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Vacation Rental Software


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Buildium logo
 
Buildium’s all-in-one property management software helps property managers streamline daily tasks in the rent, vacancy, and maintenance cycles. Over 10,000 customers use Buildium to manage over three-quarters-of-a-million units.
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Buildium’s all-in-one property management software helps property managers streamline daily tasks in the rent, vacancy, and maintenance cycles. Over 10,000 customers use Buildium to manage over three-quarters-of-a-million units.
 
Maintenance Connection logo
 
Maintenance Connection is a cloud-based software system for maintenance management. It is suitable for businesses of all sizes in general facilities management, healthcare, manufacturing, government, utilities, warehouses, energy development,... Read More
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Maintenance Connection is a cloud-based software system for maintenance management. It is suitable for businesses of all sizes in general facilities management, healthcare, manufacturing, government, utilities, warehouses, energy development,... Read More
 
TRACK PM logo
 
TRACK Hospitality Software offers a flexible suite of applications for hotels, resorts, and vacation rental management companies. This web-based system is platform agnostic, and offers mobile-OS specific apps for Android, Windows Phone,... Read More
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TRACK Hospitality Software offers a flexible suite of applications for hotels, resorts, and vacation rental management companies. This web-based system is platform agnostic, and offers mobile-OS specific apps for Android, Windows Phone,... Read More
 
OneSite logo
 
RealPage's OneSite Property Management software is designed to assist with all tasks associated with the tenant life cycle, including lease and document management and tenant management and accounting capabilities.
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RealPage's OneSite Property Management software is designed to assist with all tasks associated with the tenant life cycle, including lease and document management and tenant management and accounting capabilities.
 
Easy InnKeeping logo
 
For hotels, condos, resorts and other short-term properties, Easy InnKeeping provides a complete web-based software suite that manages everything from reservations to marketing to financials in one of the simplest systems on the market.... Read More
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For hotels, condos, resorts and other short-term properties, Easy InnKeeping provides a complete web-based software suite that manages everything from reservations to marketing to financials in one of the simplest systems on the market.... Read More

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Streamline logo
 
Streamline Vacation Rental Software is a cloud-based property management solution. Key features include integration with websites to provide online booking, as well as modules for owners, housekeeping and the front desk. Streamline... Read More
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Streamline Vacation Rental Software is a cloud-based property management solution. Key features include integration with websites to provide online booking, as well as modules for owners, housekeeping and the front desk. Streamline... Read More
 
LandlordTracks logo
 
LandlordTracks is a cloud-based property management suite suitable for residential, commercial and corporate housing. Key features include automatic rent collection and owner disbursements, automatic vacancy listings, background checks,... Read More
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LandlordTracks is a cloud-based property management suite suitable for residential, commercial and corporate housing. Key features include automatic rent collection and owner disbursements, automatic vacancy listings, background checks,... Read More
 
TenantCloud logo
 
TenantCloud is a free Web-based property management system designed to meet the needs of landlords, property managers and real estate professionals. The system offers property management, tenant management, marketing functionality... Read More
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TenantCloud is a free Web-based property management system designed to meet the needs of landlords, property managers and real estate professionals. The system offers property management, tenant management, marketing functionality... Read More
 
Smart Hotel logo
 
Smart Hotel offers a full-featured Hotel Property Management System suitable for a wide variety of industry verticals like corporate hotels, resorts, retreats, wilderness lodges, and marinas. Front Office & Property Management and... Read More
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Smart Hotel offers a full-featured Hotel Property Management System suitable for a wide variety of industry verticals like corporate hotels, resorts, retreats, wilderness lodges, and marinas. Front Office & Property Management and... Read More
 
Smart Property Systems logo
 
Smart Property Systems is a Web-based property management system designed for landlords, real estate investors, property management companies and managers of student or employee housing. It offers accrual accounting features, tenant... Read More
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Smart Property Systems is a Web-based property management system designed for landlords, real estate investors, property management companies and managers of student or employee housing. It offers accrual accounting features, tenant... Read More

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Arthur logo
 
Arthur is a cloud-based property management solution written by those experienced in the industry. The system works on any PC and mobile device, and the mobile app allows for 95% of the functionality found in the PC version. With the... Read More
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Arthur is a cloud-based property management solution written by those experienced in the industry. The system works on any PC and mobile device, and the mobile app allows for 95% of the functionality found in the PC version. With the... Read More
 
Lodgical Solution logo
 
Lodgical Solution is a property management solution for hospitality properties that can be deployed on the cloud or on-premise and can be used by businesses of any size. Key features include reservation management, guest profiles,... Read More
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Lodgical Solution is a property management solution for hospitality properties that can be deployed on the cloud or on-premise and can be used by businesses of any size. Key features include reservation management, guest profiles,... Read More
 
Real Home Finders logo
 
Real Home Finders from Nocom Solutions is a property management and real estate customer relationship management (CRM) solution. It includes accounting, tenant and lease tracking, budgeting and forecasting and maintenance functionality. The... Read More
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Real Home Finders from Nocom Solutions is a property management and real estate customer relationship management (CRM) solution. It includes accounting, tenant and lease tracking, budgeting and forecasting and maintenance functionality. The... Read More
 
Smart Building Apps logo
 
Smart Building Apps is a cloud-based property management software solution specializing in residential and commercial property management, as well as parking. Key features of this platform are budgeting and forecasting and building... Read More
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Smart Building Apps is a cloud-based property management software solution specializing in residential and commercial property management, as well as parking. Key features of this platform are budgeting and forecasting and building... Read More
 
Infor Hospitality Suite logo
 
Infor Hospitality Suite is used to manage properties around the globe, specifically over 73,000 customers in more than 200 countries. The software is suitable for many types of properties but is typically recommended to hotel chains,... Read More
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Infor Hospitality Suite is used to manage properties around the globe, specifically over 73,000 customers in more than 200 countries. The software is suitable for many types of properties but is typically recommended to hotel chains,... Read More

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PackageLog logo
 
PackageLog from LogWare manages and tracks incoming packages for residents at apartment and other residential communities. The system includes customizable notifications, security features and resident tracking.
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PackageLog from LogWare manages and tracks incoming packages for residents at apartment and other residential communities. The system includes customizable notifications, security features and resident tracking.
 
Propertygate logo
 
Propertygate is a cloud-based property management system for landlords and real estate agents. It is designed to handle portfolios of all sizes and types, from multi-family apartments and single-family homes to healthcare, hotels and... Read More
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Propertygate is a cloud-based property management system for landlords and real estate agents. It is designed to handle portfolios of all sizes and types, from multi-family apartments and single-family homes to healthcare, hotels and... Read More
 
VerticalRent logo
 
VerticalCloud offers VerticalRent, a web-based tenant screening and property management system with online applications, rental forms and a tenant portal for online rent collection, all accessible through a mobile device.
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VerticalCloud offers VerticalRent, a web-based tenant screening and property management system with online applications, rental forms and a tenant portal for online rent collection, all accessible through a mobile device.

 

Buyer's Guide

by Taylor Short,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: March 23, 2017


If you own property in a hot tourist spot, it’s never been easier to make some extra money by leasing it out as a vacation rental.

Companies such as Airbnb and HomeAway have greatly simplified the process, working as listing services or marketplace brokers for long- and short-term properties. You might use these services to rent your apartment during a local festival or to professionally rent a large number of properties. Either way, vacation rental software can help you manage your properties in a more efficient—and profitable—way.

This buyer’s guide will explain what vacation rental software can do for you. We’ll also examine specific features you should take into consideration when you’re looking for a vacation rental system.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Vacation Rental Software?
Common Features of Vacation Rental Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Key Considerations
Market Trends to Understand

What Is Vacation Rental Software?

Vacation rental software helps you manage, maintain and run a short-term rental property. It could be a small apartment in a big city that you rent out a couple of weekends a year, or a lakehouse that you lease throughout the year.

These properties are not hotels or bed-and-breakfasts, which rent out multiple rooms in the same building to multiple guests. Instead, these are discrete units (whether individual buildings or specific apartments within a larger complex) rented out individually.

As such, owners and managers of vacation rental properties face different challenges than hotel managers, and they require a different type of software solution to traditional hotel management software. In fact, vacation rental systems have as much in common with property management software as they do with hotel management systems.

Vacation rental management software combines the most important software functions used by both hotel and property managers. These tools address the specific needs of vacation rental property owners and managers, no matter the size of their portfolio.

Common Features of Vacation Rental Software

Common features found in vacation rental management systems include:

Booking management Track who is renting your property during which dates, so you never accidentally double-book or lose a reservation. Maintain a database of previous renters. Some systems will allow you to accept bookings from third-party online travel brokers.
Billing and invoicing Create invoices and collect payment from renters, including deposits for reservations.
Generate key documents Produce rental agreements, marketing/promotional materials and other important documents and emails with customizable templates.
Housekeeping and maintenance management Manage cleaning schedules, so your property stays in good shape. Track maintenance issues to make sure all complaints are taken care of and everything remains up to code.
Accounting More robust systems include accounting and financial functions, including trust accounting—to keep business finances separate from personal accounts—as well as tracking important tax information.
Website management Create a website for your properties that makes it easy to accept online reservations. The reservations will be automatically stored and updated in your booking management module.
Calendar A detailed, customized and automatically updated calendar that tracks all of your bookings and facilities management schedules. You can also set alerts and reminders about important matters that need to be taken care of at specific times, and to send your customers alerts and reminders about their upcoming stay.
Interface/integration Interface with a listing service such as HomeAway, Airbnb, TripAdvisor etc. so you can accept bookings, update your calendar accordingly and keep your listings up-to-date.

 

Reservations dashboard in vacation rental software platform, Streamline

 

Streamline’s reservations dashboard

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Vacation rental software buyers all have one key thing in common—they own a property (or multiple properties) that they’re want to lease out for short-term stays. However, needs vary among buyers, depending on the number of properties owned and the level of independence of the manager.

Most of these buyers will fall into one of the following three categories:

  • Independent owner/manager with one property. These are individuals or families who rent out a single property as a way to make extra money, but usually not as a primary source of income. The property may be one that the owner lives in, which is rented when the owner is out of town, or it may be a separate property the owner rents out throughout the year. These buyers do not need a particularly robust vacation rental system. A system that manages the basics of booking management and billing/invoicing, as well as integration with popular online listing services, will likely be enough.
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  • Independent owner/manager with multiple properties. These buyers are individuals or families who manage several properties, either as an extra way to make money or as a primary source of income. They require a slightly more complex system in order to track bookings, maintenance needs, billing and invoicing etc. across multiple properties.
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  • Rental property businesses. These are fully incorporated businesses that rent out numerous properties at multiple locations. They require the most robust software to both manage their properties and keep information (and access to information) consistent across multiple employees. They will also likely have additional business software needs, such as human resources and customer relationship management.

Key Considerations

The market for vacation rental systems includes vendors ready to meet a variety of levels of functionality.You can find a system that fits your specific needs, based on the size and scale of the properties you manage and rent, without having to pay extra for features that you don’t really need. If you do need those features, however, they are available in more robust systems.

Still, there are additional considerations to bear in mind when choosing a software product:

Legal compliance. Housing and property codes are constantly being updated, and a vacation rental system can help you make sure all your properties remain in compliance with both local and national requirements as they change. This is a feature of larger, more robust systems.

Separation of accounts. If you make enough income from your rental properties that you want to create a separate business entity to manage them, you will want to keep your financial accounting for that business separate from your personal accounts. A robust vacation rental system will assist you with this trust accounting.

However, if you are only managing one or two properties, avoid systems that exceed your needs. You will likely be fine with a simple system that integrates with a service such as HomeAway or Airbnb, generates bills and invoices and helps you track your contacts and financial information.

Market Trends to Understand

Here are some important market trends that may factor into your choice of a vacation rental system:

Third-party brokers. The current model for vacation rentals relies overwhelmingly on popular third-party websites (Airbnb, HomeAway, TripAdvisor etc.) that essentially serve as brokers between property owners/managers and renters. They provide searchable listings that put your property in front of more prospective renters’ eyes in exchange for service fees charged to both you and the renter. Unless you are a larger business with multiple properties, you almost certainly want to be listed on the most popular sites, so you should choose software that integrates with theirs.

Cloud-based software. Cloud-based systems have dramatically increased in popularity of late because of their relative benefits compared to on-premise systems. Whereas on-premise software requires hardware and some level of IT knowledge, these cloud-based systems are more easily and quickly implemented. They also tend to have lower costs up front. This makes cloud-based systems well suited for smaller businesses.

Mobile functionality. Mobile access is increasingly important to travelers on-the-go. As a result, renters will expect to be able to access your software and information from a phone, tablet or other mobile device. This functionality can be useful for property managers as well, enabling them to make notations while on-site at a property or as they travel between them.

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