Guesty Review: Is Guesty Worth It For Hosts?
Guesty offers short-term rental investors and managers tools for automating property management. Learn more about the tools, services, pricing, reviews and alternatives to Guesty.
Buying a short term rental with strong investment potential is just the first step of the process. Next, you have to make sure that you run and manage your vacation rental business in the most optimal way in order to minimize costs and optimize return. To save time and maximize profitability, busy Airbnb hosts frequently opt for short term rental property management tools and services.
One of the popular tools which comes to mind is Guesty. But before you decide whether to use a certain platform or not, you should gather all the information about it you possibly can.
To help out beginner investors, in this Guesty review we will discuss what this company does for investors and hosts, how it works, what tools and features it offers, how much these cost, how customers evaluate their experience with the services, and what the best Guesty alternatives are. In other words, we will explore whether subscribing to Guesty is worth it for vacation rental hosts or whether they should look somewhere else.
So, is Guesty For Hosts worth it? In brief: No. While this platform can help automate and reduce the time needed for many aspects of the vacation rental property management process, it still doesn’t offer fully passive income from Airbnb investments. Moreover, it eliminates the human touch from property management which can result in suboptimal experiences for guests.
At the same time, there are other Airbnb property management services which help you achieve truly passive rental income and boost return on investment at minimal price.
* Awning helps you with vacation rental furnishing to prepare your property for booking in line with the most demanded trends in the local market.
* Awning provides full-service vacation rental management to grow gross Airbnb revenue by 10-30%. We charge the lowest fee in the industry at 15% of revenue.
What Guesty Is
Guesty is an online platform that helps vacation rental hosts automate the process of managing their properties. On their website, the company claims to allow hosts to take full control of their rental business. It is not a property manager, it is a property management tool, hosts continue to manage their own properties with Guesty.
Guesty was founded in 2013, when the short term rental industry was undergoing exponential growth after the recent establishment of Airbnb, by Amiad Soto and Koby Soto.
Guesty is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, where its main operational office is located. Since its founding, the firm has received total funding equivalent to $284.5 million and has acquired two other short term rental industry startups: Your Porter App and MyVR.
The company has developed two distinct - yet connected - sets of tools: Guesty For Pros and Guesty For Hosts. Guesty For Pros provides a short term and vacation rental property management platform for professional property managers, while Guesty For Hosts offers tools specifically designed for real estate investors and Airbnb hosts. We will discuss the differences between the two in more detail in a bit.
In terms of geographical scope, the tools and features provided by Guesty are not limited to a single market; they work globally.
How Guesty Works
Guesty is a mobile-first platform which means that you can download the app on your Android or iOS phone and do all the work from there. However, you can also use the platform on your desktop if that’s your preference.
With regards to listings, Guesty integrates with all major short term rental property marketplaces. This means that in order to get started using the Guesty tools, you simply need to import your listing(s) directly from Airbnb, Vrbo, or Booking.com.
You can also connect with other channels like TripAdvisor, Expedia, CanadaStays, and 9flats. Integration with those is supported for calendar and reservation sync only, while all Guesty services are available for Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com listings. Channel connection and listing import takes only a few minutes.
During the connection process with the three main marketplaces, all listing information will be imported including reservations that will be added to your calendar. Once you’ve imported your existing listings, you can sync them and start optimizing their performance. The Guesty features allow short term rental hosts to consolidate all listings, booking calendars, and guest communication into a single place.
It’s worth noting that the Guesty Help Center provides very detailed step-by-step guides on how to get started regardless of where your short term rentals are listed. That’s an important feature of any online platform as it shows that the company cares to make the process as smooth and stress-free for users as possible.
When evaluating whether to go with Guesty or another option, it’s important to understand that this is an online platform which helps you manage your vacation rentals in a more automated and efficient way. However, you - as an investor and a host - remain the actual manager of your short term rentals, so your Airbnb income will not be passive.
Guesty Features and Services
Guesty For Hosts features and services include:
- Auto Inquiry Response: Allows hosts to respond quickly to guest questions and approve bookings automatically.
- Auto Reviews: Automate the process of leaving guest reviews and eliminate the need to write reviews manually.
- Custom Tags: Include various information like internet passwords and smart lock codes in message templates.
- Deposit Management: Take, authorize, and release deposits based on rules set by the host.
- Guest Arrival Form: Collect guest information prior to arrival can be automated with this Guesty feature.
- Guest Language Detection: Send messages to guests in their own language.
- Income Reporting: Help streamline the financials of your vacation rental property listings, Guesty For Hosts provides all necessary income details.
- Multi-Calendar: Allows hosts to sync all their listings into a single reservation calendar where they can adjust daily rates and availability across all platforms on which they list their properties.
- Payment Processing: Automate payments with credit cards on Booking.com in addition to direct booking website reservations.
- Smart Pricing Integration: Enables the application of smart nightly rates on all channels. Applying dynamic pricing is crucial to strike the right balance between daily rates and occupancy in both high and low seasons. This is the way to enhance your Airbnb income as a short term rental host.
- Task Automation: Assign your team tasks and send them automatic notifications.
- Unified Inbox: Optimize guest communication, you can receive all messages in a single inbox and respond directly.
- Damage Protection: Pprovides hosts with compensation for damages caused by guests without having to deal with them directly.
- Smart Lock Automation: Integrates with a couple of smart lock systems to automate the process of generating gate codes for guest stays and incorporating them into your message templates.
- Cleaning Management: Schedule, assign, and automate cleaning tasks similar to other tasks related to the short term rental property management process.
While the list of Guesty features above provides a quick overview of all the day-to-day Airbnb host tasks you can automate with the platform, there are a few main tools that we will highlight below.
Multi-calendar is by far one of the most important features that Guesty For Hosts offers. This is a single dashboard where all calendars from different vacation rental listing platforms including your own website (if you have one) get combined. The multi-calendar provides a convenient overview of bookings from all channels together with availability and the possibility to set daily rates.
The calendar streamlines the process of managing listings and reservations on multiple channels. Moreover, it can be shared with third parties like partners, team members, co-owners, and others. This helps improve team management as well as allowing everyone to have real-time access to the most important information relevant to your vacation rentals and the tasks they are in charge of.
Automated messaging helps hosts automate the communication process before, during, and after guest stay. Specifically, you can create message templates in various languages and set up your own message automation rules to respond to common questions, provide necessary information for check-in and check-out, and collect needed information from guests through pre-arrival forms. You can automate the approval of bookings too.
After check-out, you can write automatic guest reviews which is a proven tactic to encourage reviews from guests as well.
The Guesty automated communication features allow you to minimize your response time, increase guest satisfaction, and collect more positive reviews in order to achieve and maintain an Airbnb Superhost status. Guesty For Hosts promises to save 40+ hours per week by automating guest messaging. In addition, this helps boost occupancy, income, and the profitability of your vacation rentals.
The website builder available on Guesty For Hosts provides investors with an opportunity to market their short term rental properties outside the major online marketplaces by helping them build their own website.
Having your own vacation rental website can give you additional exposure to guests looking for properties online and thus increase Airbnb occupancy rate and Airbnb profit margin.
However, you should keep in mind that Guesty can help you build a website only for listings available on Airbnb. This is because the platform is dependent on Airbnb and the status of the listing is taken from Airbnb directly. Nevertheless, if you start getting bookings through your website, you won’t have to pay commissions to Airbnb, which will enhance your bottom line.
Importantly, the listings on your website will be synced just like listings on Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com and benefit from all features which Guesty offers such as a multi-calendar, automated communication, and others.
Smart Pricing Integration
Guesty offers integration with third-party providers of smart Airbnb pricing including PriceLabs and Wheelhouse. Hosts can also connect other smart pricing platforms that they use outside these two Guesty partners.
It is a major drawback that Guesty does not have its own dynamic pricing solution as this is a key feature for optimizing the performance of vacation rental properties. However, the disadvantage is remedied by offering connection with third-party tools.
In case you don’t use PriceLabs or Wheelhouse but another tool, you need to refresh the data on Guesty For Hosts after applying changes to your daily rates. This makes the process a bit clumsy. The sync of pricing happens in real time for Airbnb and daily for Vrbo and Booking.com.
Guesty For Hosts vs Guesty For Pros
Guesty has built two distinct platforms to address the needs of different players in the short term rental industry. Guesty For Hosts has been developed for small vacation rental owners who have up to three properties which they manage on their own. Meanwhile, Guesty For Pros is a more comprehensive platform designed for professional property managers and short term rental property companies which take care of 4+ properties.
The tools and features offered by Guesty For Hosts have been covered in detail above.
Guesty For Pros, on the other hand, helps with the professional management of:
- Urban rentals
- Serviced apartments
- Vacation rentals
Both platforms provide comparable tools and help automate similar tasks and processes related to vacation rental and short term rental property management. However, the latter provides a more at-scale approach to property management.
Before you are able to decide whether Guesty is the right choice for your Airbnb business, you need to be familiar with the costs.
The Guesty pricing model offers three subscription plans based on the number of listings that you want to manage: one, two, or three. The respective prices are $49, $74, and $99 when billed monthly. Guesty For Hosts provides 10% discounted rates for annual subscriptions. If you’d like to add four or more listings, you qualify for Guesty For Pros, where subscription plans are custom-priced.
It’s worth noting that Guesty offers a 14-day free trial which allows real estate investors to test the tools and features on their own before committing to a monthly or annual subscription.
While monthly and annual subscriptions provide access to all basic Guesty features, a few tools are available for an additional fee:
- Smart Lock Automation costs $0.75 per code. This provides integration with various smart lock providers to automatically generate codes and send them to guests prior to check-in.
- Chargeback Protection costs 2% per transaction. With this tool hosts can use 3D verification to protect their direct booking payments from fraudulence.
- Self Domain costs $100 per domain. This feature allows you to use your own custom domain when you create a website with the website builder.
Guesty Terms and Conditions
Usage of the Guesty For Hosts platform is subject to all standard terms and conditions in the short term rental data and management industry.
As mentioned above, the company offers a 14-day free trial of the features. This does not require a credit card, which sets the platform apart from many Guesty competitors.
You can cancel your subscription online directly from your account when using the desktop version only. Alternatively, you can contact the Support Team. Upon cancellation, you can continue using the platform until the end of your last payment period. Guesty does not offer hosts refunds.
Since subscription fees are based on the number of listings that you connect, adding more than the maximum number of properties allowed by your plan will result in prorated charges until the end of the annual subscription. If, alternatively, you remove listings, Guesty is not going to refund you.
The good news is that unlike some Guesty alternatives, this platform is present on most big software-specific and general review websites. This means that Guesty has a lot of users, and they are happy to share their experience with the product.
Guesty has an overall TrustScore of 4.5, which is considered excellent. This is based on 306 customer reviews, which comprise a mix of reviews of Guesty For Hosts and Guesty For Pros. The majority of the positive Guesty reviews focus on the competency and helpfulness of the Customer Support Team. Many satisfied customers also praise the robustness, strength, usefulness, and sophistication of the Guesty platform which has helped them optimize and scale their vacation rental management business.
Meanwhile, negative reviews highlight the shortfalls Customer Support Team and claim that the positive experiences shared online must be fake. Other Guesty customers report technical issues, wrong charges, and high monthly costs for adding more listings to your account.
On Capterra, another reputable review website, Guesty has scored an overall rating of 4.5, which gives it a Top Performer and Established Player status for 2022. There are a total of 181 Guesty reviews on Capterra. Once again, you can find contradicting opinions and experiences shared by short term rental property managers and owners.
Many are happy with the power and easiness-of-use of the software platform as well as the availability of the Customer Support Team. Others complain of the poor UX/UI and prefer other Guesty alternatives which offer superior tools and features.
You can give the platform a try with the 14-day free trial and decide if this is the right option for you and your properties, or your portfolio will be better taken care of by professional property managers.
The vacation rental management business is very competitive, and there are numerous Guesty competitors which come with their own pros and cons.
Lodgify vs Guesty
Similar to Guesty, Lodgify is a frequently mentioned name in the Airbnb rental industry. Lodgify reviews show that they offer basically the same tools as Guesty and help both hosts and property managers.
With regards to property management, Lodgify provides a reservation system, a unified inbox, guest management, task management, reporting and analytics, accounting, and automation. Furthermore, it offers a channel manager, a website builder, a booking system, and multiple integrations. In addition to integrating with the three marketplaces with which Guesty works, Lodgify also connects with Expedia, which is an important advantage.
A tool worth mentioning is the vacation rental income calculator which Guesty lacks. This calculator helps Airbnb hosts calculate their current revenue as well as the potential earnings which their vacation rental business can generate.
Overall, Lodgify seems to be a more comprehensive and sophisticated vacation rental management software than Guesty For Hosts. Moreover, the Lodgify pricing is significantly more affordable for both small and large numbers of listings. There’s also a free version which can be used by owners with occasional bookings.
Hospitable vs Guesty
Another Guesty competitor that is well-known in the short term rental industry is Hospitable, formerly Smartbnb. This vacation rental management automation platform helps both property owners and property managers.
The features which Hospitable offers include automated messaging, a centralized inbox, a channel manager, team collaboration, task management, financial and operating metrics, direct bookings websites, double-booking protection, guest review management, and smart locks integration. As you can see, these are very similar to the services provided by Guesty For Hosts.
In terms of channel integration, Hospitable connects directly with Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com. Generally speaking, while Hospitable aims to help both vacation rental owners and managers, its tools seem to be better fit for hosts.
Hospitable pricing depends on the number of listings you want to import, starting at about $20 for a single vacation rental. If you connect more than two listings, you pay only for those which had check-ins over the last 30 days. There is a 14-day free trial, and there are no additional fees or surcharges, unlike Guesty For Hosts, which charges additionally for smart locks, for example. Overall, Hospitable is more affordable than Guesty.
Hostaway vs Guesty
Hostaway is another alternative to Guesty which is worth considering when running an Airbnb. Similar to the other Guesty competitors, Hostaway aims to be a one-stop-shop vacation rental software platform.
The available automation tools include automated messages, reviews, tasks, and payments. The property management features consist of a reservations manager, a performance dashboard, and lead management. Hostaway also provides marketing tools such as a booking website, a website builder, a WordPress plugin, and coupon management.
However, Hostaway seems to be better tailored to the needs of professional vacation rental property managers rather than individual owners.
In terms of Hostaway pricing, you have to contact them through a form on their website to get a custom quote.
Our Guesty review shows that the platform has a lot of tools and features which can help streamline and automate the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of both vacation rental property owners and professional property managers.
However, there is a lack of sufficient positive and detailed Guesty For Hosts customer feedback to assure us that the platform is a truly all-in-one solution for real estate investors focusing on Airbnb.
Even if you automate processes, you still need to be well involved in your short term rental business as long as you manage your properties on your own. Otherwise, their performance will be suboptimal. If you, on the other hand, want to earn passive income without compromising the quality of property management, you can hire a professional property manager.