The best direct booking platforms can double your income from short-term rentals, and they’re a great way to get organized if you own multiple properties. That’s why we decided to do this Uplisting review. This is what we found out along the way.
Our Uplisting Review Summary: Is Uplisting the Best Direct Booking Platform for Hosts?
After researching Uplisting’s competitors, we found that most direct booking platforms focus solely on the basics. Uplisting is part of a small group of companies that are working to expand their suite of services and features. Each of these companies has their pros and cons, but Uplisting is one of the best.
Here’s How Uplisting Stacks Up…
After testing the Uplisting platform for use in our Airbnbs, we rated the software using several criteria like ease of use, dashboard features, value for money, and customer satisfaction. Here are the results:
- User-Friendly Interface
- Frequent Updates With Improvements
- Excellent Customer Support
- Seamless Integration With Other Apps
- Unified Inbox Only Works With Airbnb
- No Accounting Software
What is a Direct Booking Platform?
Direct booking platforms give you everything you need to manage your short-term rental properties. They also allow customers to book their stay directly through your website, effectively cutting out costly third-party apps like Airbnb, which charge a commission for using their platforms.
Uplisting Direct Booking
Direct booking through Uplisting is easy. They allow you to create your own booking page where guests can view your properties and make reservations. It also gives hosts more control over the experience, as opposed to third-party sites that manage every aspect of the transaction.
Uplisting Monthly Pricing
Uplisting’s pricing plans are reasonable for both individual consumers and large enterprises. For hosts who own 5 properties or less, the cost is only $100 per month. They offer bulk plans, and they allow prospective customers to take part in a 14-day free trial, with no credit card required. You can take advantage of all their features for two weeks and cancel if you don’t like their service.
This is extremely important for large businesses that have very specific needs. They can ensure that everything works properly and that the platform gives them access all of the functions they require before making the decision to move.
Their pricing scale is available here, and there’s a screenshot below illustrating the scale itself. The amount per property goes down for every property added on to the plan.
Uplisting Promo Code/Coupon Code
Uplisting Customer Service
The moment you land on Uplisting’s website, you get a prompt from an automated chat service in the lower right-hand corner of the page. It’s not the cheap, intrusive brick wall most of us are used to. It’s capable of answering most questions and while they don’t have live representatives available 24/7, it does show you when a representative becomes available to talk. You can even leave a message with them during off hours.
We liked that it was easy reach out to the company, even without an immediate response. Uplisting does reply to messages, and we can see who we’re talking to.
The company also holds live events to walk customers through the sign-up process. They may be taking this approach because they don’t have the staff to offer on-demand instruction; we don’t know, but they are making an effort, and the system is simple enough that we were satisfied with the level of service available.
If you have questions that can’t be answered by the AI, and you need assistance right away, you can go to Uplisting Support. They’ve compiled a list of topics to help customers navigate the site. It’s extensive, concise, and easy to use. Instead of numbered lists or bullet points, they tend to use screenshots and simple instructions. That way you know exactly what to do. There’s no confusion.
This was one feature that we felt Uplisting handled better than its competitor Hostaway. We suggest looking through our comparison of both platforms to decide which one is best for you.
Uplisting Reviews: What Are People Saying Online?
Online reviews of Uplisting are generally positive. Customers like being able link multiple platforms into one, and they also like that they can use their own space instead of having to rely on third-party apps.
Finding reviews was easy. There were a number of sites that came up with a Google search. We were wary at first, given the fact that many companies pay for fake reviews. But there was a mix of both positive and negative feedback, and all of the reviews we read seemed to have been written by authentic customers. A good example here is Capterra. They gave the site a score of 4.9/5, and there were 65 reviews available.
The following is a list of sites offering reviews:
Some of the reviews were dated. Uplisting has fixed many of the problems that were brought up. Other negative feedback was centered around continuing issues that Uplisting is still facing. But there was nothing that would make the platform inviable for most users.
How Do You Use Uplisting?
Uplisting has a high usability rating. Their user interface is optimized for people who don’t want to hunt down different features. Below you’ll find a screenshot of their initial sign-up window. It’s standard. You can sign in using either an email or another social media account.
You then create a booking page or use your own, so potential guests can view your properties and make reservations online. It’s as simple as building a profile on a social media site, and it’s free for the first 14 days.
Here’s a look at Uplisting’s basic interface. Uplisting makes sure everything is up front and center, leaving room for your calendar, messages, documentation, and booking management.
Most basic tasks can be handled from this dashboard. We never had trouble finding different features or options. It’s all simple enough that anyone can start using it right away without training, and Uplisting Support does a lot to fill in the gaps, even when it comes to the few complicated operations users might encounter.
Our Favorite Feature: Uplisting API
Uplisting utilizes XML/API integration, which allows other sites and apps to integrate with their system. They work with 30+ companies, giving hosts access to a seemingly endless array of features. You can integrate Google Ads into your booking page. You can collect customer demographics for marketing, accept payments online, or our favorite: control the physical locks on your property.
There are even apps like Zapier that connect to a larger array of outside applications—over a thousand companies, in fact.
Even without Zapier, there’s so many integrations available that the website has a search engine setup for users to find them all. An extensive list would be impossible to put on one page.
Many of the tools on this list are compatible with Uplisting. Go through and see which ones you like then search for them on Uplisting.
It’s like having an unlimited menu, and with that menu comes automation. More tasks can be completed by themselves, like bots for customer service or locks that are set on a timer.
This feature also allows you to connect with third-party rental markets. You can post listings automatically to other sites, manage listings from multiple sites, and integrate everything into one central hub. If used properly, XML/API integration is capable of increasing revenues exponentially, especially for multiple property owners.
Our favorite part was being able to use analytics tools to create targeted ads on Google and social media. After we got the hang of things, and our ads began receiving engagement, we were completely booked. It was a successful marketing campaign, and it would’ve been impossible to manage the high volume without direct booking.
The only thing we didn’t like about Uplisting’s XML/API integration was that they use a private API key, meaning their integration system only works between specific companies. Other platforms like Hostaway allow you to use the key yourself, linking up with any site you choose. That’s not a feature that Uplisting offers. It’s a trivial issue, but it does cut down on functionality.
How to Connect Uplisting with Airbnb
Uplisting partners with Airbnb. During the Uplisting sign up process, a button will pop up asking if you’d like to connect to them. They also have a button on their landing page.
It directs customers to their basic sign-up form. There’s nothing simpler. If you do connect your account, it will open in read-only mode first. This gives you the chance to review Uplisting’s features without making changes to your listings. They want you to see if the platform is a good match before you make a commitment. This definitely adds a level of trust you won’t find with other companies. They’re not hounding you for money. They want you to try the product first.
There is another way to connect. Since Airbnb partners with Uplisting, they give their users an option to integrate in their settings menu. This is great for customers whose businesses are growing and need the expanded functionality that Uplisting offers.
Does Uplisting Connect with VRBO? How Do I Connect Uplisting to VRBO?
Not all of the apps that integrate with Uplisting work perfectly. Some require more work than others. One point of contention is VRBO.
VRBO and Uplisting are compatible, but users are required to undergo a lengthy integration process.
Users with a preexisting VRBO account are required to call their support line. New VRBO users will have to fill out a contact form and wait for a reply. The process is easy to complete, but it takes time. It’s all done through a series of basic prompts that begin at the VRBO/Homeaway booking site on Uplisting.
Uplisting Channel Manager: A Convenient Way to Manage Everything
Uplisting acts a channel manager, allowing hosts to interact with third-party sites through their platform. That means all of your booking information, your accounting, even your rental agreements are available in one space, and you can manage everything there, even if they exist outside of Uplisting. It’s convenient, but in some cases it doesn’t always go as planned.
Uplisting WordPress Integration: A Whole New Level of Control
Uplisting gives new customers three ways to display their listings. They can integrate their preexisting accounts from third-party apps. They can create their own booking page through Uplisting, or they can use their preexisting website. This is great for WordPress users. All they have to do is copy and paste the booking engine onto their site, and they can manage everything on the backend with Uplisting’s dashboard.
We tried the booking engine with our WordPress site, and it worked seamlessly. All of Uplisting’s features were available to us, including integration, which allowed us to gain valuable information about our customer base.
Does Uplisting Have an App? What Is It?
Uplisting’s Main Features
Uplisting’s main functionality can be broken down into several different features, which we’ve outlined and reviewed below.
Uplisting has its own messaging system, which works great for Airbnb users, but it so. If you’re using WordPress or another basic blogging platform, you won’t have to download any third-party apps. You can chat with your customers whenever you need to, even on the go. You can also use Zapier to add SMS integration.
Scheduling and Booking
Customers can book directly from your website, your chosen third-party app or your customized Uplisting booking page, and Uplisting will organize all of that information for you. It can be viewed from a desktop, laptop, and on a mobile device, so it’s always at your fingertips.
Scheduling comes integrated into the main dashboard (see below).
Payments and Reports
Uplisting handles all of your payments. Customers can simply click “Book Now”, and they will be taken directly to a page where they can enter their payment information. All of the accounting and technical stuff is taken care of, and you can download reports of all of your activities, so you won’t have to go hunting it down when it’s time for taxes.
You can access reports here:
Uplisting Company Roadmap
One of the things we like most about Uplisting is that the platform is dynamic. Far too many companies create bad products and ignore the public outcry when people start noticing bugs. This is not a code-and-run startup.
Uplisting is always growing and creating new tools, and they’re always taking feedback. Here is a roadmap of features that they’ve posted to showcase improvements they’re making to the platform. Many of them are there by request.
The Downside: iCAL
The one thing that we didn’t like about Uplisting was the way that it handled iCAL, Apple’s calendar app, which inherited Apple’s notorious refusal to interface with third-party software. It just didn’t sync, so some of the information has to be entered into Uplisting manually. We also didn’t like that iCAL integration was one of the platform’s main selling points. It made them seem disingenuous. This becomes a problem whenever you’re trying to integrate an Apple app that uses the calendar function. The best way to get past this is to avoid Apple altogether.
Uplisting fully lives up to the promise of increased revenues. It offers an exciting variety of features, capable of automating the booking process and bringing customers directly to you. It will save you money, streamline operations, and make it easier to expand your business.
Go ahead, make the switch. Click here and start the signup process now.