Equipping your hotel with a cloud-based hotel management software will allow you to connect from home with your own device such as a computer or a tablet. All you need is a WiFi connection and a web browser. Thus, cloud hosting offers hotel managers greater mobility. Indeed, with this technology, they no longer need to go to their hotel in person in case of booking concerns or to view statistical reports.
Savings on hardware investment
More often than not, the subscription for a cloud-based PMS is monthly. Its price and various included features can vary and be adjusted according to your property’s needs. In addition, you won’t have to invest in hardware that will be stored within your hotel such as servers, hard drives, storage, database licenses and more.
In addition to saving money, cloud hosting saves you from having to maintain physical IT infrastructure.
Real-time data synchronization and back-ups
Whether it’s for a booking, an arrival, a departure or a change in room status, a cloud-based Property Management Software allows you to synchronize all this information in real-time. This represents a significant gain in time and efficiency for your teams in addition to improving communication between your departments.Moreover, cloud hosting provides a true reliability advantage. In case of technical problems, data is saved regularly and can be restored if needed.
Enhanced data protection
Choosing a cloud-based PMS means choosing an external hosting platform rather than local storage. Cloud hosting helps to reduce the risk of hacking, enhance data privacy and comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), an EU-wide personal data privacy protection law.
Opting for a cloud-based PMS can only be beneficial for your hotel. Indeed, cloud hosting has undeniable advantages such as remote accessibility, ease of use, savings on hardware investment, real-time data synchronization, regular back-ups and enhanced data protection.
Integrated within your hotel software (Property Management Software), your reservation management software ensures your different online reservation platforms are connected. It also ensures that your rates, your availability in terms of accommodation, your packages and even your property’s information are synchronized, regardless of the OTAs (Online Tourism Agencies) used to make the reservation.
Accurate and simplified management
By connecting a channel manager to your PMS, your front desk staff will not have to deal with overbooking and the resulting guest dissatisfaction. Moreover, they will not have to make any changes in case of unavailability since the system will have automatically updated the capacity and availability of your hotel. With your reservation management software, you make sure your customers are satisfied and their pre-stay experience is enjoyable. To avoid any errors related to the management of your property’s availability, it is preferable to use new and efficient technologies. You should set up the initial quantities available for each offer and service and let the system update these figures in real time. By automating the administrative tasks related to reservation management, you allow your staff to be readily available for your guests. This ensures your customers have a successful and enjoyable stay experience.
Immediate synchronization of information between your softwares
In addition to the immediate synchronization of your property’s availability, several other relevant information are transferred to your hotel PMS to ease your operations. For example, booking and customer information will be directly forwarded from the OTA to your PMS hotel. Since data is essential, you can be sure that no matter which reservation platform you use, your PMS will collect your customers’ data. Moreover, this data can be used to personalize your property’s guest experience by offering them special in-room options on special occasions. It can also be used to adjust your marketing communications by offering special promotions to guests who have stayed in your hotel more than three times, for example.
A diverse source of revenue
The channel management software is the solution you need to be present on OTAs for your customers without adding complexity to your operations. The channel manager allows you to increase your revenue from various sources by being present on several external reservation platforms such as Expedia, Hotel.com, Booking.com, Airbnb. You gain visibility with travelers and potentially increase your number of online reservations.
By integrating a channel manager to your PMS, you increase your property’s visibility while allowing it to be compared to its competitors. It is therefore essential to showcase your best rooms, facilities and services on all your online booking platforms. You may also use authentic content created by your guests to promote your establishment.
Checking-in at a welcome kiosk is not reserved for airports
Your property is not an international airport and yet your property management software may offer you check-in kiosks. Indeed, these kiosks allow your guests to check-in directly in the lobby, as if they were with a receptionist. By using a welcome kiosk, your guests will have a better perception of your property, because you offer them a new experience. It allows them to quickly access their room, regardless of their arrival time.
Moreover, your guests can use the welcome kiosk anytime, 7 days a week, to identify themselves, validate their stay’s information and confirm their credit card pre-authorization.
Since social distancing is mandatory, the check-in kiosk helps limit contact with your staff and avoid contamination concerns. Nevertheless, it is still important to disinfect it regularly!
Online check-in, an evidence in a world full of mobile phones
Mobile phones have become an essential device in people’s daily life. Since most of your guests have a mobile phone, why not take this opportunity to offer them the possibility to check-in online, directly on their phone? From home, on the road or even at the office, your guests will be able to complete their check-in process anywhere and anytime, before they arrive at your property. Once in your lobby, all they have to do is get their key with the QR code that their mobile check-in will have provided them.
Pre-check-in is hybrid, so it’s trendy!
Thanks to the PMS, a few simple technological solutions that are easy to implement allow guests to anticipate the actions that the receptionists’ will have to take when they arrive at the hotel. Thus, these solutions help simplify communication with your guests and give them the opportunity, prior to their stay, to validate and correct their personal information and accept property’s policies. These anticipated actions allow your front desk to complete the check-in more efficiently.
La technologie a cet avantage d’être disponible à tout heure à tout moment, en plus de permettre aux clients d’être plus autonomes et donc de limiter les contacts avec votre personnel. Les options technologiques permettent de proposer de nouvelles expériences qui pourront rafraîchir votre établissement mais aussi de limiter le personnel dont vous aurez besoin à la réception. De ce fait, votre rentabilité sera d’autant plus importante puisque vous rendez votre lobby attractif et vous limitez les personnes qui y sont présentes.
We will also explain why the best property management software must not only be on the Cloud, but easy to use and easy to learn. Furthermore, it must be able to automate repetitive tasks, provide advanced statistics, offer outstanding customer service, evolve with time, have advanced connectivities and must be easily configurable.
On the cloud
To start with, it seems obvious that a property management software (PMS) must be located in the Cloud. This means that there is no longer any IT structure to manage within the property. The PMS provider is responsible for it and gives you the advantage to connect easily from any device connected to the Internet.
Moreover, the Cloud offers many other advantages such as updating the system without any action from the property or even upgrading quickly all the security standards that the software must include.
The Cloud allows to secure your property’s data as the PMS provider offers higher security measures than what you would have put in place in your property. Regular backups give additional security for a hotelier, since he knows that its data would remain available in the event of a technical issue.
Ease of use and learning
Properties’ softwares must be easy to use because hotel staff has a high turnover rate and new employees’ training time must be optimized so they can be quickly operational.
Furthermore, a property software should be simple, because employees spend a lot of time using it to perform different tasks. Thus, simplicity helps since the user won’t have to spend a lot of time watching training videos or other training tools to master its use.
Beyond simplicity, a property software must be intuitive since multiple departments, such as the front desk, sales and revenue, housekeeping, marketing and accounting use it on a daily basis.
Automation of repetitive tasks
In the hospitality industry, a PMS becomes a real advantage when it allows to automate repetitive tasks. These tasks are usually a waste of time for employees, but once they are automated, it gives them more time to take care of their guests. Indeed, assigning rooms, sending emails, night audits, automatic data entry, generating daily reports are tasks that the best PMS must complete automatically.
Beyond the hospitality industry’s metrics or traditional occupancy and day-close reports, the best property management software also provides advanced statistics that allow the manager to make efficient decisions. Rather it’s about pricing or actions to be taken to achieve goals, these statistics must be easily and quickly available in easy-to-read reports. Also, it has to be simple to analyze and to compare with previous reports. Statistics must be exportable in standard formats, so that everyone can easily access them. Thus, the export of data must be possible for a specific guest list, using filters and also to retrieve the complete list of guests that can then be used for marketing purposes.
The support provided with a property software is an important element and it starts from the software implementation. The project must be led by people who are used to make changes and who are familiar with the software you will use. Also, service goes through all stages of the process, from the installation to the usage and even when you have questions or technical issues (because even the best software can have technical issues). A service that is accessible, fast and available at all times is no luxury in the hospitality industry, since guests who need to be served do not want to wait! In order to do so, your supplier must accompany you at all times when needed. It could be whether by sending videos or documents, offering online assistance, or sharing FAQs. Indeed, the best property management software has to come with different means of documentation.
Software that evolves
The best hotel management software didn’t hit its peak overnight. As technology continues to evolve, it has to offer various new features and improvements. For example, it could introduce new interfaces with other softwares and improvements in its overall performance. Furthermore, the best property management software is constantly evolving to follow trends’ evolution and industry changes.
As the matter of fact, the evolution shows the dynamism of the software and will help you progress technologically according to trends and new features that you want to implement.
The evolution of the best PMS also requires your involvement, since each development request is taken into consideration and can be included in the development plan. Keep in mind that the collaboration between the property and the PMS supplier is important and the key to success.
Connectivities are all of the links between the PMS and other softwares. Whether it is for accounting, food and beverage, reservations or even a customer relations software, the best property management software must be able to offer many connectivities. These connectivities must be advanced and 2-way so that it will be more efficient and information will be able to pass from one software to another one.These connectivities need to be advanced so that they are effective, and should have a 2-way connectivity so the information passes from one software to another and vice versa.
Therefore, keep in mind that the best property management software doesn’t necessarily have the most number of connectivities. It should offer efficient connectivities that simplifies the hoteliers’ life and automates repetitive tasks.
Once again, there are several possibilities for your connectivities, but if the ones you need aren’t available yet, the best PMS should be able to take your demand into consideration and evaluate your request to see its benefits or offer you alternatives.
As said before, the best property management software should be easy to use and should give you some flexibility in its configuration. Using a PMS to create a new rate, new packages, new rooms or even adding an item to your accounting shouldn’t be hard. The more complex the setup is, the less your staff will use it to change or add elements. Keep in mind that it could have negative effects on the overall performance of your property.
In conclusion, the best PMS includes many complex elements, both technical and human, such as the customer service. The customer support, the evolution of guests’ requests or even developments based on observations are criterias confirm if it’s the best software.
Therefore, a free software, free trial software, cheap software or a software that doesn’t evolve or doesn’t offer outstanding customer service can not be considered as the best property management software.
This practical and efficient solution makes it possible to coordinate several departments at the same time and has functionalities that can be adapted to different properties’ needs. In fact, the main functions of a Hotel PMS are room availability, rates adjustment, customer invoicing, bookings, management of contacts and automatic sending of emails. Furthermore, you can connect a property management software to other softwares, such as your points of sale (POS), customer relationship management (CRM), distribution channel management (OTA), payment interfaces and many others. At a time when teleworking and mobility are important, you can even have your PMS installed on cloud and manage your property remotely as if you were there. To do so, always keep in mind that a good PMS needs to be easy to use, scalable, and must offer automation if you want to save time, money and increase customer satisfaction.
Although a crisis is temporary, it will strongly impact travelers’ behavior and could have long-term consequences on a property’s income. As a hotelier, it is beneficial for your property to have a high-performance property management software and use its advantages to face the crisis and prepare for the post-crisis period!
An efficient management in the event of staff reduction
In times of crisis and post-crisis, a hotelier might be confronted to reduce staffing. In this case, having a Hotel PMS will help you automate recurring tasks such as automatic room assignment, automatic sending of emails, printing of personalized reports, online bookings management or even the update of rooms inventory. Thus, automating these tasks will allow you to have more time to take care of your guests and focus on the quality of your customer service.
In addition, property management software will improve the efficiency of your staff through communication between your property’s different departments and will help you save time. For example, think about your housekeeping manager who has to distribute tasks differently following the health and safety measures implemented in your hotel and also in order to facilitate the arrival of your guests. The staff reduction will be offset by the automation of tasks: thanks to technology! The arrival procedures will also be facilitated with online check-in solutions or check-in kiosks that can manage guests’ arrivals, deliver room key and assist your guests with their final payments.
A precise analysis of your property’s activities
Using a property management software, also called Hotel management software, is useful because it allows you to have a multitude of activity reports such as occupancy reports and comparative reports with previous years. Some reports can be generated on a daily, weekly or monthly basis from which you can retrieve several statistics according to the targeted performance indicators.
It represents an undeniable advantage for you as these reports will help you to accurately track your sales, number of bookings and occupancy rate. In addition, this precise analysis will improve your strategy and increase your income, despite difficult times.
The optimization of your property’s income
In times of uncertainty, it remains essential to keep an eye on your property’s occupancy rate. Therefore, the analysis of your performances compared to previous years will allow you to establish a yield management strategy. The centralization of availability in your Hotel PMS enables you to adjust your pricing all in one place and then distribute it to various distribution channels, while ensuring that you remain attractive in comparison to your competitors. Of course, yield management’s main objective is to maximize your occupancy rate and your income.
A personalized customer relationship management
For guests, periods of crisis often lead to a need to feel listened and reassured. To do so, the Hotel PMS will become a real advantage for you because it allows you to collect a lot of information about your guests. Indeed, this tool is considered to be a real factor in customer satisfaction. It will help you to know the type of customer, the type of stay and more information on your guests’ consumption preferences. Thus, you will be able to better understand their purchasing habits and to better meet their needs and expectations with personalized offers and services so your guests feel more valued.
Furthermore, a Hotel software is a relevant tool if you want to maintain and consolidate the relationship with your customers and retain them in the long term. For example, you can communicate about the current situation within your property, the new cancellation policies, the hygiene and prevention measures of your property and even your special packages and promotions. Reports are therefore essential if you wish to communicate with a specific clientele who would need to receive specific information for an upcoming stay.
A highlight of contactless and secure solutions
Using a property management software also means offering contactless and secure solutions for your guests. To do so, your guests will have the opportunity to check-in online before their arrival, or directly at your property’s check-in kiosks. In times of crisis and post-crisis, connecting a PMS to these innovative solutions should be highly considered, since it makes it possible to avoid contact at the front desk and also respect a safe distance between your guests and staff. Moreover, these solutions will remain a great option even at the end of the crisis, especially for your recurring or business clientele who don’t want to waste time queuing for their check-in.
During a crisis or post-crisis period, having a property management software will make your employees’ work easier but also allow you to offer an outstanding customer experience. Thus, keep in mind that it’s important to remain attentive to your guests and staff needs. Prioritize health, safety and well-being over all.
Moreover, you can take advantage of these quieter periods to train your employees, clean your property, review your strategies and improve your digital tools.
Property management software is most often abbreviated with the acronym PMS. It can also be called rental software or booking software. The PMS is at the heart of every hotel as it contains all of the information concerning clients, rooms and the hotel’s income. It can generate bills, indicate room availability and provide information on rates for past and future nights. It can also automate many daily tasks and provide statistical data regarding income, which can then be used for marketing strategies. Many different hotels use a PMS to optimize their operation’s efficiency, as a PMS can speed up and assist with many different processes. A PMS equipped with advanced features usually offers sales and marketing modules, which help to boost occupancy and improve key performance indicators a hotel manager should monitor every day.
Central Reservation System
A central reservation system is most often referred to as CRS. The CRS is a booking software, which can control many different hotels’ inventory and rates for booking purposes. The CRS gathers different hotels’ data, from one or more PMS, in order to redistribute them in real time across different distribution channels. It thus allows hotels to reach their clients via different distributors. The CRS is operated by a hotel, a group of hotels or a hotel chain. When operated by a single hotel, it is often because units or rooms are quite far from each other geographically. The CRS can be beneficial for hotel managers as it can control distribution and thus the hotel’s revenue. It can also quickly adjust rates. The CRS is also useful for the hotel’s clients as they can easily check availability and compare rates of different hotels in the same region.
A channel manager is a software that can connect the PMS to various online travel agencies (OTAs, rate comparators, etc.) and update them automatically. The Channel Manager gathers the PMS’ data on rates and availability and sends this data to the different online booking platforms. This way, when a room is booked on a platform, its availability is removed from the other platforms. The Channel Manager also allows the hotel manager to close sales on certain platforms when their room inventory is low or when he/she does not wish to use distribution channels for a certain type of accommodation. The Channel Manager allows the transfer of this data across various channels in one go, thus avoiding to repeat the modifications for every single distribution channel.
A booking engine is a software, which allows the internet user to directly book on the hotel’s website. The Booking Engine shows the inventory for each type of room or rate, allowing the internet user to book their desired stay. The Booking Engine acts as a middleman between the potential client and the PMS. It is therefore often linked to the PMS in order to facilitate the automatic rate and inventory update online, in order to avoid overbooking. The connectivity between these two systems allows the PMS to receive data on bookings, to create a booking and to remove the room(s) booked from its inventory, thus updating the new availabilities online. The Booking Engine usually carries out tasks automatically, such as sending a confirmation email upon a booking, taking into account online payments and gathering data on clients.
OTA is an acronym for online travel agencies. These agencies market tourism services. OTAs actually consist of a number of hotels/travelling options and allow the internet users to look up travel and accommodation options according to their desired destination, and thus being able to compare many hotels all on the same website. The most famous and used OTAs across the world are Booking.com, Expedia.com and Hotels.com, but some smaller ones exists for specific geographical locations.
GDS is an acronym for global distribution systems, which are electronic platforms that book travelling services in real time and across the world. These services range from plane tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, packages, etc. These electronic platforms allow travel agents or clients to check the availability and rates before making a service booking via an online agency. The most internationally famous GDSs are Amadeus, Sabre and Abacus.
FIT stands for free independent travellers. These are independent travellers wishing to escape mass tourism by travelling in a unique fashion. They are leisure travellers who pick their destination and coordinate their stay independently for their whole vacation. FITs can usually be identified by two types: those having a limited budget using small budget solutions and those with a larger budget consulting a travel agency to see what they have to offer. FITs will most often than not have already paid for their trip with their travel agency, which will provide them with many vouchers or coupons they will need to redeem services during their trip. They are also usually able to improve their trip later by paying for extras.
Your front desk should be one of the most efficient services at your hotel, as your guests’ satisfaction will depend on it from their arrival until their departure. The main reason for a client to be dissatisfied with their experience at the front desk is the time spent waiting. Managing your staff is therefore crucial to optimizing your front desk’s efficiency. The PMS will allow you to get occupancy forecasts for any given period of time. These forecasts are crucial, but you will also need to know which type of clientele is planning on staying with you as you may welcome them differently. For example, if you are welcoming a group with a tour guide, checking-in could be easy as tour guides usually hand out the keys to each individual in the group themselves. Your occupancy forecasts will eventually change between the time you decide on your staff’s shifts and the actual day. However you can always use the occupancy recorded the previous year for that day in your hotel PMS. This will allow you to better decide on the number of employees needed at the front desk. These forecasts can also be used by any of your staff affiliated with your front desk, such as your valet parking and concierge staff.
The housekeeping department
Housekeeping also depends on your occupancy. To better predict your housekeeping needs, you can follow the same method as your front desk. However, there exists many staff management or performance models when it comes to housekeeping. Whether using the number of rooms, points, hours or type of housekeeping, your final calculation will always depend on your occupancy. It is therefore important to have accurate occupancy forecasts on which to calculate your housekeeping needs. You will need to study the data in your hotel PMS such as the number of bookings made but also the type of rooms booked. This is particularly important, as your housekeeping needs are different depending on the type of rooms booked. Your biggest room will definitely need more time to be cleaned than your smallest room. In addition, according to the season, some parts of your hotel may not be occupied. Your hotel PMS will then tell your housekeeping staff which building or floor has not been booked so that they do not have to clean the common areas as often. Your hotel PMS can also indicate how long each one of your clients are staying. You can therefore forecast your staffing needs according to your housekeeping policy.
The catering department
The restaurant services are also influenced by the number of people staying at your hotel. However, the magnitude of this influence is different for your catering department as forecasts are often far from the truth and there are significant fluctuations. Some elements, such as breakfast, remain predictable, but your client retention rate for other restaurant services is not so predictable. However, some information in your hotel PMS can be useful, such as how many packages including meals are booked. This can give a general idea of how many customers are expected across your different restaurant services. You can also use your restaurant’s average retention rate to infer your catering staff needs and shifts.
Events at your hotel
Events also require a significant amount of staff. However, as everything is usually planned in advance, managing these staffing needs across your different departments is easier. Keep in mind that every event is unique and thus has different staffing needs. The group module of your hotel PMS will provide each department with specific details concerning each group, such as the number of people in the group, the number of rooms booked, the type of group and the services booked. You will therefore be able to plan the optimal amount of catering and housekeeping staff, along with any other services or activities you provide and the staff they require.
Your hotel PMS should be your main source of information when the time comes to manage your staff, as your staff represents a large portion of your expenses. The balance between the lack and the surplus of staff can have a great impact on your clients’ satisfaction and your hotel’s profitability. In addition, recruiting and training your staff takes a lot of time, so it is important to be able to build optimal schedules to avoid your staff feeling under pressure or useless. It is up to you to find the right balance using your best friend: the PMS!
If your hotel management software can provide you with statistics, you are already one step ahead regarding your marketing campaign. However if your software is unable to provide you with statistics, you will either have to manually compute a significant amount of data, or build a campaign based on estimation rather than precise data. It will be extremely hard to determine whether or not you will have made the right decisions, depending on the target clientele and period of the year.
Your hotel management software can help you when making these marketing decisions, and help you visualize which clientele type is the most profitable for you and has the highest booking frequency, as well as the times at which each clientele type is most likely to book. This will allow you to know when to launch your marketing campaigns to be the most successful. An efficient marketing campaign cannot be built without precise data.
An easy to use software
Marketing campaigns are usually very time consuming for the front desk staff. Indeed they need to answer questions from potential clients who call the hotel, and also take bookings. The hotel management software is easy to use and plays a critical role when it comes to simplifying daily tasks.
Firstly, if your package or deal development is difficult to implement within your hotel management software, the person in charge of the project could easily be discouraged and give up. You also need to minimize the time spent on configuration in order to maximize the time spent on the next set up steps.
Your booking platform also needs to be connected to your hotel management software in order for your online bookings to be directly entered into your hotel management software and for your inventory to be automatically updated. The online booking platform must be easy to use and efficient so that your marketing campaign can promote easy and quick bookings. The complementarity between your hotel management software and your booking platform is therefore vital when it comes to marketing campaigns. In fact, this complementarity allows you to offer a competitive and efficient online experience for your clients.
A software which gives you access to precise data
Clients who have already stayed with you are already aware of the quality of your services, so it can be beneficial for you to make them loyal customers. Did you know that the customer retention cost is on average 10 times smaller than the customer acquisition cost? You can use newsletters to communicate all sorts of information in a simple and effective manner.
In order for you to carry out successful marketing campaigns, it is important for you to be able to retrieve your client database to then transfer it into a newsletter platform or another platform connected to your hotel management software. Any hotel management software contains information regarding your client database, but a successful marketing campaign is more often based on targeting rather than on scale. Indeed, the first name and family name are often not enough. The type of stay is one of the elements compiled by some hotel management software, and it will make the difference if used for a marketing campaign. You will be able to run many different marketing campaigns simultaneously, as each clientele type can be targeted by specific offers or packages. You can also launch a marketing campaign for last minute bookings. This type of campaign would be a better fit for a local clientele rather than an international one. It could be wise to filter this campaign by postal code in order to reach your local clientele.
The success of a marketing campaign almost solely rests on data you are able to extract from your hotel management software. The more clientele data that is available, the better your chances to create a successful and profitable campaign.
Overall, the tools you use will have a great impact on your success rate for your marketing campaigns. If you discover that your tools are not optimal, it might be time to re-evaluate your software functions according to how you potentially want to use and exploit them.
Believe it or not, some hotel managers still use paper and pencils to register their client’s check in and check out. The hotel PMS is an essential tool for hotel management, recurrent task automation and data collection. Some PMS are more modern than others. A hotel PMS equipped with advanced features will allow you to manage your hotel more efficiently. One of these advanced features is yield management, with which you can fluctuate and adjust your rates in order for your pricing to remain competitive at all times while maximizing profits. You can also generate reports using advanced features, which is a major advantage for any modern hotel. With these reports you will be able to analyze and compare past data with present data, thus helping you in making more informed decisions. Some hotel PMS’ can even use Cloud technology, meaning you can manage your hotel through your PMS from any device connected to the internet, whether it be a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone. The data collected by your hotel PMS is precious and can help you to personalize your client’s stay and thus increase their overall satisfaction before, during and after their stay. Modern PMS’s can be connected to other technologies via API’s, more commonly known as integrations. The next technologies we will discuss are technologies which can be connected to your hotel PMS in order for you to centralize your operations as much as possible.
We are only starting to hear about self-service kiosks in the hospitality industry. They are a cutting-edge technology and have only recently been made available for hotels. Your clients can check-in using the kiosks, independent on whether they have made a booking or not. When comes the moment to check-out, your clients can simply use the kiosk to pay any outstanding balance and confirm their departure. Your clients, particularly your business travellers, will appreciate this technology as it allows them to speed up the check-in and check-out process. These kiosks are obviously connected to your hotel PMS so that data can flow between these two technologies at all times. With this modern hotel front desk, your staff can focus on increasing your guests’ satisfaction with little courtesies or simply by being available to meet any of their demands, rather than having to take care of check-in and check-out.
An efficient booking engine is essential for any modern hotel. Online booking is ubiquitous nowadays, and many clients now book using their smartphone. This is why it is extremely important for your booking engine (and your website) to be responsive. If your booking engine is connected to a distribution channel, your room inventory will be automatically updated within your hotel PMS when direct bookings will be made on your website. This way you will avoid overbooking, or having to manually register online booking in your hotel PMS.
Point of sale software (POS)
If you hotel has sources of income other than your rooms, it is essential for your to have a POS. This software will take care of sales, billing, restaurant orders, activities, meals, and the hotel boutique. This POS software will of course be connected to your hotel PMS in order for you to register and bill any extras or activities directly to your client’s room. This way, your client will no longer need to carry their wallet everywhere during their stay. At the same time, your client will be under the impression that they are spending less than they think, which can only tempt them into spending even more at your hotel.
Housekeeping management software
A housekeeping management software or app is another essential technology for a modern hotel. Your hotel’s housekeeping department can be hard to manage. Your staff must know which rooms are ready to be cleaned and which kind of housekeeping they are expected to deliver. To avoid useless trips between the front desk and the rooms, or the scribbly rooms lists it is important for you to invest in a housekeeping management software connected to your hotel PMS. This software will improve communication between the different departments in your hotel and boosts your staff’s efficiency, while providing you with an overall view of the housekeeping activities within your hotel. Information on room status will also be made available in real time between the front desk and your housekeeping staff, making life much easier for both departments.
Reputation management software
Any modern hotel needs to have a reputation management software. This kind of tool allows you to manage any advice your customers leave you, whether it be on TripAdvisor or other websites, so that you can reply to them using a single platform. You can thus control your hotel’s reputation and gather your client’s impressions, for example by using a satisfaction survey.
In order for you to be one of the cutting-edge modern hotels in term of technology, make sure you possess the six major technologies mentioned above.
If your hotel is open during the winter, the holidays might be your busiest time of year and require sophisticated management. It is also possible that you experience low occupancy rate if the Winter is a rather quiet period of the year for your hotel. In order for you to manage this holiday season confidentially and efficiently, no matter what your situation is, we have gathered you a little practical guide.
Manage your conference rooms efficiently
The holiday season is an ideal time for family or corporate gatherings where groups of clients will look for rooms to book and host events. If your hotel has conference or reception rooms, it is wise for your PMS software to be equipped with a room management software to ensure an efficient event management for the holidays.
With a good room management software integrated into your hotel’s PMS software, all the information is centralized, which makes coordination and the exchange of data quick and efficient. The software prevents you from making mistakes and losing important information when planning these events. If you usually experience peak occupancy during the holidays, you do not want to mix up bookings or misjudge the amount of food you need for a particular group. This is why it is crucial for you to be well organized and a PMS software equipped with a room management module is your best ally when it comes to planning events during the holiday season.
Use a yield management module
With high occupancy during the holiday season, it is important to be take advantage of a yield management module. This module allows you to fluctuate your rates in order to maximize your occupancy and your income. During this time of year, you can raise your rates because of the increase in demand for your rooms. It is therefore important to have a high-performance PMS software equipped with a yield management module to carry out these computations according to the right criteria.
Do not worry if your hotel does not reach its full capacity
Most clients, in anticipation of the holiday season, prefer to book in advance to guarantee a room. Other clients, however, show up without having booked. During this time of year, clients are more likely to book a room at the last minute. Therefore, if you still have some rooms available, you need to use a good strategy to attract those undecided clients who will book at the last minute.
Some clients might choose to book a room at the last minute seeing how they are far from home during Christmas dinner. Additionally, for hotels located in snowy regions during the winter, clients might be inclined to book a room late at night when they cannot go home due to unfavourable weather conditions. So do not panic if your hotel seems quiet at the beginning of the day, as some clients may arrive later without a booking.
In order to accommodate these late clients, make sure you have enough rooms heated and clean, ready to welcome clients for the evening. Especially if you are a small hotel or a regional motel, it is likely clients will come to you first before seeking accommodation in the nearest bigger town. It is therefore wise to keep a few rooms ready for these clients who will require a heated room to sleep in on Christmas Eve, even if the rest of your hotel has not reached its full capacity.
Establish a multi-step sales strategy
Even if the holiday season only stretches across a few number of days, the business opportunities can stretch over a longer period of time. This results in sales opportunities for a couple of months.It is not rare during the summer for some corporate or private groups to start thinking about hotel availabilities and room openings for upcoming events. The holidays attract a wide variety of clients at the same time so if a group would like to be certain of having a room for a precise date, they need to book in advance. Additionally, if some groups are able to anticipate and book months in advance, some are not. You need to stimulate those forgetful groups by different marketing actions that can be put in place during the summer. It can be very beneficial for you to remind them that they should consider booking soon if they want to be given priority the holidays come.
It is important to frequently update your room availability to remind your clients about holiday season offerings and packages. This creates a sense of urgency which activates the booking process for those interested by your offers. For the clientele whom do not belong to any particular group, the earlier you can provide information about your holiday offers to your booking agents, the easier it will be for them. This will allow your booking agents to answer any questions the clients may have and provide them with all the necessary information they require to book. More often than not, having precise information when your clients asks for specific details will give you a competitive advantage. Indeed, your competition might not have launched their holiday offers as early as you.
Once the holiday season is over, you still have some business opportunities. Some groups who were unable to book for their chosen dates will want to book as soon as the holiday season is over. The period following the holiday season is usually an off-season time of the year characterized by a low occupancy for some hotels. It is thus the perfect time to take the opportunity to offer these groups the possibility of booking for the following year the room they had in mind. However January can still be a month full of celebration so these groups could also choose to come and celebrate after the traditional holiday season ends. This is a good way of filling rooms in January, a month that can be particularly quiet. You can also perhaps offer them an advantageous discount as they are occupying rooms during an off-season time of year.
Prepare your PMS for the holidays
Even though the holiday season comes by every year and you think you are used to it, some work needs to be done in preparation for this peak occupancy season. This is to ensure everything goes smoothly and in the best manner possible. First, it is important to have a good overview of the previous years’ performance in order to establish an efficient strategy. This overview, which you can see on your PMS software, is a basis on which you can build your strategy for the holidays. Secondly, creating packages in your PMS software is the essential element which will allow your booking agents to rapidly inform clients who are calling them and start taking bookings with these complete packages.
Once all the packages are entered in your PMS software you need to ensure that they show up on your booking engine so that clients wishing to book online can do so. In order to avoid losing time, a booking engine that can intake the packages entered into your PMS software is crucial. Do not forget to take notes on your PMS software of all the planned activities in your hotel so that you can provide as much information as possible to your potential clients.
With all these tricks and ideas for the holidays, you are more than ready to get through the winter with confidence and efficiency.
Vous pouvez gérer ici vos préférences en matière de cookies
Pour offrir les meilleures expériences, nous utilisons des technologies telles que les témoins pour stocker et/ou accéder aux informations des appareils.
Les cookies essentiels permettent d'activer des fonctionnalités essentielles du site Web telles que le marquage de vos données saisies, la gestion du réseau et l'accessibilité.
Ces cookies permettent aux sites Web de se souvenir des choix que vous avez faits dans le passé, comme votre langue et votre devise, de mémoriser votre nom et votre adresse électronique et de remplir automatiquement les formulaires.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.Les cookies analytiques nous aident à améliorer notre site Web en recueillant et en analysant des informations sur la façon dont vous l'utilisez.
Les cookies publicitaires permettent de proposer des publicités ciblées et personnalisées.