Nowadays to run a successful property business it’s not enough to deliver great customer service. You almost have to be an expert in everything including marketing, website design and SEO. And that’s before you even take into account the day to day running and administration of your accommodation, guest communication, housekeeping, accounting etc. etc. Automating as many of these processes as possible helps save you time and money and ultimately ensures you’re able to deliver a great customer experience. This is where a property management system (PMS) becomes an invaluable tool. Hotel PMS systems have come such a long way over the last few years. So what is a PMS and what are the functions of a property management system in hotels and accommodation?
A Property Management System (PMS) is a software application or platform designed to streamline and automate the operations of accommodation businesses, such as hotels, motels, vacation rentals, hostels, and other lodging establishments. PMS software helps property owners, managers, and front desk staff efficiently manage various aspects of their property and enhance the guest experience.
Whether you’re running a small B&B, holiday homes and vacation rentals or a chain of hotels, property management has never been more demanding. The hospitality and travel sector has changed so much in the last decade with the emergence of OTAs, Global Distribution Systems and Private Letting channels. Running an accommodation business can often feel like you’re wearing a multitude of different hats. Whether it’s managing bookings, marketing your business, dealing with guest enquiries, managing the accounts or dealing with suppliers and contractors, every element takes time.
Also known as a PMS system, property management software acts as a centralised computer system for organising, scheduling and managing the day to day functions of an accommodation business. Depending on the software developer, it can handle everything from the reservation process, front and back office operations, channel management, guest communication, housekeeping and maintenance management.
While they have traditionally been associated with the hotel industry and larger hotel operations, today PMS are used by all types of properties including:
Of course software needs will vary depending on the type of property business you are running. Many software systems enable you to select the most appropriate modules and functions for your property size and type.
Let’s take a more detailed look at the key features and functions of a property management system.
Not all property management software is created equally. Modern systems, however, combine multiple functions into a single piece of software to make the guest and hotel management process as seamless and easy as possible.
The key features of a good PMS should include:
A good PMS will enable you to manage guest online direct bookings including payment gateways to record, track and payment processing for reservations. It should manage reservations, check availability, and book rooms or accommodations for guests. It also tracks reservation details, such as guest names, contact information, and special requests.
PMS systems facilitate the check-in and check-out processes, including guest registration, key card issuance, and room assignment. They can also handle early check-ins and late check-outs.
Ensuring your rooms are listed as widely as possible is critical to ensuring maximum occupancy so integration with a channel manager to control room inventory, revenue, online channels and yield management is an essential function of a good PMS.
Managing your business on the go has never been more important. Mobile property management apps enable you to perform all your property management functions on your mobile devices so that you’re not tied to the front reception area.
Ensuring your property is marketed effectively and connects to the widest range of tools possible will give you the best opportunity to fill your rooms and increase direct bookings. Choose a software supplier that integrates these functions in your property management software and who offers marketing services to support their clients.
Key functions of PMS system include allowing the property owner to communicate with guests and send professional automated emails to guests pre and post-stay. Managing you guest data is also increasingly important so an integrated CRM that details how and when guests prefer to receive communication as well as special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries is vital.
Other system features include property maintenance and housekeeping management tools will enable you to view a room’s status and schedule your cleaning staff and log and schedule maintenance jobs with minimum disruption to guests.
Many systems also integrate point of sale, telephone charges, daily and end of month banking and often trust accounting amongst many other things.
Your PMS software should generate various reports and analytics to help property managers make informed decisions. Reports may include occupancy rates, revenue data, and guest satisfaction metrics.
HiRUM Property Management Software was created out of the need from property managers to have increased control over the management of the apartments they controlled within their letting pool. Over the years the functions of a PMS have grown to encompass all aspects of business management including front and back office solutions, banking and reporting. It’s a far cry from a basic reservation tool to manage the letting of rooms on a day to day basis.
Having worked with businesses across the industry including real estate management, hotels, motels and resorts and strata managers, HiRUM have developed a complete business solution that can manage just about every aspect of your property business including trust accounting. To find out more about HiRUM’s complete property management solution, give us a call on +61 7 5574 4990 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was first published in April 2012 and has been updated in March 2022 and September 2023.
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