Guesty: Everything You Need To Know About This Popular Vacation Rental App

By Hotel Tech Report

Last updated October 18, 2022

5 min read


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Searching for a property management system for your vacation rental business? Or perhaps you’re seeking to upgrade to a system with more functionality? If you’ve done any shopping around, you’ve probably come across Guesty, one of the most popular systems in the vacation rental space. But it can be difficult to draw conclusions about any potential technology vendor simply by browsing their salesy website. That’s why, in this article, we’ll share an unbiased, in-depth review of Guesty so you can decide whether it’s a good contender for your business. We’ll walk through Guesty’s main features, some pros and cons, and the onboarding process so you can get a good picture of what it would be like to use the system. Let’s dive in!

Guesty’s Essential Features

Guesty aims to give vacation rental owners, managers, and operators all the tools they need to manage their business. In addition to reservation management features, Guesty also includes support for payments, reporting, channel management, and more.

 

Reservation Management

One of Guesty’s most important features is reservation management. Once you connect Guesty to your various booking channels (or to your channel manager), the system compiles all of your reservations in one central multi-calendar. This calendar allows you to see all of your reservations, organized by date, listing, booking channel, and status, in one place. You can move and modify reservations, and you can manually create reservations and add blocks. In addition, you can see current availability, nightly rates, and restrictions on the multi-calendar page.

If you click into a reservation, you can view and edit information about the reservation and the guest. For instance, if a guest wants to add a night to their stay, it’s easy enough to modify the check-out date. Similarly, you can update a guest’s contact information, arrival time, and even configure custom fields to reflect if a guest needs parking, is bringing a pet, or has some other special requests.

 

Guest Communication

Along with managing reservations, Guesty makes it easy to communicate with guests by synchronizing all communication from your booking channels into one central inbox. For example, you can direct your Airbnb messages and Vrbo messages to flow into Guesty so you don’t need to work off of two independent inboxes. In addition, Guesty has a slew of automation options that allow you to take manual outreach off your to-do list. You can build email and SMS templates that contain your confirmation message, check-in instructions, a post-stay request for a guest review, and more. You can schedule these messages to send automatically. When guests respond, you can even build automation that sends replies based on specific keywords or phrases. Some other automation options include reviewing guests on Airbnb and collecting deposits or payments.

 

Billing

Speaking of collecting payments, Guesty has an integrated payment processor that makes accounting a breeze. You can build payment schedules that automatically charge guest credit cards according to your policies, and the system lets you charge manually too. Guesty breaks down fees into separate line items for clear reporting, and you can send receipts to guests with just a few clicks. The system can also securely store guest payment information, which is a valuable feature for operators who get a lot of repeat guests. Guesty integrates with Stripe for effortless payment processing.

 

Listing & Channel Management

In order to use all of Guesty’s features, you need to set up your listings within the system. Guesty was built for vacation rental operators, so unlike some other hotel-oriented systems that made adjustments to suit vacation rentals, Guesty was purpose-built. Whether you run a vacation home, a group of apartments, a yurt, or something else, the system has the right settings to make sure your listings are accurate. Notably, Guesty supports multi-unit inventory, so if you manage 10 identical apartments, you can set up one representative listing, which saves time and can drive better results.

Your listings can connect to your own website or to a variety of third-party channel. Guesty supports direct integrations with Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, and Expedia, plus a channel manager connection to RentalsUnited, which can connect you to dozens more booking sites.

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THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
21 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn More

Guesty is an end-to-end solution for professional short-term property managers, with innovative features designed to make every part of your job easier.

Product logo
Guesty Vacation Rental Software
THE PITCH
RATINGS
21 HT Score

Guesty is an end-to-end solution for professional short-term property managers, with innovative features designed to make every part of your job easier.

Learn More
Image
THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
100 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn More

Get your vacation rentals seen by +100 Million travellers every month! By using Rentals United central calendar we will automatically update all the listing sites that you want to advertise your properties on - and all the bookings they make will update your Rentals United central calendar.

Product logo
Rentals United Channel Manager
THE PITCH
RATINGS
100 HT Score

Get your vacation rentals seen by +100 Million travellers every month! By using Rentals United central calendar we will automatically update all the listing sites that you want to advertise your properties on - and all the bookings they make will update your Rentals United central calendar.

Learn More

Guesty Pros and Cons

Besides these key features, what else makes Guesty stand out from the pack? Where does Guesty have some opportunity to improve? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons. 

 

Guesty Pros:

  • Integrations: Guesty can integrate with many other apps. For instance, it can get rate recommendations from VR pricing tools like PriceLabs, Wheelhouse, and Buoy, and it can sync check-in and check-out data with housekeeping management tools like Breezeway and RoomChecking. Other notable integrations include RemoteLock, Zapier, UpsellGuru, and LuggageHero.

  • Owner support: Guesty offers unique functionality for vacation rental owners and management companies. Managers who use Guesty for day-to-day tasks can configure special permissions for owners and give them access to an Owner Portal that shows stats like nights booked, occupancy, and average nightly rate. Without a system like Guesty, managers would have to pull this reporting manually and send it to owners.

  • Updates: Because Guesty is cloud-based, you’ll always have access to the latest version of the software. Guesty constantly makes improvements and launches new features, often based on suggestions from its user base, and these features are introduced throughout the year.

 

Guesty Cons:

  • Cost: Guesty is packed with features, which means it comes at a higher cost than other less sophisticated systems. Guesty charges a flat monthly (or annual) fee, and property managers must also pay payment processing fees. Compared to some other systems that charge a percentage of booked revenue or a fee per reservation, Guesty may be more expensive. 

  • Feature overload: For some vacation rental hosts, Guesty might offer a little too much functionality, and it can take a while to learn the system. Hosts with one or two properties might be better served by a simpler, less expensive system that doesn’t include unnecessary bells and whistles.

  • Hands-on help: If you get stuck, Guesty’s team is available to assist – via email. Depending on the size of your business, you may be assigned a dedicated account manager, otherwise you’ll open a ticket with the general support team, and they will email back. Guesty does not offer support over the phone, which can be a pain point for some hosts and property managers.

Guesty Onboarding & Pricing

 If you’re interested in using Guesty for your business, we recommend that you do a demo of the software before making any commitments. During the demo, you can see how the system works for yourself, and you’ll have access to a sales rep who can answer any questions. Once you’re confident in your decision to use Guesty, you can choose between a monthly or annual contract. Guesty’s fees are based on portfolio size; one unit costs $44 per month on an annual plan, and additional units cost slightly less. Guesty is available to property managers worldwide, though most of their features and documentation is in English only. Onboarding is quite simple if you have just a few units and are not using a property management system already, but it can be more complicated for larger businesses who are transitioning from one system to another.

Is Guesty Right For You?

Now that you have a deeper understanding of Guesty, you can decide whether it might be a good technology solution for your vacation rental business. Guesty is ideal for larger vacation rental businesses who manage many units and juggle relationships with multiple owners. Guesty probably isn’t the best option for hotels, single-unit hosts, or hosts that are looking for the most cost-effective system. However, smaller vacation rental businesses can still find that Guesty is worth the price, particularly by leveraging its automation tools. Overall, Guesty is one of the most-loved vacation rental property management systems and a true pioneer in this sector of the industry.

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Hotel Tech Report
Hotel Tech Report is the world's largest online community for technology insights and digital transformation strategies in the massive hotel industry serving over 204,000 hoteliers each month. We arm hotel owners and managers with the tools they need to leverage modern digital technologies and solve real-world business problems.