Advantages and Disadvantages Of Using A Property Management System

Whether you are a franchisee for a large chain property or the owner/operator of a small independent hotel or bed and breakfast, you’ve probably noticed that you have many irons in the fire when it comes to managing your property. From controlling inventory to assigning staff, you’re probably spending a lot of time just keeping yourself organized.

Purchasing a property management system not only allows you to bring all your processes together under one application, it may be an easy way to digitize your operations if you’re still operating with pen, paper and file folders. Hands-on owners and managers can control the property and bookings from any location, while employees can carry out tasks with less time and effort.

Investing in a property management system for your hotel is a big step toward automating tasks that take time away from actually running your business. You’ll be able to set up processes, assign staff, track inventory and get an overview of your property and finances in one place instead of going through many different haphazard systems.

Advantages

Whether it’s a multi-story hotel in a busy market or a small property in a beautiful rural town, using a property management system has many advantages. You’ll be able to streamline your operations, offer comprehensive training to your staff and ensure guests have a positive, stress-free experience.

You can access your information from anywhere

A major advantage of a property management system in a hotel is having access to all of your information in one place, whether you’re onsite, at home or out of town. Because many property management systems operate via the cloud, you’ll have access to your information through all your devices. From a computer, tablet or smartphone, you’ll be able to pull up information in real-time, including inventory, revenue, personnel information, accounts payable and receivable and more.

Being able to manage from anywhere means you’ll be able to boost your sales on the fly. Just heard about a music festival in town that’s sure to draw a crowd? Log into the property management system and adjust your rates to take advantage of early bookings and foot traffic on the day of the event. Increased traffic means you may need to increase staff – the property management system allows you to revise the employee schedule at any time.

You’ll save time and money by being more efficient

The number one job of an employee in the hospitality industry is to provide excellent customer service to guests. When employees spend hours on routine tasks such as reservation management, scheduling, housekeeping assignments, maintenance requests and other manual administrative tasks, guest services can suffer.

A property management system is integrated into every department within a hotel, allowing you to communicate effectively with both employees or outside contractors while keeping an eye on revenue, inventory, or sales. Automating routine tasks can save time for both you and your employees – housekeeping assignments, maintenance requests, reservation manifests and nightly audits are available at the touch of a button.

Without having to spend time shuffling papers and manually documenting every leaky faucet or burned out light bulb, your frontline employees can focus on providing top-notch customer service to your guests.

Guest satisfaction may increase with a smooth check-in process

No one wants to arrive at their hotel after a long day of traveling only to be greeted with an awkward or burdensome check-in process. A property management system provides a single, efficient check-in procedure, requiring each of your employees to follow the same streamlined process. Your front desk will be able to handle both individual guests and tour bus rushes with ease, ensuring that each guest walks to his or her room with a positive first impression of your hotel.

You’ll increase bookings by refining your online presence

While the face of your hotel may be your frontline staff, your guests’ first impression of your property is often what they see and read online. One of the most effective benefits of a property management system in a hotel is the ability to integrate the software with your existing website. Services such as a direct booking engine, a 24-hour chat assistant or online concierge services add value to the guest experience from the first point of contact. Automating these tasks also means your employees are spending time taking care of guests.

You don’t only depend on your own website for sales, however. There are a variety of third-party booking sites – think booking.com or hotels.com – offering rooms to potential guests. Your property management system allows you to manage your inventory across many different platforms using one simple application. Not only does this function allow you to shift inventory to meet demand, it can also prevent duplication errors that sometimes occur when manually processing reservations.

You can optimize your revenue stream using built-in pricing tools

Most hotels change rates twice per year – peak occupancy season and low season. While it may be less time-consuming, you’re also missing out on a lot of revenue. Selecting a property management system with built-in pricing tools can increase your revenue by allowing you to set several rate options, including weekend fluctuations, special event pricing, promotional offers, package rates, valued customer deals and group sales options.

Disadvantages

While a property management system may ultimately help your business run more smoothly, it’s important to consider the disadvantages to determine if it’s right for your property before investing.

You’ll be dependent on one vendor

Property management systems allow you to connect every aspect of your business through one application. However, this may make it more difficult to use other third-party products that may be more useful to your business, such as payroll or accounting programs.

While some property management systems may allow integration with third-party products, the implementation is not always smooth and may cause both products to have operational issues. You may need to purchase additional products later if you want to add services that your software vendor doesn’t offer, such as self-check-in kiosks, email marketing databases or guest communication platforms. If you choose different vendors for these products, you’ll be back to managing several different systems instead of one property management solution.

Cost can be prohibitive in the beginning

If you’re a small, family-owned business in a non-tourist destination, it can be difficult to come up with the cash for an all-in-one property management system right away. Over time, these solutions pay for themselves in saved time and increased bookings, but you’ll want to make sure you choose the right product for your type of business.

Because the software is often proprietary and may not accept or play well with other tech products, you may be forced to abandon your property management system if it doesn’t work for you, or spend more money to find a more appropriate solution.

All-in-one is not always best.

For larger hotels, relying on property management software that claims to do everything can be a hassle and may actually require you to purchase other products or services. Software products usually perform one to three core functions very well. For instance, your chosen property management system may do a very good job of collecting and organizing bookings, assigning staff and keeping an up-to-date, rotating log of maintenance requests.

However, the same system may not have an optimal accounting program, or may not have a marketing function at all. If these functions are essential to your business – and they often are for very large or very busy properties – you’ll need to either purchase additional software or hire additional staff to ensure these functions are working properly.

Your Bottom Line

While the benefits of a property management system in a hotel often outweigh the potential negatives, it’s important to thoroughly consider your business procedures and plans for future growth before investing in the software. While expense may be an initial concern, the software generally pays for itself very quickly if you are able to take advantage of all the revenue-increasing tools it provides.

Partnering with Stasher.com can increase revenue

As you consider your purchase, it is possible to offset the cost of the software using a tool you already have at your disposal – extra space. Stasher.com is creating partnerships with hotels and short-term renters in any location to offer unused space in exchange for monthly payments.

How it works

Stasher.com offers traveler StashPoints near popular tourist destinations, points of interest and major travel hubs. Unused space at your hotel, such as empty business centers or ballrooms, can be offered as convenient luggage storage through Stasher.com.

Travelers select your site, store their luggage securely in your vacant rooms, and you get paid. It’s that simple! Stasher.com reports that hotels have added as much as $20k to their annual revenue with only 20 square-feet of unused space. Imagine what you could do with an entire conference room!

Sign up with Stasher.com today at https://stasher.com/becomeahost – it’s free and you can start bringing in extra revenue immediately.

Bitnami