilities and are searching for tech tools to ease their workload.
Luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from. Are you wondering how to find the best vacation rental management software available for free? To make your search easier, we decided to answer the most common questions asked by vacation rental owners.
Vacation rental management software is a ProTech tool that helps you to manage all your rentals from a single platform. You can adjust availability, reply to your guests, schedule cleanings, and automate other tasks within one place. It doesn’t matter how many listings you have or how many vacation rental sites you use, you get all your processes consolidated using just one tool.
Vacation rental property management software is an indispensable solution whether you have one or more rental properties. Free vacation rental management software can help you save a lot of time and energy. Another perk is that you can increase your vacation rental business efficiency without expanding your team.
When property owners start managing several holiday rentals, they also have to perform more tasks. Regular operations start taking up more time. As a result, hosts pay less attention to marketing their properties and enhancing the guest experience.
However, if you have no time to make improvements, you run the risk of falling behind. Competition is fierce, and other property managers will be more than happy to nab potential guests. Free vacation rental management software can come to your rescue and help optimize your daily operations.
Even if you only manage one property, vacation rental management software can still change your daily routine for the better.
Many of the following enhancements to your business are available via free vacation rental software tools:
Managing multiple vacation rentals listed on different platforms becomes a lot easier when you have them all in one place. You don’t have to log in and log out of your software account to update availability, alter a reservation, or change pricing.
Advanced vacation rental software solutions allow you to sync the data of your properties and calendars. This allows you to control them more simply via a single interface.
Effective communication with guests is essential if you’re keen to create a good impression.
Potential guests appreciate receiving prompt replies. So, it stands to reason, if you speed up your response time, you will win more online bookings.
Automating your communication can help you save up to 70% of your time. Free vacation rental management software can provide the tools you need to generate fast replies and satisfy guests. In addition, you will be able to improve your Airbnb ranking as the search engine algorithm gives more visibility to hosts with a 90% response rate.
Double bookings are a nightmare for every host, and no doubt you will be doing all you can to avoid them.
However, if your short-term rental is listed on more than one platform, there’s an increased risk of receiving a double booking. Vacation rental software can help eliminate this dreaded situation. It also comes in handy if you need to make any alterations to your bookings.
If you invest in vacation management software, you won’t have to spend your time contacting your cleaning team every time a guest checks out. Top-notch automation tools are capable of creating and sending cleaning tasks automatically.
Technology will certainly help you to manage your team more efficiently. Automation allows your staff to see their assigned duties and enables you to be able to monitor task performance.
Some vacation rental management solutions also allow you to track your earnings via a single interface. It’s convenient to access all your payout reports without needing to log into different platforms.
All the above advantages of using vacation rental software increase your business efficiency. By streamlining your hosting routine, you can ensure a better guest experience and entice more guests to book with you. At the same time, you will be able to reduce expenses as automation allows you to handle more tasks without big investments.
When it comes to defining the best vacation rental management software, the answer will greatly depend on who you ask. Hosts and property managers often seek out software solutions due to unique hosting issues they face. Because of this, their opinions on what the best solution is will differ.
A good rule of thumb is to make a list of all the tasks you currently manage. From there, identify the tasks you can handle yourself and the tasks you would prefer to outsource. Based on this, it will be easier for you to seek a vacation rental software solution that matches your exact needs.
Aside from satisfying your requirements, another important spec to look out for is free and simple onboarding. With easy and structured onboarding, you can start using the software right away and see the results much sooner.
Functionality is the most important criterion. Opting for free vacation rental software doesn’t mean that you should compromise on your needs. At the end of the day, your goal should be to enhance your short-term rental property management.
There are a few essential core features you should be looking for while sourcing the best vacation rental software for free:
Convert your standard messages into templates and send replies on preset dates and times. You can even personalize messages with vacation rental software solutions using smart elements. These elements and triggers can be altered according to each reservation.
If you’re looking for multi-platform synchronization, a good idea is to opt for a cloud-based tool with integrations to a variety of vacation rental platforms. The tool with such functionality will allow you to keep calendar dates or prices in sync across different vacation rental platforms online. Avoid dreaded double-bookings and the hassles, and negative reviews associated with them.
Improve your cleaning routine efficiency using your vacation rental property management system. Cleaning tasks will be scheduled automatically after your guests check out. Your cleaner will also receive an email or text notification.
We’ve all got busy lives, so we often need to work on the go. If you’ve found a great vacation rental software solution, check that there’s a mobile app too. This will allow you to access all the important information you need wherever you are.
Lastly, a good vacation rental management software should allow you to test-run its features. Any software solution worth its weight should offer users a free trial to let them try it out and ask questions or give feedback. For instance, iGMS offers all users a 14-day free trial that requires no credit card.
In addition to this, it should offer free onboarding to all users who sign up for the software. Getting to grips with all the functions and capabilities of a new vacation rental software can be tiresome and time-consuming.
A good onboarding process should be smooth and seamless with clear and concise procedures. If a software does not offer any onboarding or charges an onboarding fee, that’s a sign it’s not likely to prioritize customers’ needs.
It can be easy to confuse vacation rental software, channel manager, and property management software. Each of the three tools can simplify the process of property management, but they have significant differences to know about.
You need to consider this when choosing the right tool for you. You also need to take into account the type of tasks you need to handle.
With channel management, hosts can:
If you opt for vacation rental management software, on top of what a channel manager offers, you are likely to get access to the following features:
It’s worth mentioning that a channel manager feature can be included in many free vacation rental software tools. So, if you want to improve your vacation rental management and the guest experience, using vacation rental software is ideal.
As for property management software, in the main, this is designed for landlords who rent out properties on a long-term basis. It’s also widely used to manage commercial properties, including office complexes and apartment communities. Therefore, the functionality of this type of software doesn’t quite meet the needs of vacation rental managers.
With such a variety of software solutions on the market, it can be difficult to choose the best to suit your needs. This is a tool you will use daily, so you should take your time when deciding.
Here are a few ideas that could help you in your quest to find the best free short-term rental software.
Identify the areas you struggle with the most. If tracking your reservations on different platforms bothers you, chances are you could do it with a channel manager.
If the issue lies with guest management and communication, you should look for a solution that allows you to automate messages and ensure timely replies. If you struggle with cleaning and housekeeping management, look for a tool with a cleaning automation feature.
You can search the Internet for available vacation rental software providers, but a quick scan of what they have to offer won’t cut it. You have to carefully compare different software solutions and the features they provide. It is a good idea to find out what other users think about the tools you’ve selected.
Use comparison websites such as Capterra.com, SoftwareWorld, or GetApp to check reviews. Don’t just rely on ratings but read the reviews to explore the pros and cons of each tool. Be aware of fake reviews too. If you see only 5-star reviews with no cons mentioned, this is a sure sign that those are not written by real users.
The next step in finding the best free vacation rental management software is to try in action the options you’ve selected. For this purpose, sign up for a trial and explore the tools and their capabilities in more detail.
If anything is unclear or you have additional questions about certain functionalities, contact customer support teams. It’s a huge plus if a vacation rental software solution provides live support to its users. You can learn more about the tool and access support if any issues arise.
How about “hiring” an all-in-one solution to help you handle all of your vacation rental management tasks? We’d like to invite you to check out iGMS, professional vacation rental software that helps hosts to set their business on autopilot.
iGMS is one of the leading vacation rental software services, with over 100,000 listings from 133 countries across the globe.
Here’s a brief overview of the features that you can get once you opt for iGMS:
Try iGMS in action, and explore the perks of using automation by signing up for a free 14-day trial.
To keep using iGMS at its full capacity, you can select between our two pricing plans: Flexible or PRO. They will allow you to simplify your short-term rental property management across channels.
For instance, when you select the PRO plan, you can enjoy full access to a range of features, such as:
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