How to Automate an Airbnb Business: The Tools to Use and the Steps to Take

Brittney Bergevin
Brittney Bergevin

July 19, 2023

“The more you can automate, the fewer things you need to remember., You’re less prone to error, and you’re less likely to have gaps in communication.” This advice comes from Adam Knight, Co-Founder and CEO of Recreation Vacation Rentals. 

With over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Adam knows a thing or two about automating processes to make them more efficient. But automation doesn’t just help increase your productivity—it makes it possible for you to scale your business.

If you want to improve your operations and grow your vacation rental portfolio, there are a few tools you’ll need in your tech stack. In this article, we explain how to automate your Airbnb business, walking you through the steps you should follow and the software you should use. 

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How to automate your Airbnb business: The key areas to streamline and which tools to use

While you may intuitively know automation can help your business, taking the first steps is usually the hardest part. 

“Automation is going to make your life a lot easier right out of the gate, but it can be hard to know where to start,” says Adam, who co-founded Recreation Vacation Rentals, the full-service vacation rental management company, in 2021. “Knowing what problems you’re trying to solve is really important.”

So first, identify what issues are really bogging you down. Is it turnover scheduling? Guest messaging? Effectively marketing your rentals? Once you know where your biggest challenges lie, you can choose the right tools to automate and simplify them. 

But no matter what tasks cause you the most headaches, if you’re looking to grow your business, you’ll need a property management system (PMS) to manage your reservations. 

A PMS centralizes and streamlines your reservations, which becomes increasingly important as you scale. Then, you can add on other tools that help you automate time-consuming processes, such as: 

  • Property care platform for cleaning and maintenance scheduling and operations
  • Guest communications software for automated guest messaging and guidebooks
  • Smart locks for self check-in
  • Channel manager if you’re listing across various online travel agencies (OTAs)

“If you have any scaling ambitions, you're quickly going to find that you need to be more sophisticated in how you deploy your tools. That will help you free up your time so that you can work on your business instead of in your business.”

-Adam Knight, Co-Founder and CEO of Recreation Vacation Rentals

Cleaning, maintenance, and scheduling

Turnovers are at the core of your business: If a guest shows up to a dirty property, you end up with a negative review and a tarnished reputation. But on the flip side, spotless rentals bring happy guests and repeat bookings. 

To ensure maintenance issues don't slip through the cracks and to make sure all your properties meet the highest guest standards, you need to use a centralized property care platform that integrates with your PMS. 

Breezeway, for example, connects to your PMS or booking sites like Airbnb and Vrbo to pull up-to-date booking information from wherever you list your properties. This lets you automate scheduling based on your team’s availability and each property’s specific needs. Here’s how it works: 

  • When a guest makes a booking, the platform automatically schedules a turnover. 
  • The software uses data on staff ability, location, and historical performance to set an optimized schedule. 
  • Checklists tell your cleaning team what tasks they need to complete and help you track task status and quality assurance.  

Says Adam, “You need a system that allows you to communicate which tasks have to get done, and that tells you when the housekeeper has been to the house and finished. There's no point in having an automated system that says something has to get done, but then doesn’t give you visibility over task status.”

You also want to look for a tool with features for automating other time-consuming aspects of property care management, such as: 

  • Inventory management with automatic alerts when stock is low
  • Linen packing solutions so staff always pack the right items for the right property
  • A centralized dashboard to track task status and manage urgent issues in real time

The benefits of using a property care platform

Automating Airbnb cleaning, maintenance, and staff scheduling not only helps lighten your workload—it can help you avoid costly errors and gives guests a better experience. 

When you automate turnover scheduling, you eliminate the possibility of mistakes like missed cleans or two different cleaners arriving at the same property. Plus, you can create different rules and checklists for different properties and situations.

So if you have different cleaning instructions for owner stays, you can create a customized checklist to ensure their bed is made just as they like it and everything is exactly where it should be in the kitchen.

“Maintenance checklists mean you can send certain job tasks out to different service providers. So say your property has a pool, and you need to have regular filter cleaning and pool cleaning. You can automatically send scheduling information out to your pool cleaner so they know what they need to do and when. A system like Breezeway is brilliant for that—that's exactly what it allows you to do.”

-Adam Knight, Co-Founder and CEO of Recreation Vacation Rentals

Breezeway automated task scheduling

Breezeway automatically schedules cleaning tasks when a guest makes a booking.

Guest communication 

Once you’ve automated your property management and cleaning operations, it’s time to tackle the next big issue: Guest communication. 

Adam recommends implementing a guest messaging tool as one of your first steps in automating your business: “Set up a system where you're pinging guests with regular messages, not in an annoying or overwhelming way. There should be a cadence of information that goes out to people that you don't have to remember to do—it just happens.”

For example, Breezeway’s messaging feature automatically pulls guest information from booking channels and your PMS, and stores all your conversations in one unified inbox. Then, you can send automated messages in bulk, use pre-built message templates to save time, and optimize your booking calendar with automated extended stay messages to fill gap nights. 

Plus, you can automatically create and assign maintenance jobs from guest messages. So if a guest reaches out to say the dishwasher isn’t working, send out a work order to your field staff directly from the message view. 

 Additionally, Breezeway’s digital welcome book, Breezeway Guide, helps you preemptively answer guest questions so they have a smoother experience and you get fewer messages from them during their stay.

The benefits of automating guest communications 

When you automate guest messaging, you can ensure no guest question slips, saving you hours of work. Plus, a digital welcome book makes your guests more independent, helping them plan and enjoy their stay on their own terms. 

Automating guest messaging is also necessary if you want to automate check-in, which leads us into our next step: Access and security. Breezeway guest messaging feature

You can easily create message templates and send them out in bulk with Breezeway’s guest messaging feature. 

Access and security 

When you automate guest access, you free up your staff significantly, as they no longer have to be present at your Airbnb property upon check-in. And with the right tool, this is a simple process: 

  • Choose a smart lock that integrates with your existing tech stack. For example, Breezeway connects with over 40 PMSs, smart locks, and other smart devices. 
  • When a guest makes a booking, a unique access code is automatically generated. 
  • You can automatically share this access code in your welcome book or via SMS, along with other arrival details like directions and parking instructions. 
  • Guests can arrive on their terms, gaining access to the property without the need for a staff member to be there for a key exchange. 

By using electronic locks, you also have more control over access for your staff members. For example, Breezeway lets you share unique codes with staff when they have to perform maintenance work at a unit. 

Also, you can implement a workflow that automatically creates a cleaning assignment when a guest checks out of their unit, so you’re always on top of property status, which you need to be when you have a new guest arriving in just a few hours or the following day. 

In addition to smart locks, Breezeway also integrates with other smart tech, like noise monitoring devices. These tools, like NoiseAware, PointCentral, and Minut, help you keep your property safe by sending you automatic alerts when noise levels at your units pass a certain threshold.

The benefits of automating access and security 

The most obvious benefit of automating guest access is the convenience of not having to be present for every check-in. But on top of that, automating access for your team makes it possible for field staff to pop in when unexpected maintenance issues arise or a guest requests a mid-stay clean. 

Automated noise monitoring devices help you protect your property and can help improve relationships with your neighbors by allowing you to address a situation before it gets out of hand.  

NoiseAware noise monitoring dashboard

Noise monitoring devices help you keep your property safe and your neighbors happy.

Marketing and pricing 

While marketing your vacation rentals and optimizing rates may not be necessary for running your core operations, these processes are crucial if you want to maximize revenue and grow your business. The good news is you can automate these tasks: 

  • Direct booking strategy: Having a direct booking site is key to bringing in repeat bookings and maximizing revenue (goodby pesky OTA commission fees). Use Airbnb management software with a built-in direct booking widget to eliminate the risk of double bookings and automate turnover scheduling for reservations that guests make directly on your website. 
  • Review management: Good reviews and OTA ratings are central to the success of any short-term rental business. To bring in more positive guest reviews without spending all your free time following up on them, automate this process with templated messages you can easily customize.  
  • Revenue management: The wrong rates may mean you’re leaving money on the table (too low) or discouraging potential guests from booking with you (too high). Manually setting optimal rates can be extremely time-consuming, so use a revenue management tool with a built-in dynamic pricing feature to do the hard work for you while you reap the benefits.

Pro tip: While dynamic pricing tools can do the heavy lifting for optimizing rates, you need to use them correctly to get the best ROI. “Dynamic pricing tools aren’t a set-it-and forget-it,” says Adam. “Dynamic pricing should do about 80% of the workload for you, but if you really want to kind of squeeze every last dollar out of every day, you still need to actively be involved.”

The benefits of automating your marketing and pricing

Effectively marketing your properties and setting the right rates are key to growing a successful vacation rental business. But these tasks can fall to the wayside when you’re overwhelmed with operational tasks. 

When you leverage your direct booking site, streamline review management, and always set the right rates, you’ll see increases in your occupancy and revenue. Automating these tasks means they never get overlooked, and you don’t have to work late hours getting the job done. 


Recreation Vacation Rentals allows guests to book directly on their website, reducing costly OTA fees.

Run your most time-consuming processes on autopilot with the right tech stack

Adam’s right: Often, the hardest thing about Airbnb automation is just getting started. But once you identify which processes and repetitive tasks are eating up the most time, you can prioritize the areas of your business that most desperately need simplifying. 

So start by choosing the right PMS and go from there, prioritizing tools that all integrate with each other. Remember, the key areas you should focus on automating are: 

  • Cleaning, maintenance, and scheduling
  • Guest communication
  • Access and security
  • Marketing and pricing

With the right tech stack and knowledge around setting it up, you can stop spending so much time bogged down in the mundane tasks that eat up your day, like responding to guest messages and creating turnover schedules. This will free you up to focus on increasing occupancy and growing your business. 

Make cleaning and maintenance operations the easiest part of your job. 
Breezeway automates task scheduling, maintenance requests, and other time-consuming tasks to give you back more time in your day. 
Book a demo

Frequently asked questions about how to automate an Airbnb business

Is it possible to automate Airbnb?

Yes, it’s possible to automate key elements of Airbnb management. You can use automation tools and vacation rental software to handle tasks like guest communication, booking management, and cleaning schedules. Just be aware, it's important you remain available for guests and add a personal touch to each stay. 

What is the best way to automate your Airbnb?

The best way to automate your Airbnb is to use specialized software, like a channel manager, PMS, guest communication tool, and property care management solution. You can also use smart locks to automate the check-in process, as well as dynamic pricing software to ensure you’re always setting the best rates.  

Be sure to regularly revisit your automation processes to make sure they’re fully meeting your needs and improving the guest experience. 

What are the best technologies for an automated Airbnb?

There are a number of tools you want in your tech stack come time to automate your Airbnb, including: 

  • PMS and channel manager
  • Property care and operations platform
  • Guest communications solution with built-in Airbnb guidebook
  • Dynamic pricing or revenue management tool
  • Smart locks and other in-home smart tech
When automated correctly, scheduling work to field teams has a powerful ripple effect throughout your business, saving hours of manual work and vastly reducing guest issues at check-in. More than that, though, scheduling automation helps hospitality providers showcase the professional care they take towards preparing and facilitating amazing guest stays.