Best Software for Your STR

The short-term rental industry has experienced explosive growth in recent years. With more travelers choosing these unique accommodations over traditional hotels, it’s easy to see why.

As an STR host, managing your property efficiently is crucial to staying competitive — this is perhaps even more important if you run multiple properties.

Vacation rental software can be your secret weapon to streamline operations, enhance guest experiences, and save you valuable time. 

Let’s explore the essential features to look for in a vacation rental software as well as our top picks.

Why You Need Software for Your Vacation Rental

Running a short-term vacation rental on your own can quickly become overwhelming.

You have to manage bookings, handle guest inquiries, and ensure your property is well-maintained. Veteran hosts know that this can all be very time-consuming. Additionally, it’s very easy to make mistakes when you do everything manually. 

STR software makes these tasks a lot simpler: 

  • Property management: Keep track of property listings, pricing, and availability. It ensures your property is always up-to-date across all platforms.
  • Bookings: Many software programs have a built-in booking system, which means you can accept reservations 24/7.
  • Guest communication: Automate your guest communication with personalized messages like directions to your property, house rules, and info on Wi-Fi.
  • Financial tracking: Keep tabs on your income, expenses, and taxes. It simplifies financial reporting, making tax season a lot less stressful.
  • Integrations: Connect your software to popular listing platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and, to keep your listing details consistent and your bookings synchronized.

Essential Features to Look for

Working from that same list, here are some essential features to keep an eye out for:

  • Property management: A user-friendly dashboard to manage listings, availability calendars, and rates.
  • Bookings: A system that allows guests to book directly through your website or listing platforms.
  • Guest communication: Automated messages, inquiry management, and pre and post-stay communication tools.
  • Financial tracking: Detailed financial reports, expense tracker, and tax help.
  • Integrations: Compatibility with major listing platforms and third-party tools.

You’ll also want to answer the following questions before making a decision:

  • Budget: How much are you willing to spend?
  • Scalability: Do you expect your STR business to grow? Can the software grow with it?
  • Ease of use: Is the interface user-friendly and easy to navigate?
  • Customer support: Is it reliable and helpful?

Our Picks for Vacation Rental Software

Once you start looking, you’ll soon realize that there are a ton of options for STR software. Here are just a few that we’ve tried and liked:

  • Hostaway: Known for its user-friendly interface and robust property management features, Hostaway is a popular choice for hosts looking to totally streamline their operations.
  • Guesty: Guesty offers an all-in-one solution with a strong focus on guest communication, automation, and channel management.
  • Lodgify: Ideal for creating beautiful property websites and managing reservations. Lodgify is a user-friendly option that prioritizes direct bookings.

No matter which one you choose, vacation rental software can make managing your property(s) a lot more straightforward and will enable you to provide your guests with an unforgettable experience. Who doesn’t want that?

This content originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book newsletter.

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