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September 16, 2021
When you’re on the hunt for a property management system (PMS), it's critical to pick a solution with flexible, all-encompassing features.
The problem is, not all hoteliers know what exactly to look for. They know the basic features of most modern property management systems, like cloud-based technology, but aren’t aware of all the integrations and possibilities of others. That’s why it’s important to know the right questions to ask when vetting a new solution.
Here are nine features in a hotel property management system that can transform your property management:
The same software that you use to manage one hotel (or a handful of them) may not be able to handle the needs of larger multi-property enterprises. Look for a property management system that can group multiple properties in one centralized database. You will want one that allows you to maintain individual names with separate banking, set unique logos and branding, offer unique invoice layouts, and be able to provide reporting in both a single property view and at an enterprise level— just to name a few crucial capabilities.
Speaking of reporting, you will want your hotel property management system to provide the in-depth insights you need to foster future growth. Not only should it be able to provide you with daily, weekly, or monthly financial reports, but you should seek a PMS that provides custom reporting that allows you to build reports specific to your unique needs. If possible, look for a solution that can automate this reporting— so you receive frequent updates without having to manually generate your insights. Look too for reporting that comes with more than just a handful of modules; a top-notch PMS will have hundreds of report templates to choose from.
Even the most comprehensive all-in-one hotel PMS has to play nice with a few essential integrations. When looking to switch your property management software, be sure to ask the new provider what other systems it’s compatible with. Understand how it will work with your current setup as well as other useful add-ons for the future.
No one wants to stand in long lines to wait to check in or out, and modern travelers demand more flexibility. When looking for a property management system for your hotel operations, ensure it allows for mobile check-in/out features so guests can come or go without needing to visit the front desk. In the last few years especially, this COVID-19-friendly option is becoming more and more appealing. In the end, a mobile key provider or kiosk key generator is critical for streamlining and enhancing your guest experience.
Intuitive, mobile, and user-friendliness is also vital for your booking operations. In an increasingly on-the-go world, individuals are wanting to plan and book their full trip online. Ensure your system supports these mobile mannerisms and doesn’t skip a beat when it comes to facilitating that information to your staff.
Make sure guests have their own personal hub for accessing check-in information, making payments, adding/changing/upgrading existing reservations, viewing past reservations, updating their guest profile, and checking out without visiting the front desk. All this and more can be found in a flexible guest portal, giving guests autonomy to manage their own experience without requiring direct help from your team.
While there is no doubt that some guests will find and book a reservation through a third-party booking website, it's crucial that your hotel website has user-friendly booking features. When seeking a PMS, ensure it allows you to accept bookings in real-time from any device directly on your hotel’s site. Some property management systems offer internet booking engines (IBE) like this, wherein you can add a simple yet effective "Book Now" button to your website, allowing guests to check your rooms’ availability based on dates, room/site type, and rate. It’s important that this IBE can fully integrate with all of your other reservation, distribution, and property management systems to keep inventory up-to-date.
Even if you have an internet booking engine right on your website, it’s important to offer guests the ability to book across other popular platforms. But juggling multiple booking channels can be stressful, and if all bookings aren’t properly managed, it can lead to mistakes in your occupancy. By choosing a PMS with built-in channel management features, you can rest assured that all your hotel’s online travel agency and booking channels are linked. Similar to an IBE, an integrated channel manager can make it easy to update listings across all third-party distribution channels in just a few clicks.
Digital tools can help your housekeeping staff to keep track of their evolving responsibilities. By selecting a PMS that automatically provides a housekeeping staff portal, property managers and department heads can create tasks and allocate them to housekeeping all in one shared place. This helps to make sure that your property is clean, maintained, and organized. Look for hotel software with real-time status reports to keep your front desk in the know.
Your guests expect varying rates for rooms based on seasonality, but you and your team don’t have the time to manually adjust prices every few weeks. That’s why a property management system with dynamic pricing capabilities is essential for your hotel enterprise. With dynamic pricing, you should be able to set pricing rules based on occupancy levels. Your room rates will automatically adjust depending on slow or busy periods. With functionality like this, you can easily offer discounted rates for a specific period of time via your marketing campaigns, without the extra headaches of manual adjustments on your staff.
While these nine features of a hotel PMS make a solid foundation when vetting new software, they’re not the only things an all-in-one hotel management system could offer.
Download our Ultimate Guide to All-In-One Property Management Software ebook for a full list of features (& more!) to look for before choosing the best provider.