Vacation Rental Technology: How to Future-Proof Your Business

The vacation rental industry is booming coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2021 surpassed 2020 demand levels by 66.4% and even beat pre-pandemic levels from 2019 by 5.4%

But with more bookings come more guests you have to accommodate, vet, and manage. You don’t have time to answer the same questions you’ve answered 100 times already.

Rental Technology: How to Future-Proof Your Business

But bringing in technology to automate some of these repetitive tasks can save you time and energy on administrative tasks and communication—whilst also improving guest satisfaction.

But where do you start?

In this article, we’ll give you a detailed overview of some hardware and software you can use to improve guest experience and reduce your workload.

RueBaRue is must-have vacation rental technology for property managers who want to save time on guest communication and increase revenue. To see how it works, book a demo now.

What is the role of technology in vacation rental businesses?

Vacation rental technology is not only about delighting your guests, but also about saving time and helping property managers streamline their workflows and processes. This way, everything can run smoothly and in an automated way.

The latest vacation rental technology has the ability to:

This promises a lot going forward. The future of vacation rental businesses hinges on property managers integrating enhancements into their properties if they don’t want to be left behind by their competitors.

Vacation rental technology: guest management tools

If you were a guest instead of a property manager, would you book a stay at an accommodation with a low rating and clear signs of a negative guest experience?

Customer reviews are one of the most important factors in booking accommodation. So, you need to go all out to ensure your guests have a positive experience with you and your property.

A key part of ensuring consistently positive guest experiences is good communication. Whether it’s a question, a problem, or just a local tip, communicating efficiently and effectively with guests is a huge plus.

Interaction with guests can be enhanced immensely with the right guest communication tools. These days, software systems allow managers to send automated welcomes, answer guest queries through a central SMS text messaging system, share useful information with guests through local guidebooks and guestbooks, and send out surveys to gather feedback and encourage reviews.

The goal of these technologies is to create a smoother experience for guests—less hassle, problems resolved quickly, and feedback absorbed to create a continuously improving vacation experience. These tools make guest communication easy for property managers, too.

Instead of spending long hours on the telephone or wading through long emails, managers become aware of issues and questions with a simple text message.

With that in mind, let’s look at two different types of technologies you can use to enhance guest communication.

Software solution: RueBaRue, the all-in-one guest communication tool for property managers

At RueBaRue, there’s an entire suite of systems focused on improving communication between guests and vacation property managers. SMS messaging, digital guestbooks , local area guides, and guest surveys are all a breeze through RueBaRue’s intuitive, integrated portal. Staying connected with guest questions, needs, and wants has never been easier than with slick, comprehensive communication software like RueBaRue.

Some of RueBaRue’s features include:

Finding the right guest communication tool for you will contribute highly to creating a positive guest experience, and by doing so, increasing your success and revenue.

RueBaRue homepage

RueBaRue main webpage Credit: RueBaRue.com

Hardware solution: in-property tablets

There are also hardware solutions to guest communication. Whether used to augment an integrated software tool or not, this hardware gives you more options for interacting with guests.

These systems rely on digital guest engagement platforms such as a welcome tablet—available from solutions providers such as YourWelcome are located inside guest accommodations.

SuitePad homepage

SuitePad main webpage Credit: Suite-Pad.com

Some features of these guest engagement platforms can include:

Now that we’ve explained the benefits of hardware solutions such as in-property tablets, it’s time to look at some of their limitations.

In-property tablets and digital concierges aren’t always the comprehensive tools you need them to be and might complicate your communication with your guests, meeting their expectations, and personalizing their stay.

On the other hand, RueBaRue—an end-to-end guest communication solution—allows property managers to manage the entire communication process from one platform. This includes managing house rules, local guides, manuals, welcome notes, thank you notes, and surveys.

We’ve previously done a blog that delves into how exactly RueBaRue can meet your communication management needs.

Dynamic pricing tools

Tools that allow vacation property managers to more easily adjust vacation rental prices are more important than ever. The demand for vacation rentals is constantly fluctuating and nailing your pricing strategy is crucial if you’re going to make sure your prices adapt to reflect demand.

With the right dynamic pricing tool, it’s easy to adjust pricing and even automate rates. Whether it’s alternative rates for weekends versus weekdays or adapting to a seasonal rush, this tool is a must-have part of any vacation property management software. Dynamic pricing tools include providers like Beyond, Wheelhouse, and PriceLabs.

These tools guide you through the pricing process. They provide critical assistance by analyzing data and performance indicators and then suggest recommendations for when to charge specific rates.

Getting your pricing right with the help of dynamic pricing is a great way to increase your revenue—and there are additional ways that technology can help you earn more from a booking.

One of the simplest, but most effective, tools available at RueBarue is the option to extend guest stays. Made possible through guest communication and calendar systems, managers have the option of offering stay extensions at reduced rates. If a property has an open period in guest bookings, this is a great way to reduce empty days.

Property Management Systems

There’s a wide selection of benefits linked to having the right property management system (PMS) for your vacation rental property. Everything from calendars to accounting can be managed from a single software system. Streamlining, integrating, and simplifying the day-to-day processes of vacation property management has never been easier.

Whether it’s marketing, guest communication, financial tools, accounting, maintenance scheduling, or payment management, the right PMS makes it easy to coordinate processes. Then there’s the big bonus of accessing everything from one portal.

There are lots of options when it comes to choosing a PMS that fits specific property management needs. Here’s a quick rundown of popular PMS software that’s easy to integrate with other software tools:

Escapia homepage

Escapia main webpage Credit: Escapia.com

Channel managers

Channel managers are software systems that link your site with online travel agencies (OTAs). This allows vacation property managers to list properties on multiple sites. When a booking is made on one booking site information then gets synced across all platforms.

Two-way integration and data sharing allow channel managers to control the entire process from a single platform. Adjusting rates, for example, only needs to be done in the channel manager, and that information gets synced automatically with all listings on all booking sites connected via the channel management system.

Networking with OTAs is another big part of channel management. Channel managers create relationships with listing sites, feed you information about which sites are generating bookings, and let you grow a presence on strategic sales channels.

Diagram showing link between channel managers and OTAs

04_Channel manager diagram Credit: Pesapal.com

Smart home technology

Alongside widespread use in private homes, vacation properties are a great space for the latest innovations in smart home technology. Everything from locks to vacuums can be automated, integrated, and made safer and more convenient by smart home technology.

Making guest experiences relaxing and hassle-free on a day-to-day basis relies as much on the technology inside the property as it does on management software.

The best home automation platforms on the market seamlessly integrate a wide range of appliances and devices while letting property managers control everything from a single platform.

Brivo main webpage Credit: Brivo.com

Here are some examples of smart home devices that you can use to ensure a positive guest experience.

Smart locks

Smart locks make checking in, stepping onto the veranda, or dashing off to catch a late-night flight easier and safer. Smart locks let property managers control keyless entry remotely and allow guests to have access right when they need it.

Additionally, they eliminate the risk of stolen or lost keys as each guest gets a unique access code. Smart Locks also make remote check-in possible, which is crucial during a pandemic.

Noise monitors

Noise monitors allow you to control the noise levels of your guests while respecting their privacy. These smart home systems alert managers to potential noise-related problems, alerting the property manager of unruly guests or illegal parties and activities. Too much noise means too many guests in the rental.

They also allow you to kindly ask your guests to reduce the noise before any neighbors complain. Having neighbors banging on the door and skiing the guests to keep it down not only leaves a bad taste in the guests’ mouths but also reflects poorly on the property manager.

Smart thermostats

Utilizing smart thermostats means guests can easily adjust the temperature of the property to whatever they find comfortable. Making it simple to set the temperature—through voice commands or intuitive buttons—makes it easier for guests to settle in, reducing the unfamiliarity factor as they settle into their temporary home.

More importantly, it allows property managers to control the temperature remotely—in case the guest leaves the A/C or heating on when they leave the rental—and helps them cut utility costs.

Smart appliances

These days there’s a wide range of smart appliances—from lights to barbeques—that can be integrated into a smart home system. Highly customizable and activated by voice commands, they add an extra level of dynamic comfort. Not to mention that you can market these smart appliances as luxury amenities to help your listing stand out from your other competitors on OTAs.

Other vacation rental technology tools

Besides smart appliances, there are many other vacation rental tools that have the potential to elevate the experience of guests. Some examples:

What vacation rental technology means for managers and guests

There are a lot of advantages created by the comfort, customizability, and efficiency afforded by new technologies that are ready to be integrated into vacation rental properties.

Taking advantage of vacation rental technology not only delights guests but also saves property managers time and helps them automate their tasks and streamline every aspect of their business from operations to marketing.

There’s more technology available than there’s ever been and it’s increasingly easy to plug it into existing systems. Signing up for software that makes it easy to market a property, then welcoming guests into a location that has the latest communication, payment, and smart home systems just makes sense. It takes all the separate threads of running a vacation rental property and organizes it into one place—making it easier than ever to exceed guest expectations.

FAQs about vacation rental technology

How do I integrate new technology into my current system?

It's easy—all you need to do is check what other tools your PMS integrates with. These other tools can include channel managers, dynamic pricing tools, or a guest communication tool. If your PMS doesn’t currently integrate with a tool you’d like to use, reach out and ask them if they’re planning to implement it in the future.

How can tools like RubaRue help you provide an exceptional guest experience?

Tools like RueBaRue are all about helping you save time on time-consuming operational tasks and improving the guest experience. Whether it’s connecting with guests through surveys and SMS messages or providing guests with services such as guestbooks and local guidebooks, RueBaRue gives property managers the necessary tools for achieving the very best guest experiences in a fraction of the time.

How does using vacation rental technology directly benefit me and my guests?

The modern vacation rental industry is being taken over by a storm of digital solutions, technological innovations, and cutting-edge software. Participating in this trend has never been easier and it opens doors to providing guests with better experiences than ever before. On top of this, streamlined communication, intuitive management processes, and happy guests make managing a vacation property easier and easier.

RueBaRue is must-have vacation rental technology for property managers who want to save time on guest communication and increase revenue. To see how it works, book a demo now.

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