Vacation Rental PMS Versus Manual Tools

Mar 29, 2018 | Property Management Software, Vacation Rental Industry

As an agent managing several vacation properties or other short-term rentals, you have to choose which tools and work practices are best for your business. All agents have the option of selecting a Property Management Software (PMS) solution, working with separate manual tools, or using a combination of both.

Agents have a lot on their plate: dealing directly with prospects and guests, marketing their owner rentals, managing bookings and payments, overseeing cleaning and check-in processes, and handling maintenance issues are all part of your daily routine. At a strategic level, providing exemplary service, growing your business, and adhering to good business management practices are also always front of mind.

Most agents are serious, hard-working professionals. Yet, despite their herculean efforts, all agents using manual tools eventually hit a wall. This happens sooner than most realize or want to admit to themselves.

Whether you manage a few properties or hundreds, manual tools inhibit both speed and precision. The bigger your portfolio, the more this is true, but even with your first property, there are competing trade-offs. For example, it is surely possible to increase your speed without changing the way you work. However, this means only working harder, and your precision will in turn suffer for it. The reverse is also true.

Prioritize precision, and you will work more slowly. Response times will be delayed, conversion rates will be lower, and your growth will be restricted. It doesn’t have to be this way. A good PMS not only improves your performance across your workflow, it enables you to transcend trade-offs between all your key performance areas.

Is Property Management Software right for your business? Consider the following:

How do you spend your time?

Is much of your time spent doing the same repetitive tasks day in and day out? With manual tools, there is no avoiding this. A good PMS doesn’t just eliminate repetitive work for simple tasks. These days, it can do the same for highly complex tasks as well. Crucially, this does not have to mean giving up any control over your business. The right PMS can eliminate up to 90% of your current admin work and free up your time to focus on more strategic concerns.

Are you on top of your errors?

Ironically, not having proper reporting and accounting that’s integrated with the rest of your rental management work flow not only makes errors more likely, it makes them much harder to detect. The truth is, everyone makes errors with manual tools because we are humans, and the busier you are, the costlier your mistakes are likely to be. Good software solves this problem. It prevents the vast majority of errors in the first place and provides the insight you need to be assured of this. On the rarer occasions where mistakes do occur, a good PMS will help you see and rectify them instantly.

Is most of your effort focused on growth and providing exemplary customer service?

Every minute spent on repetitive and manual tasks, dealing with errors, not only costs money, but it also has an even higher opportunity cost in time taken away from bigger priorities. A good PMS will not only free you up to focus on these things; it will arm you with precisely the integrated tools you need to excel at them.

The search for a new vacation rental PMS provider is a challenging process that will have far-reaching implications for your business and operations. The challenge is entirely worth it, but it is important to find a solid platform that is right for your needs.

What’s the best PMS platform for your vacation rental business? We will tell you everything you need to know in a future post.