If you think of a hotel as a well-oiled machine whose millions of little parts work together to deliver a seamless experience, then a good Property Management System (PMS) is the key that keeps the machine running perfectly. From simple check-in and check-out to offering great experiences based on guest preferences, a good PMS is an essential part of making hotels of all shapes and sizes work.
However, the technological requirements of a smaller hotel differ greatly from those of larger establishments. An intuitive PMS that understands your specific needs is worth its weight in gold. But it’s also a significant investment, and to ensure the money is well spent, hoteliers need to choose a system that works well for their hotel.
Most hoteliers consider security their number one priority, and that is a legitimate concern indeed. Any PMS you select must be PCI compliant. Without them, the system is vulnerable to threats and vulnerable to attacks. Your customers’ bank details, credit card details and other personal information must be protected at all costs.
However, the specifications do not end with security measures. There are a few other things to consider before completing a PMS for your property.
It should be easy to use
The best technology is the one that is absolutely easy to use. The longer it takes you to get used to the system, the sooner you’ll get tired of it. Also, hotels are known for their high turnover rates, and the software is likely to be used by young executives and experts alike. The system should be such that it requires a minimum of training for people to become familiar with it.
It should be mobile compatible
Gone are the days when technology was limited to PCs attached to a desk. This is the 21st Century and if your technological solution cannot literally walk with you, it is useless for all intents and purposes.
Any PMS you consider should be able to connect to and send information to mobile devices. It should be able to communicate with you no matter where you are or what device you are using, including mobile phones, laptops, tablets and PCs. Not only does this drive operational efficiencies, your staff can also provide excellent guest service on the go.
It should be easy to integrate
The PMS you choose should have APIs that support both inbound and outbound connections. This ensures that you can integrate it with any other solution you might use in your hotel, e.g. B. Customer Relationship Management and Rate Management Software.
If your PMS doesn’t allow for strong partnerships with other vendors, you have a brittle technology solution on your hands. It will complicate the two-way exchange of information and hinder the sharing of guest profile data. The end result will be a less than satisfactory guest experience, not to mention a collapse of relevant systems.
It should track guest preferences and history
The front desk is one part of the hotel that sees maximum engagement, and yet most of the tasks that go on there are fairly mundane and repetitive. If there were a way to automate them, staff could focus on more important tasks. One way a PMS can add significant value to a business is by making low-end decisions on behalf of the hotel. For example, it should be able to automatically assign rooms based on guest preferences. For this purpose, all relevant information is collected and used to make appropriate decisions on behalf of the guests.
Second, a good PMS should be able to pull a guest’s story to identify what they liked and what their preferences were. So if a regular guest has booked a room by the pool in the past, the system will automatically book them the same room or something similar.
This form of automation not only eliminates congestion at the front desk, but also leads to more intuitive interactions with guests and the delivery of personalized and informed services.
It aims to automate guest communication
Hotels often need to reach out to their guests to share regular updates. However, due to time zone conflicts, it becomes difficult to contact them by phone. Therefore, they usually prefer to communicate via email.
Having to do this manually can become quite tedious for hotel owners and staff. And should you forget to send an email, it can cause serious delays in communication. To keep everything running smoothly, a property management system can automate this process, sending out booking confirmation emails, post-stay thank you notes, and everything else in between.
It is designed to help you measure success
A great feature to have in your property management system is advanced reporting. It frees you from going through long and complicated spreadsheets and deciphering the data relevant to you. Instead, it puts all the information you need at your fingertips with just a few clicks.
Basic systems give you an overview of the daily operation of your property. More advanced systems should be able to provide reports on parameters such as check-ins and check-outs, cancellations, payment methods, average unoccupied room, average occupancy, average length of stay, and even revenue per available room.
With so much data at your fingertips, you can get a high-level view of how your business is functioning and even identify areas that need improvement.
As you may have noticed, a good property management system for a small hotel can really be a godsend. It works invisibly behind the scenes, combining the best parts of workflow management and decision automation. It also displays a ton of intelligence, learning from external systems it integrates with and providing subtle insights that help improve guest relationships.
That’s why it’s important that you choose a PMS that suits your business. Consider all the considerations, evaluate your needs and make a final decision once you are sure that the product meets all the requirements.