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10 questions you must ask when choosing a hotel management software

Prabhash Bhatnagar
Prabhash Bhatnagar

The right hotel management software makes a huge difference to the way properties are managed worldwide. The use of hotel software for one’s daily operations is beneficial to every type of hotel – be it a resort, independent properties, Bed and Breakfast and more. Some hoteliers have already moved on to the cloud-based hotel management software. Those, who are yet to make the change, are often bogged down with questions to select the best hotel management software. Choosing a software system should meet your business needs and most importantly, cut down time, and cost for every hotelier.

Looking for top hotel management software online? The choices are many ranging from cloud-based to traditional models. Here are 10 questions you must ask before making the final purchase.

Selecting the Best Hotel Management Software

1) Why must I invest in hotel management software?

Hoteliers of small and mid-sized hotel brands often face these constant doubts that deter them from making the final purchase. Questions such as “Why do I need to purchase software?,” “How will I train my team? Won’t it increase my workload?” are bound to crop up in the mind. Invest in hotel management software because:

  • You will save time spent on tasks, everything is automated
  • You will have access to detailed reports to run your business efficiently
  • Your staff will show an improved efficiency as they spend less time on manual updates
  • You can boost your marketing efforts and use technology to increase revenue

2) What type of software is best suitable for my hotel business?

Selecting hotel management software is not dependent upon the number of rooms or hotel chains you own. Some cloud-based models offer great flexibility to select a plan as per your requirement.

There are two types of hotel management software that hoteliers need to be aware about:

  1. On-Prem or Premise-based software: This kind of hotel software stores the data locally in your office premises. As such, there is no dependency on the Internet and hoteliers need to pay for the entire software. Hotel owners completely own the software they purchase but there is a limit to the number of employees who can use the software at a single time. Hoteliers also need to maintain a team for IT maintenance and support.
  2. Cloud-based hotel management software: These are indeed fast and cost-efficient – hoteliers need not invest on IT support or hardware. Simply pay per month as per the plan selected. Data that is stored on the cloud can be accessed from anywhere across the globe.  Hotel owners can define as many users as they require for no added cost. The pricing plans often include training and support.

Cloud-based hotel management software is currently the best option available for every hotelier. The number of benefits it offers cannot be matched by on-premise systems.

Before you purchase web based hotel management software, ensure it integrates with your current website.

3) How will the use of hotel management software improve efficiency of my staff?

Hoteliers will be able to reduce time spent on administrative tasks. With the use of hotel management software, automating daily bookings and activities becomes an easy task. The hotel staff does not have to manually update bookings. Room inventory, room rates, housekeeping tasks, accounting and more can be done easily via a cloud-based property management system.

4)  Will I have to spend months training my hotel staff?

Absolutely not! It only requires basic computer knowledge. It’s easy to use the cloud-based systems and assign different roles and specify access levels to hotel staff. It includes demo videos which are easy to pick up and begin working simultaneously on the online property management system. The subscription plans include training and 24 X 7 support staff that will always be available for every query. You do not have to pay additional for training purposes. A visual dashboard of the hotel front desk software gives a clear overview of tasks to assign responsibilities easily.

5) Software upgrades are often a hassle. Does a hotelier have to bear this charge in the future?

Cloud-based property management systems include free upgrades. Look for hotel software that includes free upgrades and online product support with a clear pricing model.

6) How can a property management system help me with my sales and marketing initiatives?

Technology is evolving and cloud-based property management systems are offering a whole range of benefits for hoteliers. The best hotel management software connects you directly with sophisticated channel managers of your choice. Channel managers allows for real-time distribution of hotel room inventory and rate management across various channels. Any booking made online is updated automatically in the chosen property management system. Channel manager integrations allow hoteliers to increase bookings and boost sales.

A hotel property management system must also include a platform to connect to hotel review sites such as TripAdvisor. It’s easy to automate emails and seek guest feedback to collect instant reviews, integrate a Facebook booking button and do much more with cloud-based hotel management software.

7) I’m expanding my chain of hotels. Do I have to keep purchasing new software?

Before you make the purchase, always look for a highly flexible cloud-based property management system. So, if you are adding a new hotel or a couple of rooms or expanding in full flow, this should not create software issues for you. A versatile cloud-based solution is easy to use – you can upgrade the plan based on your requirement. It does not require reinstallation or new software purchase.

8)  My hotel staff spends a great deal of time on accounting details. Can cloud-based software ease up my worries?

A good hotel management software should be powerful enough to handle multiple tasks – accounting being of the major requirements for a hotelier. One must be able to transfer funds, manage invoices, plan budgeting, recurring charges, employee payroll and generate highly detailed reports. Popular hotel management software that partner with Xero, Quickbook, Alif, Sun Systems, Tally, etc. would be the right choice depending upon the region you’re based in.

9) What are the 3rd party integrations I should look out for?

Your chosen property management software must include 3rd party integrations to the Global Distribution System (GDS), Channel Manager, TripConnect, Payment Gateway, Comtrol (e.g. keycard entries), Booking Suite (match prices), Snapshot, Xero, ShawMan, Kounter, and the like. For e.g.: Payment gateway will give you an option to receive complete and secure payments on your website or application. A PMS that offers the highest level of security is a must for online bookings. The system makes the whole process easy without the need for multiple channels of communication between teams.

10) Will I be able to focus on direct bookings? What about OTA management?

Are you a hotel owner of a small or mid-sized hotel property? No matter what your answer is, having your website is imperative to drive direct bookings. Guests who look up to your website for information and rates need to be driven to make direct bookings and help you retain the entire share of profits. Use a hotel management system that integrates with a web booking engine and helps you capture booking details. For OTA management, use the PMS to update rates and inventory across different OTAs to maximize your reach. Your chosen PMS must allow you to track your bookings, and provide reports that give insights such as the region from where most of your bookings come from, peak periods, and other details that will help to strategize your next move.

Got more questions to add? Ask away and we’ll be happy to help!