Host Tools is a powerful and intuitive vacation rental software platform that has all the tools you need to become an efficient host. It’s designed for property owners with one to a handful of rentals who need an affordable, all-in-one tool to automate their short-term rental business.

Host Tools is a great alternative to Smoobu, a property management software with functionalities like a booking engine, channel manager, and a property management system (PMS). 

In this blog post, you’ll find out how Host Tools compares to Smoobu in terms of pricing, features, ease-of-use and customer support. So let’s get right into it!

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar, messaging and more for short term rental hosts. Start your free trial today!

What to consider when looking for Smoobu alternatives

When choosing the right vacation rental host tools for your business, it’s important to consider a number of different factors. So, when researching a Smoobu alternative like Host Tools, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the tool provide value for money – and can you fit it into your budget?

  • Does it have all the features you need to efficiently manage the vacation rental properties you currently have – and the ones you may add to your portfolio in the future?

  • Does it provide solutions to real problems that you face on a daily basis?

Once you’ve considered the above, you can start to dig deeper and learn more about the tool. Now, let’s take a detailed look at the best alternative to Smoobu. 

Why is Host Tools the best alternative to Smoobu?

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hosttools

hosttools

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Smartbnb

smoobu

Free trial

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14 days

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14 days

Monthly price per listing*

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$5.00

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$23.00

Setup fee

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$0.00

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$0.00

Channel integrations

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Airbnb, Vrbo, Houfy

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Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda + more (15 API connections)

Messaging automation

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Review automation

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Pricing automation

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Availability sync

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Smart lock support

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Multi-calendar

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Unified inbox

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Accounting

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Cleaner management

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Noise detection

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*The prices listed are for the first listing, billed monthly.

1. Host Tools is more affordable

Host Tools is the most affordable channel manager on the market. For just $5.00 per month per listing, you get access to an entire suite of powerful tools. These include a channel manager, automated messaging and reviews, intelligent pricing, and smart lock support. Whether you have one listing or more, Host Tools allows you to take advantage of all these features without breaking the bank.

The pricing makes host tools a great smoobu alternative.

On the other hand, Smoobu costs $23 per month if you have one listing. For two listings, you pay $29 a month, for three listings, $35, and so on. So, while after the first listing, each additional listing costs only $6 more per month, and you can save 20% by committing to a yearly plan, it still cuts into your profits because of the starting rate. Next to the Professional Plan, Smoobu also has a Basic Plan that’s free. However, this only includes the reservation system/PMS, which won’t do much for you on its own.  

2. Host Tools helps you set perfect rates with a smart pricing tool

Once you’ve got the channel management covered, the next thing you need to do is automate your pricing. Getting your nightly rates right is super important because if you set them too high or too low, you could lose out on revenue and bookings.

That’s why Host Tools has an intelligent pricing feature that helps you find the optimal rates for your rental. It allows you to automate your pricing by creating a set of pricing rules tailored to your listing and refining them with intelligent controls. It’s very simple to use. It leverages your knowledge of the local market and your awareness of how demand fluctuates throughout the year.

With Host Tools, you can make absolutely sure that you never under- or overprice your listings. And, thanks to its direct API integration with Airbnb and Vrbo, Host Tools automatically updates your prices on your channels every 6 hours. This keeps your listings up-to-date and allows you to have a lucrative multi-channel distribution strategy

Here’s what the pricing calendar looks like in Host Tools. You can see the breakdown of pricing rules that stack on top of each other on the right-hand side:

Screenshot of Host Tools pricing calendar

Smoobu, on the other hand, doesn’t have a smart pricing tool. It lets you set up a base price, adjust your rates per day/period/day of the week, add a markup and sync your rates to your connected channels, however, it doesn’t let you automate your prices. 

If you want smart pricing, you need to subscribe to one of Smoobu’s integrated dynamic pricing partners, PriceLabs or Beyond Pricing. Since both of these tools are fairly expensive (PriceLabs charges a monthly flat fee starting at $19.99 and Beyond Pricing charges a commission of 1-1.25% per booking), they’re more for property management companies than homeowners with one or two listings.

If you’d like to know more about pricing, read our article on the best Airbnb pricing tools.

3. Host Tools lets you automate your check-ins with smart lock support

Host Tools is the only Airbnb channel manager on the market to offer a smart lock support feature that allows hosts to automate their check-ins. Thus, it allows you to save time, streamline your check-in process and provide an excellent guest experience without having to do in-person key handovers. 

What’s unique about the Host Tools smart lock feature is that you don’t need to subscribe to any third-party home automation services to use it. You just need to purchase a smart lock compatible with Host Tools, and you can control it from the Host Tools platform. 

Here’s how it works: 

  • Host Tools lets you automatically send your guest a unique access code (the last 4 digits of their phone number). 

  • Then, your guest can use this code to unlock the door of your rental. 

  • When your guest uses their code for the first time to check in, they’ll receive an automated welcome message. This will help them feel as welcome as if there were a front desk service with someone waiting for them at your rental. 

Unfortunately, Smoobu doesn’t support smart locks via its own platform. Instead, it integrates with smart home providers like Nuki, KeyNest and Igloo Home. But, similarly to Smoobu’s dynamic pricing integrations, you have to pay for yet another subscription to access the smart locks feature. With Host Tools, everything is included in the $5 per listing monthly plan. 

4. Host Tools allows you to automate your reviews

While both Host Tools and Smoobu have a messaging automation feature, Host Tools goes beyond Airbnb automated messages and also lets you automate reviews. This is crucial because a good review can be the difference between a guest deciding to book your rental or continuing to browse for better options.

Here’s how review automation works with Host Tools:

  • Host Tools automatically reviews the guest for you.

  • It sends your guest a message letting them know you’ve left a 5-star review and asks them to leave a review in return.

  • You can send your guests as many nudges as you like until they remember to leave a review.

By encouraging your guests to leave reviews, you can increase the number of positive reviews on your listing page. This translates into a boost in conversion rates, occupancy and online bookings.

5. Host Tools is uncomplicated and easy to use

Unlike many other all-in-one vacation rental software solutions, Host Tools is an uncomplicated, easy-to-use tool with an intuitive interface. It doesn’t have a steep learning curve, which allows you to start taking advantage of its diverse features from day one.

The whole point of using an automation tool is to help you save time. That’s why Host Tools was designed in a way that doesn’t require you to spend hours trying to figure it out. Whether it comes to channel management, messaging automation or pricing, every aspect of the tool is built to be easy to set up and maintain. 

To give you an idea, here’s how to set up the Host Tools channel manager for availability synchronization:

  • Connect your Airbnb and/or Vrbo account to Host Tools. 

  • Add calendars from any other booking sites/online travel agencies (OTAs) via iCal import.

  • No more double bookings! Manage all your calendars and see all your bookings in one place.

Host Tools multi-calendar

With Host Tools, you can hit the ground running. Streamline your workflows and instantly automate tasks that would otherwise take up hours of your time. 

6. With Host Tools, you get top-of-the-line customer support

Last but not least, Host Tools excels in the realm of customer support. If you need any help, you can contact the tool’s developer directly. 

I created Host Tools to solve my own problems when it comes to short-term rental property managers, and I want to help do the same for you.

So, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar, messaging and more for short term rental hosts. Start your free trial today!

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