What is Hostfully?
Hostfully is a vacation rental management software with over 30,000 properties listed across 85 countries. It offers two distinct products: the property management platform, which is an all-purpose vacation rental software, and the Guidebooks product, which are digital guides that enhance a guest’s stay.
Table of Contents
- What is Hostfully?
- Hostfully Review Summary
- Hostfully Pricing & Cost
- Hostfully Features
- Hostfully Customer Support
- Hostfully vs. Competitors
- Is Hostfully Right For You?
Hostfully Review Summary
Hostfully, originally called Orbirental, is a rental management platform that was founded in 2015. The founders were property managers who wanted an advanced, streamlined way to manage vacation rentals. The company currently has over 30,000 properties across 85 countries and caters to vacation rental managers with any number of properties.
Hostfully is similar to other end-to-end vacation rental management software products but has two particularly unique features. The first, Guidebooks, are Hostfully’s digital guidebooks that property managers can create to provide guests with all key rental information. The second, the pipeline view, is a way for property managers to view the lifecycle of rentals from start to finish. Other features include a centralized calendar and inbox, payment processing, website templates, and more.
Hostfully pricing depends on the number of properties you manage. The price starts at $79 per month, and customers on any plan must pay a one-time $400 implementation fee that’s waived if you purchase a yearlong term. Unfortunately, Hostfully doesn’t offer a free trial, so potential customers should plan to make use of Hostfully’s pre-recorded demo videos or sign up for a live demo before purchasing the product.
Overall, Hostfully is a pricey, powerful vacation rental management tool. It has a couple unique features—the digital Guidebooks and the pipeline reservation management tool—that distinguish it from competitors in the field. We recommend it for rental managers with any number of properties that want a modern tool.
Hostfully Pricing & Cost
Hostfully pricing is different across the vacation rental management and Guidebook products. Pricing ranges from $79 per month for up to four properties to $1500 per month for 250 properties. There is also a one-time $400 implementation fee, which is waived if you purchase an annual plan. The Guidebooks product has different pricing models for individual hosts and professional management companies.
Vacation Rental Management
Certain features are restricted to certain plans.
- Starter: $79 per month for between one and four properties
- Pro: $189 per month for between five and 19 properties
- Premium: Starts at $250 per month for 20 properties and increases per property
Guidebooks are digital booklets that are provided to guests and contain information like internet passwords, local spots to dine, and things to do in the area.
- Premium: Free forever; includes one guidebook
- Power Host: $9.99 per month (or $7.99 per month with annual plan); includes one guidebook and custom recommendation categories
Guidebooks: Business for Property Managers
The Business Guidebooks are more advanced and recommended for sophisticated property managers.
- Prime: $24.99 per month (or $19.99 per month with annual plan); Guidebooks for between one and five listings
- Prime Plus: $49.99 per month (or $44.99 per month with annual plan); Guidebooks for between six and 10 listings
- Professional: Pricing varies; Guidebooks for more than 10 listings
To receive a discount on pricing, use the Hostfully coupon code: SBARSJ604. With this code new customers will receive Guidebooks for free for two months and $100 off the property management platform subscription.
Hostfully Key Features
In this review, we’ll discuss Hostfully’s main features and provide insight about how those features can support your vacation rental business. We’ll also provide images of the software to give you a sense of Hostfully’s overall layout.
To learn more about how we research and rate software tools, read about SoftwarePundit’s review methodology.
Direct Booking Website
Even if your properties are listed across channels like Vrbo and Airbnb, you may want a direct bookings website to avoid fees associated with those channels. With Hostfully, you can either create a direct booking website from scratch or implement a Hostfully widget that will allow guests to book directly through Hostfully. Website setup is easy, though not heavily customizable; therefore, if you’re searching for a heavily customizable website, it would be best to create your own through a different site.
You’ll be able to whitelabel the website so your guests won’t be able to see that you’re using Hostfully’s platform. With the direct booking site, you can:
- Display your complete list of properties
- Capture guest information
- Collect payment
- Provide property details for your guests
Customers can either import listing data from Airbnb with an API sync or manually create listings within the Hostfully platform. One benefit we found within the manual listing creation tool is that information is consolidated neatly on just a few pages, making the setup process simple. Some other tools require clicking back and forth between many different pages, which gets tiresome.
When creating listings, you’ll use these detailed, albeit simple, pages.
After the first page is filled out, you will also fill out the following sections:
- Pricing calendar
- Fees and Policies
- Service Providers
- Rental conditions and check-in instructions
Bookings and Pipeline View
Once bookings are made, you’ll be able to use the pipeline view to see details on currently-booked stays. This view is unique to Hostfully and provides a life cycle overview of all prospective and confirmed bookings, your conversion rate, and total sales.
The pipeline view shows each of your properties and four circles, which are: Quote, Hold, Arrival, and Stay. The Quote circle indicates a prospective stay that a guest has inquired about. You’ll be able to shift a potential booking into the Hold circle by collecting a deposit or by allowing guests to place holds themselves. Once a booking is confirmed, the Arrival circle will indicate the impending arrival date in green, and the Stay circle will activate once a booking is active.
Within this section, you can search by:
- Booking channel
- Most recent
- Arrival date
A centralized calendar is crucial for any vacation rental management software, as it allows you to collect booking data from all channels and house it on one calendar. It’s also important that the centralized calendar updates when a booking is made on any channel so that you avoid double bookings. Hostfully’s centralized calendar is useful due to the color-coded blocks, so you know the channel each booking came from, and due to the fact that you can drill down into each booking to know further details.
The calendar, shown below, will show a list view of each property’s bookings.
Each color corresponds to which channel the bookings were received through, so you’ll always know where your guests booked their stay from. When you select a block, you’ll be taken to an overview of that booking, which includes information regarding guest contact information, payment details, and more.
From within the drilled-down view customers can create jobs during the stay, send messages to the visitor, add client information, provide more detailed information about the stay, and more.
Further details about the centralized calendar are provided in the short table below.
|Tasks||Tasks are indicated on the centralized calendar with blue circles. These can indicate house cleanings, landscaping, upkeep, or any other job that’s done to provide property upkeep.|
|Filters||Calendar results can be filtered by number of bedrooms, number of guests, rate, location, type, amenities, and availability.|
|Manual Reservations||Hostfully customers will be able to create bookings from directly within the calendar, should they receive a booking request that doesn’t go through hosting channels or the direct website.|
|API Connections||Depending on the plan, there are full API connections with Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com and TripAdvisor.|
Automating guest communication significantly lightens a property manager’s workload. By setting pre-written responses to commonly asked questions, property managers can avoid taking time to answer easily solved questions. Hostfully not only provides the ability to send messages to guests, but also templates to send messages to service providers, rental owners, and booking agents.
Below is an example of an automated message that sends pre-arrival forms to guests:
Certain data will be auto-filled into the message, like the guest’s name, the agent’s name, and the relevant booking information.
Through Hostfully’s inbox, you’ll receive and respond to direct messages from your guests. The inbox supports messages directly from Airbnb, Booking.com, and messages sent from your direct booking website. The inbox will indicate the channel each message came from. Messages regarding an Airbnb listing will be sent back to the customer’s Airbnb account; otherwise, your messages will go to their email.
Hostfully offers additional features to support vacation rental managers and guests alike. The most important of these additional features are listed below with a brief description.
|Pre-Arrival Forms||With pre-arrival forms, you can collect guest information and send electronic agreements, which can collect legally binding signatures.|
|Review Management||Automated messages can be sent to guests after their stay ends, which prompts them to review the property immediately. You can display reviews on your Hostfully website, input reviews left on other channels, and send reviews captured by Hostfully to other channels.|
|Dashboard||The Hostfully interface includes a dashboard, which provides an overview of agency statistics to date, notifications, and upcoming bookings.|
|Analytics||Analytics are provided for occupancy rate, property performance, and agent performance. The analytics section focuses a lot on agent performance, which might not be helpful for most customers, but the section provides important information nonetheless.|
|User Portals||Owners and partners alike can be given individual portals and profiles, which means that all users associated with a property will have some sort of access to information they need to help run the rental.|
|Task Management||When tasks are assigned to the team member that must complete a task, they will be notified.|
|Reports||Much like the analytics section, the available reports provide list views of financial reports, owner statements, transactions, and daily reports. You can export data, generate statements, and more.|
Hostfully’s Guidebooks are digital guidebooks that property managers create for guests. These guidebooks include information about the rental itself—like internet details and parking instructions— as well as local recommendations, details about the town, things to do around the rental, and more. This feature, likely Hostfully’s most unique, is a great addition to properties that will cut down on hands-on communication time, as property managers can include all information within the Guidebook that a guest might have questions about.
Creating a Guidebook can be done either via a pre-set template or from scratch. Upon choosing to create a Guidebook, you will be taken to this view:
You’ll start by adding the name and address and follow up by adding pertinent rental information, like rule reminders, wifi passwords, directions, and more. Guidebooks will be provided to guests so that they have all the information needed for their stay.
Hostfully Customer Support
There are a variety of ways to get in touch with the Hostfully support team, including via live chat and email. Customers can read articles in the Help Center, register for pre-recorded or live product demos, read the blog and case studies, and use Hostfully’s Guidebook and Direct Bookings return on investment (ROI) calculators. However, customers have reported long wait times.
|Customer Support Channels||Live Chat, Email|
|Training and Onboarding||Yes|
|Other Support Resources||Help Center, Recorded Demos, Live Demos, Blog|
|Application Status Page||No|
Hostfully Alternatives & Competitors
Hostfully competes with other heavy hitters in the vacation rental management software industry. These alternatives are listed below.
Is Hostfully Right For You?
Hostfully is a vacation rental management software with all features required to support rental owners and managers. There are some unique features not found in other alternatives, which sets it apart from its competitors in a space where many tools are quite similar in terms of features.
Overall, we found Hostfully to be a solid, modern contender within the vacation rental management software space. Though there’s a steeper learning curve than with other tools due to heightened complexity, each plan comes with kickoff calls to onboard customers. Given that the Starter plan does not come with full API connections to the largest channel managers, we highly recommend choosing the Pro or Premium plan regardless of your number of properties.
If you are interested in signing up for Hostfully, visit their website.