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Is generative AI a game-changer in the short-term rental industry?

The short-term rental industry, embodied by platforms like Airbnb and VRBO as well as hospitality operations solutions like Guesty, has been at the forefront of travel and hospitality innovation for years.

Recently, generative artificial intelligence – also known as genAI – has started making waves in this dynamic sector. But does it enhance customer experience or hurt it? We answer this question and delve into what new avenues for growth and efficiency are available to you. In this article, we also give you our top AI picks for the short-term rental industry. 

hand holding holographic AI interface

What is generative AI and how does it impact short-term rentals?

This subset of artificial intelligence focuses on creating new content, whether it’s text, images, or even code. A great example is ChatGPT. This technology, powered by advanced machine learning algorithms, can analyze vast amounts of data, learn patterns, and generate outputs that simulate human-like creativity and decision-making.

This has vast potential for the short-term rental industry. According to one of the AI platforms we surveyed, hostAI

“AI isn’t just about streamlining processes and cutting costs for short-term rental hosts; it’s a gateway to new growth opportunities and increased revenue.”

For one thing, generative AI can tailor search results, recommendations, and even promotional content based on individual customer preferences and past behaviors. This makes it easier for hosts to find customers, and for customers to find rentals that exactly match their needs.

AI tools can also automatically generate effective and unique property descriptions based on a list of amenities and features. This is a huge time saver for property owners. With AI’s ability to generate high-quality images, property owners can also use it to create virtual tours or improve existing photos of their properties. 

Add to that genAI’s ability to create dynamic pricing strategies through analyzing market trends and rental price patterns, and you – as a host – have a powerful tool at your disposal. 

Another of our surveyed AI platforms, Guest Guru, detailed how helpful AI can be when it comes to answering guest queries: 

“AI can quickly answer common questions or FAQs about things like check-in and local spots, making sure guests always get fast and right answers.”

robot interacting with AI ethics hologram

This question has been on the minds of many people in almost every industry who use (or want to use) generative AI. While the benefits are significant, there are challenges and ethical considerations too, for example:

  • Data privacy and security: Sure, using customer data for personalized experiences is a great way for you to connect with potential guests, but it also raises concerns about privacy and data protection. As a host, you need to ensure you comply with data protection regulations.
  • An impersonal touch: Over-reliance on AI tools might lead to losing your personal connection with guests, which is often a key aspect of the short-term rental experience
  • Accuracy and biases: AI systems are only as good as the data they’re trained on. If you’re using genAI, you must check that its output is fully accurate

And will AI replace people?

Our surveyed partner, EnsoConnect, says, “no”:

“Our approach to AI in hospitality is to see it as a supportive assistant rather than a replacement. By employing AI… your staff won’t be bogged down responding to the same WiFi query 20 times a day… And yet, the human component remains vital in ensuring AI’s high-quality output. It’s time to see your team using AI like a conductor leading an orchestra, rather than being the first violin.”

AI our team recommends:

We did some digging to find the best AI to complement your short-term rental business. And these are our top 8 choices for helpful, intuitive AI that will reduce your workload while increasing your productivity and guest happiness:

1. HostAI

HostAI revolutionizes your short-term rental operation by automating more than 90% of guest communications. But it’s more than just automation. The system increases hosts’ revenue through strategic upsells like early check-ins and late check-outs. Additionally, their marketing automation tools efficiently manage your guest database, encouraging repeat bookings. 

Seamlessly integrating with Guesty as well as your preferred communication channels – including SMS, WhatsApp, and Slack – HostAI is a cohesive, AI-powered concierge, customized to meet your unique operational needs.

HostAI is like a really powerful filter, sorting messages into two categories: non-urgent and urgent messages. 

  • Non-urgent messages, as the name suggests, are run-of-the-mill guest messages: “What’s the Wifi password?” “How far is the place from the lake?” HostAI is designed to automate those. 
  • Urgent messages, on the other hand, require human input, like  “The shower is broken” or “Can we have a wedding at this listing?”. When a guest sends an urgent message, HostAI notifies the host or property manager and allows them to respond. 

When it comes to concerns about the tone of messages crafted by HostAI, they have guardrails in place to ensure quality. Hosts can configure their settings so that HostAI-generated messages are sent after you approve them. To date, HostAI has sent over 60k messages with a 90% approval rate. 

HostAI takes 5 minutes to set up for all of your listings, it never sleeps and it remembers everything. For guests, it’s like having a concierge at their fingertips at all times, giving them a 5-star experience. For hosts, it makes managing your short-term rental business easier, saving you time, making you money, and letting you scale without increasing your overhead. Plus, the more you work with AI, the more the AI will work for you.

Guesty users get a FREE 30-day trial of HostAI when they book a demo!

2. hostAI

hostAI is passionate about equipping vacation rental managers with cutting-edge marketing tools—akin to those used by major tech players. They aim to empower hosts to build and amplify their unique brands and have more control over their growth. 

Some of their specific services include:

  • hostWriter: A tool that automatically updates and optimizes your property descriptions, ensuring content is not only current but also crafted to enhance conversion rates, making each listing more appealing and effective.
    Takes just 30 seconds to set up and saves you hours or days on keeping your content optimized and updated. 
  • hostDistro: This advanced marketing automation tool is designed for professional hosts. It intelligently analyzes and understands the Unique Selling Points (USPs) of each property. Based on these insights, it generates a landing page that effectively communicates these USPs on behalf of the host. It can also execute highly targeted advertising campaigns aimed at attracting the ideal guests—those who’ll most appreciate and value these unique aspects of the property.
    End-to-end automated solutions that could save you weeks of researching vacation rental manager portfolios. 

hostWriter is currently available for any host anywhere in the world and while hostDistro is due for release soon, both integrate into Guesty and have the power to help you find 50% of your guests directly.

3. Guest Guru

Guest Guru’s main job is to chat with guests 24/7, answering their questions and giving them info while keeping it friendly and personal. It chats in a way that’s close to how humans talk, remembering guests and using their names. You can also customize the tone to sound more like you or how you want it.

Every time Guest Guru chats with someone, it learns a bit more. This means it gets better and better at understanding what guests need and how to help them. Once you integrate Guest Guru with Guesty, it will import your listing info, which you can update or add instructions to. It’s simple enough for anyone to set up in just a few minutes and the team is always available to help you with onboarding.

Guest Guru is great for all hosts (short- and long-term vacation rentals),  and saves you the time and hassle of handling lots of guest questions all at once. Guest Guru seamlessly integrates with the Guesty Inbox, responding to guest inquiries on behalf of hosts and posting replies directly in the inbox. 

To really make AI work for you, it’s crucial to feed it as much information as possible about your listings. The more relevant details and frequently asked questions you provide, the more accurate and helpful Guest Guru’s responses will be. Their AI leverages the information you import or provide as a host to answer guests’ questions effectively, ensuring quick responses and freeing up your time for more personalized guest interactions.

4. INTO

INTO specializes in conversational AI, bringing its expertise into the short-term rental industry to optimize the relationship between hosts and guests. In guest communication, INTO generates quality answers automatically, and helps agents edit, rephrase, translate, summarize a conversation, etc. It also controls the tone and format of those messages, allowing hosts to actively develop their brand without depending on agents.

INTO believes that customer service will be transformed using AI, and guests will be happier due to faster response times, more adequate answers, and better follow-up on tasks. STRs will be happier with better productivity, lower costs, and better control of the quality of their support to guests.

AI is there to help your guests get answers more efficiently, taking care of unfulfilling tasks so that people can spend more time doing what’s more fulfilling. It takes just five or six minutes to set up and supports 50 languages.

The Guesty integration gives you more functionality, which is both easy to learn and very powerful to use. INTO learns from every question and answer between agents (or you) and guests, plus information from listings, conversations, custom fields, saved replies, and more to draft its answers.

Guesty users get an exclusive freemium and an introductory offer.

5. Yada

Solutions like Yada.ai take huge amounts of travel and hospitality data and train their AI to provide relevant responses. This helps hosts automate their daily workflow, automating up to 70% of guest responses with accurate, helpful info. 

Setting up Yada requires a short integration (a few seconds), and a customer success call with their team, amounting to a few hours, and can save you hundreds of hours of responding to guests per month. 

Yada is available globally, in 135+ languages, connecting with Guesty’s Reservations, Guests, and Unified Inbox tools. Yada can read and understand incoming messages, and prepare a response based on your listing and other information you share about the property (stored in a listing knowledge base). It can then respond to common inquiries, either automatically or with your approval. It integrates with your direct booking website and provides a free chat to answer guests’ questions.

Yada is thrilled to be at the forefront of short-term rental automation and communications, using their proprietary AI to help “hosts host better” and guests enjoy their stays even more.

6. EnsoConnect

AI empowers small teams to be more efficient, quick, agile, data-driven, and customer-focused. And isn’t it the exact description of what short-term rental operators want to be? 

EnsoConnect offers AI-powered unified communications, among its features. GPT-4 integration in the platform allows Enso-connected operators to streamline guest queries, serve guests in their languages, and generate compelling guidebooks, clear check-in and checkout instructions, and personalized offers in seconds. EnsoAI also allows you to analyze guest data and sentiment to identify areas that require immediate attention and seize new business opportunities.

Your staff won’t be bogged down responding to the same wifi query 20 times a day; instead, with Enso Connect, they’ll be available for more nuanced guest support. With AI handling incoming queries, your agents won’t need to spend time looking up information or carefully crafting polite responses. AI can manage about 80% of these tasks, leaving agents to simply review or tweak the responses. They can also assist guests globally, regardless of language barriers. 

To effectively use EnsoAI through your Enso Connect account, some initial setup is necessary. The proper setup typically takes between 8 to 24 hours and requires consistent updates. However, once done, your team can expect to save about 30-60% of the time they would otherwise spend responding to guest inquiries.

On the guest side, the advantages include immediate responses with no waiting time, leading to a more seamless and efficient communication experience. Additionally, AI eliminates the potential for human errors or subjective responses that might arise from a hospitality agent who is overwhelmed or frustrated. This ensures that all guests receive accurate and impartial information, improving their overall experience and satisfaction with the service.

Enso Connect operates globally and serves customers in English and French. It two-way syncs all of your information from Guesty, including check-in and check-out times, messages as unique custom fields, etc. It’s also synced to Guesty’s robust messaging system.

6. Sparrow Intel

Sparrow Intel is the premier review-centric platform designed specifically for vacation rental hosts. With its origins rooted in prioritizing Guesty customers, it empowers hosts with seamless review management, automated responses, and insightful data to enhance their property portfolio. 

Sparrow enables hosts to actively seek reviews from guests inclined to provide positive feedback and lets you preemptively engage with guests who might otherwise leave a negative review, giving them an opportunity to address concerns before they escalate. A rules-based engine ensures a personalized touch, accompanied by automated review replies for streamlined communication. Sparrow goes above and beyond with a comprehensive quality dashboard, surfacing all relevant data from your reviews to provide a detailed overview of your property performance.

Sparrow Intel’s ultimate goal is to strike a harmonious balance by leveraging technology for efficiency while preserving the crucial human touch that guests value in the context of short-term rentals.

It’s crafted for a seamless and swift self-sign-up process, letting you effortlessly input your information, link your account to Guesty, and you’re all set! Sparrow will then automatically initiate the processing of user reviews and other data through the capabilities of ChirpAI.

This versatile solution is suitable for hosts of all sizes and operates globally across all geographies. Reviews, guests, private feedback, and all other guest-submitted content are translated and displayed in both English and the original language of the text.

Through close collaboration between the Sparrow Intel and Guesty teams, we have successfully ensured a smooth and reliable integration, enhancing the overall functionality and performance of Sparrow Intel within the Guesty ecosystem.

8. Revyoos

Revyoos offers a comprehensive suite of services tailored to the needs of property managers in the vacation rental space. These include:

  • Centralized review management: Empowering property managers by aggregating all their reviews on a single platform. This ensures better oversight and control, making review management more efficient and streamlined.
  • Marketing and trust building: By showcasing reviews directly on their websites using a widget, you can significantly increase direct bookings, enhancing your marketing efforts and fostering a sense of confidence among potential guests.
  • SEO enhancement: Add their widget to your website, and let it display rich snippets in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages, helping your properties to stand out and attract more organic traffic.
  • AI-powered communication: Integrating AI, specifically ChatGPT, Revyoos revolutionizes how property managers respond to reviews. This integration cuts down the time spent on responding to reviews by up to 80%, making the process not only faster but also more efficient. It allows for timely, consistent, and high-quality interactions with guests, enhancing overall communication.

Over 13,000 properties from more than 30 countries use Revyoos. The setup process is designed for maximum efficiency and user-friendliness for property managers, and there’s no need for manual data entry. Integrating Revyoos with Guesty is a streamlined and efficient process.

Revyoos operates globally, offering you the flexibility to set up accounts in your preferred language. Additionally, you can configure your review responses and translate reviews into all languages. 

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