Hostaway is a great property management tool, but it’s not for everyone.
If you’re looking to switch from Hostaway or invest in your first PMS, it’s important to pick the right Hostaway alternative. Get it wrong and you’ll be counting the days till the last guest departs and you can ditch your current, unwieldy tool.
But there are a lot of Hostaway alternatives out there, all promising similar features. So how do you know which is right for your business?
At Hostfully, we specialize in helping property owners and managers streamline and grow their business. So we reached out to our teams and scoured review sites to come up with the top 5 Hostaway alternatives to help you decide.
We’ve gone deep on features, pricing, and how they stack up against Hostaway.
In this piece, we’ll cover:
- Who Hostaway is for
- What to look for in a Hostaway alternative
- The 5 best Hostaway alternatives for vacation rental management
Who is Hostaway for?
Hostaway is a premium property management system (PMS) for professional vacation rental managers. It’s a great option if you’re looking to automate and scale your business without taking on more staff. Established in 2005, Hostaway has a reputation for being a reliable, user-friendly tool with good customer service.
What should you look for in a Hostaway alternative?
Here’s what we recommend you look for in a Hostaway alternative.
Let’s get one thing straight: pricing should not be your first consideration when choosing vacation rental software. That said, cripplingly high costs hamper your ability to grow, especially in the early stages.
Look for software solutions that are priced on a sliding scale, with discounts for volume. That way, the bigger your portfolio, the less you pay per property.
If you’re just starting out, look for a solution that lets you access most of the essential features on lower tiers. That way, you can try them out before upgrading.
You should also expect to pay a fee for onboarding, but some PMS discount this for long-term commitments. For example, if you sign up for an annual plan.
Full control and visibility
The point of a PMS is to simplify channel management. So, as a minimum, you need a calendar and/or dashboard that gives you an overview of all your channels and reservations.
If you can also get visibility on how potential bookings are moving through the pipeline, this is a huge added bonus. This lets you forecast more accurately and optimize your marketing efforts to maximize revenue.
Check out our vacation rental channel managers list for more on what to look for in a channel manager.
You also want full access to all your guest and owner data, present and past. This empowers you to build relationships and your customer base. Remarketing to former guests encourages repeat bookings, which maximizes marketing ROI. And robust, granular reporting features are essential to build trust with property owners.
Robust bookings engine
Direct bookings are essential to avoid online travel agency (OTA) fees and access guest data. So you need a tool that offers a website builder or online booking widget. You’ll also want integrations with common payment platforms like PayPal or Stripe.
Automation and task management features
Managing staff and fielding guest queries is a major time sink. So look for a tool with robust Airbnb automation features. For example, automatically adjusted cleaning schedules or auto-replies to common guest questions.
You also want a way to share essential pre- and in-stay information with guests without having to message them manually.
Your needs change as your business grows, and tech is changing all the time. So your rental property management tool needs to integrate with commonly used tools. Like vacation rental accounting software or dynamic pricing. If not, you could end up paying for an expensive tool you don’t use. Or, worse, be left struggling through high season as it’s too disruptive to change your PMS before the last guests leave.
Additional revenue creation opportunities
Many vacation rental managers miss out on additional revenue generation opportunities. Like in-stay upsells and cross-sells of experiences, amenities, or services. Look for a tool with features that lets you anticipate guest needs and interests. Then, you can reach out with timely offers.
5 Best Hostaway alternatives for vacation rental management
Now you know what to look for in a Hostaway alternative, let’s take a look at your options.
Founded in 2016, Hostfully is an end-to-end property management solution for vacation rental managers of all sizes. Since then, it’s achieved the prestigious VRMB Keystone award and Preferred Partner status with Airbnb, VRBO, and Booking.com. Whatever your portfolio size, it’s got all the features you need to grow and scale, with a price tag that won’t hold you back.
Hostfully key features
- Booking Pipeline. This is Hostfully’s stand-out differentiator. Most PMS only offer a calendar view but Hostfully lets you review all bookings in one easy-to-use dashboard. Even before confirmation. You can also assign leads to team members. And automate the entire guest experience workflow—from quotes to closing to cancellations. No other PMS gives you this much visibility.
- Digital Guidebooks. Leverage guest data in Hostfully to create customizable guidebooks. Use them to share important information and make recommendations. As well as personalizing the guest experience, guidebooks cut down on time spent fielding common guest questions. You can also use the Hostfully Marketplace to upsell additional services. Like early check-in, late check-out, mid-stay cleaning, rentals, tours, etc. Best of all, it’s browser-based so there’s no app for guests to download.
- Channel manager. Hostfully supports a wide range of local and international channel managers. So you can manage inventory and get exposure across hundreds of booking platforms.
- Central Calendar. Sync up all your properties across multiple listing sites.
- Out-of-the-box direct bookings and/or inventory widget that sits on your own website. No need to manage a separate site for direct bookings.
- Data management, analytics, and reporting. Access all your data from listing sites and OTAs to create and export custom owner reports and remarket to guests.
- Unified Inbox. All your messaging in one place. No more switching between tools and tabs.
- Automated messaging. Triggers and templates mean less time communicating with guests and staff and more time running your business.
- Robust API and wide range of Integrations. Connect to best-in-class third-party software providers. For example, payment processing and dynamic pricing tools like Wheelhouse, PriceLabs, and Beyond.
Hostfully starts at $109/month for up to four properties. This rises to $249 for 5-19 properties on the Pro & Pro Plus plan.
For 20 properties or more on a Premium plan, pricing varies with the size of your portfolio. Hostfully has a handy sliding scale to help you figure out which tier is right for you.
The one-time onboarding fee of $600 is waived on annual subscriptions.
Guesty is an advanced end-to-end PMS that offers a ton of features and a smooth, user-friendly experience. The company is well-funded and well-regarded in the industry.
Guesty key features
- Channel manager. The single dashboard and calendar integrate with numerous OTAs and channel managers. Real-time updates avoid double bookings and data discrepancies. You can also manually create reservations, adjust pricing, and set date-specific rules from the calendar.
- Overview page. This dashboard lets you see current and upcoming reservations, payments, check-ins, etc. at a glance.
- Centralized inbox. Communicate with guests over all your channels, including email.
- Multi-unit grouping. Group similar listings together to streamline management and maximize occupancy.
- Guest communication. This premium assigns an actual human to your account 24/7. This is a lifesaver for larger operations as you don’t need to hire staff to respond to out-of-hours issues.
- Automations and triggers. Send canned and auto-responses, customize multi-channel messaging sequences, and automate posting reviews. Other automations include auto-payment, collection of pre-stay information, tasks, agreements, and forms.
- Individual owner portals give each owner visibility into their properties.
- Direct bookings. Sync your existing website with the Guesty booking platform or use its website builder to create a dedicated site.
- Revenue management. Automatically adjust rates for individual dates, holidays, etc. You can also launch promotions, and offer perks, coupons, etc. to maximize revenue.
- Open API and large integrations marketplace. This includes major OTA players, dynamic pricing tools, payment integrations, etc.
- The mobile app lets you manage your business on the go.
For three listings or fewer, Guesty for Hosts charges on a sliding scale starting at $44 for one listing.
Over three listings, pricing for full-stack Guesty is customized according to your needs and portfolio. Guesty reportedly works on a commission basis, charging between 2-5% on all bookings.
LiveRez is another all-in-one tool that’s great for property managers juggling multiple properties, owners, and large teams. It works on a partnership model, so the idea is that you’d sign up for the full suite of tools to get the most out of it.
LiveRez key features
- Direct booking sites that integrate with LiveRez tools. Websites feature “FOMO” elements like “% booked” banners, featured properties, and upsells. Unlike some direct booking sites, you can control search engine optimization (SEO). Also, which reviews get posted.
- LiveList direct OTA connections are available as an additional feature.
- The Dashboard shows approved reservations by month.
- The Calendar shows all your properties with color-coded reservations. You can also view property info and reply to guest messages right from the calendar.
- The LiveTrust certified proprietary accounting platform connects to your reservation system and operations platform. This is great for those needing advanced accounting, stakeholder statements, etc.
- The LiveComms CRM lets you customize messaging sequences that auto-populate with guest information. And the campaign manager lets you track leads, communicate, and assign them to team members.
- Owner portals let each owner view their calendar, statements, reservations, and add bookings.
- LiveManager automates tasks and workflows. Teams can access work orders on a mobile-responsive website. Automatically completed orders also sync with invoicing.
LiveRez is custom priced on a pay-for-performance model. It doesn’t publish pricing on the website but has provided an estimate of $550 per month on review sites.
Formerly Smartbnb, Hospitable excels at automating guest messaging and check-in. So it’s ideal for owner-managers or scaling companies that want to run a leaner operation.
Hospitable key features
- Automated messaging. Hospitable’s AI automatically detects and responds to common questions. For everything else, there are triggers, templates, and canned responses. You can even automate review requests and guest reviews.
- Centralized inbox. Get an overview of reservations; messages are enriched with information from reviews, ratings, ID verification, etc.
- The channel manager syncs to Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo, Homelidays, Bookabach, Abritel, FeWo-direkt, and Stayz. The central calendar lets you push smart pricing to all channels, as well as manually add bookings.
- Direct bookings. Create your own website or embed Hospitable’s widget. Payment integrations aren’t yet available, but they’re in the pipeline.
- Operations manager. Assign roles and property access permissions, set rules to automatically assign tasks, and notify your team via email or SMS.
- Smart locks integrations automate check-in and streamline staffing costs.
Hospitable charges a flat fee of €20 per month for up to two properties. After that, it’s priced on a sliding scale.
For 20 properties, you’ll pay €152/month (+ VAT if in the EU). However, you’re only charged for the other properties with check-ins within the last 30 days.
You can try Hospitable free for 14 days and cancel anytime.
Smoobu was originally developed in Europe. This means it’s strong on European languages and channels. It’s also a Preferred Partner of Airbnb, Premier Partner for Booking.com, and partners with Expedia.
- Channel manager. Sync rates, entire listings, and/or sub-units to your major channels, including specific, local European local ones.
- Reservations. The “Cockpit” dashboard shows a single calendar view of bookings, guest information, KPIs, and activity.
- The CRM saves data from guests and connected booking portals and supports sending third-party newsletters or SMS.
- Invoices are dynamically created based on booking data, including cross-sells like amenities, etc.
- Direct bookings. The no-code CMS integrates with other tools and online payments and translates into over 25 languages. You can also integrate Smoobu’s booking engine or calendar into your website.
- Centralized inbox and automated guest messaging. Smoobu also integrates with Booking.com and Airbnb messaging APIs. Plus, you can read, answer, and write Airbnb reviews directly in the platform.
- Digital check-in and smart locks integrations.
- The multi-language guest guide provides useful information, and FAQs, and enables upselling.
- Mobile app.
Smoobu Pro starts at $26.58 for 1 unit or $174.10 for a Team plan. Pro pricing rises to $183.73 for 20 units on an annual plan and $331.25 for Teams. Sign up for two years to get a 20% discount.
Smoobu also has a free, self-serve plan that includes the website, reservation system, and basic stats.
Try it free for 14 days.
Hostaway alternatives: choose the right one for your business
If you’re looking for a Hostaway alternative, first, think about which features you need to run your business. These will depend on the size of your teams and portfolio. Also, your stage of growth and plans for the future.
As a minimum, you need a robust booking engine, channel management, automation, and reporting features. Full control and visibility over your pipeline and data is also essential. And you’ll need a solid API and a wide range of integrations with OTAs and common tools. All these help streamline operations and allow you to grow.
Prioritize factors like these over pricing, but be sure you’re not paying too much for features you don’t use. Especially in the early stages of growth.
Hostfully is a cost-effective, full-stack PMS that offers all the same functionality for businesses of all sizes.
Frequently asked questions about Hostaway alternatives
Is there an alternative to Hostaway channel manager?
There are many alternatives to Hostaway channel manager. If you’re looking for comparable features and reliability at an affordable price, Hostfully is a good choice.
How much does it cost to use Hostaway?
Hostaway doesn’t publish pricing on its website but most estimates put it at $50 per property. It also offers commission-based pricing for larger vacation rental management companies. For exact pricing, you’ll need to book a call with the Hostaway sales team.
Does Hostaway offer guides, tutorials and or customer support?
Hostaway supports users during onboarding, for a fee, and has a help center covering topics relating to setup and use. It also offers ongoing customer support via phone or email 24 -hours a day Monday to Friday.
Does Hostaway offer an API?
Hostaway offers an API that allows users to create and edit listings, reservations, and calendars across multiple booking channels. A wide range of integrations ensures you’ll be able to connect to the most common tools and OTAs.