Vacation rental management software is utilized to streamline the process of running short-term vacation rental properties. These software tools often include direct booking websites to list properties, a channel manager to synchronize your property listings across channels like Airbnb and Booking.com, and messaging features so hosts can communicate with guests. More advanced solutions typically offer more API integrations with channels and more detailed analytics. If you manage more than a couple properties, you’ll likely need a VRMS to support your business.
This article will walk through the main differences between Guesty and iGMS, two VRMS tools that we personally researched and tested. We’ll point out any notable strengths and weaknesses of each tool and provide our suggestions for who each tool will suit best.
Before we get into the full breakdown, here’s a brief overview of who each tool is ideal for:
- Guesty is an advanced, pricey VRMS that’s ideal for those with 20 or more properties. Consider Guesty only if you have a large business or you’re looking to rapidly scale your rental business.
- iGMS is a more elementary software tool that’s ideal for hosts who primarily utilize Airbnb. While it’s missing a couple essential features, it works well and offers flexibility for hosts.
All of our recommendations are based on research, product demos with the software companies, and dozens of hours spent hand-testing the vacation rental management tools. More details regarding our research process and our unbiased reviews can be found on our vacation rental management category page.
Guesty & iGMS Comparison Summary
Guesty received its high rating because, though it’s one of the priciest tools on the market, it’s accordingly powerful. iGMS received a fairly high score because it’s flexibly priced, though it’s missing a few key features and doesn’t offer as many API integrations as most other tools. The features it does offer are reliable, powerful, and organized into a well-designed interface.
Here's a breakdown of our review criteria and how Guesty and iGMS performed in each category:
|Criteria||Analyst Rating||Features||Usability||Pricing||Customer Support|
In terms of pricing, Guesty will be more expensive because hosts are charged between 2% and 5% of each booking. There’s also a hefty one-time onboarding fee, which some customers have reported at $1,000. Some customers have also said that the more you pay, the more you are attended to, so Guesty should only be used by customers with at least 20 properties. iGMS, on the other hand, is much more flexible with pricing. iGMS pricing begins at $1 per booked night and can cost as much as $30 per listing per month. There’s also a 14-day free trial with iGMS, which will allow hosts to test the tool and ensure that it’s the right choice before committing to payment.
There’s no doubt that Guesty is both more powerful and robust than iGMS. Guesty offers more features and more API integrations with online travel agencies (OTAs). Where Guesty has seven API integrations, iGMS has three. iGMS also doesn’t offer hosted direct booking websites, which many hosts consider an essential aspect of their business. Guesty offers a rental dashboard to provide a high-level overview of property performance, and iGMS lacks this feature. Aside from the aforementioned differences, the features found in each tool are relatively similar.
Overall, Guesty is best for large property management companies or hosts with 20 or more properties. Because Guesty is extremely expensive, it’s recommended that you have a very high monthly revenue from your rental business. iGMS is a dependable and flexible tool that isn’t necessarily an end-to-end VRMS, but that will benefit most property managers who have up to 15 Airbnb-listed properties.
Here’s a quick breakdown of who will prefer each option:
- You manage 20 or more properties
- You want a wider variety of channel integrations
- You’re looking for an all-in-one tool
- You don’t need a direct booking website
- You only list with Airbnb, Booking.com, or HomeAway/Vrbo
- You want powerful automation features
Table of Contents
- Guesty & iGMS Comparison Summary
- Guesty & iGMS Price Comparison
- Guesty & iGMS Feature Comparison
- Bottom Line
Guesty & iGMS Price Comparison
While it’s difficult to directly compare Guesty pricing to iGMS pricing because Guesty’s pricing fluctuates, it’s certain that Guesty will be much more expensive. iGMS pricing begins at $1 per booked night and can go as high as $30 per property per month.
Guesty Pricing Details
Guesty charges between 2% and 5% of each booking. Guesty also confirmed that there’s a one-time onboarding fee, and while the exact details of that are not public, multiple customers have reported that the fee is $1,000.
iGMS Pricing Details
iGMS pricing begins at $1 per booked night and can be as expensive as $30 per property per month. The iGMS website offers a slider tool that you can use to estimate your monthly cost based on your chosen plan and number of properties.
Guesty & iGMS Feature Comparison
As you’ll see from the table below, Guesty offers more features and API channel integrations than iGMS. iGMS is particularly strong with automation features, however, and customers will get a lot of value from that. For a full analysis of each solution’s features, check out the full Guesty review and iGMS review.
|Direct Booking Websites||Yes||No|
|Property Management Features||Yes||Yes|
|Automated Guest Messaging||Yes||Yes|
|Owner Access and Reports||Yes||Yes|
Guesty's Top Features
Guesty has many advantageous features like the dashboard, centralized inbox, and centralized calendar. There are API integrations with Agoda, Airbnb, Booking.com, Misterb&b, TripAdvisor, and Vrbo. Overall, Guesty covers most bases when it comes to VRMS features that’ll benefit your business.
A dashboard provides a helpful overview of listing performance. Most VRMS tools don’t offer this feature, so it’s notable that Guesty offers one. The Guesty dashboard will provide an overview of occupancy rates by month, upcoming check-ins and reservations, and the average payout per booking. iGMS doesn’t offer a dashboard.
Guesty has a very advanced inbox that’s one of the most versatile in the industry. Guest messages sent from email, Airbnb, or Booking.com will be pulled directly into this inbox. When Guesty customers respond, messages can be sent via Airbnb message, WhatsApp, email, or SMS. The inbox is also well-designed and helpfully connects to other parts of the software— for example, you can navigate directly from a message with a guest to their booking details.
Guesty’s centralized calendar pulls booking and pricing information from all channels that properties are listed with. All listings are shown in a list view, and bookings have a small icon that indicates the channel each booking originated from.
The calendar can be viewed by city, tag, or prices. From within the calendar, you can drill down into booking information as well as adjust pricing.
iGMS's Top Features
iGMS has particularly strong automation features, which apply to review management, guest messaging, and task management. Otherwise, iGMS is valuable because it is fairly easy to navigate and is simple to understand, making it a great mid-tier choice.
iGMS offers easy-to-create message templates, which automatically pull guest information with data attributes. There are also many pre-built message templates, which you can either use right from the start or customize to a message of your preference. These pre-built templates can get your guest messaging up and running in mere minutes, which could take much longer with other tools that don’t offer as much functionality right off the bat.
Managing reviews, responding to guest reviews, and reviewing guests themselves is a key part of vacation rental management strategy. Within iGMS, you’ll be able to templatize guest reviews to push to Airbnb. This is crucial because the more you review guests, the more likely they are to review your property as well.
While iGMS includes a centralized calendar, as all VRMS tools do, it also houses calendars for individual properties. The calendar displays bookings, the channel each booking originated from, and tasks that have been assigned during the month. These calendars also show basic property information like check-in and check-out times, parent properties, and the channels the property is listed on.
Overall, Guesty is a powerful VRMS with robust features. It’s among the top tools in the industry for good reason and is a great choice if you manage a highly profitable short-term rental business with over 20 listings. However, this tool is going to be prohibitively expensive for hosts who don’t operate a large-scale operation.
If you have fewer than 20 properties or wish to pay a more reasonable monthly fee, iGMS is going to be better for you. You’ll be more limited than with a premium VRMS tool—for example, you’ll have fewer API channel connections and won’t be able to set up a direct booking website through iGMS—but you’ll get moderate functionality for a reasonable price.