By Rowan Clifford
Author of Airbn’b’Smart and Hospitable user
Airbnb management software is being used by thousands of property managers worldwide to scale up their operations on Airbnb.
But, is it reserved just for property managers?
Or, is it something that everyday hosts like you and me can use too?
At first glance, it might feel like using full-scale management software for your single Airbnb listing operation might be overkill.
And I get it, however, once you understand how simple, powerful, and effective it can be, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
So, if you’ve got a spare 5 minutes and you’re interested to learn more, keep reading…
Airbnb property management best practices
Being a host on Airbnb is not just as simple as creating a listing and handing off the keys. It’s a business, and it requires time and effort to be successful.
The key to business success on Airbnb lies in an effective Airbnb property management strategy. Every host needs to understand the basics of Airbnb management to compete with the top hosts on the platform.
Here are the building blocks of good Airbnb property management you should pay attention to:
- Manage your guest experience – respond to all initial guest inquiries in under one hour, coordinate late check-in/out requests, monitor all guest reviews, etc.
- Create a competitive pricing strategy and adjusting prices to seasonal demand and other variables
- Coordinate cleaning and maintenance
- Optimize your Airbnb listing for high Airbnb search placement
- Be current with the laws and regulations in your area
- Take care of marketing, and more.
As you see, there is so much on your plate, and all these responsibilities require many hours of work every day.
Outsourcing an Airbnb management service
If you are new to Airbnb and operate multiple properties, the challenge of managing the process can be extremely time-consuming. To deal with it, you may consider outsourcing your responsibilities to an Airbnb management company that will act on your behalf or hiring a professional property manager who will do everything (or almost everything) for you.
Outsourcing to Airbnb property management service enables you to run your Airbnb from any place within a short period, ensure that your account will stay functional, and get consistently good reviews.
But the problem is that this can be pricey, and finding reliable third-party help to run your Airbnb business is not so easy.
Your Airbnb business under your control
A smarter alternative is to use Airbnb management software. It will save you a lot of time for a fraction of the cost of hiring a property manager and no compromise on the guest experience.
What is Airbnb Management Software?
Airbnb management software is a tool used by hosts and property managers alike to streamline the day to day operations of running a business on Airbnb.
This management software helps to automate many of the time-consuming, mundane, repetitive tasks that hosts face on a daily basis, as well as offering additional tools and services to make hosting easier and more profitable.
If used effectively, it can lead to considerable time savings and reduced overhead costs.
Since you’re now in the efficiency mood, download our guide on STR performance boost hacks. Happy reading!
How does Airbnb Property Management Software actually work?
Airbnb property management software works by creating a direct connection between your Airbnb listing and the software itself.
Once this connection has been made, actions can be performed, and information can be shared between the Airbnb platform and the property management software seamlessly.
Now, why is this good?
Well, it means that you can automate many of the mundane day-to-day tasks of Airbnb hosting so you can free up your time, and reduce labor costs.
I’m talking about things like:
- Cleaner reminders
- Team updates
- Calendar synchronization
- And a whole lot more…
And, on top of all of that, it also creates a centralized dashboard to manage all of your listings (no matter how many you have) in one place.
Which makes things just so much easier.
Property management software saves time
Essential features to look out for!
When you’re shopping around for the best Airbnb management software that’s going to suit your style (and budget), there are some essential features that you’ll want to look out for:
1. Automated guest messaging
Without a doubt, the biggest time-saving advantage of using a property management tool comes when you harness the power of automated guest messaging.
It can seem a little daunting at first – the prospect of a computer sending messages to your guests – however, once you get under the surface and see how advanced this guest communication can be, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
In fact, with the use of short-codes (little snippets of code like this %guest_name%), it’s possible to add dynamic content to each and every message you send, making each message super personal and bespoke to each guest moving through their guest journey.
Here’s an example of how personal a message using short-codes can be:
Hello %guest_first_name%, and thanks for your interest in %listing_name%!
I wanted to confirm right away that I have received your request to book my %listing_type% from %check_in%, with %guests% for %nights%. The total price would be %total%.
I will review your request and will come up with an answer as soon as possible so that you can prepare your trip accordingly.
If you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to ask, it would be my pleasure to answer you!
2. Automated cleaner/team reminders
If, like me, you find it difficult to remember to send out reminders to your cleaner and team, then you’re in for a treat!
You see, one of the great things about using software (like Hospitable) to help automate many of the mundane tasks of running a successful Airbnb empire is that it’ll handle all of these niggly little jobs for you.
And, because it’s a computer, unlike you, it’ll never (ever) forget to send out these reminders.
Once set, these reminders will be sent out ON TIME, EVERY TIME.
And that’s not all…
If you do your research, you should be able to find a tool that not only sends automated email reminders to your cleaner/team, but also SMS’s too. With these two in place, you’ll never have to send another reminder again.
Give me a hell yes!
3. Automated reviews
As you scale up your operations on Airbnb your workload increases dramatically. And, even something as menial as leaving a guest review can be something that turns from a minor job, into a full-blown headache!
Sure, if you’re just managing the one listing, this isn’t too much of a big deal, but if you’re managing multiple listings, this can sure add up.
Thankfully, good management software can integrate with Airbnb’s review system and automate this process for you.
It works like this…
First up, you create a few different guest review templates (making use of those handy smart-codes, of course).
Here’s a simple review template example:
What more can I say, %guest_first_name% left the house immaculate.
Super clean and tidy. Couldn’t recommend highly enough.
Welcome back anytime.
Once your review templates are complete, simply tell the system how long after the booking you’d like them to be posted, and then, Bob’s your uncle, the system will randomize, customize and send them on your behalf at the time specified.
4. Team task management
Team tasks can be anything from monthly scheduled maintenance with tradesman, weekly deep cleaning tasks, and much more.
Basically, what automated task management enables you to do is to delegate any job to any team member automatically.
With a system like this in place, all members of your team are seamlessly kept up to date with any tasks allocated to them, without any human intervention.
It’s badass, to say the least, and it will save you a tonne of time.
5. Unified Inbox
The last thing you want as a host with multiple listings is to be logging into multiple dashboards just to access your Inbox. And, that’s where a unified inbox comes in.
By creating a centralized dashboard/unified inbox for ALL of your listings (no matter how many you manage), it’s easy to see where each guest is on their booking journey, and what action needs to be taken.
A unified inbox keeps all of your messages in one neat and convenient place.
*The best services will even integrate with multiple platforms like Vrbo, Home Away, Booking.com, etc. and display all messages, across all platforms in one neat, simple dashboard. That way, you basically never need to login to any of these platforms, instead, you can simply manage the whole lot in one place.
6. Consolidated calendar
Similar in many ways to the unified Inbox, a consolidated calendar allows you to view all bookings, for all listings, across all platforms in one simple visual calendar.
This single calendar view gives you a real-time visual snapshot of your bookings for your entire portfolio of listings in one place.
No switching between screens, no switching between platforms.
Just one simple, consolidated calendar.
Get all of those perks!
Sounds good? Start with a free trial today!
What about Vrbo property management?
If you’re promoting your listing/s on multiple platforms, then the possibility of double-booking your accommodation is real!
No matter how quick you are to update your calendars, it’s impossible to guarantee that double-bookings won’t happen.
What you really need is a computer to do this entire process for you in real-time, without fail. And that’s what any property management software worth its salt should be able to do for you.
So, with effective property management software, you can market your properties not just on Airbnb, but on multiple platforms simultaneously.
Hospitable is a great solution if you have listings on different platforms, and it also works for Vrbo. You will be able to connect all your accounts and have a single inbox for all your platforms. Your guests on Vrbo will get them directly in this channel. Using Inbox, you can manage all messages in one place, taking advantage of fast synchronization.
Handy, but non-essential features
The features above are IMHO essential for any serious Airbnb management software solution worth having.
Below, however, are a couple of non-essential – but certainly nice to have – features that are worth looking out for if you’re seriously thinking of investing in a full-featured management system to improve the way you run your Airbnb business.
AI responses to FAQ’s (optional)
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to respond to those repetitive questions you get as a host? You know, when you get those same old messages about parking, WiFi, early check-in, etc.
Yeah, those ones.
Well, with advanced management software (ahem, like Hospitable) it’s not only possible, it’s actually pretty easy.
Without getting too techy, what essentially happens is you train our machine/AI to recognize these frequently asked questions, and our system will automatically send replies to your guests.
Essentially what this means is that your guests get the information they want straight away, and you get to put your feet up and relax.
Everyone loves a win-win!
Performance metrics (optional)
If you’re a nerd like me, then I’m sure you love to dive deep into performance metrics.
I’m talking about things like:
- Occupancy rate
- Booking rate
- Average nightly rate
- Average booking duration
- Number of listing views
- Monthly profit/loss statements
- Listing ranking position
This sort of stuff gets me salivating already!
With all of this juicy information at your disposal, you can test micro changes to things like pricing, average nightly duration, cleaning fees, listing title, listing images, etc. to see how any changes affect performance.
If, on the other hand, you’re not a nerd – and you’ve got better things to do with your time other than look at graphs – then, you can probably take it or leave it with the metrics.
By now, you should know what property management software for Airbnb is, and how effective it can be at reducing labor costs, increasing efficiencies, reducing stress load, whilst at the same time making you more money.
Download our guide on boosting your short-term rental business performance even further.
In fact, the minimal setup costs to get started usually pay for themselves within the first week or two.
So, whether you manage 1 or a 100 properties, Airbnb management software is something every (serious) host should be taking advantage of.
Now, there’s a lot of different options out there to choose from (and I suggest you shop around to get the right fit for you), however, in our massively biased opinion we think Hospitable is the best Airbnb management software on the market right now (and it’s damn good value too).
Moreover, you don’t even need to take my word for it…
In fact, you can give our management software a test run – totally free for 14 days *limited time only (and don’t worry, you don’t even need to give us your credit card details or anything).
Well, there you have it. Go sign yourself up for a free account and witness first hand just how powerful this software can be.
Writing host reviews is not a rocket science. It’s a time-stealer, though. In this article, you will get plenty of useful templates for your reviews. Even better: we’ll teach you to automate the whole process.
As Airbnb gained traction and secured its foothold in the short-term rental market, and subsequently the hospitality business, it became clear that its users clearly valued the communication and experiences they gained from interacting directly with the property owner – not the landlord or manager, but host. How, on earth, then can the hosts stay sane and have a life? We’re about to tell you, read on.
So in late 2018, I turned one of my 17 properties into a full-time Airbnb and Booking.com unit, bookable by guests all year round.
But as with any new business, you quickly discover what the repetitive processes are, and you look to streamline and automate as many as you can.
I want to tell you about my experience with short-term rental automation, and give you some insight into my Serviced Accommodation business, as well as my take on using hospitable for the better part of the last year.