Best Vacation Rental Management Software 2021

Hostfully vs. Smoobu: Compare Vacation Rental Management Software

Is Hostfully or Smoobu the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best vacation rental management software (VRMS) to help support your rental management business.

Vacation rental management software tools are used to streamline the process of running vacation properties. These solutions usually offer basic features like a channel manager, rate management, direct booking websites, analytics, and more. Whether you have a handful of properties or a large portfolio, this type of software can make the process of running rental properties much easier.

This article will discuss the major differences between Hostfully and Smoobu, two popular VRMS tools. We reviewed both tools firsthand and found that overall, Hostfully is better for larger businesses, while Smoobu is great for someone on a search for budget-friendly software. Throughout the article, we’ll make recommendations to help you choose which software would best benefit your business.

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 can be found on our vacation rental management category page.

Hostfully & Smoobu Comparison Summary

Hostfully and Smoobu are two modern VRMS tools. Hostfully received a rating of 89, while Smoobu was given a rating of 84.

Hostfully was rated higher than Smoobu because, though it’s much more expensive, it offers more functionality. We created this comparison because both are very modern tools with digital guidebooks, which is a fairly unique feature to these two software tools. However, we found them to be best for different customers.

Here's a breakdown of our review criteria and how Hostfully and Smoobu ranked in each category:

CriteriaAnalyst RatingFeaturesUsabilityPricingCustomer Support

Between the two, Hostfully is stronger in terms of its Digital Guidebooks and bookings tracker. This is an end-to-end solution that touches on almost all aspects of property management, from guest messaging to review management. It’s also much more expensive than Smoobu, with pricing starting at $79 per month with a $400 implementation fee. There’s no free plan and no free trial available.

Smoobu, on the other hand, is particularly strong for API integrations with regional online travel agencies (OTAs) in Europe. It’s therefore a better choice for those with properties in Europe. Overall, it’s a mid-tier option with a modern dashboard to track rental performance. Its main drawback is that the websites can be finicky, though this was an issue that was resolved quickly. Pricing begins at $23 per month and ranges up to $200 per month for around 30 properties; overall, it’s much cheaper than Hostfully. There’s a limited free plan.

Here’s are a few quick points to summarize who we recommend each tool for:

You'll prefer Hostfully if:

  • You have over 10 properties to manage or you’re a large management company
  • You have a higher budget to spend on a VRMS solution
  • You want more advanced and customizable Guest Guidebooks

Try Hostfully Today

You'll prefer Smoobu if:

  • You own or manage properties in Europe
  • You’re looking for a more budget-friendly option that allows for more flexibility
  • You prefer a tool that’s easier to set up and utilize

Try Smoobu Today

Table of Contents

Who Should Purchase Hostfully?

Hostfully’s a valuable tool for anyone looking to scale their vacation rental management business. Management companies will find it easy to manage properties for many different owners due to Hostfully’s user portals, where you can give access to specific listings and data to different users. While both Hostfully and Smoobu offer guest guides, which are digital guidebooks sent to guests, we found Hostfully’s to be much more advanced and customizable.

We found no specific software issues during testing. Therefore, the main drawbacks to using Hostfully are the price and the learning curve, which will likely be steep for the average user. The Starter plan doesn’t come equipped with full API integrations with the major channels, which means that the pricier Pro or Premium plans will be the best bang for your buck. Compared with Smoobu, it’s better suited for those with larger property portfolios and larger budgets.

Who Should Purchase Smoobu?

Those with any number of properties will benefit from using Smoobu. Due to the fact that Smoobu’s customer support hours are best for European timezones and there are API integrations with many small European channels, it’s also great for hosts in that region. Hosts in North America or other regions will benefit as well, since Smoobu has API integrations with worldwide OTAs as well. Pricing is fair, and while it wasn’t rated quite as highly in our category, it’s still a decent, mid-tier choice.

One of Smoobu’s main drawbacks is that you can’t automatically import listings from OTAs the way you can with other VRMS tools— rather, you have to configure properties one by one, which is tedious. We were also unable to test the direct booking websites when we used the tool because all the sites were down. We like the variety of integrations and that hosts aren’t charged commission fees. It’s going to be a solid option for you if you have any number of properties and are satisfied with an affordable, middle-of-the-road option.

Hostfully & Smoobu Price Comparison

Hostfully is more expensive overall. Pricing begins at $79 per month and there’s a $400 implementation fee unless you sign an annual agreement. Smoobu, on the other hand, is more flexible, with prices starting at $23 per property.

Hostfully Pricing Details

Hostfully’s pricing details are outlined below. Pricing begins at $79 per month for the Starter plan and Guidebooks are free for one guidebook.

Property Management

Starter Plan
  • $79 per month
  • One to four properties
Pro Plan
  • $189 per month
  • Five to 19 properties
Premium Plan
  • Starts at $250 per month
  • 20 properties and up


Individual: Premium
  • Free forever
  • One guidebook
Individual: Power Host
  • $9.99 billed month to month
  • One guidebook
  • Advanced dashboard and functionality
Business: Prime
  • $24.99 billed month to month
  • For one to five listings
Business: Prime Plus
  • $49.99 billed month to month
  • For six to 10 listings
Business: Professional
  • Pricing varies
  • For more than 10 listings

Smoobu Pricing Details

Smoobu is much more budget-friendly with prices starting at $23 per month. There’s a basic free plan as well as a 14-day free trial, which gives much more flexibility for hosts who would like to try a software before buying.

  • Website (subdomain only)
  • Reservation system
  • Statistics
  • One Property: $23 per month
  • Five Properties: $47 per month
  • Ten Properties: $77 per month
  • More Than 20 Properties: Contact Smoobu for pricing

Hostfully & Smoobu Feature Comparison

Both platforms offer a very similar list of features. For a full analysis of each solution’s features, read our Hostfully review and Smoobu review. A brief table comparing features is provided below.

Airbnb APIYesYes
Agoda APINoYes APIYesYes
Expedia APINoYes
HomeAway/Vrbo APIYes (only for five or more listings)Yes APINoYes
Tripadvisor APIYes (only for five or more listings)Yes
Direct Booking WebsiteYesYes
Property Management FeaturesYesYes
Automated Guest MessagingYesYes
Task ManagementYesYes (Ultimate Plan only)
Owner Access and ReportsYesYes
Digital GuidebooksYesYes
Robust IntegrationsYesYes (stronger)
Mobile ApplicationNoYes

Hostfully's Top Features

Hostfully’s top features are the Digital Guidebooks and pipeline view features. There’s a long list of other features like a centralized calendar, review management, and more. A few of these features will be described and we’ll give some examples of what the tool looks like.

Pipeline View

The pipeline view is Hostfully’s bookings tracker for all properties managed within the Hostfully dashboard. The pipeline view displays quotes, holds, impending arrivals, and current stays for all properties. This dashboard-style view also shows the number of leads, conversion rates, and the total amount in sales.

Hostfully Pipeline View

Centralized Calendar

Hostfully’s centralized calendar displays booking information gathered from all API-synchronized OTAs. It’s largely the same as Smoobu’s centralized calendar, as both show which channel the booking came from and allows users to drill down into each booking to see guest information, details, and more.

Hostfully Centralized Calendar

Digital Guidebooks

This feature, Hostfully’s best, enables hosts to create digital guidebooks that are provided to guests during check-in. As displayed on the left in this image, you can include a huge amount of information like directions, parking information, local recommendations, house information, and more.

Hostfully Guidebook Setup

The Guidebooks offered by Hostfully are stronger than those offered by Smoobu due to the depth of customization that’s offered. Because of this, the Guidebooks feature also comes at a much higher price.

Smoobu's Top Features

Smoobu’s top features are their digital guidebooks, which are great, though not quite as strong as Hostfully’s. Smoobu has a much wider list of API integrations with OTAs and will therefore benefit owners who need to list properties across more channels. There are also many available integrations with external software vendors that offer services like check-in automations, property maintenance, and more.


The Smoobu dashboard is particularly strong among VRMS tools. There are statistics regarding occupancy rates, portal distribution for bookings, and a six-month overview of bookings. There’s also a brief glance at the centralized calendar and some other brief statistics.

Smoobu Dashboard


To make messaging easier, Smoobu allows you to auto-populate data regarding each booking into messages. For example, you can put a placeholder in message templates that will fill in correct information about the guest’s name, booking details, length of stay, and more. This feature is strong and works about the same as it does in Hostfully.

Smoobu Message Template

Integrations and Other Features

Smoobu offers a great list of integrations which, much like the channel integrations, consist of worldwide companies as well as regional tools. The integrations range from luggage storage companies to online check-in and payment solutions. Smoobu’s other features include direct booking websites and digital guest guides, which are not as advanced as Hostfully’s.

Bottom Line

Hostfully is a great choice for big management companies and anyone looking to provide a great guest experience. It’s advanced, pricey, and full-featured. Smoobu, on the other hand, is best for European property owners or managers. It’s also the more cost-effective solution and has more API integrations offered in the channel manager.

If you’re interested, visit Hostfully or Smoobu today to get started.

Katelyn Anderson

Katelyn is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit, where she conducts in-depth analyses of technology markets & products and writes software-related content. She graduated summa cum laude with degrees in English and Psychology. Her main areas of interest are content creation, user experience, and search engine optimization. You can connect with Katelyn on LinkedIn.

Katelyn is an expert in several software categories including:

  • Accounting software
  • Integration software
  • Live chat software
  • Vacation rental software
  • Video conferencing software

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