We all know that big hotels and hotel chains are well equipped with various property management systems, as well as carefully thought out hotel software integrations, and well-trained personnel. However, smaller hotels or apartment management and rental businesses can’t afford such luxury. But does that necessarily mean that a small business can’t get the same tools that big hotels have? Thankfully there are now many property management services on the market that are focused on small hotel businesses. You just need to choose the right one and enjoy the benefits of the best hotel PMS you can get!
Why should small hotels be using property management?
There are several reasons why a small hotel business should be seeking help from a management system. Allow me to list the main points which will answer the question ‘WHY?’
- If you have a reception, then your front desk management technology will be instantly simplified. All the information about hotel guests and reservations will be right there in front of the receptionist. No more need for Excel sheets or paper-based notebooks. Everyday tasks will be held and followed in one single hotel reservation system and will be accessible to your hotel employees with just one click!
- A PM program gives you more freedom in your working location. Smaller hotels or apartment rental companies usually don’t have 24-hour reception or reception in general. Having a property management system that allows you to be anywhere you want is a pretty big advantage.
- A hotel management system allows you to bet connected to several hotel sales channels and receive more bookings (not overbookings!). By getting listed in several channels that are strong in different countries, you can expect to expand your market. Not to mention that it will be super easy for you to maintain a correct availability and your prices up to date.
- This leads to another positive point - you get full control of your sales. As your new hotel management system is flexible, you can adjust prices right away based on the changed availability of your hotel services. Some systems even offer dynamic pricing options, so human interaction is not even necessary in such cases.
- A good PM programme may also help you with hotel guest communication. You should be able to send scheduled and manual e-mails to your guests.
- Without any doubt, your property management system will be able to generate various reports that can help you with business planning. A well thought out hotel business strategy will bring you more guests. More guests = more income!
- A hotel property management software can also help you increase guest satisfaction, starting right from the internet booking engine and all the way to the check-out. Make sure that your guests have a smooth process presented to them while making a reservation, choosing services, making payments, doing an online check-in and are able to communicate with you via your hotel PMS.
- Once you have more hotel guests coming in, you can start focusing more on your hotel revenue strategy. Meaning finding ways to increase your revenue per customer. In order to do that, you can make use of hotel up-selling strategies by creating premium packages or offering various extra services for your guests. Everything can be handled with the help of a property management system.
To what details should you pay attention when choosing hotel management system for your small hotel?
You might notice that there are so many different systems that you can choose from. I’m sure that each of them can find the right customer, but you, as a customer have to know some criteria that you can base your choice on. Here are some tips to help you choose the right hotel PMS for you:
- Make sure that you find a property management system which easily integrates with your channel management and/or other systems if you are using any. If you’re starting from zero you can also find a system which already has some integrations (e. g. channel management, invoicing, POS, reporting…).
- Check that your newly selected hotel PMS would have all necessary security requirements. You will be handling a lot of sensitive data, such as guest details, credit cards and so on. Security has to be one of your top priorities.
- Even if you are not a very techie person, you must understand at least the basics of how your property management software works. You should not expect the system to run your hotel business for you. It’s just a tool that will help you run it. This is why you need to know the main functionalities of your newly chosen system.
- Check if the hotel management software providers include training in their service. Do you need to pay for the support and learning materials? Are they able to help you right away or due to time zone difference will you not get help when you need it? Those are the points worth of considering.
- Make sure that your PM program is mobile friendly. Some systems might have their own downloadable APP and some might only be accessible via an internet browser. So you need to make sure that you can comfortably work and use the system from your mobile phone or tablet.
- Think about your hotel pricing strategy and find pricing options that fit your budget. Most of the cloud-based property management systems are charging customers on monthly basis. This helps you not to spend a whole bunch of money at once but rather control your budget with smaller monthly payments. Also be very careful about what services are included in the main service package. A lot of hotel PMS providers present one base price, but then it begins to go up when you start adding services such as e-mailing with guests, channel management, internet booking engine etc.
It is absolutely possible for small hotels to have the same technology as the big players. From the variety of property management systems, you just need to choose the one which will meet your requirements the most. The key is to look for a channel manager which is easy to use for you and will require minimum training for your hotel employees. You should never rush this decision: try several different options and stick with the one that you feel most comfortable with. Oh, and don’t forget to listen to your staff! Even if you like the system, it might be not the best choice for them. Listen to what they have to say and try to find a solution that fits with everybody!