Vacation rental check-in apps are a win-win: they help property managers save time and money, and provide a better experience for travellers.

New technologies are emerging to help property managers get guests checked-in faster and ensure they comply with local laws and regulations. 

In the wake of the pandemic, there’s even more demand for self-check-in apps as they reduce face to face contact, protecting the safety of guests and hosts.

If contactless check-in isn’t part of your operations management yet, here are some reasons why you should consider getting a vacation rental check-in app:

  • Save yourself time and money. Automating the check-in process means property managers don’t need to be there in person to handover keys and check in guests, or hire anyone to do it for you.
  • Comply with local laws and regulations. Every country has different rules regarding vacation rentals. A check-in app can ensure you complete all necessary documentation and send it off to the local authorities.
  • Enhance the guest experience. Guests spend less time waiting around for keys or queuing at a reception desk. They have all the information they need about the property and can get into their accomodation faster and start enjoying their holiday. 
  • It’s safer and more secure. Some apps have smart lock features, which means you don’t need physical keys – instead, you have more secure electronic locks. This can increase peace of mind for both property managers and guests.
  • Minimise physical contact. Contactless check-in helps you overcome safety concerns of the pandemic by minimising contact between hosts and guests. It’s a lot safer and more hygienic than doing in-person check-ins. 

Now, let’s take a look at some of the best vacation rental check-in apps on the market for property managers:

The top 5 vacation rental check-in apps

1. Komodore

Barcelona startup Komodore provides hosts and property managers with a variety of services to help their business run more smoothly.

The app integrates with your channel manager and PMS, so when a guest makes a reservation, Komodore will send a welcome email and request confirmation guest data on an online mobile app. Once the registration is confirmed, the app will send this information to local authorities.

Komodore also provides personalised welcome books with images, videos and 360 degree photos, which can be personalised and branded with your company logo. In the welcome book, guests can access information about their reservation and check-in process, and view recommended places to visit. 

Komodore also offers keyless entry, which means guests can open the door to their accomodation using just the app. Komodore can even arrange the installation of smart locks on your properties for you.

For vacation rentals, the price is €4.99 a month per property.

Komodore was the first startup to be featured in our new VRTECH Spotlight video series. Learn more about Komodore in the video below:

2. CheKin

With CheKin, you can send guests a link via email, Whatsapp or SMS where they’ll be able to complete all necessary admin, verify their identity and sign the rental agreement and house rules. They can also pay for the booking and security deposit, and receive remote access to property. Hosts can also use this tool to register guests onsite. 

The app can send all guest information to local authorities. It automatically calculates taxes and prompts guests to comply with legal requirements depending on local laws, meaning property managers can simplify the process of complying with regulations if they have properties in multiple countries.

Another cool feature of CheKin is biometric identity verification. Guests have to take a selfie, which will be verified with the photo on their identity document. This is generally accurate, however, hosts can still approve the guests manually if there’s a problem.

Finally, CheKin allows you to speed up check-ins with many different options, such as self-check-in through the app, key collection, smart locks or a smart box solution, which means you can leave keys inside a locked box that guests can open with a code. You can also arrange for keys to be left in a nearby restaurant or store.

A yearly subscription to CheKin for 20 properties is €75.85 a month, €910.20 billed annually. A free trial is available.

3. Check-In Scan

Check-In Scan is a guest registration app for short term rentals as well as hotels, hostels and campsites. They help you comply with local regulations and send guest registrations automatically to local police. 

When you scan guests documents, Check-In Scan will instantly recognise your guests’ personal data, and you can obtain your guests’ digital signatures. In the app you also have a control panel where you can view important information such as your guest’s chosen payment method and billing details.

Employees and third-party services, such as transport companies, can download the app and carry out registry on your behalf. The app is currently available in English, Spanish, Italian and Catalan, with more languages to come soon.

Check-In Scan also offers a basic self-check-in solution. If guests arrive at the property and there’s no one around to greet them, they can scan a QR code and check themselves in with their phone.

The price is €29.95 a year per property.

Learn more about Check-In-Scan in the video below:

4. Wishbox 

Wishbox operates in over 60 countries and goes beyond just a check-in app. The platform has many capabilities that can help you manage all aspects of guest experience and communication. 

Before arrival, you can collect payments and deposits from you guests. You can also offer upsells like early check-in or upgrades. Wishbox integrates with your PMS and checks for availability, so you can choose between automatic approval of requests, or require the host’s approval. 

When guests arrive, you can offer a “no-touch” check-in, where guests check themselves in with their phone, or simply use the app to speed up the in-person check-in process. 

Since Wishbox is web-based, guests won’t need to download the app to check-in and can just follow the link they recieve. It’s also a white-label solution, so guests will see your logo and branding. All content will be translated to your guests’ native language.

Wishbox allows guests to pay for upgrades like early or late check-in, or mid-stay cleaning. They can also arrange third party services such as transportation to and from the airport, or local trips and activities. These are all effective ways for property managers to earn commission and increase revenue.

Lastly, Wishbox helps you centralise and manage all guest communication through the app, meaning you can send automated, scheduled messages or message all your guests at once. And, it seamlessly integrates with a wide range of property management systems and channel managers. Learn how to connect Wishbox to the Rentals United channel manager.

The price is $5 per rental per month, and you only have to pay for active rentals. Optional upgrades include features like smart early or late check-in, tours and attractions and mid-stay cleaning.

5. YourWelcome

YourWelcome helps you automate guest communication from booking to checkout. The app lets you unmask OTA emails, and access guest information before they arrive. Guests can check-in in advance and you can capture information like personal emails and identity documents. You can boost your revenue by offering early check-in and car hire through the app. 

What’s more, YourWelcome lets you fully automate the process of communicating with your guests. Bookings are pulled in from your PMS, and placed into email flows. You can use templates and create flows for different types of guests. The app offers 15 emails and 5 workflow templates which can be used and customised as needed with custom triggers, and all emails can feature your brand logo and colours.

With advance check-in, you can capture guest information and verify their IDs in advance. You can give your guests access to door codes once you’ve received all necessary information. 

You can also upsell your own services and offer upgrades like early check-in and stocking the fridge. You can take deposit payments and pre-authorise your guest’s card for payment against incidentals or damage. 

The professional package costs $19.99 per month per property. Price for enterprises is available on request.

Vacation rental check-in apps are a necessity for property managers

As the short-term rentals industry recovers from the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to ensure travellers have a safe and enjoyable experience when staying in your properties. 

Contactless check-in using check-in apps is one way to achieve this, and it has the added benefits of being time and cost-effective for hosts.

To learn more about tools and technology that can help your property management business succeed, check out the VRTECH YouTube channel for vacation rental tech videos.