Finding a vacation rental management platform is relatively easy. However, understanding the best platform for you, as well as comparing the best vacation rental software tools, can be a challenge.
We’ve spent dozens of hours researching and hand-testing the leading vacation rental management software tools. We also interviewed rental managers to hear about their experiences using the tools. The details of our research process can be found in our article covering the best vacation rental software.
Throughout this article, you’ll find in-depth analyses comparing vacation rental management software platforms. These analyses include the top competitors for each platform, as well as direct one-to-one comparisons between tools.
Table of Contents
- How To Compare Vacation Rental Software
- The Most Popular Vacation Rental Solutions Vs. Competitors
- Comparing Popular Vacation Rental Solutions Against Each Other
- Bottom Line
How To Compare Vacation Rental Software
The most important factor in finding the right vacation rental software for you is your portfolio size. Some solutions are built for independent vacation rental owners, while others are built for managers with hundreds of properties. In general, the enterprise systems are more scalable. This means that they come with features that save larger organizations time and allow them to operate more efficiently, like automatic listing importing and team permissioning.
All vacation rental software has the same types of features. The primary features in vacation rental software are:
- Channel manager
- Centralized calendar
- Centralized inbox for guest messaging
- Task automation
- Mobile application
As you can see, different vacation rental software tools will be ideal for different property managers. These assessments came both from our direct experience using the software and from the companies themselves. For example, Guesty is quite clear that their platform is best for those with at least ten units.
VRMS for Small Property Managers
We found that Tokeet and OwnerRez are the ideal tools for individual property owners who manage up to five properties. Tokeet has notably detailed reporting, with revenue reports, task reports, and reports on invoices, bookings, and inquiries. OwnerRez offers email and rental agreement templates that automatically populate with dynamic content.
Tokeet costs between $3 and $10 per property, depending on the number of units you have. OwnerRez, on the other hand, costs between $35 and $56 per month for between one and five units.
VRMS for Mid-Size Property Managers
Lodgify, Smoobu, and iGMS were our picks for those who manage between five and 20 properties. They’re recommended in this category because they cost a bit more than the cheapest tools, but are easier to use and generally offer more functionality. Lodgify has advanced direct booking websites, Smoobu is ideal for European rental property hosts, and iGMS offers strong support for Airbnb hosts.
These tools will cost between $1 per booked night to $30 per property per month. iGMS has the most flexible pricing with the $1 per booked night option.
VRMS for Enterprise Property Managers
The three choices for those with more than 20 properties are Hostfully, Guesty, and Hostaway. In these tools, there are advanced automation features and stronger API integrations with channels. Hostfully has a unique Guest Guidebooks feature, which is great for providing a top-notch guest experience. Guesty has integrations with nearly 100 third-party tools, while Hostaway offers a notably strong back end.
These tools cost around $50 per property per month and offer the highest level of functionality.
Vacation Rental Comparison Overview
Our analyst rating consists of ratings regarding four main criteria: features, usability, pricing, and customer support. A SoftwarePundit Analyst rating over 85 is above average, and above 90 is excellent.
|Software Company||Analyst Rating||Features||Usability||Pricing||Customer Support|
For more details, you can read about our review methodology.
The Most Popular Vacation Rental Solutions Vs. Competitors
Even if you’ve decided on the platform you’re interested in trying, it’s helpful to understand how each tool stacks up against its competitors in the vacation rental space. We’ve written analyses to compare popular vacation rental software tools against their top competitors.
Guesty is one of the most advanced tools on the market for professional rental managers. It has API integrations with Airbnb, Booking.com, Agoda, and TripAdvisor. While Guesty is feature-rich and easy to navigate, it costs rental managers between 2% and 5% of each booking, which will quickly add up if you have luxury properties. We recommend Guesty for those with 20 or more properties who have a high budget for a VRMS.
Read our Guesty Review.
Hostaway is a popular high-end software solution in terms of pricing and features. Its interface is a bit more outdated than its direct competitors’, but it features a strong backend and reliable API integrations with many channels. It competes directly with Guesty and Hostfully, which are both also ideal for those with at least 20 properties.
Read our Hostaway Review.
Lodgify is a popular, mid-tier vacation rental platform that’s used by thousands of rental owners and managers. It has the strongest website templates of any vacation rental tool and should be your top pick if a strong hosted website is important for your company. Lodgify competes with similar tools like Smoobu, which has more API integrations but significantly weaker website templates.
Read our Lodgify Review.
Smoobu is a popular vacation rental tool with a focus on supporting rental properties in Europe. It’s only moderately advanced, especially when compared with the three previous tools, but undoubtedly one of the strongest for European rental owners and managers due to its long list of API integrations with European channels.
Read our Smoobu Review.
Comparing Popular Vacation Rental Solutions Against Each Other
Comparing one vacation rental tool against another is a great way to understand key differences between platforms. We’ve written a few one-to-one comparisons between vacation rental software tools to mention where they’re similar, where they differ, and the kind of customer that would likely prefer each option.
Hostaway is an advanced, modern solution that’s designed for professional rental property managers. Guesty is similarly advanced, though it's more intuitive to use and doesn't have quite as steep of a learning curve. Both are ideal choices for those with a high number of properties who need a more robust management solution.
Smoobu will be more manageable for those with under 20 properties. Smoobu is not quite as robust, though it does offer more API channel integrations for those looking to list rental properties across many platforms. Guesty, on the other hand, is ideal for professional property managers or those with 20 or more properties.
Smoobu and Lodgify are similar because both have modern and streamlined dashboards, are incredibly easy to use, and are ideal for those with up to 20 properties. Smoobu is better for those who host properties in Europe or who want to take customer service to the next level with the Guest Guide feature. However, Lodgify is a better choice for those who want a strong direct booking website.
OwnerRez and Lodgify are both mid-tier solutions, though Lodgify is easier to manage if you have more than five properties. While OwnerRez is not nearly as user-friendly, it has robust features that will facilitate the end-to-end process for those with up to five properties. OwnerRez also includes some unique features that were built in-house, like a rental agreement feature.
Overall, Guesty is certainly more powerful than iGMS. iGMS lacks a direct booking website and only features API integrations with Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo. However, it’s much less expensive with flexible pricing options, whereas Guesty will cost you between 2% and 5% of each booking. We recommend Guesty for professional managers and iGMS for smaller hosts with a focus on Airbnb.
iGMS is a more basic software tool that doesn’t include all the unique, end-to-end features that Hostfully does, but it’s extremely reliable with great customer support. It’s best for those who intend to primarily list properties on Airbnb. Hostfully is a more advanced, pricey tool for those who want more automation features.
Hostfully is robust and ideal for those who want an advanced platform. We recommend Hostfully for those who want to provide a top-notch guest experience with Guest Guidebooks, which cost extra on top of the rental management tool. Comparatively, Smoobu is a more basic tool that’s a bit easier to use, and is better for novice property managers.
When deciding between vacation rental software tools, you should take into consideration the number of properties you manage and whether you’re looking to scale in the future.
- If you manage fewer than five properties, consider a tool like OwnerRez or Tokeet.
- If you have between five and 20 properties, iGMS, Lodgify, and Smoobu are reliable options.
- If you have more than 20 properties or are looking to rapidly scale, advanced solutions like Hostfully, Guesty, and Hostaway are going to best suit your business.
The best system for you will depend on which channels you want to list your properties on and how much you’re looking to pay. The comparison articles and in-depth reviews above were created to help you navigate this final step in the process.