unning a successful rental business is no easy task. You have to consider managing your fleet, employees, and customers all at once.  That is why it is important to utilize systems that are efficient and can help you with your day to day operations. A key system that is necessary to help automate several tasks is your booking platform. Finding the right one may seem daunting, but we’ve outlined 5 of the must-have features that you should look for when choosing a booking platform for your rental business.

#1 The Shopping Cart

You know all about the shopping cart when it comes to online shopping. You can add items to the cart, and go back and add additional items so you can purchase everything you want in one order. This is also an important feature for your rental business.

If you offer various types of rentals, it’s nice to have the option for a customer to book everything they want within the same order. It makes for a quick and seamless booking process that will result in a highly satisfied customer. The booking process is often their first experience with you, so you want that to be the most positive first impression.

On the admin side of the platform, you can see everything that the customer booked in one, organized order. This helps with preparing for the customer's arrival to see clearly on the screen what they booked. For example, if a customer booked a pontoon and two jet skis, you know what to prepare for each rental type, and you don’t have to go back and forth between orders. It’s all there in one.

#2 Communication via Text Messaging

Emails sometimes can get lost in a sea of emails, unread, or land in a spam folder. If you want to ensure that your customers see and read their important booking information, you must have the option for text messaging within your booking platform. When you can automate the booking details via text, you will feel confident that your customers are getting the important information about their rental booking. Even better, when you have the option to offer both automated emails and texts, you will appeal to all types of customers. Some will prefer emails, some texts, and most will appreciate both options.

Automated text messages are a great way to:

  • Send confirmed booking information with date and time details
  • Send important reminders of items needed
  • Share arrival information with directions and a link to a map
  • Send a broadcast a message to all renter’s on a given day to alert them of weather or traffic issues
  • Get feedback on their experience

Plus, two-way communication is also an added bonus so your customers can respond to you with questions or comments if needed.

#3 Document Upload

When accepting rental bookings online, you likely need to be able to collect documents from the renter. Items such as driver’s licenses, insurance documents and/or safety certificates are typically required for renting boats, RVs, or ATVs. The booking platform must have a way to upload these documents to the system, and easily be able to view them on each booking. There should be options for the customer to upload the documents themselves during a Pre-Check In process as well as a way for you to upload documents that a customer may have forgotten to do during the rental check in.

#4 Rental Check In

During your peak season you will have multiple customers arriving to pick up their rental at the same time. It is important to keep things moving quickly so the customer can get checked in and enjoy their experience. Having a clear rental check-in process included with the booking platform makes busy days a breeze.

A dedicated Check In screen on your booking platform will help you easily navigate the important steps of your check-in process. It will delight both the customer and the employee since it will be quick to go through each step to ensure that the renter knows the rules, has all the required documents and waivers, and has paid their final balance. Options for check-in should include:

  • Rental checklist
  • Authorize the security deposit
  • Before and After photos of the equipment
  • Track hours/miles of the equipment for Fleet Management
  • Ensure waivers, documents and participant information is obtained
  • Collect payments and signatures
  • Sign off of safety procedures
  • Offer add-ons and other additional charges

#5 Fleet Management

Tracking your fleet’s usage is important to ensure your equipment is in good condition and is key to a successful rental season. Fleet Management that is incorporated into your booking platform is a feature that you should have. It will allow you to easily track usage, damage, and maintenance of your equipment. With an integrated fleet management tracker, you can record each unit’s usage and note any damage of the equipment at that time of rental.

Add your regular service schedule to the booking platform, and the system can track when service is due based on usage. All employees can clearly see if a unit needs service or has damage, and will be able to make changes to a unit on the spot if needed. You don’t want to send equipment out that is in need of service or has damage, so having this ability to track each unit during the booking check-in process is a game changer.

IYKYK: BookingCentral has all these features and more!

Choosing a booking platform means that you are entrusting the booking system to keep track of your inventory, booking details, and customer communication all from one system. BookingCentral is the best booking platform on the market for boat rentals, marinas, RV rentals, and all types of rental equipment. The platform offers you all the best features that you need, provides top notch support, and is always working to enhance the platform.



If you are in the market for a new booking platform, reach out to our team today to get started with BookingCentral. Our team of experts will get your system up and running and ready to take bookings in no time.


Jan 23, 2024
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