What is Smoobu?
Smoobu is an all-in-one property management solution built for short-term and vacation rentals. Key features within the solution include the Smoobu channel manager, the Smoobu website builder, and the Smoobu PMS (reservation system).
Smoobu promises to centralise and synchronise all your tools, which in turn allows you to enhance your relationship with your guests. This is a tool built by hosts, for hosts, and is primarily targeted at those who offer short-term stays through platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, rather than traditional hotels (although hotels still use the software).
But is it the ideal solution for you? Or could SiteMinder offer an even better way to enhance your business?
In this guide we’ll look at both the differences and the similarities of these two solutions, to understand which represents the best investment for your business.
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Why compare Smoobu and SiteMinder?
At first glance Smoobu and SiteMinder are two very similar solutions. They are both hotel systems that integrate with a wealth of other tools. They both have channel management, website building and guest communication features. And they both put a focus on securing more direct bookings as an effective way to increase revenue.
So which is best? Let’s take a closer look.
Established in Berlin in 2014, Smoobu was a way for its founders – who were hosts themselves – to fix the inadequacies that they saw in other tools. It has since developed a niche in the host space, and enhances its offerings based on direct feedback from its users.
This niche focus can be a blessing and a curse. There isn’t a single Smoobu review on HotelTechReport, for example, so it can be difficult for new users to find social proof of the efficacy of the platform.
In stark contrast, SiteMinder is the world’s largest smart hotel platform. Social proof from current users is plentiful, and the platform’s size also means it can invest heavily in improving its offering. It is therefore loaded with market-leading functionality in terms of business intelligence and integrations.
Like Smoobu, SiteMinder is a growth- and efficiency-focused platform, and one that has plenty of receipts to back up its claims, from a market-leading number of integrations to the ability for any hotel to build an optimised and fully functional website in quick time.
Full comparison of Smoobu and SiteMinder
Both Smoobu and SiteMinder promise enhanced property management and growth, and are quite similar in a number of ways. But there are also quite a few differences in the two offerings. The most notable include:
Smoobu’s website builder is designed with simplicity in mind. While the tool makes it easy to construct your own website, the results are equally simple – all users begin with the same template, adding and subtracting elements until they’re happy. The result is a fully functional site, albeit one that lacks personalisation and that some users may find uninspiring. Smoobu website examples can be found on the company’s site.
For those with the requisite skills and knowledge, the Smoobu WordPress plugin can bring Smoobu’s direct booking functionality to a non-Smoobu hotel website.
Offering deep direct booking functionality, and a range of stunning, hotel-specific templates, SiteMinder’s website builder matches the simplicity and functionality of the Smoobu tool, while also offering a far greater level of beauty and personalisation.
90% of users recommend SiteMinder’s website builder, and it ranks as the #3 tool on HotelTechReport. It’s the obvious choice for any hotel who wants a capable direct booking website that is distinctly them.
Whether you’re testing out a Smoobu demo or fully implementing the solution within your tech stack, you’ll want help from the experts. Based out of Germany, Smoobu’s support hours are limited to Monday-Friday, 9:30am-6pm Central European time (CET),which may be inconvenient, particularly for international users. The team offers support in seven different languages.
SiteMinder, on the other hand, offers truly global 24/7 support. Dedicated success teams are dotted across the globe, ensuring that there’s always someone there to help you out, and these teams work in 20 different languages. SiteMinder is dedicated to offering users meaningful one-on-one support that ensures you get all that you can from the solution.
Reporting and insights
While you’ll gain access to Smoobu Statistics as part of your Smoobu login, the reporting and insights are somewhat fragmented and limited. The only data that is captured and displayed is from Smoobu integrations.
SiteMinder’s advanced business intelligence tool, meanwhile, delivers streamlined insights. Comprehensive reporting shows exactly where bookings are coming from, and pricing trend information gives you a head start on competitors. SiteMinder offers a single portal to view all the most important reports, which you can also extract in PDF and CSV format, and analyse in Excel.
The Smoobu channel manager connects and syncs with major booking channels like Airbnb, Vrbo and Booking.com.
SiteMinder’s channel manager syncs with pretty much every booking channel you’ve heard of – and quite a few that you haven’t! Along with offering all the functionality of the Smoobu tool, the deep syncing capability of SiteMinder ensures you’re never locked out of your booking portals.
SiteMinder integrates with over five times the number of OTAs and booking channels that Smoobu does. Smoobu has approximately 80 booking partners, while SiteMinder boasts over 450. No matter where you list your property, and no matter how niche that distribution channel might be, you’re more likely to be able to connect with it using SiteMinder.
Why is SiteMinder the best Smoobu alternative?
SiteMinder offers hosts and hotels all the major tools and features that Smoobu does, and then some. It also offers a compelling alternative in terms of Smoobu pricing, has an iOS app (the Smoobu app is Android-only), and has a passionate user base that offers a secondary, P2P level of support.
Some other reasons to choose SiteMinder include:
Increased hotel revenue
SiteMinder puts a focus on direct bookings, because when guests book direct, you keep the sky-high commission fees – often 15%-25% – charged by the big OTAs.
SiteMinder combines a powerful direct booking engine, real-time hotel payment processing tool and a user-friendly hotel website builder to help you maximise these bookings and dramatically increase your revenue. And unlike Smoobu, SiteMinder also has a dedicated metasearch feature – Demand Plus – which focuses on driving more direct bookings by putting your property up in lights online.
An all-in-one integrated platform
Between in-tool functionality and an unbeatable ability to integrate with the tools, apps and software you currently use, SiteMinder delivers all the functionality any property could ever need into a single, ultra-connected platform. With 1350+ total integrations, it can form the centrepiece of a modern hotel business’s tech stack.
A superior network
With the ability to connect with 450+ OTAs and booking channels, SiteMinder has market-leading distribution coverage that is over five times as extensive as that offered by Smoobu.
SiteMinder’s dedicated support team is always there to ensure every user enjoys success. 1:1 support is provided whenever you need it, wherever you are across the globe, in a language that you understand.
Advanced security and stability, with less than 1% downtime
From the security of PCI-DSS compliant payments to the stability of a tool with <1% downtime, SiteMinder is the safe and reliable option demanded by hotel businesses that never truly close.