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Hostfully Review for Hosts and Property Managers


A quick Hostfully review shows that this aims to be a full-scale vacation rental property management solution for both hosts and professional property managers. However, is the tool able to achieve this ambitious mission?

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the Hostfully platform that strives to offer hosts and property managers all the information they need to decide if this is the right platform for them. We’ll cover Hostfully features, integrations, pricing structure, what customers think about the product, and what alternatives are available.

We’ve done a deep analysis of the Hostfully website as well as online Hostfully reviews to gather all the data and insights that those in the hospitality industry need to make an informed decision.

After all, the vacation rental software that you choose for your business will determine the management process, the recurring expenses, the performance of your business, and – ultimately – your profit. That’s why it’s crucial to have all the necessary information at your fingertips when selecting the best choice for your properties.

Overview of Hostfully for Vacation Rental Owners and Property Managers

Hostfully has become a popular name in the vacation rental management software industry. The company was founded in 2015 by David Jacoby, Stephan Osmont, and Margot Schmorak and has its headquarters in San Francisco, CA.

The company mission is to help vacation rental owners as well as guests make the most of every stay. To achieve this goal, Hostfully offers a cloud-based platform that aims to streamline and automate vacation rental operations to help both hosts and property managers boost revenue while cutting the workload and costs.

At the moment, Hostfully operates in 82 countries, with its customers managing 38,000 properties.

Core Offerings

Hostfully offers two main products, one of which sets them apart from other key players in the hospitality industry.

First of all, Hostfully provides vacation rental software that includes a channel manager, a central calendar, a unified inbox, a direct booking website, and some automation features. Comparison of Hostfully reviews with the reviews of competitors shows that this is generally the norm in the field.

Second, Hostfully offers digital guidebooks for guests to improve guest experience at check-ins, during stars, and at check-outs. This is a rather unique feature that most Hostfully alternatives do not have.

In-Depth Hostfully Features Review

In-Depth Hostfully Features Review

Detailed review of Hostfully features

Any trustworthy Hostfully review should have a comprehensive list of Hostfully features with detailed explanations of each one of them.

In this section, you can find out what features are available on the platform and what they do for hosts and property managers.

Channel Manager

The first Hostfully feature that is worth investigating is the channel manager. While this is not necessarily the best Airbnb channel manager available on the market, it fulfills the main functions of such a tool.

The Hostfully channel manager provides integrations with major listing websites and OTAs as well as niche stay providers such as Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Google Vacation Rentals, Rentals United, and more.

This tool helps owners and managers manage listings on multiple channels from a single place. This includes optimizing listings, importing guest reviews, dealing with reservations, changing daily rates, and adjusting calendar availability.

The feature aims to increase distribution and get listings in front of the eyes of more potential guests in order to boost occupancy and income.

Central Calendar

The second major feature is the central calendar, which comprises a multi-channel OTA calendar, also known as a multi-calendar among professionals.

The Hostfully central calendar allows you to manually adjust specific nightly rates, perform in-bulk pricing edits, set up booking rules, and make direct reservations. You can also check out which rentals are booked, know which properties are vacant, and find out when your next guests are coming to prepare your vacation rental.

This booking management software works with both single-unit and multi-unit properties.

All in all, this feature helps you know what exactly is going on with all your listings across all distribution channels without the need to look at multiple browser windows simultaneously.

Unified Inbox

Third, the unified inbox feature provides a range of guest communication tools to streamline this key aspect of short term rental management.

The unified inbox is exactly what it sounds like – it brings the communication from various OTAs into a single inbox on the Hostfully app.

This includes emails, messaging, SMSs, and WhatsApp messages so that hosts and property managers can handle and respond to all guest inquiries and requests in a timely manner.

Moreover, you can build templates and set up campaigns to automate parts of the guest communication process.

With the unified inbox, you can speed up communication with guests before, during, and after their stays to book more reservations, have more satisfied guests, and collect more positive reviews.

Direct Booking Website

Hostfully also provides you with a pre-built vacation rental website that features availability and Airbnb pricing information.

While this sounds like an easy way to launch your own property website, the feature might be overly simplistic, which might have an impact on its functionality and efficiency.

The goal of this feature is to help with direct bookings (from your own listing website) so that you have to share less revenue with third-party OTAs.

According to information on the Hostfully website, their direct booking website feature allows hosts and property managers to increase reservations with up to 20%.

Automation

The automation feature provided by Hostfully tackles a few different aspects of the Airbnb property management process.

Some processes that can be automated include payments, messaging, pricing, guest vetting, check-in, collecting reviews, reporting, insurance cleaning, and task management as well as other day-to-day operations.

The automation tools contribute to the elimination of repetitive property management tasks and decreasing the risk of manual errors to improve efficiency.

Mobile App

The Hostfully Mobile App simply gives you access to the above-listed core features of the property management platform on your mobile device. This means that you can access the PMS from home, the office, or on the go.

Hostfully Digital Guidebooks

Last but not least, Hostfully has a rather unique feature called Digital Guidebooks. The objective of this tool is to allow vacation rental hosts and managers to align with best practices in the hospitality industry, where a guest guidebook is the norm.

Hostfully Guidebooks operates as a mini, mobile-first website that has all the relevant information that hosts want to share with guests to provide them with a 5-star experience.

A Hostfully guidebook can include information and instructions about the property itself (directions how to get there, check-in, and WiFi password), how-to guides around the rental, and local guides about the area and all the top tourist attractions.

The Hostfully software helps you customize your own Hostfully Digital Guidebooks and brand them for your business. You can also provide AI itineraries for guests and get referral revenue from recommending local businesses and attractions.

Hostfully Integrations: Review

Hostfully reviews reveal that the property management software integrates with more than 60 third-party tools. This is necessary in order to provide the functionalities described above.

Hostfully integrates with the following tools, organized by category:

  • Accounting: QuickBooks, Clearing, Ximplifi, Hostfi, Ctlrbnb, VRPlatform, and other Airbnb accounting software
  • Amenities: Sojo
  • Application integration: Zapier and Enso Connect
  • Cleaning and turnover management: Breezeway, BeHome247, Turno, Operto Teams, Properly, and EZCare
  • Communications: HostAI, Guest Guru, Yada.AI, ConciergeBot, Akia, and Charge Automation
  • Data tools: Key Data, Wheelhouse Booking Insights, and Moving Lake
  • Digital signatures: DropboxSign and Check-in Scan
  • Distribution: Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Google, RedAwning, bnbfinder, Dtravel, Homes & Villas by Marriott International, bOarding, Lodge Lovers, Homads, HomeToGo, Find Rentals, OwnerDirect, Rentals United, TravelStaytion, Rentalz, and Whimstay
  • Dynamic pricing: PriceLabs, Wheelhouse, Beyond, Rented, DPGO, Nightpricer, Quibble, and Turbosuite
  • Guidebook integrations: Viator, Mozio, AIPEX Virtual Concierge, and BabyQuip
  • Image compression: TinyPNG
  • Insurance and guest screening: Safely, Checkin, InsuraGuest, Superhog, and other short term rental insurance providers
  • Luggage storage: LuggageHero and Nannybag
  • Marketing automation: Mailchimp and Stayfi
  • Payment processing: Stripe, PayPal, and VacationRentPayment
  • Reviews: Revyoos
  • Smart home: RemoteLock, PointCentral, Operto Guest Technologies, Minut, Ok2Charge, Lynx, Jervis Systems, NoiseAware, and WYND Technologies Inc.
  • Space visualization: Matterport and TruPlace
  • Staffing: Extenteam

While this sounds like an extensive list of integrations, it’s important to review how smooth the integrations are for the tools that you need. Otherwise, this might cause a lot of trouble in your vacation rental management processes.

Who Can Benefit from Hostfully?

Our Hostfully review shows that the Hostfully PMS was created to serve the needs of vacation rental hosts and guests. However, the platform seems to be able to help both hosts and property managers, managing anything from one short term rental property all the way up to hundreds of listings.

This is reflected both in the availability of Hostfully tools and the pricing model which offers different plans with different tiers.

However, in general, the software seems to be more geared towards the owners of multiple properties and managers with sizable portfolios. As we’ll discuss below, the cost is relatively high for a small number of properties.

Review of Hostfully Pricing Structure

The Hostfully pricing model is based on subscriptions that can be either monthly or annual. There are four tiers, and the cost depends on the access to Hostfully features and the number of properties in a portfolio.

The four Hostfully plans include:

  • Starter: This Hostfully plan offers all the main features to start a vacation rental business of up to 4 properties. Pricing starts at $109/month with monthly payments.
  • Pro: The Pro plan provides the features you need to grow your short term rental business and is tailored for up to 11 listings. Pricing starts at $199/month.
  • Pro Plus: This plan offers similar features to the Pro plan but is meant for portfolios of up to 19 properties. Pricing starts at $249/month.
  • Premium: The Premium Hostfully plan includes everything in Pro Plus in addition to API access, custom engineering, and dedicated customer success manager. It is designed for managers with 20+ listings. Pricing starts at $260/month.

To begin with, the Hostfully pricing is rather unaffordable for the owners of a couple of properties. Most competitors offer monthly rates in the range of $30-$40 for a single vacation rental, while the Hostfully cost might negatively affect your Airbnb profit if you are a beginner host.

Moreover, the cost rises up steeply as you add more properties to your portfolio and can exceed a couple of thousand of dollars per month.

It’s important to note that annual pricing is available, and it benefits from a 10% discount. Savvy hosts and property managers should look for opportunities to bring down costs and boost return. However, before committing to a vacation rental software for an entire year, you have to make sure that it’s worth it, that it meets all your requirements, and that it works seamlessly. But there doesn’t seem to be a free trial of the platform.

Cost vs Benefit Analysis

The ultimate goal of your Guesty review is to decide whether this PMS is the right choice for your needs. In other words, do the expected gains and benefits exceed the associated costs and expenses?

So, you need to consider both the cost and the benefit for a thorough cost-benefit analysis.

On the cost side, you simply need to visit the Hostfully pricing page and calculate the monthly or annual cost of your plan based on the features you need and the number of properties you have. It doesn’t look like the platform has any hidden fees like add-ons. But to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to book a demo with their team and confirm the total cost. You should also figure out the cost of the time you and your team we’ll need to get trained on and used to the software platform.

Things are a bit more complicated on the benefit side. The Hostfully website does not provide an estimate of the time that hosts and property managers get to save when they switch to the provided automations. Hostfully alternatives claim that you can save up to 20 hours a week, and you can multiply this by the rate you pay to your staff to calculate the gains.

If the gains are higher than the cost, it makes sense to use Hostfully. If the opposite is true, you should look for another alternative.

Hostfully Reviews by Customers

Hostfully Reviews by Customers

Positive and negative customer reviews of Hostfully

Smart vacation rental owners and managers choose to take into consideration what others think about any tool before they get it. In this case, it’s a good idea to consider the reviews available on third-party websites as they are more likely to be truthful, honest, and unbiased than those on the company website.

Online Hostfully reviews by customers are available on:

The few hundred online reviews of Hostfully reveal generally positive experiences. However, they also highlight some major drawbacks.

Positive Hostfully Reviews

Some customers really enjoy using Hostfully. They like the robust platform, the available integrations, the ease of use, the detailed documentation, and the great customer support team.

Negative Hostfully Reviews

Meanwhile, some customers complain about certain aspects of the Hostfully property management software. In specific, less happy hosts and property managers discuss the actual complication of processes, the increased necessary workload after introducing the system, the recurring bugs, the limited functionality, the poor mobile experience, the expensive pricing, the extremely difficult onboarding process, the lack of complete documentation, and the unprofessional staff.

Hostfully Compared to Alternatives

After learning about the problems and issues outlined in the negative Hostfully reviews, you might want to consider one of Hostfully alternatives instead.

Following are the top Hostfully competitors and what makes each one of them stand out: 

Hostfully vs Mashvisor

Mashvisor is the only truly all-in-one vacation rental software platform on the market. The app helps owners and property managers with everything from finding a profitable market and property for sale, all the way to insuring it properly and managing it efficiently.

The Mashvisor features include:

Another thing that distinguishes the Mashvisor real estate platform and property management software is the access to the most trusted and reliable sources of rental data coming from actual rental comps.

For instance, the Mashvisor Airbnb Dynamic Pricing tool uses local data to ensure that adjusted nightly rates maximize revenue and ROI, while most competitors focus on the optimization of bookings and occupancy rates.

In addition, Mashvisor does not simply help you streamline and automate the short term rental management process. It also helps you grow your investment portfolio in the meantime by letting you identify the best markets and the best properties.

Hostfully vs Lodgify

Lodgify is a popular Hostfully alternative that works for both property owners and property managers.

Lodgify features cover the same aspects of property management as Hostfully, and some of them might be even more sophisticated.

However, a main drawback of this platform is the lack of a guest guidebooks builder.

In terms of pricing, Lodgify is significantly cheaper for managing portfolios with a few properties, but it does get expensive as the number of properties goes up.

Hostfully vs Guesty

The Guesty PMS is yet another Hostfully competitor that targets hosts and managers equally.

The Guesty features are comparable to the industry standard including a channel manager, a multi-calendar, a unified inbox, and a website builder.

Guesty reviews show that there is no functionality for creating digital guidebooks, similar to Lodgify.

Another important disadvantage is that the website does not show the pricing for high-tiered plans, and customers complain about deceitful practices when choosing a plan.

Hostfully vs Smoobu

The Smoobu property management system is also popular among many vacation rental hosts and property managers.

Smoobu reviews show that the features are similar to those of Hostfully, including Smoobu Guest Guides.

Something noteworthy is the free basic plan that provides access to a few features such as a reservation system and a website.

Hostfully vs Hostaway

Hostaway seems to be one of the most sophisticated PMS options in the vacation rental market, with more features than other Hostfully competitors.

A Hostaway review highlights that the platform integrates with more than 100 third-party tools.

Nevertheless, there is no pricing information on the Hostaway website, so it’s not possible to compare the expected cost before talking with a company representative.

Hostfully vs Hospitable

Finally, Hospitable is the last PMS on our list of alternatives to Hostfully.

The available features are comparable, serving the needs of both short term rental property investors and managers.

Hospitable reviews show that pricing starts at $40/month for up to two properties and goes up along with the number of properties.

Conclusion: Is Hostfully Worth It for Hosts and Property Managers?

To sum, Hostfully is one of the top vacation rental property management software platforms that can help both hosts and property managers. Like all competitors, it comes with its own pros and cons. The main benefits are the automation options, the digital guidebooks, and the customizable pricing. At the same time, some major limitations include expensive subscriptions, ongoing bugs, and lack of process optimization as reported by some Hostfully reviews by customers.

When choosing the best tool for your business, it’s important to consider a few different alternatives and how they serve your needs. If you’re looking for the most comprehensive vacation rental software, check out Mashvisor. Our platform can help you with every single aspect of investing in short term rentals, from locating a market and a property, all the way to managing and growing your portfolio at the pace that suits your preferences.

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