The Pros And Cons Of The Major Property Management Softwares Out There According to Hospitality Owners

property management softwares pros and consMaybe you already have a booking engine/Property Management Software/channel Manager and you are looking at moving? Maybe you are just starting out and wondering who to go with? So, I wanted to put together a blog for you to show you a) who is out there and b) who is recommended.

I posted out in the Hospitality Community Facebook Group to find out the pros and cons of some of the best providers out there. After that, I took the results and compiled them on a report below.

Before we start, this video explains why everyone NEEDS a Booking engine for your business. In addition, it will also talk about the reasons if you don’t because you will get left behind in 2020.

 

 

Free To Book

freetobook logo

You’ve probably heard of Free To Book already since I talk it up a lot on this site. Started in 1998 by Craig Stewart, this Property Management Software is based in Glasgow and boasts 7,000 customers in 130 countries. As booking engines go, there’s not a better deal in the business – Free To Book’s basic services are free. However, the channel manager, mobile website, and other bells and whistles cost extra.

Free To Book’s customers are overwhelmingly satisfied with it. In fact, their highest praise comes in for Free To Book’s famous customer service. For example, Patricia praises them for allowing her to talk to a real person, and Paul appreciates the “lovely, friendly Scottish girls” who pick up the phone every time.

Other hospitality owners, including Kevin and Hans, love how easy Free To Book is to use. Many people I talked to enjoyed the famous low cost of the service – some were even using Free To Book’s basic offerings for free. For instance, Gillian, Roseanne and Sharon love how easy it is to get paid, whether through Stripe or FABpay. Finally, Ann loves its mobile access, whereby she can manage her hospitality’s bookings from anywhere.

Not everyone was pleased, of course. Ad pointed out that Free To Book doesn’t handle extras and packages particularly well, and a couple of people had trouble booking unusual time periods. Also, Hayley reported that she initially had trouble setting a weekly booking rate, a complaint shared by Sharon. John needed help setting a weekly rate, too. However, Hayley and John reported that they both got great help from customer service for this problem. In addition, other users reported that it didn’t necessarily sync with all services, including Farmstay, that they couldn’t vet instant booking guests, and that the dashboard was clunky. By and large, however, my poll of Free To Book’s service showed that people are very happy with its service. See the results below!

PROS

CONS

  1. Customer Service
  2. Ease of use
  3. Low cost
  4. Easy, reliable payments
  5. Mobile access
  1. Struggles with unusual booking periods, like weeks and nights
  2. Doesn’t handle extras well
  3. Doesn’t sync with all services
  4. “Book Now” doesn’t allow for guest vetting
  5. Clunky dashboard

Bookalet

bookalet logo

One of Free To Book’s most serious competitors is Bookalet. This Property Management Software isn’t free, but if you only have one or two properties, it can still be considered economical. The Lite plan covers up to 2 properties and costs £109 per year plus VAT. If you’ve got more than two properties, you’ll pay higher fees.

Of all the people I surveyed, most used Free To Book. That could be one reason that the positive responses I got about Bookalet were so numerous in comparison to the negative ones. So, there were just too few people for me to find the bad experiences. Nevertheless, it was quite impressive that almost nobody who used Bookalet had a bad experience.

Of everyone who gave me feedback about Bookalet, 70% said that their favourite part about it was its ease of use. Michaela even said that she’d never tried another system! Other praise came in for Bookalet’s professional interface and dedicated design. In fact, there was only one complaint about this booking engine: that there should be more service reps.

Pros

Cons

  1. Easy to set up and use
  2. Professional interface
  3. Economical
  4. Works well with an existing website
  5. Designed specifically for holiday rentals
  1. There should be more customer service reps

Supercontrol

supercontrol logo

Supercontrol started in 2007 as a booking engine dedicated to self-catering holiday rentals. This Property Management Software was founded by Robert and Melinda Kennedy, who themselves ran holiday cottages beginning in 1999. The business’s growth has seen it become a preferred partner of Booking.com and HomeAway. Also, they have an international office in Poland.

So here we have a booking engine that’s gotten quite large fairly quickly. Fans like Diana, Lindsey, and David like how it integrates with websites and calendars to great a seamless experience. David liked the report functionality, too, and Lindsey appreciated the ease of payment.

However, Supercontrol had the highest percentage of negative responses to any booking engine in my poll.  Even people who liked it admitted that it had flaws that they were content to overlook while it was useful for their business needs.

Pros

Cons

  1. Great site integration
  2. Easy payments
  3. Easy to get reports
  4. Automation is useful
  5. Customer support is good
  1. Difficult to setup

eviivo

Eviivo logo

Last but not least, eviivo is among the most popular booking engines in use in the small hospitality world. Rentals of all sizes may use it to book guests. Like the other services we’re spotlighting here today, this Property Management Software is UK-based and provides a channel manager, payment support, and other useful extras to its users.

eviivo is another booking engine that respondents said was easy to use. For instance, Debbie and Ed both liked the diary feature very much, and Caroline confirmed that the diary makes it very easy to prevent double bookings. In addition, Ed and Barbara both really loved the card verification feature, too, and the fact that eviivo doesn’t charge a commission when you book through your own site was very popular.

This was another booking engine that got a few complaints from our seven respondents. Emma appreciated the ease of use but told me that it was pricey for the value. Nicki also found that there were limitations on eviivo’s website format that she didn’t like.

Pros

Cons

  1. Easy to use
  2. No commission when you book through your own site
  3. Card verification
  4. Mobile app
  5. Email automation
  1. Pricey for what you get
  2. Website formatting limitations

These booking engines provide an invaluable service. Each one will fit certain businesses better than others, but they’ll all help you manage your bookings far more efficiently than you could do on your own. At the end of the day, efficiency means time, and time means money!

The other contenders

 

Axisrooms.com – £41/month Onerooftop – £137/month
Apex loyalty Omnia feed manager
Ambasador Orbirental
Avantio Ownerrez
Bookerville – £37/month Octorate
Booksterhq – £20/month Octopus24
Bookinglayer Pricelabs
Bookingsync – £225/month Preno
Beyondpricing Productsup
Bookingpal Rentals united
Bookalet – £33/month for 6 properties Resnexus
Beds24 – £20/month – 5 rooms, 2 types, 6 OTAs Realtyware
Cloudbeds – £108/month Resbookpro

Channelrush – £34/month Roombler
Channelcenter Rpm pro
Cubilis Rentivo – £15/month
Ciirus Salsify
Elina Siteminder – £47/month 400+ OTA & £28/month booking
ezee channel manager Supercontrol – £410/year + £200 setup fee
Escapia Staah.com – £45+VAT/month 1-9 rooms, 90 days
Eviivo – £18+VAT /month Smoobu – £19/month 30 days trial
Frontdesk  Syncbnb – £16/month/rental
Guesty – 3-5% of each booking Stessa
Genkan Hostyapp – free 1 airbnb, £8/month unli airbnb
Streamline Hostaway
Hotelminder Switch
Homesandrooms Tokeet – £8/month
Trekadoo – £4 renter or 5% owner

Hotelfriend Talkguest
Iroomi – £39/month up to 10 units Track
Impartner prm Turnoverbnb – free, now £25/month
Kigo – £48/month £800 setup fee Uplisting – £48/month, 14 day trial
Lodgable – free 5/5 Vreasy – £80/month
Lodgix Vrscheduler
Lodgify – £28/month Wheelhouse pricing
Little hotelier pms Wubook 
Linktrust Webrezpro
Liveres Wishbox
Lodgix  Yourporterapp – £7/month
Magarental  Zeevou – £40/month/unit – Guest Blog here
Myallocator – £37/month Zift solutions
Moonicorn 365villas
Myvr Nightsbridge
Nuevahospitality 

Disclaimer

Some of the businesses above are Boostly partners and if you sign up to them via my link, it will help support the Boostly website and business. I need to note that this does not disparage any of the information shown above. All of the views are from hospitality community members.

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