Why Effective Vacation Rental Property Management Software Matters


Hospitality businesses are complicated. So many moving parts need to be managed effectively and efficiently to keep everything humming along smoothly, including the front desk, housekeeping, grounds maintenance, and of course your restaurants and attractions.

Guest wants and needs are constantly changing, and the need for accommodation providers to stay current is an absolute necessity, more so than ever before. Over 80% of Americans book accommodations online, so much of the management of guests and their needs takes place over the Internet. You probably already have some sort of online booking system and likely list with a bunch of online travel agencies (OTAs), but what is the experience like for your guests? Is it as good as it could be?

The need for effective vacation rental property management software can be illustrated by looking at the current situation with campgrounds in the United States. Campground shortages are not unusual, but it’s not necessarily because of a lack of availability. In most cases, it’s because people are panic-booking months in advance because they have FOMO (fear of missing out), but then they either forget or don’t bother to cancel because cancellations are difficult to navigate, so they’d rather eat the cancellation fee.

This means that there are tons of campsites that are sitting empty when they could be filled with campers—but technically the campground is “full” because the spots are reserved. This issue happens across the country, with both state park campgrounds and privately run campgrounds.



This is just one issue that effective vacation rental property management software can help solve—empowering guests to make changes to their reservations quickly and easily, including canceling if they change their mind. 

In this article, we explore more about the importance of property management vacation rental software, including how it increases the efficiency of how you manage your property, and tips for choosing effective software. 

Brief History of Vacation Property Management


Vacation rentals have been around for hundreds of years, but of course, far in the past, most vacation properties were meant for nobility. From luxurious castles in the early 1600s to the first timeshares popping up in the 1800s, people have always wanted to be able to get away from it all for a little while. 

Whether you owned a resort or just wanted to get some extra cash by renting out your apartment while working abroad, the need for reliable and effective vacation property management software quickly became apparent. Some industry experts look at one of the first offerings, a simple DOS-based program from back in the day called First Resort Software (FRS), which was apparently the pinnacle of usefulness and reliability, so much so that property managers everywhere continued to use it even when it became obsolete—and only stopped using it when support for it from other software in their tech stack became non-existent.

What made FRS so great wasn’t its bells and whistles, it was its reliability. Hospitality industry professionals could trust the software to do what they needed it to do—from accounting to reporting—and do it reliably. Of course, these fundamental needs haven’t changed with the passage of time, but the complexity of effective property management has.

The early 2000s saw the emergence of the online travel agency. These platforms, which aggregate accommodations based on a traveler’s preferences and handle the booking process from start to finish, even including flights and other travel arrangements in some cases, quickly became extremely popular. These days, accommodation providers must take advantage of OTAs in many cases to increase awareness of their business and secure bookings. Even though OTAs do take a commission for successful bookings, they are just as much of a partner for accommodation providers as they are a competitor, as the billboard effect often helps them land more direct bookings, especially for repeat customers. 

How Does Property Management Vacation Rental Software Work?


Think of vacation property management software as the central core of your business. The data that’s in that system feeds into all of the other pieces of software that your business uses on a daily basis to keep track of reservations and tasks. In other words, property management vacation rental software works as a comprehensive solution designed to streamline and automate various aspects of managing vacation rental properties.

Centralized software is important because it allows you to have a single source of truth for all of the information that flows through your business and enables every employee to be able to access the information they need while allowing you to still maintain the security of sensitive data through robust administrative controls. 

But that’s just one part of vacation rental property management software. Each piece of software is going to have different functionality, but we can give you insight into how Newbook works. With Newbook, you can combine every aspect of your accommodation business management into one easy-to-use system, with property management at the core:

  • The built-in channel manager allows you to manage every OTA you list from one place, rather than having to visit each website and rely on their native tools.
  • Dynamic pricing allows you to “set it and forget it” when it comes to managing the prices of your accommodations. Simply set a minimum and maximum price for your properties, and the system uses current and historical market and internal data to set the right price at the right time.
  • An online booking system with interactive maps, dynamic recommendations (so if a guest chooses a date that’s already booked, it can recommend similar dates or a different type of accommodation instead), and built-in upselling (the guest wants a bottle of wine for their room, or to rent a kayak? No problem, it can all be taken care of during the booking process), guests will be able to easily book with you directly. 
  •  A centralized reservation system shows you all your bookings in one location, regardless of where they come from for easier management.
  • The ability to integrate and connect with tons of different popular hotels, RV parks, and campground software makes it easy to customize Newbook to your business’s needs. 
channel manager newbook

Vacation Rental Property Management Services vs. Software

Looking up information for vacation rental property management is going to provide you with two types of information: vacation rental property management services and vacation rental management software. 

A vacation rental property manager is a person who handles overseeing your property (or properties) for you, rather than you having to be onsite. If you hire a company that provides vacation rental property management services, this person will be a professional who works for them. The price for services, as you can imagine, ranges. A typical property management company will charge between 8–12% of the total rent collected each month for an apartment rental. This cost ranges even further for vacation rental property management companies, from 10–50% of total revenue collected for a certain period. Of course, other payment structures, like commission, flat fee, and more can be negotiated. 

Most property management companies are quite flexible as well, so you can do a hybrid owner/property manager relationship where you handle some tasks and they handle others. Here is an example of how this could work:

  1. You set up online listings, but the property manager handles any inquiries.
  2. You pay for services on an ad-hoc basis. Some property management companies will allow you to pay for services as needed, meaning that you can reach out periodically for help when you feel overwhelmed.
  3. Full-service property management companies may discount their commission rate if you can guarantee a certain number of bookings. This might be a good idea if you still want to play an active role in your bookings. 

Software, on the other hand, isn’t really an alternative to rental property management services but is instead the digital foundation on which your business runs, so it’s important to not get confused and think that you can implement property management software and it will take care of the majority of tasks for you. While there are automations and efficiency advantages to the software, it isn’t meant to replace the job of a property manager. 

Benefits of Vacation Rental Property Management Tools

Vacation Rental Property Management Tools offer a multitude of benefits for property owners, managers, and guests alike. Here are some key advantages:

Vacation Rental Property Management Software BenefitDescription
Increased operational efficiency – Automation: Streamlines various tasks, such as booking confirmations, check-in/check-out procedures, and communication, reducing manual effort.
– Task scheduling: Enables automated scheduling of cleaning, maintenance, and other essential tasks, ensuring the property is well-maintained.
Helps provide an enhanced guest experience– Online booking: Provides guests with the convenience of making bookings online, improving the overall booking experience.
– Guest portal: Empowers guests to make changes to their stay via a self-service guest portal, so they don’t have to wait for assistance from customer service or the front desk.
Better optimized pricing and revenue– Dynamic pricing: Utilizes algorithms to adjust pricing based on demand, seasonality, and other factors, optimizing revenue.
– Transaction tracking: Allows property owners to track financial transactions, monitor revenue, and manage expenses efficiently.
Effective marketing and online visibility– Channel management: Integrates with multiple channels, expanding the property’s visibility on platforms like Airbnb,, and VRBO.
– Listing optimization: Helps optimize property listings for multiple OTAs in one place so you don’t have to rely on native tools for each platform.
Security and trust– Secure payment processing: Implements secure payment gateways, ensuring the protection of financial transactions.
– Guest verification: Enhances security by implementing guest verification processes, minimizing the risk of fraudulent bookings.
Integration with other tools– Compatibility with other software: Integrates with other tools such as accounting software, CRM systems, and marketing platforms, creating a cohesive ecosystem for property management.
– Adaptability to growth: Scales with the growth of the property portfolio, accommodating the needs of expanding vacation rental businesses.

Insights for Choosing the Best Vacation Property Management Tool

Implementing a vacation property management system is all about efficiency. Accommodation owners have a wide range of daily tasks that they need to complete each day, tasks which have to be planned and completed carefully and efficiently to ensure that the business runs smoothly. Any hiccups or glitches in the process can lead to significant rushing to catch up, which can easily lead to mistakes that can have a significant impact on the business. 

A property management system can help by automating certain tasks, which reduces human error and saves time, as well as streamline workflow. However, choosing an effective vacation rental property management system requires knowing what you want from the solution and what to look for. 

Here are some key tips for choosing the best vacation property management tool for your business:

1. Integrations

It’s important that your tech stack, aka. The other systems you use on a daily basis for your business can talk to each other effectively. This way, you’re making sure that no data or information is isolated in one system. Since the PMS is the core of your business, it should be able to support a wide variety of integrations. Some vacation property rental management platforms like Newbook have built-in software for the majority of your needs, like a channel manager, revenue management functionality, online booking, a centralized reservation system, and more, but Newbook also supports hundreds of integrations to ensure that your system plays nicely with all the software that you use for your business. 

2. Cost vs. Features

Considering that your vacation rental property management system is a significant investment in your business, you might be tempted to go with the first Google search result that you come across. But the smarter way of choosing a great PMS for your business is to compare prices and features offered and choose the one that fits your business’s actual needs.

The best way to approach choosing a great piece of software is to make a list of essential features and features that would be nice to have. 

For example:

  • A built-in channel management system might be a feature that you would consider essential, as can significantly improve your bookings
  • Dynamic pricing is also a great feature to look into, as it can help you optimize your prices to attract more guests during busier and slower times by staying competitive. 

Once you have your list, you can use a website like Software Advice, G2, Capterra, or others to filter your criteria and compare different options. These websites usually allow you to compare features and prices, so you can get a good idea of what a solution with everything you need should cost. 

3. Implementation 

A great onboarding, training, and implementation plan can do wonders for your experience with a product or service. Of course, the vacation property management software should be easy to use, but you’ll likely still need help from the vendor to handle implementation and training to a point. Usually, the vendor will provide advice or direct help with things like data transfer (it’s important to have clean data to transfer to a new system, so you’ll want to take the time to audit your existing data beforehand), general training, and setting up the integrations with the rest of your software. 

Keep in mind that some vendors may charge extra for more comprehensive training. With Newbook, you’ll get a dedicated account manager who will remain a partner with you through the entire onboarding process, including setting up the database and importing historical data from your previous system (or whatever you were using before), as well as four hours of comprehensive training.

booking system newbook

Increasing Efficiency of Short-Term Vacation Rental Property Management


Improving the efficiency of short-term vacation rental property management is crucial for maximizing revenue, enhancing guest satisfaction, and streamlining operations. 

Here are strategies to increase efficiency:

1. Implement Dynamic Pricing

A robust dynamic pricing tool is like a little robot buddy that can do math in an instant, using factors like demand, seasonality, and local events to adjust your prices without you having to lift a finger. By implementing dynamic pricing, you can ensure your revenue generation efforts from rooms, units, or campsites sold are optimized by making sure that prices align with market conditions.

2. Channel Management Integration

Integrate your property management system with channel management tools to synchronize property information, rates, and availability across various online platforms. This prevents double bookings and ensures consistency.

3. Invest in Employee Training

Train your staff on the efficient use of property management tools and processes. Well-trained staff can handle tasks more effectively, reducing errors and improving overall operational efficiency.

4. Focus on Enhancing the Guest Experience

Improving the overall guest experience to encourage positive reviews and repeat bookings. Providing amenities, local recommendations, and personalized touches can contribute to guest satisfaction.

5. Streamline Check-in and Check-out Processes

Implement self-check-in options (like utilizing Newbook’s guest portal or self-service kiosks) and provide clear check-out instructions to minimize the need for direct staff involvement. This enhances the guest experience and reduces operational bottlenecks.

self service kiosks newbook

Why Newbook Is One of the Best Vacation Rental Property Management Companies

best vacation rental property

Newbook combines a wide range of essential functions that every accommodation provider needs, from property management to revenue management, into one easy-to-use system. Regardless of whether you own a hotel, RV park, or campground, Newbook is a solution that is able to be effective for all types of accommodation businesses, large and small. 

By consolidating essential software components required by accommodations businesses— encompassing property management, channel management, online booking, and payment systems, along with a robust reservations system—into a unified software platform, the foundational elements of your vacation rental business’s backend are readily available. This serves as the starting point from which you can effortlessly incorporate additional features through the integrations store, customizing Newbook into a specialized solution perfectly suited to your business needs.

Newbook also puts importance on:

  • Emphasizing collaboration: At Newbook, we view our relationship with customers as a collaborative partnership, prioritizing exceptional support from onboarding onwards. Our commitment is rooted in the belief that customers should derive the maximum benefit from our software.
  • Persistent customer support: Our commitment extends beyond the purchase; expect ongoing support, tailored improvement suggestions, and prompt responses to inquiries. The customer relationship doesn’t conclude with a transaction – it’s a continuous journey with dedicated support.
  • Security and accountability: Newbook hosts the software on Amazon Web Services, with data storage on U.S. soil. For security, we partner with the leaders in encryption, threat anomaly, penetration testing, and more to maintain our strict protocols.

Unrivaled uptime assurance: While many software providers tout a 99% uptime guarantee, the .99 difference that Newbook offers is crucial:

Reliability Rate BreakdownWhat it Means
99%99% uptime translates to a potential outage of 3 days, 15 hours, and 39 minutes annually.
99.99%99.99% uptime means only 52 minutes and 35 seconds of potential outage annually.
booking system newbook


The significance of effective vacation rental property management software cannot be overstated, particularly in the ever-evolving landscape of hospitality businesses. With over 80% of Americans booking accommodations online, the digital realm plays a pivotal role in managing guest expectations and needs. The current scenario with campgrounds in the United States highlights the importance of addressing issues like panic bookings and cancellations efficiently.

Effective vacation rental property management software, exemplified by solutions like Newbook, serves as the central core of a business, streamlining and automating various tasks. This includes channel management, dynamic pricing, online booking systems, and centralized reservation management. The historical perspective emphasizes the enduring need for reliable and effective property management solutions, with early systems like First Resort Software setting the standard for reliability.

Learn more about Newbook and how our software can help increase your revenue by reaching out to us today

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