Vacation rental management software includes features like direct booking websites for your properties, a channel manager to synchronize your listings across online travel agencies (OTAs), and analytics that provide an overview of property performance. All-in-one solutions also include an inbox to message guests, automations for property tasks, and more. Essentially, VRMS tools are utilized to streamline the process of managing short-term vacation rental properties.
This article will discuss the differences between Smoobu and Guesty, two popular VRMS tools. We’ll discuss the notable strengths and weaknesses of each tool, as well as providing recommendations for who each tool will suit best.
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.
Smoobu & Guesty Comparison Summary
Smoobu was rated a bit lower because we discovered some issues with the software during testing, and it’s a bit tedious to use in spite of the modern and streamlined appearance. Guesty received its high rating because its features are robust and detailed. Though Guesty prices tend to be quite high, it’s a reliable option for professional property managers.
Here's a breakdown of our review criteria and how Smoobu and Guesty performed in each category:
|Criteria||Analyst Rating||Features||Usability||Pricing||Customer Support|
In terms of pricing, Smoobu begins at $23 per month and increases with each property that you manage. There’s also a basic free plan that includes a website, reservation system, and statistics. Guesty, on the other hand, charges between 2% and 5% of each booking. That’ll likely end up costing quite a bit more than Smoobu.
Both solutions offer the standard features found across VRMS tools, which are direct booking websites, channel managers, centralized calendars, task management tools, guest communication tools, automations, and more. Guesty is stronger in terms of the inbox and guest communications, as the inbox pulls together messages sent from emails, Booking.com, and the Airbnb direct messaging inbox. Smoobu is better if you host properties in Europe because there are API integrations with many smaller channels specific to the DACH region, which encompasses Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.
Overall, Smoobu is best for those who operate in Europe and who have fewer than 15 properties. We found that it’s easy to use but is missing some nuanced details that are necessary to run a larger operation. Guesty, on the other hand, is definitely preferable for those with 20 properties or more. It’s advanced, runs well, and is still intuitive for users to navigate.
Here’s a quick breakdown of who will prefer each option:
- You manage properties in Europe
- You run fewer than 15 rental properties
- You’re not looking for an all-in-one software that handles all details
- You have more than 20 properties
- You want advanced and detailed features
- You primarily host on Airbnb, Booking.com, or Agoda
Table of Contents
- Smoobu & Guesty Comparison Summary
- Smoobu & Guesty Price Comparison
- Smoobu & Guesty Feature Comparison
- Bottom Line
Smoobu & Guesty Price Comparison
It’s difficult to directly compare Smoobu pricing to Guesty pricing, given that Guesty’s pricing doesn't operate on a fixed rate. Rather, Guesty charges between 2% and 5% of each booking. Smoobu pricing begins at $23 per month and increases with every property you manage with the platform. Guesty will likely be much more expensive, especially if you have luxury properties.
Smoobu Pricing Details
Smoobu pricing begins at $23 per month for one property. As the number of properties increases, so will your monthly payments. You’ll receive a 20% discount on the month-to-month pricing if you purchase an annual plan. Smoobu also offers a limited free plan, though we only recommend this if you manage a single property.
|Free Plan||The free plan includes three features, which are: |
|Professional||No matter how many properties you manage, the Professional plan includes all features. |
Guesty Pricing Details
Guesty charges between 2% and 5% of each booking. This will look vastly different for different customers, so you’ll want to schedule an introductory call with Guesty to learn more about what their pricing might look like for your specific business. Some customers have also reported that there’s a hefty one-time onboarding fee.
Smoobu & Guesty Feature Comparison
Smoobu and Guesty are fairly similar in the features that they offer, though Guesty’s features are more detailed and the platform is more powerful and streamlined overall. For a full analysis of each solution’s features and to see how they stack up against other competitors in the VRMS space, check out our Guesty competitors article.
|Direct Booking Websites||Yes||Yes|
|Property Operations Features||Yes||Yes|
|Automated Guest Messaging||Yes||Yes|
|Owner Access and Reports||Yes||Yes|
Smoobu's Top Features
Smoobu’s best features are the automated messages, the integrations list, and the Guest Guides. They offer a great list of API integrations with European OTAs. While the direct booking websites are neither particularly reliable nor customizable, they’ll be sufficient for many smaller vacation rental businesses.
Like Guesty, Smoobu offers a dashboard overview of property performance. Dashboards are notable in these two tools because they aren’t found in every VRMS. Smoobu’s dashboard is a bit less nuanced than Guesty’s but still offers crucial information like occupancy rates, portal distribution, and a mini version of the centralized calendar.
Automated Messages & Templates
Smoobu offers a great inbox and host of message templates, which can be scheduled to automatically send based on guest actions like checking in, creating a booking, and more. The templates will auto-populate with data like the guest’s contact information, name, and booking details. The Guesty inbox and templates are much the same, though Guesty’s is a bit more advanced as it can push and pull to different inboxes as well as send via SMS, email, WhatsApp, and Airbnb direct message.
Smoobu’s guest guides are digital booklets sent to guests upon their check-in. You’ll be able to fashion these guides to include details like a welcome message, the weather at their destination, tools for luggage storage and digital check-in, and more. This is a great way to go the extra mile for guests and provide them with details about the area and reminders about their stay. Guesty does not offer this feature.
Smoobu offers integration with many software vendors across categories like smart locks, maintenance, pricing, payments, cleaning, and more. The integrations are both with large companies—such as PayPal or PriceLabs—as well as with smaller regional tools like MyMaison. Guesty also has a very solid list of integrations, but we found it worth mentioning with Smoobu given that it’s a smaller company.
Guesty's Top Features
Guesty has detailed features across the board. The features are helpfully interconnected for easy navigation of the tool— for example, Guesty customers can navigate directly from a conversation with a guest to that guest’s booking itinerary, and from that itinerary to the property calendar. Overall, Guesty is well-designed and powerful, with top features being the centralized calendar, centralized inbox, and dashboard.
Guesty offers an overall dashboard, which provides a high-level overview of total performance across properties, as well as individual listing dashboards. While Smoobu also has these dashboard views, the Guesty dashboards are a bit more complex and helpful given the included information. As seen below, the listing dashboard shows upcoming reservations and check-ins, occupancy rates per month, and more.
Guesty offers one of the best inboxes among VRMS tools. The inbox pulls in messages that guests send from Airbnb, Booking.com, or their email addresses. Guesty customers can reply using email, SMS, WhatsApp, or directly through the Airbnb inbox. There are also semi-automated and automated messages that can be designed and scheduled so that Guesty customers can put messaging on autopilot.
Guesty’s centralized calendar synchronizes listings across your chosen channels and displays properties in a list view, with bookings from all channels shown on the calendar. From the centralized calendar, you’ll be able to change nightly rates, drill down into booking details, and sort by city, tag, prices, minimum nights, and more.
Overall, Smoobu is not as robust as Guesty, but will effectively serve those looking for a mid-tier VRMS. It’s got a solid list of integrations with third-party software tools as well as a guest guide feature, which is great for guest satisfaction.
Guesty, on the other hand, is a nuanced, advanced software tool for professionals. Your main listing channels should be Airbnb, Booking.com, Agoda, or TripAdvisor if you go with Guesty. If your vacation rental business consists of 20 properties or more, this is a great tool for you.