Managing an Airbnb rental can be lucrative, but it can also be time consuming. Luckily, we are living in the future and there are a plethora of apps and services designed to make your life easier as an Airbnb host. From property management to surge pricing to security systems, there’s bound to be an app for anything you need.
We looked for the best apps across a few categories: smart pricing, finance, property management, advertising, utility management, security systems and damage prevention.
When renting out an Airbnb, it’s important to do everything you can to maximize profits, without alienating or ripping off your guests. There are many options out there to help you with this, and one of the coolest is automated surge pricing.
BeyondPricing automatically updates the cost of your listing based on demand, location, season, and more, costing 1% of your monthly profit. PriceLabsCo offers the same service, although they don’t have pricing listed on their website.
Airdna has a different approach. Instead of an automated system that can be mysterious in how it determines cost, Airdna offers up data. You can compare your income to other rentals and use the data to determine your best strategy when it comes to instant booking (whether or not you should offer it), fees, and minimum stays.
Track Your Finances
Life as an Airbnb host can get tricky around tax season, so a few services have popped up that’ll keep you from stress-pulling your hair out of your head.
Hurdlr tracks your Airbnb income, helps you minimize your taxes and maximize your profits. Zen99 is aimed at contractors in general, providing general 1099 help when your finances are just too complicated come tax season.
Strangely enough, we could only find one service that helps you advertise your Airbnb listings, but at least it’s awesome: Space Agent can run Facebook ads for you, and as any marketer knows, Facebook ads work really, really well. The service targets people who are interested in upcoming events, vacations, and attractions in your rentals’ locations. It offers real-time and weekly reporting, and is constantly adjusting the ad campaigns to improve targeting and make sure you’re spending the right amount of money—no more and no less than needed to be effective.
If you don’t live near your rental properties it can sometimes be difficult to manage them from afar. This problem has been noted by many, many companies who will help you out on that front, offering services like cleaning, check-in and check-out, maintenance, and guest support. Each company is a bit different, so be sure to do some additional research to figure out which is best for you. But we’ll get you started in the right direction:
If you’re in New York City, Proprly will help you with cleaning and key delivery, and if you’re in San Francisco, Pillow will help with cleaning, check-ins, guest support, and as a special bonus will help you promote your listing on over 20 sites.
For the rest of the world, don’t worry, there are still plenty of services for you. BeyondStays, the same company behind BeyondPricing, will help with housekeeping, maintenance, damages, keys, bookings, and any requests your guests may have (their website doesn’t mention which cities they operate in, so you’ll have to ask if they are in your area).
If you only need cleaning services, check out HostWise. They offer cleaning, laundry, and even toiletry kits for your guests, so that your guests get the pristine environment of a hotel without actually having to stay in a hotel (because really, who wants that?).
If you’ve been doing this for a while, you know that utilities in an Airbnb rental can get expensive, quickly. Even something as seemingly innocuous as a guest leaving the lights on can add up, especially if you don’t go around to the property for a while. The good news is that there are many, many apps out there that’ll help you monitor and control everything from lighting to heat to water usage.
The most famous is Nest, the Google-owned smart thermostat that’ll let you control the climate of your property from your smartphone. It’s popular for a reason—it’s easy to install and easy to use.
For light management, Plum is a good option. You can control any of the lights in your room and manage them manually or automatically, all from your phone. Samsung’s SmartThings technology also includes light management, in addition to security sensors and a whole bunch of other home automation options.
For water, RainMachine controls your sprinklers by watching the weather forecast and making sure you don’t needlessly water your yard right before—or during—rainfall. Rachio is another option for this.
Security and Disaster Management
We all know Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. We hope for the best but sometimes we need to take extra steps to make sure nothing horrible happens. There are plenty of security systems out there that’ll make sure no one breaks into or damages your property.
Fibaro is a door and window sensor that will send you customized alerts, and Scout does the same. Dropcam offers wireless video capture and will let you view the footage from your phone. SkyBell is both a smart doorbell and security camera, with a loudspeaker and motion sensor so you’ll know if someone is at the door, and you can yell at them to go away (or you know, greet them if they are a guest).
There are many options for disaster management, because of course, there are many things that can go wrong. Canary is a popular service offering air quality, temperature, and humidity monitoring in addition to a security system.
Wally looks for water leaks, humidity, and temperature changes, alerting you if a disaster is imminent. And Nest Protect is a smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector that’ll alert you both the normal way (although it’s easy to turn off without busting an eardrum), and through their app.
Managing an Airbnb rental doesn’t have to take up all of your time. In this day and age, there is a service out there for everything you need, and many, like our own Parakeet, offer a whole package of services. Almost any problem you have, a service or app is there to solve it. We are truly in the future, and it’s pretty exciting.