10 Best Vacation Rental Guest Experience Tools

Lizzie Griffin
Lizzie Griffin

February 10, 2024

Competition throughout the short-term rental (STR) space is extremely intense, so you need to ensure your services consistently achieve excellence, that guests feel special and valued, and that their expectations are always met—with tech-enabled stays, convenience, and autonomy.

If you don’t implement the right guest experience solutions, the impact will be evident—you’ll struggle to get the five-star reviews your business depends on, local competitors will start to outperform you on occupancy rates, and your processes won’t efficiently scale as you grow your portfolio.

In this article, you’ll learn which four areas of the guest experience your services should focus on and see which vacation rental tools will help you continually deliver fantastic stays as your business grows, covering:

  • Operational excellence
  • Responsiveness
  • Digital guides
  • Keyless entry

Guarantee an exceptional guest experience with every stay
Use Breezeway to never miss a clean or task, share customized cleaning checklists, remotely inspect turnovers, and manage your inventory.

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Key areas where you can elevate the guest experience

Better, more memorable stays encourage positive reviews and repeat visits. Here are the four main areas of the guest experience your property management and hospitality services can influence.

Consistency and excellence in property care

Maintaining a high standard of cleanliness and upkeep is central to guest satisfaction. Implementing a systematic approach to property care, with regular quality checks and maintenance schedules, ensures guests always walk into a well-maintained and clean environment and makes your operations scalable as you add new vacation rentals to your portfolio.

“The home was clean, had great equipment, and looked exactly like the description and the images as seen on the Airbnb listing.”*

Informative, responsive communication

Being responsive to pre-booking inquiries and in-stay questions or concerns, as well as pre-emptively answering commonly asked questions with essential and helpful information, sets you apart as a host. You’ll be attentive to guests’ needs, be able to quickly resolve any issues, and provide the autonomy that guests look for in a modern stay.

“Raymond’s home was exactly what we were looking for. He was friendly and responsive to any requests we had. The home was very spacious, clean, private, nicely decorated, & made us feel like Venice locals!”**

Tech-enabled convenience

From self-check-in processes to smart home amenities and real-time notifications about their stay, tech-enabled conveniences are highly valued by today's travelers. These features not only offer guests the ease and efficiency they desire but also position your property as cutting-edge, a trait often celebrated in guest feedback.

“Every detail was thought through (and then some!) which made our stay completely stress-free and totally comfortable. Our whole family (3 kids under 7) loved the views, outdoor space, hot tub, huge TV, Sonos speakers everywhere, and spacious kitchen.”***


Tailoring aspects of your guest’s stay, like personalized greetings or customized recommendations, shows guests how much you value them. It also creates customer delight, which is when you exceed guest expectations, and can create opportunities for upsells and new revenue streams.

“What a fantastic house! Josh was an excellent host—organized, responsive, with clear instructions and helpful recommendations (for example, where to take our kids sledding).”****

Pro Familia Homes living roomPro Familia Homes implemented Breezeway’s operations management tools to ensure a consistent guest experience.

10 Vacation rental tools to enhance the guest experience

Implementing efficient, scalable processes to improve the guest experience is key to growing your business. Here you’ll see recommendations on what tools you can use and how they can impact the guest experience and your vacation rental business.

Operations management: Breezeway

You need to ensure your homes are immaculate on guest arrival, stocked with the correct kitchen items and bathroom toiletries, that regular maintenance is carried out, and that special amenities like hot tubs and pools are safe and clean.

As well as the above areas of cleaning, maintenance, and guest preparation, you need strong processes in place so the readiness of your vacation homes is consistent across your entire portfolio and every stay—just one delayed turnover or missed cleaning detail could bring about a negative review and damage your reputation.

You can implement and manage those processes with the vacation rental operations management platform, Breezeway, which you can use to:

Breezeway’s system for auto-scheduling tasks lets you customize rules so that every time a reservation is made, a new cleaning and inspection workflow is generated and assigned. 

You can decide how long in advance of a check-in date you want a cleaning schedule automated, create default housekeepers, and automate scheduling adjustments due to booking changes and cancellations.

Breezeway platform showing the auto-schedulerAuto-scheduling your cleans is the first step to ensuring guests always have the best first impression.

Breezeway’s customizable checklists are user-friendly solutions for your housekeepers and inspectors to always know exactly how each unit should be prepared. 

You can include representative photos for housekeepers to reference during the cleaning process. Equally, cleaners can upload photos of their work to the app for you to remotely inspect as soon as the job’s done.

Breezeway mobile app showing cleaning checklistMake sure your properties are always guest-ready with customized digital checklists.

Using the manager dashboard, you can see the live status of each unit, making sure each task is on track for the arrival of new guests.

This is the epicenter of your operations, where you can also communicate with in-the-field staff, modify your automations and checklists, track inventory, and manage guest comms, which we look at below. 

Breezeway dashboardOversee live unit status so you know guests never arrive at an unready rental.

Case study:
The Berlin Encore Hotel used a paper-based system to run schedules, which caused problems like missed cleans and a backlog of maintenance tasks. 

With Breezeway’s automated solutions, guests have a more consistent experience and the team has the flexibility to offer more services, like early check-ins and upgrades.
Read more.

Guest communication: Breezeway, YourWelcome, Enso Connect

Your guest messaging tools need to automate how you share key information with guests and make it easy to respond to their in-stay questions and requests. With solutions like templates and AI technology, you can be more responsive to guests and save hours of work.

Below are three recommendations for guest communication platforms you can use to speed up your response time, reduce your manual workload, and upsell services.

Consolidate guest messaging with ops management

Breezeway brings your guest and team messaging together onto one dashboard so you can avoid having to work across multiple platforms.

You can create work orders within the guest messaging view, meaning you can quickly respond to requests and issues, then easily generate and track the corresponding task to its completion.

Breezeway’s guest messaging and work order managementStreamline your guest messaging and team coordination to be more responsive to guest issues.

Breezeway’s guest messaging features also include: 

  • Pre-built templates with shortcodes for personalization with guest names and other stay-specific information
  • Scheduled messages for check-in, check-out, and specific in-stay days
  • Bulk messaging for exceptional events like weather emergencies
  • AI-suggested replies based on an AI analysis of incoming messages so you can speed up your response time
  • Automated extended stay messages so you can easily upsell extra nights whenever you have a gap in your booking calendar

Breezeway’s gap-night messagingAutomated gap-night messages create a new revenue stream with no additional manual work.

Case study:
Pro Familia Homes implemented Breezeway to streamline in-stay guest communication, including early stay messaging to make sure guests are fully satisfied with the property, quick responses to requests and issues, and to manage severe weather warnings.
Read more

YourWelcome Advance: Smart tablet and branded emails

YourWelcome provides a smart tablet that syncs with your PMS, offering features like contactless check-in and interactive messaging. 

With the Advance version, you gain more automation features, including customized email workflows to send timely, branded messages based on stay-specific reservation details. 

This simplifies the arrival process and gives you the chance to create upsell messaging for services like late check-outs and equipment rentals. Plus, it allows you to collect guest data, which you can use for your direct booking strategy.

YourWelcome platformYourWelcome lets you create customized email workflows

Enso Connect: Web app AI analysis and responses

Enso Connect uses its Boarding Pass web app to guide visitors through their stay. Guests access the web app via a link—then, they can then verify their ID, check in, access information about the property and local area, request services, and communicate with your team. 

The platform uses AI, including GPT-4, for predictive responses and ‘sentiment analysis’ to improve the accuracy of automated guest interactions. For example, if the software detects your guest is unsatisfied, it might offer them a gift or complimentary service. Also, the platform supports message scheduling, review management, and guest data collection.

Enso Connect platformEnso Connect includes AI responses to guests

Digital guidebooks: Breezeway, Touch Stay, RueBaRue

A vacation rental welcome book preemptively answers guest questions; provides key information, like arrival, departure, and property access details; shares recommendations about the local area; and allows you to create upsell opportunities.

By addressing all these areas in your digital guide, you can make guests more autonomous, strengthen your brand, and reduce your need to manually respond to common questions.

Breezeway: Fully integrated welcome book

Breezeway Guide is extremely user-friendly—it takes just minutes to customize a new digital welcome book—and includes all the key areas of the guest experience, including sections for: 

  • Arrival information, including dynamic maps and parking details
  • Property access integrated with your PMS and/or smart lock system
  • House rules, including safety information and your noise, occupancy, and smoking policies
  • WiFi access that’s specific to each property
  • Local recommendations so guests can get the most out of their stay

As well as these features, Breezeway guidebooks natively integrate with the platform’s other ops management and guest messaging solutions, so guests have a streamlined, consistent experience throughout their stay, from booking to check-out.

Breezeway digital guidebookA digital guide helps guests be more independent and streamlines the check-in process.

Touch Stay: Customizable templates

Touch Stay provides guidebook templates you can brand and customize for different properties. You can upload images and videos (such as explanations on how to use certain amenities), include practical information for each stage of the guest journey, and easily add content across multiple different guides using the platform’s tagging system.

The guidebooks are in fact web apps, so your guests don’t have to download anything—they access their guide via a link from any smart device, then proceed to use it like a normal app. You also have the option of printing your guidebooks to make physical copies. These can include a QR code on the cover for guests who prefer the digital version.

Touch Stay digital guideTouch Stay has multiple resources you can use to customize your digital guides.

RueBaRue: Google Places, text messaging, and surveys

RueBaRue's user-friendly digital guides help you provide guests with essential details about your vacation rentals’ appliances and amenities, as well as local attractions and activities. The integration with Google Places helps ensure that the information on local recommendations is always accurate and up to date. 

Similar to Breezeway, RueBaRue facilitates smart lock integration, so you can easily share unique door codes with guests directly through the guide. The platform also includes a solution for extended stays, text messaging from your dashboard, and guest surveys.

RueBaRue digital guideRueBaRue’s digital guides include messaging, upselling, and multiple integrations.

Smart locks

Many guests specifically seek out keyless entry as part of a tech-enabled experience—in fact, Airbnb allows travelers to filter results for that specific feature. But not all smart locks are the same. Here are some considerations:

  • Touch pad smart locks look sleek and modern but can be difficult to use for some guests. For example, if they go into standby mode, the way to activate the lock isn’t always intuitive.
  • Keypad smart locks can look a little clunky, but they’re normally very straightforward to use and more durable.
  • Smart locks with mobile key access are the preference of many modern travelers, but some guests find them confusing or intimidating.
  • Bluetooth smart locks provide proximity-based access without internet dependency. They may offer longer battery life but have limited remote management capability.
  • WiFi smart locks enable remote access and integration with smart home systems, but they generally consume more power and rely on a stable internet connection.
  • The cost of installation and maintenance can vary a lot between tools and services, so consider this when choosing a solution.

Here are three keyless lock providers that cater to short-term rental businesses, so guests can enjoy a streamlined check-in experience and you can effectively manage access remotely:

  • Brivo
  • Dormakaba
  • PointCentral

Vacation rental software for better reviews & more repeat guests

Utilizing the right tools can directly impact the guest experience, influencing the positive reviews that are vital for your business performance. 

By focusing on property care, responsiveness, smooth arrivals, keyless entry, and personalized recommendations, you ensure that every guest’s stay is seamless, enjoyable, and memorable.

As you build your tech stack, though, be sure to consider not only the guest experience but also your ability to consistently uphold that guest experience as you grow your business. This means implementing tools that facilitate operational efficiency, so you can reduce your manual workload as you improve your reviews and increase your rate of repeat visits.

Guarantee an exceptional guest experience with every stay
Use Breezeway to never miss a clean or task, share customized cleaning checklists, remotely inspect turnovers, and manage your inventory.

Book a Demo

*Airbnb review
**Airbnb review
***Airbnb review
****Airbnb review