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I was looking for some input regarding vacation rental software.
What are you using? Pros/Cons?
I am considering Escapia but the cost is quite steep and have heard a few customer service issues.
Any input would be appreciated.
I've been very happy with Escapia-it's been about 3 years that we have been with them. It may be cost prohibitive for the small guy but we've got 45 cabins now and I find it well worth it.
I am using vacationrentaldesk.com. It is a great site with very good service and easy to set up and use. It is my online booking site. I link to it from Homeaway and VRBO. I just wish they would let me create a large ONLINE booking Button for prospective customers that was visible at the top of the listing. However, it is not a complete accounting system and you still need some kind of package to track expenses. I run on a Mac and was using Quickbooks for Mac until I discovered at the end of last year that it cannot create an output for their TurboTax software (only the Windows version provides this file). I now use iBank to track my checkbook and capture my expenses. It is far easier and links to most bank account systems. Then I can export in reports my sales data for the revenue side of the picture.
Ive managed two properties for 8 years and found that managing it on paper was not time well spent for me. I decided to develop a solution specifically for the vacation rental by owner who manages 1-3 units. It automates the inquiry reply process to give renters an answer to their questions, are you available and how much is it? You can step away from your email and let the system capture bookings for you. I also wanted it to be affordable. We only charge a single yearly low fee of 199 to use all the functionality of the software. Last year I had 750 inquiries for one of my properties. I love knowing that I didnt have to type up each reply manually. Visit www.myvrms.com for more info.
I have taken a quick look at your software and it looks interesting. It offers some benefits over the software I currently use but appears to lack flexibility in some areas that I require and my current software addressess. In particular I am interested in your auto responder portion as that would be a great time saver. You on line booking lacks (my perception and it could be wrong) the ability to set up various fees and special services beyond the cleaning fee. For example I offer travel insurance, rental damage insurance and golf cart rental as options to renters. I am also considering offering a catered meal so renters can relax on arrival to a nice hot gourmet dinner, etc.
If this is addressed to me, please feel free to call me.
If clicking on the "BOOK ONLINE NOW" blue button
below does not take you to the on line booking site,
copy the link shown below into your web browser:
i have this same challenge. i picked up 250 inquiries in 8 months for a new property (maybe I should up the price a bit). i have looked at some of the online hosted solutions, but they charge almost as much, or more than my listing fees with homeaway / vrbo and don´t generate any traffic. I can´t justify paying it.
at this point, tracking the inquiries has been a big time sink. would be great if people replied to price quotes so I could retire the conversation, but they don´t always do that.
The annual costs for sites that help you manage your listing very depending on your needs and the amount of flexibility you require; however, unless you have a lot of free time, you can spend a lot of time (much of it non-productive) in responding to people that are just window shopping. Then depending on your policies and their complexity, managing the process itself when you have a rental takes time. My solution is to charge a $45 booking fee. That is such a small percentage of the rental price that I have not had one customer complain about it and it more than offsets the cost of the online software I use to help manage the property. $200 to $300 a year to help with a business that brings in $40K to $60K a year is not an extravagant expense and well worth it to me.
Hi jill! If you want software that works great, very easy to use and automatically keeps you organized then maybe you would be interested in http://www.rentalcommand.com/ plus there is always live help! also, it's web based so you dont even have to download anything, its almost like an email account.
Escapia (currenlty owned by homeaway) does have its pros/cons. How big is your operation? how many units do you manage?
With the industry growth there are a ton of options out there. I have a good list of quality companies. But each cater to different company sizes and offer uniqe features. Let me know more of what you are looking for and I can extend some advice.