Vacation rental management software tools are used to streamline the process of running short-term vacation rental properties. Features usually include direct booking website templates, guest messaging features, a centralized calendar, and a channel manager to synchronize listings across major online travel agencies (OTAs). Whether you have a handful of properties to manage or you’re a professional management company with a large portfolio, VRMS tools can make the process of running rental properties much simpler.
This article will walk you through the main differences between Hostaway and Guesty, two premium VRMS tools that are ideal for professional property managers. We researched both tools as well as utilized both firsthand. Both tools are pricey, premium tools that are ideal for professionals. While the tools are fairly similar, we found that Guesty is stronger in terms of the guest messaging features and it’s slightly easier to use. Both tools got high ratings, however, and both are reliable options.
All of our recommendations are based on research, product demos with the software companies, and dozens of hours spent hand-testing these vacation rental management tools. More details regarding our research process can be found on our vacation rental management category page.
Hostaway & Guesty Comparison Summary
Hostaway and Guesty are both all-in-one VRMS tools that should be considered by professional property managers, or by those who manage 15 or more properties. Both tools are likely not going to be cost-effective for smaller property managers who can get by with a cheaper, less complex solution. Hostaway received a SoftwarePundit Analyst rating of 89 and Guesty received a rating of 91.
Guesty was rated slightly higher because the messaging system was more reliable and the tool was a bit more intuitive to navigate. Both tools are similarly expensive, with Hostaway costing approximately $50 per property per month and Guesty charging between 2% and 5% of each booking.
Here's a breakdown of our review criteria and how Guesty and Hostaway performed in each category:
|Criteria||Analyst Rating||Features||Usability||Pricing||Customer Support|
In terms of features, Hostaway and Guesty are very comparable. They include the same API integrations with the largest OTAs, except that Guesty has an Agoda API integration where Hostaway does not, and Hostaway has an Expedia API integration where Guesty does not. Otherwise, however, they offer the same functionality.
Here are a few quick points to summarize who we recommend each tool for:
- You want to list your properties on Expedia
- You don’t mind a steeper learning curve
- You want a more functional task management section
- You want to list your properties on Agoda
- You want an easy-to-use, streamlined software
- You manage at least 20 vacation rental properties
Table of Contents
- Hostaway & Guesty Comparison Summary
- Hostaway & Guesty Price Comparison
- Hostaway & Guesty Top Feature Comparison
- Bottom Line
Hostaway & Guesty Price Comparison
Hostaway pricing is approximately $50 per property per month. Unfortunately, pricing information is not public. We received this estimate during our conversations with the company.
Guesty, on the other hand, charges customers a percentage of each booking. This range is between 2% and 5%. Customers have also indicated that there is a one-time onboarding fee.
Hostaway Pricing Details
To determine how much your monthly pricing would be with Hostaway, you can schedule an introductory call with the team. You should expect to pay roughly $50 per property per month.
Guesty Pricing Details
Guesty charges customers between 2% and 5% of each booking. Especially if you have luxury properties that rent for a high weekly rate, this could get extremely costly. Customers have also reported that there’s a one-time onboarding fee on top of the property charges. To get a specific quote for your property portfolio, schedule an introductory call with Guesty.
Hostaway & Guesty Top Feature Comparison
Both platforms offer a very similar list of features. For a full analysis of each solution’s features, read our Hostaway review and Guesty competitors article. A brief table comparing features is provided below.
|Direct Booking Website||Yes||Yes|
|Property Management Features||Yes||Yes|
|Automated Guest Messaging||Yes||Yes|
|Owner Access and Reports||Yes||Yes|
|Robust Integrations||Yes||Yes (stronger)|
In terms of which OTAs each software has pre-built API connections with, both Hostaway and Guesty offer connections with Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and HomeAway/Vrbo.
As shown below, Hostaway has a few iCal integrations like CanadaStays, Misterb&b, and Google Calendar. In terms of ease of use, both platforms synchronize properties quickly from channels like Airbnb.
Guesty is unique because it has an API integration with RentalsUnited, which is a third-party tool with its own list of channel connections.
While both software tools have similar guest messaging features, Guesty’s was superior for a couple reasons. The first is that the overall look of the inbox is much more modern and streamlined, whereas Hostaway’s isn’t quite as updated. More importantly, though, we noted that in Hostaway’s inbox, message notifications show up quickly for incoming guest messages, but hosts must actively refresh the inbox for messages to show up. This quirk is slightly tedious and could make it difficult for hosts to respond in a prompt manner.
The Hostaway inbox is shown below:
Guesty’s inbox, shown below, is a bit more streamlined and pleasant to work with.
Templates & Automations
Both software tools offer advanced templates for guest messaging that automatically fill with data regarding the guest’s stay. Also, there are automation tools for task management, guest messaging, and other relevant property actions.
An example of a Hostaway template is below. We found them very easy to build and schedule, and each template can be assigned to all properties or just a select few.
The same feature from Guesty is relatively similar. Guesty also has both semi-automated and automated messaging features. Semi-automated messages are canned responses or quick replies, where customers can save frequently asked questions and select and send to guests. The fully automated messages are created and scheduled to send when a guest creates a booking, checks in, and more.
Overall, both Hostaway and Guesty are ideal for professional property managers who have a large number of properties. Neither should be considered if you’re a smaller operation because the month-to-month costs are quite high with this tool.
Guesty is more modern than Hostaway, and will benefit those who want their software tool to be both reliable and streamlined. Hostaway has great task management features and the same capabilities as Guesty, just with a less sleek interface.