Avalara MyLodgeTax > Blog > Rental Tips & Advice > Software help for managing your Airbnb

Software help for managing your Airbnb

  • Sep 20, 2018 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

software user

Managing a successful short-term rental requires hosts to wear many hats — entrepreneur, concierge, accountant, tax expert, reservations agent, staff manager, designer, web master, and more. It’s a lot to take on, especially for short-term rental hosts with busy bookings or more than one property.

Luckily, busy hosts can get technological help with many of the tasks associated with running a short-term rental. Here are some features to look for when considering short-term rental software.

Cloud-based: Short-term rental software is increasingly cloud-based rather than existing only on your computer at home. When you use cloud-based software, you can access it wherever you can get online and get live updates.

Mobile functionality: Being able to use your software on a mobile phone makes life easier for you and anyone else using your software, including guests and staff. This can save you a lot of time and allow you to manage your rental on the go.

Multiple features: Most short-term rental software provides a variety of features, although some focus more on one area than others. It’s important to choose software based on what you really need it to do, as you may not need all the bells and whistles.

Here are some features common to short-term rental software and suggestions for programs that can help make your life easier as a short-term rental host.

Booking management

There are several different types of software out there to assist short-term rental hosts with bookings, helping you keep track of who’s renting which property on which dates and communicating with guests. If you book through Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, or another online rental platform, you’ll want booking management software that integrates with those platforms.

Bookerville is a top-rated option. Bookerville offers a master calendar that clearly shows all bookings, color-coded by status and searchable by guest name, phone, or email address. This software can help you manage inquiries and bookings from a range of short-term rental platforms; it also includes automatic responses to inquiries, customizable email templates and scheduled emails, calendar synchronization, and availability and booking/request calendars you can embed directly into your own website.

Payments

This type of software can help you collect and process payments from guests.

MyVR offers some sophisticated payments capabilities in addition to several other features. MyVR allows you to accept online and offline payments, integrate your merchant account directly into MyVR, get support for multiple merchant accounts, accept payments in different currencies, process international credit cards, and easily add one-off charges. You can use MyVR’s payment options or your own provider.

Accounting

Accounting functions help short-term rental hosts keep track of their finances. This can include trust accounting to separate business and personal transactions as well as record keeping for income tax purposes.

Accounting is only one feature LiveRez offers. Its accounting function leverages real-time event handling, automation, and responsive technology to make your trust accounting simple and intuitive. LiveRez tools include dashboards, a general ledger, reports, expense handling, taxes, owner statements, bill pays, reconciliation, reserve accounts, and more.

Lodging tax compliance

While many short-term rental software programs assist hosts with accounting and record keeping that can help them out with income taxes, hosts may need help with lodging taxes as well. Lodging taxes are paid by the guest, but hosts are responsible for collecting the tax and paying it to the tax authority. It can be a big chore, especially when a host must file lodging taxes with several different jurisdictions — which is often the case.

For just $20 per month, MyLodgeTax prepares, files, and remits your lodging tax returns. MyLodgeTax’s tax experts will work with you to determine which state and local licenses you need and help you complete your registrations, as well as determine exactly which state, county, and city tax rates you need to collect and file. Once you’re registered, all you have to do is log into your MyLodgeTax account to report your rental revenue. MyLodgeTax takes care of the rest. MyLodgeTax is built to work with a range of online short-term platforms.

Website management

If you’re looking to create your own website for your rental property, several software programs aim to make it easy for you to do it on your own.

Lodgify offers website management, among several other features. Its collection of more than 30 website templates help you create sites that are mobile-friendly and include an integrated booking engine. An editing function allows you to personalize your site design, add pages, and more, while the CMS makes it easy to change and manage your content.

Housekeeping management

Housekeeping management features can help you stay on top of cleaning and maintenance schedules so your rental is always pristine and in good working order for guests.

With web- and mobile-based Properly, you can source and schedule cleaners, supervise cleaners remotely, generate reports, and more. You can create visual checklists so cleaners know exactly what you expect, as well as provide feedback instantly with photo capture. Properly integrates with leading platforms, property management systems, and channel managers.

Document management

Running a short-term rental requires dealing with a lot of documents, including confirmations, contracts, maps, arrival instructions, and more. The right software can help you create and manage these as efficiently as possible.

While Lodgix offers a whole list of services for short-term rental hosts, document management is one of its strengths. The software allows you to easily create dynamic custom documents from your guest contact and invoice data. It also offers digital signatures — legally binding in all 50 states — which can save both you and your guests a lot of time and hassle.

All-in-one

Many of the software programs designed for short-term rental management offer several different features that are integrated in order to allow you to manage everything from one place.

365villas is one option that offers a comprehensive management suite for short-term rental owners. You can use 365villas to create a website, sync calendars and rates, manage payments, and distribute your property content across a variety of channels. You can also manage inquiries and bookings with features such as integrated email, email templates, and automated messaging. 365Villas offers a couple of different plans for businesses with different needs, and you can also add optional features a la carte. 


Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.