Hostaway Review: Is Hostaway Airbnb Management Software Worth it?

Jul 02, 2024, written by Dennis Shirshikov

Hostaway is a popular name in the Airbnb management software industry that aims to help hosts and managers streamline processes and regain control over operations. But is Hostaway really worth it?

This Hostaway review provides the information that short term rental property investors and managers need in order to decide if this is the right software solution for their business, from what Hostaway does and how much it costs, to whom it is best for and what alternatives exist.

What Hostaway is

Hostaway is a vacation rental software and Airbnb management system that helps short term rental property operators automate all aspects of their business across various listing platforms. This is an all-in-one property management system (PMS) that covers all angles of the business including property management, channel management, marketing, communications, analytics, and reporting.

The platform relies heavily on the use of technology to streamline and improve processes as well as to offer scalable solutions for growth. Hostaway aims to provide flexibility through customizable options based on hosts’ and managers’ needs and preferences.

Marcus Rader, Saber Kordestanchi, and Mikko Nurminen founded Hostaway in 2015, with headquarters in Miami, FL. Currently, the company has offices on multiple continents.

Hostaway’s mission is to partner with vacation rental operators in the growth of their Airbnb business by providing solutions that help them achieve their goals.

Hostaway Pricing

Hostaway operates a flexible pricing model which is based on the precise needs of hosts and property managers and the rentals in their portfolio. The website of the company does not offer a potential range of Hostaway costs or an online calculator to estimate the price based on features and number of properties.

Interested owners and Airbnb managers need to schedule a demo with the Hostaway team to figure out if this is the best Airbnb management software solution for them and to get a custom quote.

Free trials of the product are not available as setting up an account takes 2-8 hours, depending on the number of properties, the listing channels, and the complexity. Hostaway offers paid trials and recommends them to vacation rental managers with more than 200 properties under management.

Who Hostaway Works for Best

Hostaway markets and promotes itself primarily as an Airbnb property management system for professional property managers who specialize in the hospitality industry. These can include both small-scale, local Airbnb managers with a few properties under management and large-scale, national short term rental property managers with thousands of properties listed on multiple channels.

Managers with larger portfolios are likely to find more value in Hostaway as the software helps streamline and automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks that can get particularly cumbersome and exasperating when managing hundreds or thousands of short term rentals.

Hostaway emphasizes the scalability of the platform that allows property managers to expand and grow their business without the need to switch to a different tool. All Hostaway modules and services are scalable.

Individual hosts, though not the primary target consumer, might also find Hostaway to be a good fit for their needs. A couple of issues that they might encounter include higher pricing than comparable tools and a relatively complicated platform that is designed for professionals in the hospitality industry.

One group of users that Hostaway is definitely not a right fit for is hosts who are looking for options to generate passive income from their short term rental. With the use of the app, owners need to remain involved in the management of their properties. 

Investors who would like to make money from vacation rentals without being personally involved in the management process should hire one of the best Airbnb property management companies instead.

How Hostaway Vacation Property Management System Works

As a leading vacation rental property management system, Hostaway offers a wide range of tools to help automate all the most tedious tasks and processes in the operations of short term rental owners and managers.

Hostaway features and products include:

1. Property Management with Hostaway

First and foremost, Hostaway works as a PMS for Airbnb hosts and vacation rental property managers.

Hostaway offers these following features:

2. Channel Management with Hostaway

To maximize profit in the vacation rental industry, owners and property managers need to place their properties in front of as many eyes as possible.

Hostaway supports listings across various booking websites via:

3. Automation by Hostaway

Automation is at the core of the Hostaway work in order to help hosts and property managers save time and enhance performance.

Available automations provided by Hostaway comprise:

4. Marketing by Hostaway

Vacation rental marketing is a key factor for the success of an Airbnb business. It’s important to have your properties listed and your listings shared where the most potential guests are available.

Hostaway provides the following marketing tools:

5. Communication by Hostaway

Running a vacation rental business requires continuous communication with multiple parties which can quickly take over the majority of your time.

Hostaway helps streamline and automate communication through:

6. Operations under Hostaway

With Hostaway, property owners and managers can create, delegate, and automate day-to-day tasks for streamlined daily operations.

Hostaway operations are managed with the following tools:

7. Services Provided by Hostaway

Hostaway offers multiple services including:

8. Analytics and Reporting Provided by Hostaway

It’s important for both short term rental property owners and managers to have real-time access to detailed insights and analytics in order to be able to optimize the performance of their Airbnbs and maximize profit.

Hostaway supports real-time data access and reporting via:

9. Add-Ons by Hostaway

In addition to the standard features required for the management of vacation rentals, Hostaway offers an extra service related to financing.

Hostaway Capital. Select Hostaway customers who have used the system for at least 6 months have access to short term rental financing which can be used to grow and develop their business. 

This includes pre-approved funding with flexible repayments based on revenue that can go towards renovating a property, hiring new team members, and other activities. Eligibility criteria include a number of business performance indicators, such as growing revenue and maintaining stable sales over time.

Hostaway Integrations

A Hostaway review shows that the platform has a large marketplace with diverse third-party integrations. The software integrates with more than 100 apps from the vacation rental management industry and related fields to further help operators automate and scale their work.

Integrations are available with tools in the following categories:

Comparing Hostaway integrations with the integrations provided by other top short term rental management software tools shows that the lists of third-party integrations are very similar. One category that stands out in the Hostaway case is the blockchain technology and crypto payment platforms.

Hostaway Pros and Cons

The Hostaway vacation rental software platform comes with significant benefits and drawbacks that hosts and property managers need to be aware of when deciding if this is the right fit for them.

The most important advantages of Hostaway include:

The most considerable disadvantages of the Hostaway software comprise:

Hostaway Reviews

Customer reviews are one of the most reliable ways to evaluate the functionality and reliability of a vacation rental property management system before committing to it. Checking out Hostaway reviews by hosts and property managers is particularly important since there is no option for a free trial.

Online Hostaway reviews are available on:

All in all, Hostaway has a few thousand reviews on trustworthy third-party websites that result in excellent ratings.

Users who are satisfied with the Hostaway platform praise the ease of use, the user-friendly interface, the comprehensive onboarding process, the multiple channel integrations, the automated message function, the detailed calendar layout, the simple processes, the excellent help guides, and the generally available, patient, and helpful customer support.

Meanwhile, negative Hostaway reviews highlight the limited knowledge of the implementation team, the hard-to-use interface, the lack of true automation, major system issues that lead to losses, problems with Airbnb and integrations, a difficult cancellation process with delays and additional charges, and a nonexistent customer service.

Hostaway Airbnb Property Management System Alternatives

Based on the feature review and customer reviews, Hostaway is likely to be a good fit for property managers with multiple listings in their portfolios. However, it is not an ideal option for individual hosts.

Following are the best Hostaway alternatives for different types of hosts and property managers.

Guesty vs Hostaway

Guesty is a popular Hostaway competitor that is designed for both Airbnb hosts and managers. This PMS offers basically the same features and tools as Hostaway including a channel manager, multi-calendar, unified inbox, dynamic pricing, reservation management, vacation rental website builder, different automations, task management, reporting, and analytics.

Like Hostaway, Guesty also offers short term rental financing for business development purposes, which is not something that most other vacation rental management software solutions provide.

Guesty can serve both individual hosts and professional property managers. It can be used to manage vacation rentals, urban rentals, aparthotels, guesthouses, B&Bs, serviced apartments, outdoor stays, and hotels.

Guesty has three different subscription plans: Lite, Pro, and Enterprise. The difference between the plans are based on the available features and the number of properties. Guesty pricing starts at $27/month per listing when billed annually and $39/month per listing when billed monthly for the Lite plan which covers access to the basic Guesty features and 1-3 properties.

For other plans, the cost is customized based on the needs of the owner or the property manager.

Lodgify vs Hostaway

Lodgify is a very close alternative to Hostaway as it covers similar functions and services. The key Lodgify tools include a channel manager, unified inbox, guest management, reservation system, dynamic Airbnb pricing, automations, accounting, reporting, and analytics.

Unlike Hostaway and Guesty, Lodgify does not provide financing options to short term rental property owners and managers.

Lodgify is used equally well by hosts and property managers. It works with bed and breakfasts, cabins, cottages, camping and glamping accommodations, holiday lets, resorts, serviced apartments, small hotels, and villas.

One area in which Lodgify clearly outperforms Hostaway is the pricing model which is clearly explained on the website. There are three different subscription plans: Starter, Professional, and Ultimate.

Plans have monthly and annual options, with the latter benefitting from a 20% discount. When billed annually, the Starter plan starts at $16/month plus 1.9% booking fee, the Professional plan starts at $46/month, and the Ultimate plan starts at $59/month. Moreover, Lodgify offers a 7-day free trial.

Hospitable vs Hostaway

Hospitable is another short term rental property management software solution that aims to automate and facilitate processes. The key Hospitable features overlap with the Hostaway features and include a channel manager, pricing synchronization, direct booking website builder, manual reservations, guest communication, review management, task management, reporting, and analytics.

There is no option for financing. Another important difference between Hospitable and Hostaway is that the former offers fewer third-party tool integrations, but they do cover the most demanded solutions in the industry.

Hospitable works for both individual vacation rental hosts and professional property managers.

Hospitable offers two subscription plans: Host and Professional, with a Mogul plan coming soon. The Host plan starts at $29/month for one property, while the Professional plan starts at $59/month for two properties. The Professional plan provides access to significantly more features than the Host plan. A 14-day free trial is available with both. 

Bottom Line

Our Hostaway review concludes that this is a solid, reputable vacation rental management software solution that can help property managers automate their operations, boost the performance of their rentals, and grow their business. However, this is generally not a good option for individual hosts - especially for those looking for passive income - as the platform has been designed with the needs of property managers in mind. In addition, the Hostaway price is unclear, and the onboarding is likely to be intense and demanding.

This article was written by
Dennis Shirshikov

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