Set-up

1. Create a Host Tools Account

Host Tools is a channel manager that will automate repetitive tasks like messaging guests, texting cleaners about new cleanings, setting smart lock door codes, syncing prices and availability across channels, and more.

2. Connect Channels

Host Tools needs access to your listings so the first step is to connect your channel account. Connect your Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, and Houfy accounts so Host Tools can automate across all channels.

3. Link Listings

If you list a property on several channels, you will need to link those listings on Host Tools. By linking your listings, you are telling Host Tools which listings from different channels are for the same property. This is used later if you enable availability syncing and you get a booking on one channel, it will update your calendar on all other channels. This will also be helpful because it will automatically apply the same message rules or pricing rules to all your linked listings and prevents you from needing to create them multiple times. This also makes sure that Host Tools only charges you for one listing, instead of for each channel the listing is advertised on.

Start Automating

Automate Messages

The first step in automating your short-term rentals is putting your guest communication on autopilot. Host Tools will send automated messages for you based on unpredictable events, such as a new booking, or scheduled events, such as 1 day after a guest has checked in.

Automate Availability Syncing

Host Tools can automatically block dates on all your channels when you get a new booking.

A word of warning: Host Tools only downloads reservations from channels, it does not download blocked date settings. If you have blocked dates on your channel calendar they will be overwritten by Host Tools when it synchronizes. When Host Tools synchronizes your availability, it uses all the reservations from all your linked listings and blocks those dates across all the linked listings. If you have dates that you have manually blocked, you need to block those dates on the Host Tools calendar.

Once listings are linked and availability is enabled it will automatically sync across all listings every time a new reservation is made or you block dates on the Host Tools calendar.

Do not add iCal links for channels that are connected (Airbnb/VRBO/Houfy). This can cause issues with availability syncing.

Automate Pricing

Host Tools has a very powerful and flexible pricing tool. It is rule-based meaning you build your pricing strategy by creating a list of rules. Each rule is applied in order from the top down. That means that one rule can override another rule if it’s farther down on the list. Pricing rules can change your price, min night requirement, or availability.

Step 1

Set your source or base price in the listing settings. You can set your base price using a static value or copy your prices from a linked listing or use prices from your PriceLabs account.

Step 2

Set your minimum price in listing settings. This is the lowest Host Tools will ever set your price.

Step 3

Create pricing rules or set prices directly on the calendar.

Pricing rules can do three different things: change your prices, set your minimum night requirement, and set your availability.

You can also change prices directly on your calendar.

  • To set prices directly on the calendar, select dates on your calendar and type in a price for all the channels or for just specific channels.

Step 4

Check to make sure prices are correct

There are a few different ways you can check your prices on Host Tools to make sure they are correct. You can view your pricing calendar, the price graph, or from the pricing page select a date and it will show you how that price was calculated. There are more detailed instructions here.

Step 5

Enable pricing

  • Click the “enable pricing” box in the listings settings.

Step 6

Log into VRBO, Airbnb, or other channels to check if your prices have synced.

  • Host Tools will automatically sync prices every six hours.

  • You can click “Sync Prices” above your pricing graph to have it sync immediately. It can take up to 5 minutes for prices to sync.

  • If you are copying prices, you might need to sync your prices twice because Host Tools needs to download the prices from one listing and then save them to the other listing which will require that the tool synchronizes twice initially.

Automate Smart Locks

Host Tools integrates with August locks and any smart lock that connects to the SmartThings hub by using Rboy’s Rental Lock Automator (RLA) software. This includes almost all Zigbee and Z-wave-enabled locks.

Explore More Features

Group Listings

Making a “Listing Group” is useful for creating a turnover calendar or for creating one messaging rule that works for a group of listings. If you have several properties that are in the same building or city, they may share the same cleaner and have many of the same messages.

Turnover Calendar

A turnover calendar is a calendar you can share externally with members of your team such as your cleaners or managers. The calendar can be viewed by anyone with a unique link, it does not require a sign-in. It shows the listing name, address, check-outs, some guest information, and whether or not it is a same-day booking.

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