Picking the Right Booking Software for Your Vacation Rental

Tips for finding the right software

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Are you the proud owner of a rustic cabin in the mountains or a beachside condo?

Vacation Rental
Vacation Rental

As a rental owner or manager, it can be challenging to run your business without the right tools at your disposal. Reliable booking software can make a world of difference in maintaining or growing your rental business, but how do you know what to look for?

With so many available options on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. As a leading property management software company, we have helped thousands of homeowners unlock the potential of their rental properties. Today, our expert team is revealing our tips on picking the right booking software for your rental.

Benefits of Rental Booking Software

So, why should vacation rental owners use booking software anyway? Well, instead of bouncing between providers and having to cross-check availability schedules, booking software centralizes your rental listings.

As the owner or manager, this allows you to maximize occupancy rates, process credit card payments, contact customers, and easily respond to maintenance requests. The best part? You can do it all from one user-friendly hub.

Rental Booking Software: Factors to Consider

Picking software
Picking software

Whether you manage just one vacation rental or a whole portfolio of them, booking software is the key to running a successful, efficient, and profitable business. Not sure which product is best for you? Here are some factors to consider when picking the right booking software for your vacation rental.


Booking pages allow your customers to schedule with you directly (via the web). For this reason, it’s important that your property management platform is entirely cloud-based. Not only will your booking pages operate in real-time and remain up-to-date, but you can guarantee that you won’t accidentally double-book any of your properties.


Here at CabinKey, we understand that your rental properties are unique. That’s why we offer accommodations for individual units, unique add-ons, sale items, and other purchases. When picking the right booking software for your vacation rental, you want to avoid management companies that treat every property the same.

First-class support is a must and your booking software should also be able to accommodate the unique one-off scenarios that often pop up for rental property owners.

Easy to Use

A good booking software for rental owners should condense all of your bookings and rentals into one, user-friendly system. Therefore, you should be looking for a product that offers functional dashboards for the owners or property managers.

A comprehensive dashboard is an excellent way to gain immediate access to both pending and active reservations. Additionally, it provides homeowners with a means of adding a reservation, blocking dates, or adding a sale item to a reservation.

Search Availability

To maximize your bookings, your potential guests need to be able to search for rates and availability. CabinKey embeds a search widget directly onto sites, allowing guests to search for specific arrival dates, departure dates, and other preferences.

Then, our real-time search results generate the most relevant rooms for their specific preferences. Opting for a booking software that can offer this level of support is a must.

Simple Booking Process

If the booking process is overly complicated, potential guests will abandon your properties and book with your competitors. Don’t give up your business! Your booking software must be easy for guests to navigate.

In just a few clicks, it should gather the number of prospective people and pets, as well as the guest’s contact information. A bonus would be if the system can collect a deposit online using the guest’s credit card. The goal is to make the booking process as quick, easy, and secure as possible for your renters.

No Double-Booking

One of the worst things for a vacation rental owner to deal with is the aftermath of a double-booked property. Not only is this a nightmare to correct, but it will discredit your reliability and lead to negative reviews that harm your business. When picking the right booking software for your vacation rental, make sure double booking won’t happen.

Flexible Rates

Always be sure to look for a booking software that offers flexibility and customization when setting rates. As the property owner or manager, you’ll want to be able to adjust the length of stay options, charge for additional guests, offer discounts for specific age groups, configure pet rates for each unit, and adjust add-on rates as necessary.

Accessibility Via Desktop and Mobile

As a vacation rental owner, you probably spend much of your time on the go. Therefore, choosing booking software that grants access anytime, anywhere is a massive plus. When doing your research, check to see if the product you’re considering offers a mobile app in addition to its desktop website. You’ll thank us later for this one!

Money-Back Guarantee or Free Trial

Be very cautious of booking software companies that take your money without letting you test-run their system first. The right software company will offer you either a free trial or an extended money-back guarantee to make sure their services work for you.

Have questions? Schedule a demo to see CabinKey in action.

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What to Avoid When Choosing Booking Software

Now that you know what to look for when choosing your rental booking software, here are some red flags you should avoid.

  • Excessive cost: A booking search engine should not break the bank (although larger portfolios will typically cost more). Avoid booking software companies that charge excessive transaction fees or require lock-in contracts.
  • No support and/or training: A good booking provider will provide in-depth guidance when you are first initiated. To make sure your business remains in good hands, confirm the company’s ability to offer ongoing support as needed.
  • No free trial: As we mentioned, you should never pay a property management company without testing their software first. To protect your investment, you should be able to investigate the full functionality of the system for free.
  • Negative reviews: Before making any purchases, read the customer reviews to get an idea of how past and present customers feel about the company. If there are any negative reviews, how did the company respond?

Best Booking Software for Vacation Rentals

CabinKey is the ideal booking solution designed to save you time and money. Our powerful, user-friendly tools will manage the complexity of running your rental properties without fail. That way, you can focus on what really matters – your guests.

Interested in learning more? We offer a 60-day money-back guarantee so you can explore our services without the risk of losing anything. If you’re ready for a seamless booking system that enables you to boost your bottom line, contact our team today.

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