What is Smoobu?
Smoobu is a vacation rental management software with around 70,000 active listings. The main features include a hosted website, channel manager, and a rental management system.
Table of Contents
- What is Smoobu?
- Smoobu Review Summary
- Smoobu Pricing & Cost
- Smoobu Features
- Smoobu Customer Support
- Smoobu vs. Competitors
- Is Smoobu Right For You?
Smoobu Review Summary
Smoobu is a vacation rental management software that was founded by Fabian Beckers and Philipp Reuter in 2014. The company is based in Berlin, Germany and provides notably great multi-language support. With over 70,000 active listings, it’s a fairly popular vacation rental management software (VRMS), particularly in Europe.
Smoobu’s biggest advantage is its streamlined dashboard and its channel manager. There are API integrations with the biggest listing tools and many integrations with smaller channels. Though the tool worked well most of the time, we did find some annoyances that tripped us up during testing. There are a few details that have been missed—for example, Smoobu lacks the ability to export data from the Statistics tab and lacks the ability to import properties from booking channels.
Smoobu pricing begins at $23 per month and will increase with each property you manage. A huge benefit of the tool is that all features are included in the price no matter the number of properties, so smaller management companies are not hindered by a lesser feature list. There’s a lengthy free trial, which will allow you to test Smoobu for two weeks and determine if it fits with your business before purchasing.
Overall, Smoobu is an affordable mid-tier vacation rental management solution. Customers from many countries are generally pleased with the tool, especially given its multi-language support. However, we did find that there were a few bugs and a few times where features fell short.
We recommend Smoobu to managers that need a platform that functions in French, German, Spanish, and other languages. It’s also worth testing its standout features to see if those resonate with you. Otherwise, it’s likely that you’ll prefer a different platform. If you would like a more hands-on, reliable, and personalized VRMS experience, we recommend checking out the tools below:
Smoobu Pricing & Cost
Smoobu pricing begins at $23 per month. Pricing operates on a per-property basis, so the price of the subscription will increase with the number of properties you manage. You’ll get a 20% discount on the monthly price if you sign up for an annual contract, and there’s a free plan with limited features.
The free plan includes three features, which are:
- Website (only subdomain)
- Reservation system
No matter how many properties you manage, the Professional plan includes all features.
- One Property: $23 per month
- Five Properties: $47 per month
- Ten Properties: $77 per month
- More Than 20 Properties: Contact Smoobu for pricing
Smoobu Key Features
This review will walk through Smoobu’s main features and discuss usability, market value, and the company’s customer service. We’ll provide images of the software to give you a sense of what it’s like to work with the tool.
To learn more about how we research and rate software tools, read about SoftwarePundit’s review methodology.
Direct Booking Website
Hosts often want a direct booking website to gather guest information and payments directly; this helps avoid fees associated with other listing channels like Airbnb. From within the Smoobu dashboard, you can create a direct booking website and list associated properties.
Unfortunately, we were unable to test the website, because Smoobu-hosted websites have been flagged as dangerous and are not accessible through web browsers. We were not able to see our hosted site. We contacted the support team and they informed us that Google had incorrectly flagged their “bookingturbo” sites as dangerous.
As of mid-February, the sites are up and working again.
When you log into Smoobu, you’ll see the dashboard, or the “cockpit”, which provides a high-level overview of occupancy levels, upcoming arrivals and departures, the multi-calendar, and more. Along with being an incredibly helpful feature that isn’t found in all competitors, the dashboard is visually pleasing and is laid out intuitively.
The dashboard view will look something like this:
You can drill down into most things from within the dashboard. For example, if you click on individual bookings, you can view booking details, send the guest a message, or edit the reservation. If you select the “Bookings” button, you’ll be taken to the statistics section, where you’ll be provided an overview of bookings and revenue.
Smoobu customers unfortunately cannot import entire listings from other channels. This is because you don’t need to have entire properties configured in Smoobu’s dashboard unless you’re creating a direct booking website. What will import, however, are confirmed reservations. You can also import prices if you wish.
From within the Smoobu desktop application, you can alter and synchronize rates for Airbnb, Agoda, Expedia, and Booking.com. You can either change rates for individual dates or make bulk changes, which is helpful for those who operate properties in destinations with high and low seasons. If you’d like to increase prices for individual booking channels to offset any prices those channels might charge, you can do that for each channel as well.
A channel manager synchronizes listings across different platforms, which in turn gives the channel manager the ability to streamline properties from within the Smoobu application. The number of available channel connections, both API and calendar, is one of the greatest among the VRMS tools we’ve tested.
Smoobu currently offers API integrations with the following channels:
- Others (specific to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland)
There are two-way calendar connections with a wide variety of smaller channels.
Having a centralized calendar is key for seeing bookings for all properties and being able to understand which channels the booking came through. Smoobu’s centralized calendar is streamlined and fairly basic. It’s slightly inconvenient that there’s no Calendar tab from the Smoobu navigation page. To access the calendar, you can either look at the dashboard or click the calendar icon from the Booking tab.
The centralized calendar will show a list of properties and display both bookings and owner blocks.
Monthly Calendar View
If you prefer to view the yearly calendar of each property individually, the monthly view will just show bookings for one property at a time. It functions the same as the centralized view.
One small usability flaw is that if you drill down into a booking from the monthly view, when you return to the calendar, it will display the monthly view for the alphabetically-first property rather than returning to the property you’d been viewing.
Smoobu’s messaging feature is fairly standard and works well. When we created test bookings and messaged our “guests”, emails were sent efficiently. You can send messages both from the Booking section or the Messages section, which functions as your inbox.
The inbox view will look like this:
Smoobu supports multi-language messages, so you can write a message in multiple languages including English, Italian, Spanish, French, and more.
To save time when communicating with guests, you can create message templates either by editing Smoobu’s pre-defined templates (like booking confirmations or invitations to review) or by creating your own from scratch. We tested creating templates and found it easy and simple especially with the pre-filled data options. For example, you can insert the term “[guestName]” and the system will automatically enter the name of each guest the message is sent to.
You can automate your messages by scheduling them to be sent at a certain date and time. For example, you can schedule a booking confirmation the day a guest makes a booking at 5PM. Once you schedule these messages, they’ll automatically send at the proper times, saving you the effort of remembering to send each guest every booking-related message.
Smoobu offers integrations with external software vendors in many different categories to help with multiple areas of property management. A list of those integrations is below.
|Smart Locks and Home|
|Cleaning and Maintenance|
One feature that’s fairly unique to Smoobu is the Guest Guide, a digital guide that’s provided to guests. This tool can be customized and will be specific to each guest and booking. This is a great feature as it adds a personalized touch for guests; it will also likely end up saving the host time, as guests can reference the Guest Guide for information rather than contacting the host at all hours.
Guest Guide Setup
To create the guest guide, you’ll enter all information relevant to the booking and property. Guests will then be sent the guide, which will look something like this:
A brief table of Smoobu’s additional features is provided below.
|Mobile Application||The mobile application supports property management on the go.|
|Statistics||A statistics section provides information on occupancy rates, revenue, and more. This section is inconvenient compared with competitors’ statistics sections as there is no option to export the data.|
|Contact List||The contact list will allow you to keep track of your guests. You can export these lists in order to use them with an external tool, like an email marketing tool.|
|Owner and Team Accounts||Accounts can be created for property owners or for other team members, like landscapers or housekeepers. These accounts can be assigned varying levels of access.|
|Invoices||Invoices can be viewed and sent to guests.|
Smoobu Customer Support
Given that Smoobu is headquartered in Europe, it can be difficult for customers in other time zones to contact the team. However, the team is available six days a week and can be contacted by email, phone, or chat. They were very responsive when we chatted them through the dashboard.
|Customer Support Channels||Live Chat, Email, Phone|
|Other Support Resources||Blog, How-To Videos, Zendesk Support Center|
|Application Status Page||No|
Smoobu Alternatives & Competitors
Smoobu competes with other software vendors in the vacation rental management software space, which are listed below.
Is Smoobu Right For You?
Smoobu is an affordable, mid-tier vacation rental management software with features like a centralized calendar, messaging, guest guidebooks, and a channel manager. It has a solid number of features and a streamlined interface. We found the tool to be one of the easiest to navigate among the VRMS tools we tested.
Overall, Smoobu has significant benefits and a couple drawbacks. There’s a wide range of region-specific channels you can connect to, and there are API integrations with a large number of bigger channels as well. The dashboard is very pleasing to look at and the tool is easy to navigate.
However, we did come across a few product hiccups that we didn’t find in other VRMS tools. For example, we weren’t able to use the direct booking site and data from the statistics section cannot be exported. If you’re looking for something more reliable, check out the competitors below:
If you are interested in trying Smoobu, sign up for a 14-day free trial.