This is an update to a previous post “Your Porter vs OwnerRez”
OwnerRez and Guesty for Hosts (G4H) are channel managers that allow you to manage your short-term rentals across multiple OTAs (online-travel agencies) aka Airbnb, VRBO, Booking etc. Using a channel manager is essential to running a smooth STR business and both of these companies have their strengths and weaknesses.
But before we get into all that lets go over a little recent history about Guesty for Hosts.
Guesty for Hosts is actually “Your Porter”. Your Porter was an awesome and inexpensive start up from the Netherlands that created a channel manager that integrated directly with VRBO and Airbnb. As you have guessed this start up was bought out by a large player in the short-term rental space, Guesty.
Guesty changed the Your Porter name to Guesty 4 hosts which is honestly a little confusing and they changed the color scheme from red to blue… That was the main change for the first 6 months besides increasing the price (more info about pricing below).
But, now some interesting changes are starting to develop. The first is an improved integrated nightly rental insurance feature through Guesty for Hosts with damage protection up to $10,000. Other options such as the ability to sign rental agreements remain pending.
Overall, the buyout of Your Porter by Guesty will result in improved features and function but at a higher cost. The current pricing is slightly less expensive when compared to OwnerRez but it is approaching the OwnerRez price point.
So, how do you decide between Guesty for Hosts and OwnerRez.
OwnerRez supporters are adamant that all the difficulty, pain and extra cost… Just $500 for OwnerRez to set up the program for you is worth it… You just need to get these other apps, hospitable for messaging, Remote Locks for lock management, and a payment processing system… and boom the perfect channel manager… OwnerRez.
On the other side, Guesty for Hosts, intergrates directly with Airbnb and VRBO. Messaging is simple via an app, you do not need a separate messaging app or remote lock and you can set it up in a few hours… but it is still growing and not as robust as OwnerRez… (It lacks Quickbook integration and digital rental agreements.)
In general, both G4H and OwnerRez users tend to be loyal to their channel manager. Kinda like Apple customers vs android customers and the programs are actually similar to these products.
For example, Guesty for hosts would be like an iPhone, it iOS based, user friendly, requires less set up time but has less customization.
While OwnerRez is your Android phone with more customization but also more upfront work. It also, usually requires a few more apps to perform the same functions as Guesty for Hosts.
Neither is right or wrong but depends on how you plan to manage.
So, lets look at some details…
GUESTY FOR HOSTS
Guesty for Hosts (G4H) is iOS based and has a native app that works great on the iPhone. Therefore, if you manage remotely on the move and use your phone to manage your STR then G4H is probably for you.
But to be thorough lets look at the other features of Guesty 4 hosts and OwnerRez
G4H has direct API integration with AIRBNB and Booking.com allowing complete control of your listing through Guesty for hosts
VRBO and other platforms can be linked with iCal allowing you to sync your calendar and pricing across all platforms.
This feature allows you to view your messages from all platforms in one inbox. You can message directly to your Airbnb and VRBO guests through this one inbox.
There is also an option to set up automated messaging through the Guesty for Hosts that greatly improves your response time with customized messages. You can also set up Auto-Review to make sure you don’t forget to review any guests.
If you have a bad guest you can easily stop the auto-review and write your own review.
One nice feature about the messaging platform of Guesty for Hosts is that it allows for pdf attachments. This allows you to attach guide books and other instructions for your guests.
Messaging in Guesty for Hosts allows direct native messaging in Airbnb and VRBO
You can add automation rules to notify your cleaning crew of upcoming bookings, number of guests and can send the notification to yourself as well. In addition, there is an option for shared calendars. (Click here to read more)
Guesty for Hosts Integrates with Pricelabs, Wheelhouse and Beyond Pricing.
I prefer Pricelabs
Create financial reports
This service is included with the Guesty for Hosts product. The reports are easy to read and can be exported to excel. (Click here to read more)
Integrated with Schlage Encode
Automatically generate and send access codes to your guests via Guesty for Hosts for $0.75 per code. It is actually worth it. The only downside here is that it does not integrate with Remote Lock yet so you are limited to Schlage Encode locks. With that said, Schlage Encode Locks are pretty awesome. (Click Here)
Create your own website
G4H has an easy program to generate a custom website with the click of a button. The direct booking site is automatically created from your Airbnb listing. You can then customize your deposit rules and add a Stripe account to collect direct payments.
Stripe also allows you to place a hold on the card on file for deposit. It is a nice feature. You have the option to further customize you site or just go with the autogenerated website.
Other features include custom coupon codes and the site integrates directly with Guesty for Hosts, Airbnb, VRBO so you will never have to worry about double bookings.
The downside is that the site is generated from Airbnb so your account needs to be active on Airbnb for your Direct site to work. (This may change in the future)
If you are looking to break up with Airbnb then this option might not work for you.
OwnerRez is computer based and does not have a native iOS app. For those that manage on the phone this may be challenging. However, the nice thing about OwnerRez is that is a robust program that allows for customization and integrates with many products. The downside is that the set-up is a little more time consuming.
OwnerRez offers direct API integration with AIRBNB, VRBO, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and more. Now this may be great for some but it does sound like there are some quirks to this set-up. I have included a link to the VRBO API description as an example (Click Here). This is not a plug and play set up.
Hence the Android (OwnerRez) vs iPhone (Guesty for Hosts) comparison.
The OwnerRez unified inbox receives Airbnb messages, email messages, and SMS messages.
OwnerRez also includes “trigger messages” to help automate messaging through Airbnb messaging and SMS/email for the other platforms.
Messaging in OwnerRez allows for Airbnb native messaging but does not allow for VRBO native messaging. (Click here to learn more)
OwnerRez Integrates with Pricelabs, DPGO and Beyond Pricing.
I prefer Pricelabs…
Integrated with multiple SmartLock companies
Automatically generate and send access codes to your guests by integrating with various smartlock providers: RemoteLock, Point Central, Dormakaba, Brivo, eRemotelock.com….
RemoteLock is a great program and this would be the recommended program to integrate with OwnerRez. If you are using Schlage Encode door locks then you would register your locks with RemoteLock and then integrate with OwnerRez.
With Guesty for Hosts the Schlage encode locks integrate directly without RemoteLock.
Create your own website
You can add “book now sections”, availability calendars, reviews, and more.
There is also a WordPress plugin if you have your own website and want to integrate with your OwnerRez data.
In addition, you can accept direct payments via their integrated payment processing partners for example: paypal, stripe, netbilling etc.
Lastly, Digital signatures for contracts can be set up (similar to Docusign).
(I created a work around for this in Guesty for Hosts but it is nice that OwnerRez has this integrated.)
One major advantage of the OwnerRez website is that is a freestanding website and is NOT dependent on Airbnb to function.
The disadvantage is the upfront set up time is more than the autogenerated Guesty for Hosts Direct booking site.
A nice feature provided by OwnerRez is Quickbooks integration.
Guesty for Hosts
Guesty for Hosts was recently bought out by Guesty and unfortunately the pricing has increased slightly. It used to be $18 for your first two properties and then $9 per listing per month but it has increased to:
Guesty for Hosts offers a free 14-day trial and a 10% discount for annual plans.
What is nice about Guesty for Hosts is that everything is included in one price: Messaging, Expense tracking, reports, the direct booking site, Airbnb Rank booster and more… (the exception is a charge for using your own domain name)
Owner Rez has a more complicated pricing set up and a pricing calculator that allows you adjust the price based on which services you want. The price range for two properties is similar to Guesty for Hosts if you do not include Quickbook integration.
(I left out Quickbooks because Guesty for Hosts does not offer that service).
In the end, the pricing differences between Guesty for Hosts and OwnerRez are not much. This is especially true when it comes to managing properties that are generate significant returns and for those that own multiple properties.
Both Guesty for Hosts and OwnerRez are robust programs that assist in managing short-term rental properties. Neither one is perfect. They both have their own advantages and disadvantages so the key is researching and determining which one works with your management style.
The good news is that they both offer free trials and monthly subscriptions so you can change if one is not the right fit for you.
We hope this post helps in making a choice between the two…
Enjoy your Journey to Financial Freedom