Did you know that vacation rental businesses account for over 30% of all privately owned accommodation businesses across the U.S.? Managing a short-term rental business is becoming increasingly popular, but that also makes it increasingly competitive. This is where the best short-term rental software comes in.
At The Short-Term Shop, our team of first-rate agents know the ins and outs of the hottest vacation rental markets in the country. Utilizing real-time data, hospitality industry networks, and cutting-edge tools and technologies, we're able to connect our investors with the most profitable vacation rental properties and resources available.
Software Solutions for Vacation Rental Owners Anywhere
As an investor, you know the markets fluctuate. You understand that vacation rental property trends are constantly shifting, especially in today's distressed economy. Top tier short-term vacation rental management software helps vacation rental property owners to counteract this stress and succeed despite these pressures.
With the right technological tools, investors, property owners, property managers, and property management companies can seamlessly manage their vacation rental properties. These integrated systems allow you to save time and improve your bottom line!
Here’s what you need to know about the best short-term rental software providers for 2023.
Vacation Rental Software Offers Full-Spectrum Capabilities
By automating task management, property management software and property management systems can get your rentals united on one platform. These systems centralize:
- Reservation management
- Guest communication
- Channel management
- Cleaning management
- Vendor management
- Payment processing
- Revenue management, and more
From direct bookings and reservations to automated guest communication, analytics and reports, automated messaging, and more, property management systems make managing vacation rental businesses significantly easier.
Let's cover some of the best vacation rental software and property management systems in 2023.
Formerly AirGMS, iGMS now supports more than 100,000 listings through its property management system. The software streamlines housekeeping, messaging, booking, and scheduling.
Includes Pro, LITE, and FLEX plans.
The most popular, Pro is as follows:
- 1 property - $40 monthly; $27 annual
- 2-19 properties - $27 monthly; $20 annual
- 20+ properties - $24 monthly; $18 annual
- 50+ properties - per request
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Multi-Account Airbnb Connections
- Cleaning Management
- Payment Processing
- Channel Manager
- Central Inbox
- Financial Reporting
- Dynamic Pricing
iGMS is a good choice for professional property managers or individual investors looking to scale their portfolios since it integrates the management of many properties across multiple platforms. Customer support varies based on the plan, which may impact the assistance small investors or occasional short-term rental hosts can access.
The software includes a website builder feature for FLEX and PRO plans, which can help centralize operations depending on the size of your rental portfolio. Overall, iGMS is a sound solution for serious, full-time rental property businesses that want to save time and streamline income.
(2) PriceLabs for Vacation Rentals
This revenue management software is tailored toward vacation rental owners and property managers who want to optimize their pricing strategy. Using a proprietary algorithm, PriceLabs analyzes factors such as market demand, seasonal changes, and local trends to adjust short-term rentals’ prices across Booking.com, Vrbo, and other online travel agencies (OTAs) like BRRR and Airbnb.
30-day free trial
Starts at $19.99 per listing/ month
Market Dashboards start at $9.99 per month
In addition to automatic price adjustment, PriceLabs also allows you to generate automated guest messages, overview reports and analytics, and simplify channel management. For instance, you can set minimum and maximum rates and adjust stay-length restrictions. These dynamic pricing options help streamline operations, increase revenue, and reduce your manual workload.
PriceLabs' property management software integrates with over 50 OTAs, making vacation rental business easy across platforms. The property management system generates clear, colorful graphs, highlighting trends, seasonal fluctuations, and event periods.
Although the numerous features may be an advantage, they can be overwhelming for inexperienced or unfamiliar users. Those who are not tech-savvy may experience a learning curve as they learn about the pricing tools available for all their properties.
Another disadvantage is the pricing plan. Because PriceLabs charges $19.99 per listing, this can add up quickly if you're managing a portfolio of numerous properties. Although there is a free version, it doesn’t provide access to the analytics dashboard. For the Markets Dashboard, you’ll have to pay an additional $9.99 per month.
Given its pricing model and the sheer volume of features, PriceLab may not be the ideal vacation rental software for beginners but can provide a strategic advantage for those looking to scale.
Rented.com is a company that provides vacation rental owners with a full range of services designed to help optimize rental income through data-driven strategies and advanced technologies. Rented.com may increase the occupancy rate of short-term rental properties by managing reservations, analyzing performance data, and adjusting prices dynamically.
The two main programs of Rented.com are its more comprehensive Revenue Management and its Automated Rate Tool (ART). These two primary features are ideal for both property owners who prefer passive, hands-off management and those who like to micromanage short term rentals.
When you need a good lesson on how to buy a rental property that generates income, this may be it.
ART - Full feature version starting at $10 per listing/month
Revenue Management - starting at $79 per month
Rented.com is not merely a revenue management service provider. It also provides certain features including:
- Marketing & Advertising
- Online Booking Engine
- Property Management
This makes managing a short-term rental business significantly easier for busy investors. The tailored analytics also predict consumer changes at the micro-market level, ensuring vacation rentals are priced the way they should be, when they should be, for the amount of time they should be, and under the terms they should be. The team brings more than five decades of experience in vacation rental management, marketing, and pricing models.
Some users have criticized the various setup fee percentages that Rented.com takes (in addition to cost per unit), questioning the overall value of the services. For owners, investors, and property management firms with smaller portfolios and limited budgets, small-scale property management tools might make better financial sense.
This comprehensive property management system (PMS) is best suited for professional Airbnb hosts with multiple properties. Capable of managing hundreds of short-term rental properties, Hostify streamlines availability and booking rates. With Hostify, you can display prices and openings on various sites for interested guests.
You can also aggregate online bookings and messaging from OTAs such as Expedia and Booking.com. This makes addressing various aspects of property, revenue, and guest management much more efficient.
5-19 Rentals - $20 per rental, per month
20-49 Rentals - $16 per rental, per month
50-99 Rentals - $13 per rental, per month
100-199 Rentals - $10 per rental, per month
Hostify includes various features, especially amenable to vacation rental owners and short-term vacation investors looking to expand their vacation rental business.
- Integrated Channel Manager
- Personalized Website Builder
- Easy Payments
Pros and Cons of Hostify
The main advantage of Hostify is that it’s a comprehensive service that also complements similar vacation rental management software. With integrated API, it always has the latest in price and occupancy rates, so you don’t have to worry about being misinformed or leading guests astray.
That said, the service does come with various negatives. Sometimes, the prices don’t synchronize succinctly. Other times, Hostify may freeze or lag when trying to process data from multiple OTAs. Hostify has also received criticism for its customer service responsiveness. Meanwhile, the Housekeeping feature appears to be better suited for hotel owners and managers, not for residential property managers with smaller units.
Overall, Hostify may be right for a short-term rental business that is already sufficiently scaled or aims to scale significantly.
(5) Host Tools
With a 14-day free trial, Host Tools is a full-feature cloud-based Property Management Software. It provides automated messaging, automated reviews, automated texts and emails to cleaning staff, availab8lity syncing, smart lock integration, ChatGPT for quick replies to guests, and more. Host Tools simplifies guest communication and cleaning duties through email and text channels. Using a rules-based pricing tool, engine, it also allows you to set rules to change rates based on seasons or other factors.
With its centralized dashboard, users can manage reservations, add direct bookings, and adjust the calendar, while communicating consistently with guests.
Host Tools uses a monthly subscription, and users can receive support through its online chat feature.
Messaging - $10 per month
Pro - $12 per month
Enterprise (25+ listings) – contact for a price quote
The features of this vacation rental software include:
- Automated Pre-Approvals
- Automated Reviews
- Automated Guest Messaging
- Cleaner Management
- Rule-based Pricing Rule
- Price Syncing
- Automated Availability Rules
- Automated Smart Locks
- Multi-User Management
Pros and Cons for Property Managers
These features come with various benefits and disadvantages. For instance, the service is easily integrated with Vrbo, Airbnb, Booking.com, and Houfy to make messaging guests and managing all your calendars in one place simple and efficient. You can basically set your rules ahead of time and forget about them. Host Tools will manage your listings in the background, saving you time and worry.
Users can add direct bookings to the Host Tools calendar, but Host Tools does not currently have any financial exporting features or a direct booking engine.
At $45 per month starting, Rentlio is a comprehensive Property Management Software designed for end-to-end solutions. Optimized for handling custom relations, the property management software features accounting and online booking dashboards for vacation rentals, short-term rentals, multifamily properties, and single-family properties all at once.
12,00 € for one accommodation unit (i.e., an apartment, room, or bed)
Features and Flaws
Rentlio is perfect for client relationship management (CRM). While not focused on revenue optimization or pricing, it does have integration capabilities that make it a vital tool for vacation rental property managers.
It can also be fully integrated with many GDS and OTAs, making it well-suited for a range of rentals, short-term and long-term. The one disadvantage appears to be its mobile compatibility. It sometimes lacks features and responsiveness on mobile devices and can be difficult to use. Furthermore, some users criticize its lack of printing and downloading options for those much-needed property documents.
(7) Door Loop
This vacation rental software allows owners and managers to handle every aspect of growing a long-term, short-term, and vacation rental business. Users can collect rent, renew lease agreements, and provide improved tenant services. Cloud-based, this software makes it easy to streamline many of your workflow and task automation needs in one place.
50% off the initial two months.
$49/month for the first 20 units to start.
Includes free updates, training, support, and account management.
Benefits of Door Loop
Used by landlords, property managers, property management companies, and investors, Door Loop provides convenient access through its specialized portals. From the tenants’ side, a simple rent management dashboard allows for easy online payments and payment history monitoring.
Door Loops’ property management system caters to the spectrum of short-term rental properties, whether residences, commercial units, student housing, affordable housing, community organizations, and everything in between.
Mobile Task Automation
Automated payment reminders and options help increase direct bookings, reduce vacancies, and drive revenue. Channel managers can also digitize bookkeeping and maintenance requests through online forms and records.
Door Loop also provides a mobile app, with the same level of usability as the main program. The mobile apps channel manager is usable across both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets. Comprehensive onboarding and support also exist.
Downsides of Door Loop
Some users find issues with the lack of accounting reports and information. For example, certain balance detail reports, profit and loss detail reports, and 1099s are not readily accessible.
Also, the vacation rental software requires that a ‘project’ be assigned to each transaction, which can complicate operations with larger investments and multiple properties.
Escapia is known for its reliability and usability. Now under the Vrbo brand, the software is geared toward seasoned vacation rental managers and property management firms. The Escapia platform derives its pricing tools from extensive Expedia Group data, enabling it to optimize a full range of tasks related to the vacation rental business. It’s no wonder that Escapia is highly rated among software solutions in the hospitality industry.
The price is a flat monthly fee based on the volume of properties under management. Rates begin at $9 per unit for a 100-unit customer.
Pros and Cons of Escapia
This integrative task management software is utilized for various reasons. It can handle everything from direct bookings to channel management, central calendar reservations, rate changes, accounting reports, and more.
- Guest Communications
- Reservation Calendar
- Rates Management
- User Portal
The core functionality of this software can also extend to HomeAway Integration and other listing site connections. Unfortunately, some channel managers find the pricing module to be clunky and inefficient. Without a direct link to travel giant Airbnb, or in-house support, Escapia can be challenging for some owners and investors to integrate into their strategy.
Completing and checking the necessary boxes can feel like a chore for rental owners who want a more automated guest experience. Also, the interface isn’t as clean or attractive as those in other software. Customer service challenges and difficulties with long-term rentals may turn off some owners and property management companies.
(9) Virtual Resort Manager (VRM)
This cloud-based vacation rental management software is perfect for property managers and owners of hotels and holiday getaways. Specializing in reservations and accounting tabs, Virtual Resort Manager is a one-stop shop for all things finance and guest-related. The powerful customer resource management (CRM) module is fully functional, providing generative client lists, room occupancy checks, channel manager options, and notification controls.
Contact Virtual Resort Manager for pricing details.
Virtual Resort Manager (VRM) Features
The main features of this short-term rental software make it a good choice for hands-on, and hands-off property managers and owners. Supervisors can use the software to delegate tasks and initiate maintenance and housekeeping. Meanwhile, sales-oriented professionals can run ad campaigns, create landing pages, and generate convertible leads.
This multi-channel property management system includes:
- Guest Polls and Surveys
- Cash Flow Metrics
- Employee Management
- Tax Management
- Client Management
Advantages of VRM
Oftentimes, property owners and investors are worried about damage to their investments. That’s where third-party insurance comes in. Virtual Resort Manager seamlessly integrates with travel insurance providers like Rental Guardian, Red Sky, and CSA Travel Protection. The channel manager features makes it easy to add or remove new channel management partners. This, in turn, helps streamline the ROI calculation rental property owners rely on.
VRM users can also upload interior and exterior photography, market data, and vacation home information.
Under Virtual Resort Manager's service tabs, administrators can ensure various service providers are assigned to a given task or job. You can even monitor stages of task completion and financial distributions in real time.
Overall, users and channel managers rave about the ease of the interface, whether it be accounting functions (i.e., cash on cash return calculator), the guest website for direct bookings and guest engagement, or the help desk for identifying and rectifying various software problems.
Disadvantages of VRM
Some users find that the ease of VRM can also be its downside. Lack of functionality across all areas leaves some functions almost too easy to perform (leading to mistakes), whereas others are overly involved. A more unified channel manager could solve this.
Some users find that connecting with Airbnb is inefficient and glitchy and complicates the booking process. Users have noted that getting their daily vacation rentals united and automatized on VRM is more difficult than setting up weekly and monthly vacation rentals. By and large, establishing daily rental rates is less efficient than coordinating longer stays.
Through the challenges, however, the Virtual Resort Manager platform is well-liked among short-term rental investors.
Starting at $5 per month, RueBaRue is an award-winning platform specializing in guest communication. Rather than a multifaceted channel manager, RueBaRue prides itself on depth over breadth. Its innovative, automated channel manager handles every conceivable aspect of guest accommodations, making it the premier software for optimized stays.
Digital Guestbooks - $2.99 per property/month
Text Messaging - $2.99 per property/month
Bundle - $4.66 per property/month
What Does RueBaRue Offer?
RueBaRue provides a personalized touch for every guest stay, showing a dedication to detail that distinguishes it from other channel manager systems or property management software. While not focused specifically on accounting or financial benchmarks, the cultivation of a quality guest experience is known to increase occupancy and drive revenue.
The software’s complete guest toolkit includes features such as:
- Local Guidebooks
- Home-Specific Guestbooks
- Google Business Reviews
- Guest-Tailored Surveys
- Prolonged Guest “Va-cays”
- Automated Central Calendar
- Digital Code Delivery
- Digital Welcome Materials
- Emergency Alerts
RueBaRue vacation rental managers can even send updates on weather forecasts, local area hazards, power outages, nearby events, and potential route changes. With extensively individualized entries, greetings, and overall communications, this reservation management software creates a personal guest experience above all else.
Pros and Cons of RueBaRue
RueBaRue can elevate the hospitality and concierge services of almost any vacation rental business. Through regular, personalized communications, and simple but heart-felt extra efforts, short-term rental hosts can make their guests feel truly at home, even when they’re miles away.
However, the software does have some downsides.
Some users have said that the software has problematic loading times, glitches, and freezes. That said, the main complaints against the software are its salient lack in other areas, namely, accounting, financing, and revenue management.
Because these are not the primary purposes of RueBaRue, investors and owners should pair the software with another integrated channel manager. Together, these multiple channels can create a highly successful and efficient business. It’s like a digital vacation property rental success guide.
This cloud-based property management software is geared toward the comprehensive management of vacation stays, from villas to hotels, and even farmhouses. From a single platform, users can address payment processing, manage reservations, adjust price points, and streamline guest check-ins and check-outs.
The software can also seamlessly connect its booking engine to related web pages or social media platforms.
If you need to monitor sales, rates, and occupancy, you can do that too with inReception’s channel manager.
Free – Single resource/user
Basic - €3 per room/monthly
Pro - €5 per room/monthly
Pros and Cons of inReception
The unified interface of this software makes planning rate schedules, emailing newsletters, offering vacation packages, and creating targeted campaigns fairly easy.
These perks include:
- Invoicing and Billing
- Customer Relations Management
- Calendar Notifications
- Channel Manager Dashboard
- Guest Management
- Booking Documents
- Commission Control
While the software offers plenty in terms of finance documents, spreadsheets, and sales insights, these figures are not always easily accessible. Users may have to manually insert or organize necessary documentation, which provides great insights, but is certainly no way to save time. The automation of reporting and analysis could be improved. With a more cohesive channel manager, inReception could rectify many of these issues.
(12) Vrbo Connectivity Partner Programs
The second largest short-term rental platform behind Airbnb, Vrbo is a central node for vacation rental software worldwide. With numerous programs connecting and interlinking, Vrbo’s integrated interface is almost invaluable. Channel managers, property management software firms, property owners, investors, and related vendors could all benefit from a partnership with Vrbo.
Each end-to-end solution is based on three levels of connectivity.
- Elite: These are the leading Vrbo connectivity providers. They generally offer the highest level of quality with multi-tiered functionality. They are fully responsive and integrative with Vrbo.
- Preferred: With advanced systems, these providers offer a nearly full range of rental products and services. They are just a tier below elite service providers in terms of their ability to manage all aspects of property, guest, and revenue management.
- Integrated: These providers are certified to integrate with Vrbo but lack some of the amenity features and services of the top two levels. Nonetheless, these programs and software are officially ‘connected’ with the Vrbo API.
Pros and Cons of Vrbo Connectivity Programs
Given the sheer size, reach, and detail of Vrbo rental services, a top-tier partnership is highly coveted. However, there are certain disadvantages. A service provider that is unable to meet specific benchmarks will not be eligible for partnership. This can force service programs to overextend themselves or expand their offerings too aggressively, forcing the risk of errors, bugs, and inefficiencies.
To qualify, software must meet the following specifications:
- Increase the quality of Vrbo guest experience
- Maintain first-rate software integration with cutting-edge features
- Maintain a strong technical connection to Vrbo
- Ensure a reliable and consistent user experience
- Provide top-tier client outcomes on Vrbo
- Continuously engage Vrbo team for service optimization
(13) Realtime Rental
This comprehensive rental software offers end-to-end solutions for Windows-based programs. Features include property cataloging, vendor oversight, payment processing, reservations management, booking fee and commission control, and channel manager functions.
Contact the support team for quotes on their property management systems.
Pros and Cons of Realtime Rental
The web-based platform specializes in up-to-date, real-time data, which is crucial to any serious property owner, investor, or property management company. While the software has a fully functional interface, it does take some time to get used to. Some users have criticized it for not being fully Mac and mobile-friendly. Although modifications may be needed, users do stress the reliability and responsiveness of support.
(14) Hotel Druid
This open-source software solution best serves small and midsize property management firms that manage listings, including multi-family buildings, hotel accommodations, vacation rentals, and hostels. Property owners can set and implement rules for booking vacant rooms, thereby automating assignments and reservations. Through Hotel Druid, users can also create special packages, impose constraints, and provide multi-tiered pricing options.
As for accounting, Hotel Druid allows you to generate the following:
- Customized receipts
- Email templates
- Administrator profiles
- Pricing schedules, and more
Roughly $18 per room/apartment, per month
Pros and Cons
The Hotel Druid property management system is known for its strong technical support, remote management, and affordable pricing. Whether you use the booking engine for camping, apartment, hotels, or anything else, the processes are streamlined and intuitive. In case you have questions, you can speak directly to the development team.
However, there are some downsides. Users complain that the software lacks documentation, making proper accounting difficult if not impossible. Due to the lack of documentation, many included features are incomplete or inapplicable. As a result, the short-term rental management software falls short of expectations.
Find the Property Management Software That Works for You
If you’re seeking top short-term rental software or property management systems, know your objectives. Before you find the best short-term rental software for you, find the best properties that the software can manage. Speak with agents who can connect you with the vacation rentals you love.
Want to take the hassle out of owning and managing hot vacation rentals? Want the best properties for strong, passive, consistent cash flow? When you're searching for investment properties that deliver predictable, lucrative income, look no further than our agents.
At The Short Term Shop, we link investors with premier resources, from property management firms to amazing vacation homes, short-term rental properties, local contractors, and of course, remote rental solutions.
Call us today to learn more about how we can help you grow your vacation rental business!