If you manage multiple vacation rentals, investing in vacation rental management software is definitely a good idea for you. The oversupply of short-term rentals means that you will need to boost the guest experience to stand out from the sea of listings.
As a result, the growing trend is to embrace automation so that you can free up manpower that you can use to offer more value to your guests. With vacation rental management software solutions thus growing in popularity, there are currently already hundreds of tools from which to choose. Though, how do you go about selecting the right software solution for your setup?
What Are The Steps To Selecting The Right Tool?
Step One – List Your Needs
Are you only worried about synchronizing your calendars? Do you need a more comprehensive solution that will help you with routine tasks? Perhaps you are beginning your own consulting business and want the edge over your competitors?
While the needs of your vacation rental business will ultimately be the deciding factor, the following are a couple of the features that your vacation rental management software solution should ideally offer.
• Intuitive user interface (UI). Property management software is supposed to help you work more efficiently. Selecting a tool with an interface that is easy to understand and use will help you to save time.
• Automated communication. The majority of owners feel that guest communication is the most stressful. It’s partly because you can’t afford to respond late to an inquiry, but also simply because it is so time-consuming.
Thus, you’re searching for a tool that offers personalized templates and message automation that you can use to send standard information regarding matters like your cancellation policy, check-in and checkout times, etc.
• Calendar management. With the market becoming more saturated by the listings, it’s key that you list on different platforms. To do this efficiently, you’ll need a tool that can help you to manage your listings from one place.
Step Two – Search For Alternatives
Armed with a better insight into what your needs are, you can create a shortlist of the vacation rental management software solutions that offer the features that can help you work more efficiently. You can, for example, use Capterra.com or another comparison website where you can read reviews written by actual users.
Alternatively, you can also reach out to fellow vacation rental owners. Perhaps they’re using a tool that they’re happy with or, equally helpful, can tell you which ones to avoid?
When searching for alternatives, also remember your budget. It will be of no use to include a software solution on your list, if you will not be able to afford the fixed monthly fee, especially during the low season. So, if you know that your occupancy rate takes a significant dip during the low season, you might want to check out a vacation rental management software like iGMS that gives you the option to pay only per booked night.
Ultimately you want to identify the pros and cons of each vacation rental management software solution that you decide to shortlist.
Step Three – Check Out Your Selected Options
The proof of the pudding is in the eating! Many software companies, in fact, offer some type of trial or demo. So, be sure to take them up on this generous offer. During a demo, you’ll be shown how you can use all the main features. The perk is that if you do decide on that specific software, you’ll already be somewhat familiar with the UI and features before your subscription begins. Plus, it will also give you a better idea of if their support team is helpful and the degree of support they can offer you. Many tools also offer a free trial thanks to which you’ll be able to test the software without the need to pay first.
Benefits Of Using Vacation Rental Software
In a nutshell, the right software solution helps you to complete your day-to-day tasks more cost-effectively which ultimately helps you to grow your business easier. One of the areas where it can make the biggest impact is with guest communication. Many tools offer triggered messaging and customizable templates that you can use to improve your response rate.
And, it’s not only your communication with your guests that will improve. Vacation rental software can also improve your team management. Some tools let you create cleaning tasks that you can assign to a specific member of your cleaning crew. This can help you to streamline the entire process!
While there are many supplies that can help you to exceed the expectations of your guests, it all starts with communication. So, be sure to shop for your business too and invest in a vacation rental management software solution.