The kinds of features offered by online and cloud-based property management software vary from platform to platform. Some provide only basic features, while others are more comprehensive.
Here is a property management software features checklist detailing the many available tools to help short-term and vacation rental managers run their businesses more efficiently:
1. Channel Manager
This tool is a must for any property manager with multiple listings on multiple booking platforms. Integrated channel manager tools help with property inventory management by syncing the calendars across all of these channels. This way, when a booking is made through one channel, it reflects on the calendars of the other channels, removing the risk of double bookings.
Channel managers also allow property managers to update aspects of their listings, like pricing and descriptions, on all of their channels simultaneously, as well as push their listings from one booking agency to another so they can easily increase their exposure.
2. Centralized Calendar
A centralized calendar provides short-term property managers with the ability to view all past, current and upcoming reservations in one location, regardless of how or where those reservations were made.
3. Unified Inbox
This tool aims to make guest communication easier by centralizing all messages in one inbox, even if they were sent through the inbox features of different channels.
4. Automation Tools
Automation technology designed for short-term property managers automates routine operations, like adjusting prices according to pre-set rules, creating and scheduling tasks for personnel, activating payments, responding to inquiries and sending important information to guests at specific stages throughout the guest journey.
5. Reporting Tools
Reporting tools organize data into clear, comprehensive, customizable reports that can then be shared with relevant parties, like staff members or homeowners.
6. Analytics Tools
Property management software with built-in analytics tools provide managers with actionable insights into their business performance based on a range of factors, such as occupancy rates, income, seasonality and more.
7. Task Management Tools
Some software will offer tools to help facilitate the generation, assignment and monitoring of staff tasks, including cleanings, maintenance, reception and more.
8. Payment Processing
For reservations that are made outside of online booking channels, management solutions generally offer a payment feature, capable of securely processing payments for the reservations themselves or for other guest charges.
While many property management solutions offer variations of the above features, the following tools are somewhat less universal, but helpful nonetheless:
9. Native Mobile App
A property management mobile app enables property managers to utilize much of the functionality of their software remotely or on the go.
10. Booking Site Builder
Some property management software companies build a branded website for clients where they can process bookings independently of online travel agencies. The software pulls all of the client’s listings from its database and pushes them to the direct booking site.
11. Owners Portal
This feature provides homeowners with a separate dashboard where they can view relevant information about their properties, including their reservation schedules, and block specific dates for them to use their properties.
12. Accounting Solutions
An accounting solution that is integrated with a larger property management platform can help simplify and automate the processes involved in tracking and reporting payments.