Best Guest Communication Tools for Vacation Rentals

A list of four top automated communication tools for vacation rental businesses, including Minut for noise and occupancy monitoring.
Minut News
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April 3, 2024
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Best Guest Communication Tools for Vacation Rentals

Successful vacation rental management demands excellent communication between hosts and guests —but finding the best tool for you, and differentiating between them, can be downright tough.

That’s why in this post, we’ve listed some of the most effective guest communication tools for vacation rentals out there, highlighting what they do best—so you can choose the right one for your business.

Want to give guests digital welcome books to reduce questions? TouchStay could be for you. Prefer to communicate with guests via email? Look at YourWelcome Advance. Interested in smart AI-powered comms? Consider Enso Connect.

And if you want to automate messages to guests based on noise, occupancy, and cigarette monitoring, Minut’s your all-in-one solution.

Here’s our pick of vacation rental communication software, and how to choose the best one for your short-term rental business.

1. Minut: Best for scheduled messaging & auto-noise control

A view of three phone screens showing Minut’s automated messaging tools
Minut enables you to personalize and schedule automated messages for check-in, check-out, common questions, and for excessive noise and occupancy. Source

Like all the tools on this list, Minut offers automated messaging for guest check-ins and check-outs, so you can easily communicate with guests before and during their stay—for easy arrivals and departures.

But what really sets Minut apart is its expertise in noise monitoring and detecting unauthorized parties at your properties.

Its multiple tools work seamlessly together to help you prevent unauthorized parties, gatherings, or disturbances; and address noise issues before they get out of hand—without requiring anyone to be present, or risk confrontation. Minut also goes beyond digital messaging to offer real-life, on-site communication, to streamline guest communication throughout the guest journey.

Minut ensures the safety and reputation of your properties and business 24/7, while also saving you time and stress on guest communication—without negatively impacting the guest experience.

Key features of Minut

Minut simplifies reduces your workload, removes the need for in-person changeovers, protects your properties and business, and builds trust with your guests.

It includes:

  • Automated messaging - Schedule messages in advance to enable contactless check-in and check-outs. Shortcodes help you easily personalize and tailor messages by guest and property.
  • Smart lock integrations - Make contactless check-in and access monitoring even easier by sharing your smart lock code with guests in advance.
  • Automated noise reminders - Minut’s Guest Connect system sends guests an SMS reminder if excess noise is detected. You can customize the text content and your chosen noise threshold levels. Plus, it works outdoors. In 94% of cases, simply reminding guests to keep it down resolves the problem within 15 minutes.
  • Airbnb messaging integration - Send guests a message through their Airbnb inbox instead of by SMS, so all communication comes from the same place.
  • Automated occupancy monitoring - Minut can automatically detect the number of smartphones in your property, and will alert you if too many people gather at once.
  • Autocall to noisy guests - Minut can automate a computer voice call to guests when they’re being too noisy. Again, you can customize the alert levels, and the message that the voice will read.
  • Call Assist for persistently noisy guests - Minut’s call center agents (who are trained in conflict resolution) can call your guests and are available 24/7.
  • Guard Assist for the most disruptive guests - If a phone call isn’t enough, Minut can even send security agents (also trained in conflict resolution) to your property, to ensure safety and noise de-escalation on the ground.
  • Cigarette smoke detection - Minut’s machine learning-powered system identifies cigarette smoke to prevent costly damage to your properties and their contents. 
  • Security alarm, motion detection, alarm recognition, and window break detection - Keep watch of your properties from afar. Receive alerts if alarms go off or if a break-in is detected.

What they say

Users say that Minut helps them offer an automated, seamless hospitality experience to guests, even if their team is entirely remote or spread out across countries.

“Minut’s strengths are in giving us awareness of what is happening…Minut played a vital role in helping us deliver an automated tech-enabled hospitality experience.” 

— Yvette Romero, Director of Strategic Product Initiatives at Kasa, a San-Francisco-based, global accommodation brand, whose teams use Minut in every one of their properties.

Minut also helps vacation rental property managers to enforce their no-party, no-smoking policies. 

“We have a policy to install Minut devices in every single listing we manage.” 

— Jean-Paul Godfroy, CEO of Huswell, a European property management company that used Minut to reach their ‘zero parties in 2023’ goal.

“Since installing Minut, I don’t have to worry so much about bad guests. There’s also no need to make ad hoc checks, which saves me a lot of time and worry. Moreover, my guests are showing significantly higher rates of cooperation, since they know I will get notified immediately [if there’s an issue].”

— Property manager of three vacation rental apartments in Ibiza, Spain, who achieved an issue-free summer last year due to Minut, and uses it in all of their units to monitor noise and ensure good relationships with their neighbors.

2. Enso Connect: Best for AI-powered automated messages

A graphic of Enso Connect’s AI messaging feature
Enso Connect uses AI to suggest answers to common questions Source:

Enso Connect uses the power of AI to automate messages and detect possible issues (such as fraud), to improve the guest journey and experience, saving you time and effort on answering repeated questions or manually coordinating check-ins and check-outs.

Enso Connect doesn’t have specific noise or occupancy monitoring messaging, but it does offer a wide range of communication features that simplify and improve operations, and boost the guest experience.

  • Automated digital check-in and check-out - Set up and send step-by-step check-in instructions with images to enable automated, hands-off check-in and check-out, to save money and time on in-person meet and greets, and reduce guest travel stress.
  • Smart lock management - Increase security and make granting access to guests much easier in advance by using smart locks with personalized PIN codes.
  • Personalized upsell messages - Send guests upsells to give them a smoother stay and boost your income.
  • Unified inbox - Bring all guest communication into one single place, so you never miss a message, and can keep track of messages more easily.
  • Reduced risk of fraud and chargebacks - Screen and verify guests ahead of time, to reduce fraud and “know your guest” via data collection, for personalization and marketing.
  • Digital guidebooks - Offer guests an attractive digital guidebook, optimized for smartphones, to share important property information, and offer useful local recommendations to improve guests’ stay and save time and effort on answering the same questions over and over.
  • Extra services for happier guests - A Digital Concierge service lets you offer guests even more services tailored to their needs, while enabling you to partner with and support local businesses, and make more income from affiliate marketing.
  • AI-powered analytics and insights - Make data-driven decisions and continually improve your messaging with real trends from your guests.

3. YourWelcome Advance: Best for email communication

A graphic of YourWelcome’s email personalization screen
YourWelcome lets you personalize, update, and schedule emails to guests.

YourWelcome specializes in offering personalized, effective, and automated email communication with guests. Its Advance system captures guest information (even from OTAs) so you can build your own email list, and its pre-arrival features enable seamless digital check-ins and in-stay upsells.

YourWelcome doesn’t offer automated noise detection or easy SMS communication, but it does have an in-property tablet option that could work well for the right properties and guests.

  • Automated emails - Schedule emails automatically pre-arrival, pulling details from your PMS for personalized messages.
  • Customizable and branded emails - Showcase your professionalism, establish brand identity, and build guest trust by adding your logo, brand colors, and property details on all emails.
  • Email templates and workflows - Make setting up emails and workflows even faster and easier with out-of-the-box templates you can build on with a drag-and-drop tool.
  • Gather emails and build guest relationships - Capture ‘hidden’ emails from OTAs and build your own database to improve customer relationships and plan future remarketing.
  • Check IDs and documentation - Digitally verify guest IDs while remaining data compliant, and ensure all required documents are signed in advance.
  • Ensure a seamless arrival and stay - Send guest access codes and pre-arrival plans, take damage deposits, and offer upsells such as early check-in, fridge stocking, or grocery delivery.
  • In-property tablet option - The YourWelcome tablet lets you communicate further with guests during their stay. It reduces questions with video instructions, and boosts income with upsells.

4. TouchStay: Best for digital welcome books

A graphic of two smartphones showing an example of a TouchStay welcome book
TouchStay is a leading specialist in easy-to-create, attractive welcome books

TouchStay specializes in digital guidebooks optimized for smartphones, so guests have all the information they need at their fingertips before and during their stay. This not only improves their experience, but it also saves you from answering common questions and inquiries.

Like many of the other tools here, TouchStay also offers email capture, email and text messaging, and scheduling—while, as you might expect, most of its features focus on the easy creation of attractive and useful welcome books.

  • Easy guidebook creation - Add house rules, video instructions, and local recommendations in a few steps. Include multimedia content including images, videos, and virtual tours.
  • Customizable designs - Strengthen your brand identity and build trust with guests by including your logo, colors, and font across the guidebook.
  • Multiple languages - Make information accessible to international guests with automatic welcome book translation in many of the most common languages.
  • Email capture - Build your own email list and ‘own your guest’ by gathering names, emails, and phone numbers for future marketing.
  • Email and text messaging - Automate and schedule messaging to facilitate and improve the guest journey from pre-check-in to post-check-out, while saving time.
  • PMS integrations - Pull guest and stay details directly from your property management system, offer upsells including extra nights.
  • Data collection and dashboards - Gather insights on guide use and guest behavior to continually improve your welcome books and improve the guest experience.

Guest communication with extra peace of mind

While some of the most common guest communication tools for vacation rentals may appear similar at first glance, look closer, and you’ll see that each has a different focus and area of expertise.

So if you’re looking for simple and easy-to-create online guides to reduce repetitive guest questions, TouchStay could work for you. If you like communicating with guests via email, YourWelcome Advance might be right, with its personalizable, tailored templates.

And if you want to save time on messaging with AI, as well as offer guidebooks and introduce added fraud detection, Enso Connect could be worth checking out.

But only Minut offers an all-in-one guest communication tool (with shortcodes for extra personalization) that also detects unauthorized gatherings, prevents damage, and keeps the local community happy—all without you lifting a finger or compromising on the guest experience.

It’s automated communication and round-the-clock property protection for happy guests and managers.