Choosing the right Property Management System (PMS) is an important decision, for every hotelier in the world. From basic functions to the good user interface, easy implementation, and customer support, deciding which one sometimes can be a headache.
A PMS is a brain that connects all your hotel operations and helps you save time and money while increasing your revenue. Some of the basic automatizations are connected to reservation management, invoice issuing, and reporting.
All this needs to be followed by great and fast customer support, to help you whenever you have a problem or with good user training.
The ultimate checklist!
Or what should you check prior to making your decision?
Integrations — what systems do you have connected or integrated inside of the Property management system (PMS)? Your PMS needs to have good connections with other systems, like channel manager, booking engine, and CRM.
Connection with channel manager — channel manager is a system that connects your OTA (sales) channels, like Booking.com, Airbnb.com, Expedia.com, Hotelbeds, Webbeds, etc. All these channels need to be connected so you can’t receive any overbookings. If the channel manager is connected with your PMS or even better (!) integrated with inside your PMS, you can easily control your price plans, restrictions (min & max stay, check-in days, etc.), availability, and other crucial information that your OTA channels show to potential guests. The connection needs to be 2way, so when you change anything in your PMS it goes directly through the channel manager to the OTA channels. And if your channel manager receives a new reservation it gets shown on your PMS calendar. If the connection is 1way, that is not enough, you will still have to do some job, that can be automatized.
Connection with booking engine — booking engine is your online front-office, it is the main function on your website! Through the booking engine, your guests make direct reservations anytime. There they can see in real-time your room availability, check prices, offers, etc. The booking engine should blend in with the overall design of your hotel website and brand. Creative, fast, simple, and intuitive design, will help you focus the attention on what’s most important- your guests booking experience.
Connection with CRM — CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a system or way of managing relations with your guests and customers. Through CRM you can automatize emails to your guests, follow their interactions with your hotel, and what do they like the most. This helps you choose the right sales strategy. If your PMS has these functions that is even better.
Cloud system is the delivery of different services through the Internet, including data storage, databases, networking, and software. Cloud–based storage makes it possible to save files to a remote database and retrieve them on demand.
Your PMS needs to be on the cloud, for multiple reasons:
- Cloud is not the future it is the present and future need for improving your business
- Easy setup– with cloud-based PMS you can have an easy setup with less time needed for training
- More affordable option– because there is no need for on-site (in the hotel) setup and support if any problem occurs, cloud technology is cheaper than offline technology.
- Mobil access– anytime from anywhere you can access your PMS. If you are not feeling well, or you are away, you are still in control of your hotel.
- Off-site data storage– this helps you secure your guests’ information, and if PMS uses quality servers, your data is even more secure than on-site storage.
Your PMS should have mobile app access, this will help you manage your hotel while on the move. Easy access, great user interface, fast download, and fast in-app screen switch, those are things that you are looking for.
Customer support and training
Does your PMS provider offers free or included in the price, customer support? This is the basic, if they charge you for fast support, if they have limitations, like “we will answer only for PREMIUM clients” “Or response in 72+ hours” no matter how small their price is, they will eventually become expensive for you. One overbooking, one headache, or one day without support can be bad for your business. Every system has flaws, and we all should accept that (as long as those flaws are not crucial and problematic for your business), but it needs to be reliable, and support needs to be fast on solving problems when they occur.
You need to ask a couple of questions:
- Is support available every day of the week?
- Do you need to wait more than a day to get a response?
- Do they provide some type of training, if needed?
- Do they have a knowledge base?
- Are they constantly developing their products?
Great systems are being constantly improved, new functions arrive every few weeks and the system needs to be easy to handle.
If you need to have a couple of days for training, if every new receptionist needs more than 10 days to master the use of the system, then you definitely have an old system, probably with too many functions that are too hard to master- if that is the case, it is a time for a change![/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column] [/et_pb_row] [/et_pb_section]