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Host Tools Review: Channel Manager, Automated Messages & Smart Pricing



Ease of Use



  • Lowest price on the market
  • Outstanding customer support
  • Intelligent pricing tool
  • Smart lock support


  • Only integrates with Airbnb and Vrbo
  • No dedicated mobile app

Summary: Host Tools is a simple automation tool for Airbnb and Vrbo rental hosts. There’s nothing like it in the short term rental market for the price. All you need to do is sign up and let Host Tools take over! 

Pricing: FREE 30-Day Trial, then $5.00 per month per listing! 

Features: Channel manager, automated messaging, pricing tool, smart lock automation

Best For: Small hosts looking to start automating their business with an easy to use, inexpensive tool. 

Host Tools Review and Features for 2020

Host Tools makes it simple to keep everything for your Airbnb or Vrbo listing in one place.

As a short-term rental host, you spend a lot of time replying to your guests and managing your team. It can be a lot of work.  All that time you're spending working in the business is time you could be spending growing it. You know I'm all about automating my Airbnb business, so I was excited to see I could automate my pricing, messaging and bookings with Host Tools. I had a ton of time to focus on scaling my operation after I set everything up. 

Once you free up your time with automation tools, you'll be able to spend your time where it's needed most. I was able to focus on networking, finding new units, and building a strategy to increase bookings for all of my vacation rentals. 

Don't worry, it's not complicated to set up something like Host Tools. You'll be amazed by all the cool things it can do, and most of all you'll have your time back. 

The day after I started automated my messaging and listings, I saw a dramatic increase in bookings. It was amazing to see how many more reviews I got, and how happy my guests seemed by my attentiveness. I would never have guessed a tool like this could change the game so much.

I know it's hard when you're starting out as a small Airbnb host. That's why I want to share with you how to easily set up and use Host Tools – for free! 

Let Host Tools Automate Your Business 

In this Host Tools Review I'll be covering the reasons why this is one of my favorite tools for optimizing my Airbnb business. 

There are a ton of automated messaging tools out there. I use a few different automation tools myself. I’m always looking for new tools to increase my revenue, so I decided to give this one a shot as well! 

The cool thing about Host Tools is that it has three useful features inside one program. It makes it easy to handle your pricing, automated messages, and different channels in a single place. It doesn't get much better than this. 

A lot of tools out there require training or background knowledge. They are great, but it can take a lot of time before they are worthwhile. Host Tools really focused on saving your time, they made it super user friendly to automate your business and increase your income. 

Let’s take a look at the main features of Host Tools:

Channel Manager

Easily integrate Airbnb, Vrbo, and iCal.  Keep track of everything in one place. 

Automated Messaging

Set up message rules for a variety of situations and stay on top of guest communication.

Smart Pricing

Update prices according to customized pricing rules across all platforms, instantly. 

Smart Lock

Automate your smart lock and give guests a secure stay and peace of mind.  

Host Tools is always adding new features, but these are a few of my favorite that are easy to set up.  I'll cover how to use a few of these features, but first I'll tell you how they'll help you increase your revenue. 

Let’s dive into a few of the main features Host Tools offers.

Channel manager

The Host Tools channel manager makes it easy to add your Vrbo or Airbnb listings with real-time sync availability. Think of how much time that can save you! Once I set up my accounts on Host Tools, I was able to manage my bookings on one platform instead of switching between multiple sites. As an added bonus, Host Tools syncs your calendars and updates changes and bookings across all accounts.

Automated messaging

Are you spending a few hours each day communicating with your team and guests? Host Tools lets you set up automated messages and use message rules so questions get answered even when you're not around. For 95% of questions, your message rules will take care of it. If you feel like your messages are too unique for automation, Host Tools has you covered. Create rules for certain days like trash day or specific messages for guests with pets!

Pricing tool

When you're ready to start building more advanced pricing strategies for your vacation rentals, Host Tools can help. The platform has a rules-based pricing guide, which means you decide what happens. Just like with automated messages, you create unique rules to suit your business. Once the pricing rules are set up and ready to go, you'll be able to easily update your listing from one central place.

Smart lock support

As an Airbnb host, you know you need a different lock code for each guest, but it's time-consuming to meet each one or send a new code each time. Host Tools saves you time and money by automating your smart lock codes at no extra cost. It's quick, easy, and free. 

Why should you use Host Tools?

With all the tools out there, it's important to use the best ones and save yourself hassle. Host Tools is an inexpensive tool that can really take your small business to the next level. You might not think automating your Airbnb or Vrbo business is that important, but you're missing out if you think that way.

  • Prevents double bookings
  • Seamless check-ins
  • Builds trusts
  • Makes you more money

Even if you only have one listing, you can benefit from an automation tool.  Host Tools has a ton of great features for a low price, to my knowledge it's one of the cheapest on the market! 

1. Host Tools puts an end to double bookings 

I wish I could say I have never had a double booking, but I would be lying. I assume that many of you reading this can relate. 

If you're using two different sites, like Airbnb and Vrbo, you might get a guest that books from each place. This is never a fun situation to be in. It can take a few days to clear things up in some cases. If the headache isn't bad enough, you'll get penalties, lower rankings, and risk a Superhost status. Host Tools makes it easy to avoid all of the double booking drama.

When you set up the Host Tools channel manager, all of your listings will be automatically synced. This means no more double bookings. If somebody books your Airbnb listing, the channel manager will automatically update the listing on Vrbo and other calendars. No more manually updating your listings or worrying about catching duplicates before it's too late. 

With your availability up to date on all platforms, you'll have a master calendar with all your listings and less confusion to deal with. The iCal integration seems to take a little while to load, but nonetheless, it's a great feature to take advantage of.  


2. Host Tools makes booking and check-in easy 

If the ability to avoid double bookings forever wasn't enough, Host Tools can also help you communicate more efficiently with your guests.

Don't want your guests bombarding you with a ton of questions? Me either. That's why I set up automated booking confirmation. Once a guest checks in they receive a message from me welcoming them and answering common questions. I still get a question now and then, but for the most part, my automated check-in messages save me a ton of time. 

As someone with a busy life, I can't always get around to those unique questions that my automated messages don't cover. For those instances Host Tools lets me respond to inquires with a note that I'll follow up soon. By using this feature you make sure Airbnb and Vrbo guests see you as an attentive host. It’s almost like having your own Airbnb support team. 


3. Host Tools helps you build trust  

The automated messaging feature isn't just useful for booking inquires and confirmations, it's great for building trust and relationships. Host Tools lets you automate every type of message from a simple thank you at check out to sending a friendly greeting when a guest books. Once you set it up, you'll never have to touch it again! Guests love the feeling of having a host that wants to make sure everything is great, it's an easy way to get more 5-star reviews on your Airbnb or Vrbo listing. 

Another really cool feature that gets you bonus points with guests is the smart lock automation feature. You'll be able to create rules that send customized messages right when a guest creates their code. Your guests will feel safe knowing their host cares about their safety and is just a message away! 


4. Host Tools helps you make more money

We can all agree one of our biggest goals is getting a little more cash in our pockets. Host Tools is there to help out. 

If you want to make the most with your short term rental property, optimizing your systems and processes is key. Using a tool like Host Tools makes everything simple, you'll be more likely to actually use it and it only takes a few minutes to set up. 

Once you've set up the automation, you can stop losing out on easy money. The control is where it should be when you use Host Tools, in your hands.

How to Setup Host Tools 

If you need a tool that can save you a huge amount of time and money by optimizing your entire rental business, this Host Tools review is the right place for you. 

Up first I'll be covering how to set up the Channel Manager. This is the first thing you have to do when setting up your Host Tools account. Adding your Airbnb and Vrbo accounts will make Host Tools your “parent calendar”, and each calendar or platform that you important into Host Tools is called a “child calendar”. 

Here's what your listing will look like from your Host Tools Channel Manager settings. 

A screenshot of Host Tools Channel Manager

If you're going to be adding more than Airbnb and Vrbo, you can also add those listings from areas like iCal or booking.com. Host Tools can even integrate with your own personal website. It's a very versatile platform that really makes a lot of sense if you're starting to automate your business. 

After you've synced your calendars you are ready to view them. The cool things about Host Tools is that no matter how many calendars or platforms you have integrated, everything is in one place. This takes away a lot of confusion that can be caused by using multiple platforms.

Here's a look at the calendar with various platforms:


Host Tools multi calendar view

As you can see from the example, Host Tools lets you know where each listing is coming from. Many of these listings are from Airbnb, but at least you can see that Host Tools will give you a clear view of where your bookings are coming from, who is staying, and for how long.

Next up is my favorite feature of Host Tools, the ability to send automated messages.  

Host Tools Automated Messaging

Setting up automated messaging with Host Tools only takes two steps. Create the message rule and add tags. It's really that easy. 

Host Tools offers a variety of templates to choose from, or you can create your own custom message. You'll be able to give your rule a specific name so it's easy to find and identify. For example, if you want to set up a message to check in on your guests, you could create a message rule called ‘Check-Up Rule' that gets triggered 1 day after check-in. As you can imagine, you can get very detailed with these messaging rules if you want.

Create a new message rule dialog box

Host Tools Smart Pricing

Do you ever wonder if you're missing out on extra cash by using dynamic pricing? You might be. Host Tools gives you control of your pricing by letting you set the limits and create the rules. I love the Host Tools smart pricing tool, it allows me to create stackable pricing rules that work to get my place booked at the best rate! 

If you're new to pricing there are templates to choose from and a more advanced setting option for those that want to get really into the pricing rules.

Host Tools Smart Pricing dashboard

All you need to do to see your pricing rules or update them is click on the pricing calendar. From here you can make edits and get a clear breakdown of what is going on.

And there you have it. An all-in-one automation tool that brings your platforms together. 

Related Post: Beyond Pricing Review & Tutorial: Dynamic Airbnb Pricing

We just talked about pricing…so how much does Host Tools cost? 

Sign up for the FREE 30-day trial and pay only $5 a month per listing after that. 

Host Tools Review Summary

Overall Host Tools is a great tool packed with functionality at a low price. If you're a small Airbnb or Vrbo host looking to automate your business and free up your time, the price can't be beat and the user interface can be learned in just a few minutes.  

In addition to the amazing features offered, you'll get great tech support from Host Tools whenever you need it! 

Overall Rating: 4.6/5 stars



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