Managing vacation rentals can involve juggling a lot of important booking details for multiple properties; you also have to maintain a good presence on sites like Airbnb or HomeAway.
Thankfully today there are apps for streamlining many of life’s little details – and managing vacation homes is no different. The 4 Vacation rental apps we’ll mention in this article make it easy for property managers to simplify the routine of vacation rental management, right from their computer or even phone.
1. Dynamic Pricing Apps
Dynamic pricing is something most of us have experienced when booking a plane ticket or reserving a hotel room. Websites use a complex algorithm to create flexible pricing based on supply, demand, competitor pricing, and other factors.
Some vacation rental apps have pricing management software that facilitates this flexible pricing to help property owners increase their profits. This software automatically prices properties using a sophisticated algorithm that analyzes data like hotel prices, prices of other Airbnbs in the vicinity, and other visitor statistics. It’s a win-win situation: guests get the perfect price, and hosts optimize their properties for revenue.
The most obvious choice among vacation rental apps for dynamic pricing is perhaps Airbnb itself. Airbnb has a Smart Pricing feature based on your listing, its location, the season, consumer demand, and a few other factors.
Another popular option among vacation rental apps for dynamic pricing is BeyondPricing, which touts itself as delivering 40% increases in revenue and 22% increases in occupancy. If you want to get a little bit more hands-on, Wheelhouse and PriceLabs offer dashboards with customization options.
2. All-in-one vacation rental software
Of course, there are other things to worry about beyond profit, like check-ins, maintenance, and task management. Moreover, a lot of apps don’t connect with every platform. Thankfully there are options like iGMS with comprehensive suites that can automate every aspect of managing your vacation rental while connecting to major sites like Airbnb, Vrbo, HomeAway, Stayz, Homelidays, and others.
iGMS can also help you manage multiple properties from the same dashboard, coordinate tasks for your team (like cleaning), and sync up multiple calendars. There’s also a single inbox for all your properties, which organizes your most common responses and automate select types of communication – saving you tons of time (communicating with guests can take up lots of your day). The team management tools help you assign tasks and set up text or email notifications to send out. As you can see, iGMS is not an app that focuses on one type of task, but truly means to offer a comprehensive control panel for vacation rental owners and property managers.
3. Digital Guestbook and Local Guide Apps
In the olden days, hotels would have a guestbook by the concierge for guests to sign in, and perhaps leave a comment when they signed out. While you may not have a guestbook – or a physical concierge desk – for your vacation rental, there are some apps that can do the same thing…and a whole lot more.
A great vacation rental app for helping you avoid needing to juggle multiple passwords and arrival information is YourWelcome. This app is like a remote concierge, facilitating check-ins and allowing you to interact with your guests both with live messaging and by sending them links to videos that can help them navigate the property successfully – such as an explanation of everything in the kitchen and how to turn it on or off.
And just like the case of brochures about local activities and tours that sits by the concierge desk, you can also use YourWelcome to upsell services like late checkout and connect your guests with local guides and tours.
4. Vacation rental data and analytics apps
In addition to managing concerns like price, location, and amenities, one of the most important ways to maximize your vacation rental’s cash flow is to respond to data. There are some great vacation rental apps that can analyze rental data so you can make better marketing and management decisions.
If you want to scope out the competition, AirDNA allows you to see some pretty specific information, like how much other hosts are making and their occupancy rate, among other stats. It also has a useful property cash flow prediction tool based on the data from 4 million vacation rentals around the world.
If you’re wanting to optimize your vacation rental’s visibility, RankBreeze cultivates ranking data in regards to SEO, which can help you understand whether your marketing efforts are helping or hurting your property’s visibility.
One of the most important – and most frustrating – parts of turning a vacation rental side business into a profitable venture is expanding your footprint. But in order to do that, you’ve got to do some market research on the best locations and properties. Mashvisor is a great resource for finding out what kind of return a property will bring in a few minutes, instead of spending months of research, drawing data from Redfin, Airbnb, and the MLS.
A final word about vacation rental apps
Vacation rental apps make life much easier for rental hosts and property managers. Of course, even though there are many tools to streamline your operations, it’s best and easiest to get as many automated features together on one dashboard, with the highest degree of integration to the most platforms.