Listing your property on Airbnb, Homeaway, Booking.com and the whole gang is great, but there's an unfortunate caveat: they take a chunk of your profits. What if you could keep it all to yourself? All you need is your own website. If you're like a lot of us, you might not know how (nor have the time) to do it. That's why today I'm reviewing the leading providers to see which vacation rental website builder is best for you.
There's more than just one reason Airbnb hosts need their own website, but the most pressing one is that you'll keep all your profit to yourself. If you want to maximize your revenue, you need creative ways to market your vacation rental. Every business that wants to market itself starts with a website.
But you don't need to hire a developer or sign up for the code academy just yet. There's software designed specifically for vacation rental owners. Lodgify and Your Porter App both provide easy-to-use platforms to build a vacation rental website. They're both intuitive, affordable and work great.
I tried them both out so you can decide between Lodgidy and Your Porter App for yourself.
If you've never built a website before, let alone a rental property website, it might be hard to know what you're looking for. A good vacation rental website builder should let you easily:
WordPress and Wix are some options, but they aren't designed specifically for vacation rentals like Lodgify and Your Porter App are. That's why I'll review these two. First, let's take a look at the features both have.
What's the same:
What's the same:
Your Porter App is better known as an automated property management software. That's how I disovered it, at least. It's an awesome software that is relatively cheap and you can use it to manage your teams, multiple listings and channels.
I was pleasantly surprised when I also found out you could also create websites on it.
When you create a website with Your Porter, you can either use a domain you own or let them host your website, in which case it would look like: 'yourname.staydirectly.com', which they provide for free.
To get the website builder feature, you need to sign up for the pro-host plan, not the basic "expanding host" plan. That means you'll have a full property management automation software that comes with it, and it will sync to your Airbnb and other channels.
From those channels it will take your photos and descriptions and use that to populate the website (which you can edit later). It will automatically set your feature photo as the main background, though you can change it.
You can accept payments directly via Stripe and Paypal. You can add your logo, which will show up at the top left, and choose from 8 color palettes that they provide.
They even guide you on how to set up your website for search engine optimization so people can find your listing easier.
Lodgify's vacation rental website builder is also just one feature among many in its property management software. Unlike Your Porter, even the most basic plan includes the website builder (although Lodgify's basic plan is still nearly 5x as expensive as Your Porter's PRO plan).
You can also choose between using your own domain or using the one provided by Lodgify. What I like is that Lodgify has 16 different templates and color palettes to choose from, so you really feel like you're making something unique.
I have sometimes found the interface to be confusing, but it's something you can figure out if you put your mind to it a little.
Lodgify is only worth the investment if you're a full-time host. If you're only a part-time host, leaving your property on Airbnb and the other channels should be enough.
Instead of Lodgify extracting the information from your Airbnb listing, you fill it out yourself the way you want it to look on your website.
You can choose payment options, bookability (Instant, upon review?), payment policies and more. There's a bit of a learning curve but otherwise it's easier than setting up a WordPress website.
In the end, one good way to choose is to decide which one you prefer for its property management software. I also wrote a comparison of different property management software to help you choose which one is best for you.