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Your Key To Success: Hotel PMS for Small Hotels

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Small and independent hotels have different goals and challenges than big hotel chains. 

 

And that's why it's important to find a hotel PMS for small hotels that address your property's specific needs and core limitations like time-consuming front desk tasks, poor online visibility, client dissatisfaction and ineffective distribution. 

 

Without a PMS, performing basic tasks like automatically processing online bookings is complex, which can seriously stifle your growth. However, a well-built modern PMS can have several valuable features beyond automating reservations. 

 

Let's look at the features and tools your hotel PMS should include to help your business grow in 2022.

 

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What Is a Hotel PMS for Small Hotels?

 

property management system (PMS) is an essential software tool that replaced reservation books and Excel spreadsheets. At its core, it allows you to manage bookings, set up room types and rate plans, check guests in and out and create invoices. 

 

Nowadays, even 10-bedroom properties require a PMS to run a well-organised and successful business in a fast-paced world. For example, drag-and-drop reservation changing without overlapping another is an essential function of a PMS that saves front desk managers a lot of time and eliminates errors. 

 

What Does a hotel PMS Look Like?

 

pms-for-small-hotels

 

A property management system typically displays reservations on a calendar view dashboard where you can quickly see your daily, weekly and monthly bookings. RoomRaccoon's PMS takes it further with colour-coded blocks that indicate a specific booking status. For example, green blocks with yellow triangles are bookings that are checked in and paid. 

 

This allows front desk managers to distinguish between bookings at a glance quickly.

 

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What Is an All-in-One Hotel PMS?

 

Hotel operators have to work with too many applications: one for front desk management, one for housekeeping operations, one for channel distribution, one to capture direct bookings, and more. 

 

Any good hotel PMS has an integrated booking engine and channel manager these days. The demand for all-in-one solutions means that the software is more powerful and versatile, with tools to capture direct bookings and sell rooms on multiple channels.

 

 

 

What Hotel PMS Features Do Small Hotels Need?

 

1. Simplify front desk management

 

A property management system saves you a lot of time by automating your front desk tasks and essentially frees your staff to focus on providing exceptional guest experiences. You can manage the entirety of your small hotel operations with a click of a button. 

 

Below are a few essential functions of a hotel PMS:

  • View all of your reservations on a calendar-view dashboard
  • Check guests in and out
  • Include additional sale items to rooms during various steps in the sales process
  • Set up room types and rates and add new rates to existing rooms
  • Allocate housekeeping staff to clean checked-out rooms
  • Process online payments and charge credit cards
  • Produce invoices
  • Scan guest's ID documents to auto-fill information in the designated fields
  • Identify returning guests and their preferences. 

 

2. Manage your property anywhere you go

 

Check your bookings on the go with a cloud-based hotel property management system accessible on smartphones and other devices. Staff with busy schedules or who works remotely can use this PMS function to stay up to date with reservations and housekeeping staff without being tied to the front desk. 

 

3. Communicate effectively with guests

 

Guest communication is essential, even for small properties. It instils trust and professionalism and leads to a richer guest experience. However, you don't need an email marketing system to communicate with your guests. A good hotel PMS has email automation functionality that allows you to set up and send essential guest communication emails such as; 

 

  • Booking confirmation email 
  • Pre-stay email with the option to add an online check-in link 
  • Post-stay email with the option to add a discount code
  • Payment request

 

Even better, you can customise the emails to match your brand's look and feel.

 

4. Manage your housekeeping 

 

mobile-housekeeping-software

 

Housekeeping is a fundamental part of your daily operations and should be treated as such. Small hotels typically use external staff for housekeeping and maintenance and therefore require an effective way to communicate daily duties. 

 

A modern hotel PMS like RoomRaccoon has a housekeeping module for front desk managers to allocate rooms and set time limits for cleaning. At the same time, housekeepers can use the Housekeepers Mobile View to view their daily tasks, confirm room statuses, report any issues, and much more! 

 

5. Generate more revenue at every step of the customer journey

 

From prospective guests searching for the ideal hotel until the moment they check in, you can actively increase your revenue with PMS tools that engage customers with additional offers and dynamic pricing. 

 

Look out for property management systems with integrated revenue management and upselling tools; otherwise, you'll be forced to integrate these powerful revenue-generating tools separately, costing you a lot more. 

 

6. Make data-driven decisions

 

Limited budgets can constrain small hotels. They need to make every pound count, meaning they should spend their money where it will impact their business growth. With advanced reporting on your PMS, you will be able to see where you should allocate your money by tracking:

 

  • RevPAR (revenue per available room)
  •  Average occupancy
  • Average revenue generated from upselling
  • Average length of stay
  • Reservations per country
  • Total revenue per room category
  • Total unoccupied rooms
  • Best-performing booking channels

 

7. Distribute room availability

 hotel pms with channel manager

 

Small and independent properties no longer depend on walk-ins and call-in reservations. That's because travellers are researching, planning and booking their holidays online, and sometimes they book entire trips from a single booking channel like Booking.com because it's simply convenient. 

 

These days, small hotels must be on multiple booking channels to capture revenue. But the process of keeping your availability up to date across multiple sites isn't easy without channel management software. 

 

That's why an all-in-one hotel PMS with an integrated channel manager is more effective. Your availability in your PMS is updated in real-time and distributed to all your booking channels in 5 seconds. 

 

What can your integrated channel manager do?

 

  • Instant live rate and availability updates
  • Upload your inventory up to 12 months in advance
  • Manage all your booking sites from one place
  • Track your channel performance 
  • Connect to all major distribution channels
  • Easily distribute packages such as breakfast inclusive rates

  

8. Get direct bookings from all corners of the world



 hotel booking engine

 

Travellers who know how to shop around know that major hotel booking channels don't always offer the best deals. They compare options on the hotels' websites to get a good deal. 

 

For this reason, if your hotel PMS does not have an integrated booking engine, you're likely losing out on commission-free direct bookings from all corners of the world. With a booking engine available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you can process bookings from international travellers without lifting a finger.

 

How Much Does Hotel PMS Cost?

 

Hotel PMS pricing differs from vendor to vendor. However, small hotels' most favourable pricing model is monthly or annual pay-per-room subscriptions. This way, hotel operators only pay for the size of their property instead of being limited to standard market pricing for hotel software.

 

Another cost to take into consideration is a set-up fee. The cost of implementing the software will either be charged as billable hours or as a once-off set-up fee.

 

Also, the best part about a cloud hotel PMS is that it can expand with your needs. So, check with your vendor about third-party integrations like digital room keys and accounting connections to customise your property as guest expectations evolve.  

 

What do you pay for?

 

  • All-in-one solution (hotel PMS, booking engine, channel manager)
  • Set up fee
  • Additional integrations (optional)
  • Support 

 

Learn more: RoomRaccoon PMS Subscriptions

 

Conclusion

It's no secret that the hospitality industry is competitive. With more and more hotel technology solutions arriving on the market each year, it's clear that hotel managers need to get on board or get left behind. 

 

So if you're in the market for a hotel PMS that is simple to use, efficient and gets real results, take a look at RoomRaccoon, which can expand as your business grow. No complex integrations.