It seems like there has been an absolute explosion of short-term rental channel managers recently. Tons of startup-y companies make huge promises on what they’ll deliver, how they’ll make you lots of money, increase your bookings tenfold… and so on. But who can you trust?
Today we’ll be pitting two popular services, iGMS vs Lodgify, head to head to find out which one works for your needs. We’ll go in-depth to find out who offers what (and for what price they offer it) to help you make the best choice for your short term rental.
iGMS Vs. Lodgify: How do they compare at a glance?
|Pricing:||Free trial, then $1 per booked night and up||Free trial, then paid options ($12 Stater/ $32 Pro)|
|Separate Payment Processing:||X||✔|
|Automated Reviews and Messaging:||✔||✔|
|Your Own Bookable Website:||X||✔|
The rest of the article will break down the services that iGMS and Lodgify offer to help you figure out which company is right for your short term rental needs. Keep reading to see more!
iGMS Automation: Does it really make your life easier?
In terms of raw numbers, iGMS has the pricing advantage over Lodgify by a significant amount. Their most basic plan is technically free, but charges $1 per booked night. This way, you only pay for what you use versus paying a flat monthly or annual subscription fee. The free plan does have limited functionality, according to iGMS, and only works for Airbnb listings. Check out their plans here.
This fee does increase with the number of properties that you list with iGMS, and the pricier plans are monthly (or annual, if you choose) subscriptions instead of per night fees.
A great rental management software, iGMS has integrated tools specifically designed to help hosts manage their teams. This is great for smaller hosts as well as larger property managers, both of which will eventually have to coordinate staff members and keep everyone on track.
Through their software, users can schedule cleanings and daily tasks with ease. You can also assign individual members to specific roles or properties. It even has a handy notification feature to ensure the job gets done on time.
For more detail-oriented people, you can create checklists and sub-tasks for each team member’s assignment. While setting all this up might be a lot of work up front, it is all part of building an entirely automated system to keep your rental running smoothly for the long run.
iGMS Channel Manager Overview
iGMS has a large and visually appealing master calendar that allows you to see all your bookings, cleanings, tasks, and more in one consolidated location. You can sync properties between multiple websites including Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway. Your Booking.com and TripAdvisor calendar data can be integrated as well.
If you have multiple accounts across these platforms, no problem! iGMS can handle them as well in its multi-calendar dashboard.
Lack of Payment Processing
One thing that iGMS sorely lacks is its own payment processing system. Some may not see it as so much of an issue since the main function of the service is to consolidate information from other websites that do have their own payment processing, but personally I would love to see them develop their own. This would allow users to add on personally branded booking websites as well (which Lodgify does offer), allowing hosts much more flexibility and independence.
Automated Reviews and Messaging
Native smart messaging is a key feature of iGMS, which they advertise can save hosts “up to 70%” of their time. What is smart messaging? It’s a single inbox where you can see all of your messages from guests across platforms.
Through this portal, you can automate responses to common questions and create ready-made templates to save you from typing the same response over and over again. How many times have you had to explain check in procedures to someone at 6am? Now, you won’t have to!
Curious about similar services? Be sure you don’t miss my iGMS vs Guesty review!
Is Lodgify Worth It? The Cost Analysis Breakdown
Lodgify costs more than iGMS, but offers a bit more in return. Their “Starter” plan includes everything you’ll need to, well, start. Next up, their “Professional” plan includes all the benefits of the Starter plan plus manual payments and damage preauthorization. The priciest “Ultimate” plan also includes tons of advanced features like task management, expense reports, accounting help, and even a specialized guest app!
For the purposes of this review, we’ll be focusing on the Starter plan.
Unlike the other plans, the Starter plan has a booking fee of 1.9% on all bookings made. This is in addition to the monthly fee, making it significantly more expensive than iGMS. If you opt for the more expensive monthly plans, you’ll pay no booking fee.
Unsure of whether or not you’re pricing your rental to maximize your profits? My BEST smart pricing tools will help you find out!
Channel managers are pretty much mandatory in this day and age if you run any kind of vacation rental. Even renting out a simple spare bedroom in your home can get complicated quickly, especially if you’re cross listing on multiple booking platforms (which you should be!).
Lodgify gives users the usual integration between Airbnb, VRBO, and similar websites. It also offers iCal integration for websites that don’t support software integration via API such as TripAdvisor, Hotels.com, and many more. Your Lodgify account will give you a multi-calendar consolidated view to make your life so much easier.
Check Out Our Other Articles on Rental Recon:
- iGMS Vs. Guesty  Review: Surprising Results for Airbnb Hosts
- iGMS vs. Lodgify Review : Which is the Better Option for Hosts?
- Ultimate Smartbnb Review : Quality Channel Manager?
- Your Porter App Review : 5 Great Features for Airbnb Hosts
- Your Porter vs. Smartbnb  Review: The Epic Battle…
Direct Payment Options
Lodgify offers direct payment, unlike iGMS, which is great when you have your own branded website (which they also offer with any of their plans). Hosts can have much more autonomy with direct payment options since they don’t have to be completely reliant on other companies to do business.
Integrated Business Tools
See your Google analytics and much, much more with Lodgify’s business tool integration. Higher brand visibility (and thus higher bookings and profits) is so much easier to attain once you know where you stand in relation to your competition. Lodgify breaks it down in an easy to understand way so you can grow your vacation rental business effortlessly.
Lodgify Websites: Bring Your Rental’s Page to a New Level
Where Lodgify really stands out to me is that they offer a branded website and free domain to all users. As mentioned above, a branded website in combination with payment processing is what you’ll need to start truly running your own independent business.
Airbnb and other websites are great for visibility, but once you’ve gained an audience, you’ll eventually want to be free of their fees, rules and restrictions. A website of your own will give you this freedom!
Rental Recon Tip: Just because you only have one Airbnb to list, doesn’t mean you should only have one listing! Multiple rooms inside of the same house qualify as different listings, and you should definitely be maximizing your rental potential by cross-listing your property on every available website. For even more tips on how to Airbnb multiple listings, check out this article!
What are alternatives to iGMS and Lodgify?
With homesharing becoming an ever more popular source of income for millions of people, channel managers are popping up all over the place. If iGMS and Lodgify don’t quite suit your needs, there are dozens of other quality options out there to check out as well.
I would highly recommend Smartbnb or Your Porter. Both of these services are tailored to Airbnb hosts and have their own unique pros and cons. If you want to get serious about managing your short-term vacation rental, you can’t go wrong with either of these great services!