The Ultimate Guide to Guest Apps for Short-Term Rental Property Agencies

Seaside Short-Term Rental Property with Guest App

As technology continues to play an increasingly important role in the short-term rental industry, guest apps have emerged as a valuable tool for property agencies looking to enhance the guest experience and increase efficiency.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide an overview of what guest apps are, the benefits of using them, how to choose the right guest app for your property agency, the key features to look for, best practices for implementation, and future trends and developments to keep an eye on.

What are guest apps?

Guest apps are mobile applications that provide guests with convenient access to information and services related to their short-term rental property. Unlike traditional concierge services, which require a dedicated staff member to assist guests, guest apps enable guests to access information and services on-demand, anytime and anywhere. Some of the most common types of guest apps include check-in and check-out apps, messaging, and communication apps, local recommendation apps, and property information apps.

What are the benefits?

There are numerous benefits to using guest apps for short-term rental property agencies. First and foremost, guest apps can enhance the guest experience by providing guests with convenient access to information and services, such as check-in and check-out, local recommendations, and property information. Additionally, guest apps can increase efficiency by automating certain (concierge) tasks, such as guest communication and guest management. Finally, guest apps can provide property agencies with valuable data insights, such as guest feedback and usage patterns, that can inform future decision-making and improve profitability.

How do I choose the right guest app?

When choosing a guest app for your property agency, there are several factors to consider, including budget, property size, and guest preferences. It’s important to evaluate different guest apps and their features to determine which option best aligns with your property agency’s needs and goals. Some key considerations to keep in mind include ease of use, branding elements, integrations, and customer support.

Key Features

The key features of guest apps for short-term rental property agencies can vary depending on the specific app and its purpose. It’s important to choose a guest app that offers the features that are most important to your guests and your property agency’s operations. Key features that are commonly found in guest apps include:

Property Information

  • Provides guests with details about the property, including amenities, house guides, and instructions for using various features.

  • Allows guests to easily access important property information and find answers to common questions without having to contact the property manager.

Check-In and Check-Out

  • Allows guests to check in and out of the property remotely, avoiding the need for physical keys or meeting the property manager in person.

  • Provides guests with step-by-step instructions for accessing the property and leaving it in the appropriate condition at the end of their stay.

Guest communication

  • Enables guests to communicate with the property manager or host via messaging or chat functionality, providing a direct line of communication for any questions or concerns.

  • Offers guests the ability to receive push notifications about important updates or changes related to their stay.

Local Recommendations

  • Provides guests with recommendations for nearby restaurants, attractions, and other points of interest.

  • Offers guests the ability to filter recommendations based on their interests or preferences and save recommendations for future reference.

Upgrades & Upsells

  • Enables guests to book and pay for their upgrades and upsells directly within the app, eliminating the need for third-party booking platforms.

  • Offers guests the ability to view payment and booking history.

Smart Marketing actions

  • Send notifications during specific stages in the guest journey to improve guest communications and elevate the guest stay.

  • Change app widgets based on property specifications or guest needs

Agency and Property branding

  • Shows agency and or property branding within the guest app

  • Leverages branding elements throughout the guest journey: such as branded email templates or SMS communications.

Feedback and Reviews

  • Allows guests to provide feedback and leave reviews about their stay, helping future guests make informed decisions.

  • Provides property managers with valuable feedback about the guest experience and areas for improvement.

Guest data

  • Allows you to gather guest data based on guest interactions

  • Allows you to gain guest insights based on push messages regarding guest interests and guest budget.

Group engagement

  • Allows guests to invite other guests to enhance their group experience.

  • The group can view the same property information, and request and book services on their own, while keeping everyone in the loop.

Best Practices for Implementing a Guest App

Implementing a guest app requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a smooth and successful launch. We’ve listed a few best practices:

  1. Choose the right app technology: Before implementing a guest app, do your research to find the app that best fits the needs of your property and guests.

  2. Integrate with other tools: If you use other property management tools such as booking systems or cleaning services, ensure that the guest app can integrate with these tools to create a seamless experience for both guests and property managers.

  3. Train staff and guests: Ensure that your staff is trained on how to use the guest app and can answer any questions that guests may have. Provide guests with instructions on how to download and use the app.

  4. Encourage guest adoption: Promote the use of the guest app to guests by including information about it in pre-arrival emails, property information sheets, and during check-in.

  5. Prioritize data privacy and security: Ensure that any data collected through the guest app is stored securely and that guests’ personal information is protected.

Future trends and developments

The short-term rental industry is constantly evolving, and guest apps are no exception. Here are some future trends to keep in mind:

  1. Increased personalization: As technology advances, guest apps will be able to provide more personalized recommendations and experiences based on guests’ preferences and behavior.

  2. Integration with smart home technology: As smart home, technology becomes more common in rental properties, guest apps will likely integrate with these devices to provide guests with even more control over their stay.

  3. Voice technology: Voice-activated assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home are becoming more prevalent in homes, and we can expect to see more guest apps incorporating voice technology in the future.

  4. Sustainability and eco-friendliness: As more travelers become conscious of their environmental impact, guest apps may incorporate features that promote sustainability, such as eco-friendly transportation options or recommendations for environmentally friendly restaurants and attractions.

It’s important for short-term rental property agencies to start implementing guest apps now to stay competitive and future-proof their business. By providing guests with a convenient and seamless experience through a guest app, property managers can differentiate themselves from competitors and attract more guests. Moreover, by implementing these apps early on, property managers can stay ahead of the curve and adapt to changing guest expectations as technology continues to evolve.


In conclusion, guest apps are a valuable tool for short-term rental property agencies looking to enhance the guest experience and improve efficiency. By understanding the benefits of guest apps, and implementing best practices, you can improve guest satisfaction and profitability. Additionally, staying informed about future trends and developments in the guest.

Ready to start implementing a guest app for your short-term rental agency? Start here!