June 2, 2022
Anyone who juggles hotel management, whether it be one location or a network of hotels, knows that managing each individual property is impossible without cohesion. Static spreadsheets, paper trails, and outdated legacy systems just don’t cut it when check-ins/outs, tasks, sales, and reservations need to be accessible on a dime at any given property.
It’s the reason why the property management software market is projected to skyrocket in the next decade — and why hoteliers everywhere are quickly adopting smarter systems to achieve operational excellence.
But let’s not underplay it: choosing a hotel property management system (PMS) is no simple feat. With a growing market of providers all boasting shiny new features, it can seem impossible to weigh your options and still find time to focus on guest experience and growth.
We’re here to make the decision a little easier. Here are four crucial things to consider when choosing your new PMS:
1. Look for an intuitive cloud-based hotel PMS interface.
With a cloud-based hotel property management system, you can run your businesses anywhere and at any time, and rest easy knowing it’s never inaccessible. Intuitive systems are more than just the program itself; they also help you:
- Avoid downtime headaches. When you have guests at multiple properties, you can’t afford any PMS downtime. A PMS software solution with poor or unresponsive support puts you in a bind when systems are down. Guests want 24/7 accessibility to book, contact support and troubleshoot — and a hotel system that faces connectivity issues is just asking for poor reviews. With a cloud-based system, this is never a concern, even when servicing is necessary.
- Incorporate mobile-friendly features. Did you know that 60% of guests elect to stay at a hotel that allows them to check-in via their mobile device over one that doesn’t? Without a user-friendly mobile experience, you could lose the sale. Most cloud-based PMS software solutions allow for smartphone check-in, but not all. Be sure to check when researching your management software.
- Easily train your team. With the employee turnover rate within the hotel industry being close to 74% each year, your interface needs to be user-friendly for new hires. Retraining on the reservation and check-in process eats up valuable time and money. Luckily, modern cloud-based PMS software is highly intuitive and has fewer complications than outdated systems with poor design and clunky UX/UI.
2. Confirm the software’s integration capabilities.
When operating a complex system of hotels, you’re juggling many different tools to streamline operations. Without the right integrations, even the best PMS can add complexity and cost.
While researching new hotel property management software, ask yourself if it can link up with all the critical integrations you use on a day-to-day basis across properties. For instance, will the PMS work cohesively with your accounting systems, Gateway EMV, mobile room keys/kiosk, check-in kiosk, third-party booking channels, ID scanners, etc.?
Most hoteliers use at least a handful of integrations to save time, drive revenue, and automate workflows, and a PMS that can’t play nice with your most important tools can lead to more stress and hassle than it's worth.
3. Understand the system’s reporting and analytics tools.
One of the reasons that integration is so important when deciding on a PMS is it helps to keep everything in one place for accurate reporting. If your information lives in multiple locations, your data will be disjointed. Instead, look for property management software that allows for all analytics to be in one centralized place.
The right PMS will marry all your data together to ensure the success of your entire hotel network. For example, a true all-in-one hotel property management system could provide pace reporting variances so you can identify areas of low occupancy and make price changes that immediately flow out to all channels — along with quickly sending targeted email marketing campaigns to entice more customers during the slower periods. Without a system that integrates and streamlines, you’re missing opportunities to use your reporting and analytics to drive smarter business decisions.
4. Know what to avoid in a PMS.
Sometimes it’s easy to focus so heavily on things to look for in a property management software that you can neglect to consider things to explicitly avoid:
- A system that’s not future-proof, specifically one that does not perform routine updates or further develop its software. A solution that seems perfect today is not likely to stay relevant and meet your same needs a few years down the line.
- A PMS that can’t scale with your growth. The system may serve you well now, but how about when you take on a few (or many) more hotels? During the vetting process, ask how the hotel property management system could handle your projected growth goals. Switching solutions can be an expensive process and is not something you want to have to navigate every few years.
- Legacy PMS systems with on-premise models. Many hotels still use this model, but it comes with clear drawbacks. Hardcoding a system into your operations ends up being quite costly come time for new implementation or maintenance and make it harder to troubleshoot problems remotely. In this way, legacy systems can be very limiting and restrict your growth.
Your All-in-One Solution
In the end, finding a PMS that successfully marries all these capabilities cuts out the need for extraneous systems, saving you time and money. A bonus find is an all-in-one hotel property management system that meets your expectations and may even replace some of your current tools helping to streamline your operations.
Learn more about all-in-one solutions and how they may differ in your vetting process in the Ultimate Guide to All-In-One Property Management Software. You’ll find expert advice on how to pick the best PMS for your hotel system. It compares key benefits, top-rated vendors, and more to choose with confidence.