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As a hotel manager, ensuring that rooms are not double-booked, that housekeeping is done on time, and that all payments are processed smoothly are a few of your everyday chores. There are also booking requests from online travel agency (OTA) platforms and guests arriving at the front desk that you can’t ignore. Further, you might want to start expanding your offerings to include a concierge or spa service to provide guests with a luxury experience.
But, if you’re trying to manually juggle all these tasks, it’s going to get overwhelming. On the other hand, you could implement a hotel management software solution to handle a lot of these recurring administrative tasks. Dedicated software can streamline your workflow and help you carve out time to focus on the things that really need your personal attention.
This buyers guide covers the important things to know and aspects to consider when evaluating hotel management solutions available on the market.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Hotel management software comprises digital tools that hotel owners and managers can use to manage the operational and financial functions of their hotels. It helps them streamline everyday tasks such as reserving rooms, scheduling housekeeping routines, and processing check-ins and check-outs. Hotel management software is also used by motels, resorts, bed-and-breakfasts, and other forms of lodging with quick turnover.
The key capabilities of hotel management software include:
Managing reservations from multiple sources and ensuring you maintain enough time between bookings.
Tracking rooms that need cleaning, scheduling room-prep before guest arrival, and staying on top of tasks assigned to housekeeping staff.
Processing bills and other financial transactions via multiple sources.
Maintaining guest relationships and interaction histories, such as email communication.
Vendors for hotel management software typically offer the following two types of deployment options:
Cloud-based deployment: In this option, the vendor takes the responsibility for hosting and maintaining the solution, and you access it via a browser or mobile and/or desktop app. Such a solution is priced either on a per room per month or per user per month basis.
On-premise deployment: In this option, you purchase licenses from the vendor and host the software on your own servers; maintenance and updates are your responsibility. While this option doesn’t require recurring costs, the vendor may charge for support services.
For small and midsize hotels, GetApp recommends cloud-based software. It’s a ready-to-use package with a shorter implementation period, when compared to on-premise software. It also requires a lower upfront investment and is typically easier to scale (add rooms/users) to match the evolving requirements of your business.
With all the solutions on the market offering varying features, choosing a hotel management solution can be a confusing process. To help you out, we’ve listed the most common features below:
Reservation management: Allow guests to make reservations for one or more rooms and guests. Import booking from multiple sources and maintain a central calendar.
Reservations dashboard in OpenHotel
Front desk management: Check guests in and out, issue key cards, and manage requests related to room and reservation changes. You can also capture information such as time for wake-up calls or do-not-disturb requests.
Housekeeping management: Track the cleaning status of each room, schedule housekeeping and maintenance requests, and delegate tasks to housekeeping staff.
Housekeeping center in SkyTouch Hotel OS
Point-of-sale: Create and process invoices, taxes, and any additional charges. Use multiple payment modes (such as cash, cards, and online transfer) and multiple currencies.
Invoicing in Sirvoy Booking System
Communication management: Send booking details to guests via email and/or SMS. Track email and phone interactions with guests, take notes, and organize and store them.
Unified inbox in Uplisting
Reporting: Generate reports regarding bookings, housekeeping, financials, and guest communication. Customize reports according to your requirements.
Dashboard with reporting in RMS Hotel
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations, obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.