What is Hostaway?
Hostaway is a vacation rental management software that's ideal for Airbnb hosts who have more than 10 properties and are looking to scale their business. Hostaway offers features like a channel manager, property management features, and automations.
Table of Contents
- What is Hostaway?
- Hostaway Review Summary
- Hostaway Pricing & Cost
- Hostaway Features
- Hostaway Customer Support
- Hostaway vs. Competitors
- Is Hostaway Right For You?
Hostaway Review Summary
Hostaway was founded in 2015 by Marcus Räder, Mikko Nurminen, and Saber Kordestanchi. The platform is an end-to-end vacation rental management software (VRMS) for short-term rental properties, with property owner portals and permissioning, messaging and task automation tools, and a public API. There are around 1,500 customers who manage about 15,000 properties with the platform. In the past year, 4,000 new properties were added to Hostaway’s system.
Hostaway has built their entire platform in-house, meaning that, unless customers choose to integrate with marketplace partner software tools, the entire platform is Hostaway’s software. They emphasize a customized onboarding process, so this tool is not for those who are looking for a hands-off, do-it-yourself platform. This tool is ideal for those looking to scale their rental business with more focused support.
Hostaway pricing details are not public because pricing depends on the level of customer support and the number of properties you’ll manage with the software. Pricing hovers around $50 per property per month, which is on par with some of the other enterprise software tools in the space.
Hostaway customers are generally pleased with how the software works. Customers have reported that they were unable to get money returned after trying to cancel, but otherwise, complaints are few and far between. While testing the tool, we found that listings import quickly and accurately, and the system works smoothly overall. Hostaway is best for Airbnb hosts looking to scale a business with hands-on support. It will cost quite a bit more than tools like iGMS, but you’ll get additional features and more specialized attention during onboarding.
Hostaway Pricing & Cost
While Hostaway pricing details are not public, we spoke with the company and discovered that the cost hovers around $50 per property per month. This makes it one of the pricier tools in the space. Depending on your property portfolio and requirements, the pricing will vary. Contact the Hostaway team and set up an initial call to learn more.
Hostaway Key Features
Throughout this review, we’ll describe Hostaway’s main features and provide images of the software to give you a sense of what the tool looks like. We’ll discuss how the included features can support your vacation rental management business.
To learn more about how we research and rate software tools, read about SoftwarePundit’s review methodology.
To begin using Hostaway, you’ll need to import your existing listings from a channel like Airbnb. To test the software, we created a test Airbnb booking and imported it to Hostaway. The process was smooth and nearly instantaneous, with the listing being transferred in under a minute. Once you grant access for Hostaway to manage properties, Hostaway becomes the “master calendar” for properties and changes must be made in the Hostaway software.
API and iCal Connections
Hostaway offers API and iCal integrations with the following:
- Airbnb (API)
- Booking.com (API)
- Expedia (API)
- HomeAway/Vrbo (API & iCal)
- TripAdvisor/FlipKey (API & iCal)
- CanadaStays (iCal)
- Misterb&b (iCal)
- Google Calendar (iCal)
Calendars: Multi, Monthly, & Yearly
The purpose of the multi-calendars is to consolidate bookings, tasks, and inquiries for properties onto one calendar. The multi-calendar shows a list view of all managed properties; the monthly calendar displays the monthly status for individual properties; and the yearly calendar shows bookings for a calendar year for individual properties.
Along with listing your properties across different channels, you can also build a direct booking website to accept direct bookings. Hostaway offers a basic website that you can utilize to list all your properties. It’s relatively basic, and there are not as many customization options or templates as found in some VRMS alternatives. However, it will get the job done unless you need a particularly advanced website for your rental management company.
We quickly created a test website, which will look something like this:
Prospective guests will be able to search available properties by date, or they can scroll down and select individual properties to view.
Bookings & Listing Management
As mentioned above, you’ll need to import a property from Airbnb to get started with Hostaway, but you can also create new listings directly from the Hostaway dashboard. With the centralized calendar, you can view, create, and manage all bookings for your properties.
Creating New Listings
To manually create listings, you’ll simply click “Create new” within the listings tab. Once that’s done, you can add all listing information, from descriptions to photos to amenities. We found this process to be quite simple and noted that there are far more amenities available to assign to a property than other competitors have.
Communication with guests is crucial and can affect the way a guest reviews your property. It’s important to be on top of messages from guests as often as possible. Hostaway offers an inbox to chat with guests as well as message templates and automated messaging features. Guests can send messages from Airbnb and hosts will be able to respond from within the Hostaway inbox. These messages will be sent to the guests on Airbnb through the Airbnb API.
We found that while notifications were reliable on desktop for emails sent from guests to the host, the inbox must be manually reloaded for the message to display, which is a bit tedious. Message notifications are also automatically turned off for the mobile application, and they must be turned on within the dashboard settings.
Hostaway’s inbox will display the active conversation on the left and the guest’s booking details on the right.
Some actions that can be taken from the inbox include:
- Alter reservation details
- Add notes about the reservation
- Add message templates to the conversation
- Filter messages by guest check-in date
- Schedule messages
As mentioned above, while notifications came through quickly in the dashboard, you must either click the notification and be taken to a new tab to view the guest’s message, or reload the page every time.
To save time while corresponding with guests, you can create message templates that will automatically populate with relevant booking information. For example, you can create a template that thanks guests for their booking and provides them with details about their booking. You can assign which channel the template will apply to, assign listings the message will apply to, and color-code templates for easier categorization.
Scheduling messages is a time-saver and can help cut down on your message response times, which is crucial for Airbnb hosts. We tested an automated “Thank You For Booking” message and found that guests received the messages quickly after booking.
Automating and assigning tasks is a staple feature within vacation rental management software due to its time-saving benefits. Within Hostaway, you can create users for those on your team like property managers, cleaners, and landscapers. They’ll get their own login information and will be able to see tasks assigned to them. When we created test users, they were assigned the proper permissions and everything worked as it should.
Within the Task Management section, you’ll be able to:
- Manage tasks
- Create one-time tasks
- Create automated & recurring tasks
- Create checklist templates to attach to tasks
You can easily drag and drop tasks from the different sections, which are the To-Do, Accepted, In Progress, and Done sections. Items can be checked off the checklists so that team members can update task progress in real time.
Hostaway offers additional features to support a smooth rental management experience. These tools are listed below with a brief description.
|Owner Profiles and Access||If you manage properties for individual owners, you’ll be able to create owner profiles and provide access to certain parts of the software. We tested this feature by creating a fake owner profile, and their dashboard was immediately available with all the correct access sections.|
|Marketplace||The Marketplace houses Hostaway’s extensive list of integrations with external vendors like TidyHost, TurnoverBnB, and Operto.|
|Review Management||The review management feature in Hostaway will allow you to manage and create auto-review templates from within the dashboard. You can also reply to reviews on Airbnb through the Hostaway system.|
|Mobile Application||Messages, reservations, and tasks can be utilized through the mobile application. It should be noted that some mobile application notifications must be manually turned on from within the web application.|
|Financial Reporting||This section is designed to display analytics, listings financials, and occupancy reports. These reports can be downloaded.|
|Guest Invoicing||From within the dashboard, you can create invoices, add line items to bookings, and more. You can also divide guest payments for flexibility.|
Hostaway Customer Support
Hostaway does not have quite as many support avenues as some VRMS companies that are double or triple the size. You can read through Hostaway’s support website or submit a request for help if you’re not a current customer. If you are a current customer, you have a more direct avenue to reach the team with a live chat widget within the dashboard or via the support email.
|Customer Support Channels|
|Other Support Resources||N/A|
|Application Status Page||No|
Hostaway Alternatives & Competitors
Hostaway is similar to VRMS tools like Hostfully, Guesty, or iGMS, which are also ideal for managing a larger number of properties. Some other alternatives are listed below.
Is Hostaway Right For You?
Hostaway is an all-in-one vacation rental management system with features to streamline your properties across multiple listing channels. API integrations with major channels and an open API make the tool easy to configure with external software tools.
During the testing process, we had an easy time both setting up and importing listings, creating bookings, and creating a direct booking website. Setting up owner and team access was easy and reliable, and the automation tools are great for hosts looking to put their property management on autopilot.
Overall, Hostaway is a great choice for hosts who use Airbnb and are looking to scale their business. You’ll pay a bit more for this software tool than others, so it’s not for those who want a more lightweight software and commitment.
If you’re interested in learning more about Hostaway or signing up for a product demo, check out their website.