The world of vacation rentals has changed drastically over the last few years. For many hosts, their short-term rental began as a side business but has now grown into a fully-fledged concern that requires a professional approach.
Hosts are working hard to juggle multiple responsibilities and are searching for tech tools and software solutions to ease their work-load.
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.
Messages pending response for 24 hours and endless switching between accounts – does that sound familiar? Free vacation rental management software can help you save a lot of time and energy.
As soon as property owners start managing several holiday rentals they find themselves performing more and more routine tasks. Regular operations start taking up more time. As a result, hosts pay less attention to marketing their properties and enhancing the guest experience.
If you have no time to make improvements to your business, you run the risk of falling behind. Competition is fierce and other property managers will be more than happy to nab potential guests and entice them to stay. The good news is that free vacation rental management software can really give your business a boost.
Even if you only manage one property, 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.
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.
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 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 the ability to see their assigned duties and provides you with the opportunity to monitor performance.
Some vacation rental management solutions also allow you to track your earnings via the same interface. It’s very convenient to gain an overview of your payouts without rummaging through financial reports on multiple platforms.
Functionality is the most important criteria. Opting for free 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 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 your messages with clever software solutions that allow the use of smart elements (these can be altered according to each reservation).
Whether you need to block out dates or change the pricing for your property across different platforms, go for a tool with the calendar synchronization feature. Avoid dreaded double bookings and the hassles and negative reviews associated with them.
Improve the efficiency of your cleaning routine. Cleaning tasks will be scheduled automatically after your guests check out, and your cleaner will 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 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.
It’s easy to get confused about these three software tools: 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 that you should be aware of. 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.
Channel managers enable hosts to:
If you opt for vacation rental management software you are likely to get access to the following features:
It’s worth mentioning that a channel manager feature can be included as an available functionality in many free vacation rental software tools. So, if you are looking for a solution that will improve the overall process of vacation rental management as well as the guest experience it makes sense to introduce vacation rental software to your business.
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 short-term 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 on a daily basis, so you should take your time when deciding.
Here are a few ideas that could help you in your quest to find the best vacation rental management software available for free.
Identify the areas you struggle with the most. If tracking your reservations on different platforms bothers you, chances are you could do with a channel manager. If the issue lies with communication or cleanings, you should search for a solution offering message/cleaning schedule automation.
You can search the Internet for available software providers, but a quick scan of what they have to offer won’t really 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 actually 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 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? Check out iGMS, professional vacation rental software that helps hosts to set their business on autopilot.
iGMS is one of the leading short-term rental software services available on the market – with more than 83,000 listings from 133 countries across the globe.
If you manage up to 4 properties you can start using our vacation rental management software for free. Our beginner package includes the most useful features at no cost. Here is a brief overview of what you can get:
You can unlock even more features by simply upgrading to the paid plan. This will enable you to further simplify short-term rental property management across multiple channels.