Property management software enhances operations and saves time and money for agents, property owners and short-term rental guests. Victoria Kennedy, CEO of Atman Real Estate, shares strategies for assessing your tech.

This November, Inman offers a deep dive into the world of proptech and the state of the startups that are building the future now. We’ll also debut a brand new coveted set of awards, Proptech All-Stars, celebrating the entrepreneurs, VCs, and visionaries in the field. It’s Proptech Month at Inman.

The short-term rental industry is experiencing a remarkable boom, driven by how easy and convenient it is to book properties online. This surge can be also attributed to the widespread adoption of remote work following the pandemic, allowing professionals the flexibility to live anywhere.

Short-term rentals make up a whopping 30 percent of all privately owned accommodation businesses in the U.S. If you’re thinking about jumping into the game, you have probably felt the heat of competition. 

Top-notch short-term rental software could give you an edge over other investors, as it’s one of the key technological drivers reshaping real estate. However, it’s vital to find software that aligns with your unique needs. The following is an overview of what to consider when introducing software solutions to your rental business. 

Why utilize short-term rental software?

Property management software can streamline a multitude of tasks, from centralizing reservation management, facilitating vendor coordination and guest communication, processing payments, managing revenue, cleaning, and channels — all through the use of one hub or software application.

It can also enable property owners to directly manage bookings without the need of an intermediary. Avery Carl, CEO of The Short Term Shop, elaborated on how this is revolutionizing the short-term rental market. 

“Short-term rental property management software helps significantly with streamlining a short-term rental business. It pulls all of a host’s listings and communication into one easy-to-use dashboard so that they don’t have to toggle between apps like Airbnb and VRBO,” said Carl.

“It automates many of the redundant informational messages that need to be sent to each guest, auto-populates cleaning dates on the cleaner’s calendar, and ties in easily with dynamic pricing software to ensure that your property gets booked for the highest price possible. With the use of a few property management platforms, it is easier than ever for short-term rental investors to manage their own properties remotely, without the steep expense of a management company eating into their returns.”

Property management software can also generate reports that help investors increase rent to catch up with market value and facilitate compliance with the growing number of laws and regulations

What to look for when determining what rental software to employ

Many short-term rental managers juggle multiple software solutions simultaneously, much like their clients who book through various platforms. However, in an ideal scenario, rental managers should seek an all-encompassing software tool that checks all the boxes. 

The logic behind this is clear: it’s better to invest in one comprehensive software solution that carries out all necessary functions than to scatter data across multiple software solutions, as it avoids the need to create duplicate entries, which may introduce errors.

That said, here are three key variables to consider when choosing an all-encompassing software solution.

1. Effective channel management

Effective channel management is crucial for short-term rental hosts, given the importance of consistent pricing across platforms. 

A channel manager is an indispensable tool for short-term rental hosts, as it automatically updates calendars and pricing across all the major booking sites, thus saving rental managers the headache of making manual entries across all these platforms. 

In short, finding software with an effective channel manager ensures pricing consistency across all platforms, a critical aspect of proper management. 

2. A central hub to streamline operations

Efficiency is the backbone of successful short-term rental management. That said, it’s imperative to find software solutions that streamline housekeeping, booking, and scheduling. A number of them do this in one central hub, thus helping you keep track of all the details of a rental property, including minor and major repairs as well as maintenance schedules. 

3. Hassle-free payment processing

Superior rental-management software should also keep track of all short-term and long-term rental income, and offer tenants different options for hassle-free payment processing. 

On the backend, this software should also provide rental property managers with up-to-date pricing and occupancy data, and have accounting tools built in, so that the profit and loss on each property can be reconciled in one place. 

The benefits of embracing property management software

As your short-term rental business expands, a well-chosen software management solution will significantly save you time and reduce stress. 

Modern property management software simplifies complex systems and automates tasks for all your properties. However, short-term rental property management software comes in various forms, and it’s wise to explore multiple options before settling on one long-term. 

What’s important is to assess the suitability of software firsthand, as each option presents its own set of advantages and drawbacks. But regardless of what software you end up using, that’s a superior approach to the alternative of relinquishing significant sums to a property management company.

Victoria Kennedy is CEO of Atman Real Estate. Connect with her via email.

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