May 25, 2022
In a perfect world, your property management system (PMS) would do it all. But at the end of the day, a PMS is just one tool — and like anything, has its limitations. That’s why many hoteliers juggle handfuls of tools for all their operational needs, but we believe the right PMS should know how to play nice with others…
By integrating with other software solutions, your property management system can act as a true team player, becoming an all-in-one solution, if it does not have all the bells and whistles out of the box. Suddenly, you’re able to cut down on the number of costly management tools deployed for operations and mitigate disconnectivity issues; instead, you have one trusted login for all.
But for multi-property operations, linking up all your hotel software tools is easier said than done! That’s why we rounded up a few of our favorite integrations, to assure you that it is possible to consolidate your programs and operate out of one organized interface.
Avoid disjointed system headaches and streamline your guests’ experiences with these five must-have multi-property PMS add-ons:
1. Point of Sale (POS) System
Wouldn’t it be nice if all guests prepaid for their stay and anticipated their every desire ahead of time? The reality is, that they don’t. Beyond the initial cost of the room, there are many charges a guest may later make: from extending the length of their stay and room upgrades to food and beverages. Now, amplify all these transactions across hundreds of rooms at multiple locations, and it’s no wonder things get messy.
An integrated POS system allows you to have a holistic view, not only of room availability through communication with your PMS but transactions and other sundry charges connected to individual guests across multiple locations. An isolated POS still gets the job done, but when it’s not streamlined with your PMS, things slip through the cracks. Integrating your PMS with a POS allows you to take the knowledge from your full-picture view and customize the guest experience. Notice that during their last few stays with you that a guest purchases a glass of wine at the bar? With an integrated POS, that information can later be used to send pre-stay happy hour specials or a complimentary glass of wine for a certain amount of stays.
2. Revenue Management
Speaking of sales and revenue, are you currently utilizing a revenue management system to analyze and automate your rates? If so, integrating your revenue management software with your property management system is vital for maximizing revenue and profitability. This setup will allow all bookings, upsells, modifications, and cancellations to automatically update between the two systems. This translates to data-backed, real-time availability and rates.
When these two systems do not speak to each other, you and your team are stuck manually entering hotel data from your PMS into your revenue management software and, vice versa, entering pricing into your PMS.
A revenue management system integration with your PMS limits the manual, time-consuming effort needed and improves data accuracy by mitigating incomplete information and human error. This integration smooths the back-office process for your team, freeing up more time for them to focus on providing excellent guest experiences.
3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Some property management systems have a CRM integration inherently built-in, but for those that don’t — we have a long list of reasons to connect these tools. A customer relationship management system is your go-to source for customer data. From a marketing and sales perspective, a CRM can help you manage and track prospective and new guests especially leads and conversions coming from your hotel’s website.
Instead of manually inputting guest information, you can leverage an integration that takes care of most of the work for you, using auto-fill and smart tools to capture personally identifiable information from your website. At the check-in desk, a CRM allows you to see a guest’s photo, their stay history, total expenses, and even custom interest fields like types of rooms they prefer, their interests, their loyalty program status, and more. This information will allow you to create a personalized guest experience even before the guest checks in! Combine that with the power of the integrations above and you’ll be saving your team an enormous amount of time.
4. Legacy Communications Systems and Private Branch Exchange (PBX)
Your hotel’s phone system may seem archaic — with today’s guests often using their smartphones instead — but every room still needs a telephone for those that don’t. You need a PBX that offers features like dialing extensions, playing hold music, call routing, hold queues, call conference, and off-hours call management. This phone system also allows you to set up automated reminders for wake-up calls for guests and other small gestures that go a long way in enhancing their experience.
By integrating your phone system into your PMS, you’re allowing seamless automation to take over. Suddenly that manual phone fiddling becomes scalable for multi-property locations and takes the burden off front desk staff. You can also use your PBX for your salespeople, connecting it to your CRM and PMS to log calls and observe how they’re following up with prospects.
5. Channel Managers
When managing a multi-property hotel chain, a channel manager is a must. You’ll need one central location for selling and connecting all booking sites at the same time. It’s your saving grace for automatically updating your availability as soon as a booking is made or changing rates in real-time, across all sites. However, a channel manager that does not interact with your PMS, either inherently built or integrated, makes it hard for your team to be alerted every time a booking, cancelation, or modification is made.
Instead of wasting your staff’s precious time finagling with manual entry and updates, you can streamline your channel manager inside of your PMS for a quicker, more accurate, more efficient experience. Remember: when using a property management system that also works with a CRM, you can interlink all three to track important changes — and access your data in one centralized location, across all properties.
Does Your PMS Play Well With Others?
Without the right integrations, even the best hotel management software solutions can add unnecessary complexity and costs.
Continue to use your existing systems by adopting an all-in-one cloud-based PMS — a robust system that can narrow the number of tools in your tech stack AND that plays nice with a variety of integrations, made specifically for cross-property growth.
Interested in learning more? Get helpful tips about all the best integrations for hoteliers by downloading our Ultimate Guide to All In One Hotel Management Software.