First things first—what is Zapier?

Zapier allows users to easily integrate web applications. It’s incredibly easy to use and doesn’t require coding skills. Whether you want to connect Gsheets to Mailchimp or automatically have social media posts alert your team via Slack, Zapier works really well to seamlessly integrate all the software you use on a daily basis.

How can a Vacation Rental Host use Zapier to their advantage?

Zapier is a great and easy-to-use tool that automates different processes in your business. Since property managers have countless tasks to get completed in a day, anything that can take away some of that burden is a huge blessing! The limits of Zapier depend on the web applications that you use, the time you invest in automating processes, and your imagination!

Here are some great ideas that will help start you off on automating different aspects of your vacation rental management business:

Add Alerts of New Reservations Into Slack

This is a simple “Zap” that can be used to alert you and your team of new confirmed reservations. By integrating your email and Slack with Zapier you can set up a program that filters your inbox for emails and sends a slack message to your channel of choice.

You can also set up email filters in Zapier by searching for an email with “reservation confirmed” and “instant booking” in the title. These are titles that Airbnb and Vrbo use to alert about a newly confirmed reservation. Secondly, with the data Zapier pulled from the email you will be able to create an automatic message into Slack that details that a new reservation has been received, the name of the guest, and the sales channel.

Better yet, this Slack message can be enriched and more accurate if you are using, for example, Hostaway’s software that’s connected to Zapier. Hostaway’s Zapier connection will make it easy to capture all new reservation data without setting up multiple filters for different sales channels. You’ll also be able to pull additional data such as property, check-in day, checkout day, revenue, number of guests, and anything else that you might want to know.

Add New Leads To Your CRM

Want to automatically start adding new sales leads into your CRM such as Salesforce, Hubspot, or Pipedrive? Zapier can automate this process by pulling data from your inbox and populating your CRM of choice. This can be great for guest leads and homeowner leads!

This Zap can be created similarly to the Slack alert. First, you’ll need to create filters that extract the correct emails from your inbox. For customer leads, “reservation confirmed” and “instant booking” should once again work for Airbnb and Vrbo, but you’ll need to create additional filters for direct bookings and other sales channels.

Similarly for new homeowner leads, you’ll need to create a way to capture relevant emails from your inbox. As an example, in my vacation rental business, I receive the majority of new homeowner leads through a contact form. This makes it easy for Zapier to identify the correct emails. Even better, I use Gravity Forms, which—you guessed it—has a connection to Zapier!

Once you’ve identified the correct data, you’ll want to set up Zap to pull data and populate relevant fields in your CRM. If you’re using Hostaway, this data can be enriched and more accurate with our Zapier integration. The Hostaway connection is stronger, more accurate, and more enriched compared to trying to hack it by pulling data from Airbnb or Vrbo email alerts.

Ask For Feedback From Your Customers

Customer feedback is critical to improving your business and providing excellent customer service. Zapier can automate the collection of feedback by integrating SurveyMonkey or other survey software with either your calendar, email, or wherever you store guest email and checkout data.

For example, if you utilize Google Calendar to track reservations, you’ll be able to set up an automated SurveyMonkey email that is delivered after a guest checkout. This can be a great way to keep in touch with guests, gain feedback, and determine if this guest will leave a positive review or not. Unfortunately, this strategy requires that you have the guest’s personal email, which some sites such as Airbnb keep masked.

You could also send a SurveyMonkey to guests after you receive a cancellation. It can be very illuminating to understand why guests cancel. Perhaps there is something you can do to minimize your cancellation rate in the future.

Bonus: Hostaway is already an integrated partner with Beyond Pricing! So there’s no need to find ways to automate your revenue management or connect our systems via Zapier. Beyond Pricing’s dynamic pricing algorithm seamlessly updates Hostaway, which in turn populates the pricing of your Airbnb, VRBO, Expedia, and listings with Hostaway’s leading channel management software.

Connor Griffiths | Head of Digital Content
Connor is Hostaway’s Head of Digital Content. He oversees Hostaway’s blog, social media, and public relations. In addition, Connor is a customer of both Hostaway and Beyond Pricing! He uses these tools daily to run his vacation rental company, Lifty Life Vacation Rentals, located in Western Canada.