What Is a Property Management System?

February 6, 2024 Sini. M
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A Property Management System is software designed to manage rental properties, hospitality accommodations and is also used in the manufacturing industries. It offers a centralised computer system to organise, schedule, and perform day-to-day functions and transactions involved in accommodations businesses.

PMS solutions have been customised to meet the hospitality industry’s specific needs and increase operations’ efficiency. By allowing for computer record keeping, property management systems have significantly increased the ease of updating and consulting centralised records from multiple computers and devices.

Embarking on the journey to selecting the perfect PMS for your small hotel is crucial to achieving high efficiency, guest satisfaction, and success. Picture a hotel PMS as the heartbeat of your property, storing all guest information and managing check-in and check-out details. In this comprehensive guide, we will begin with the basics of this technology, discuss how it can benefit your property, and delve into more complex aspects such as features, functionalities, and add-ons.


How Do I Know That I Need a Hotel PMS?


As an accommodation provider, we understand that budget constraints can make it tempting to refrain from investing in a PMS. However, while managing bookings on an Excel spreadsheet may seem like a cost-effective solution, managing your bookings manually can be more costly due to time and lost opportunities.

Here are six signs that indicate it’s time to invest in a PMS:


Poor insights into your hotel’s performance

Poor insights into a hotel’s performance can lead to challenges in understanding metrics, identifying areas for improvement, and making informed decisions. Accurate and timely data on occupancy rates, revenue, customer satisfaction, and efficiency is crucial for effective strategies and business outcomes.


Struggle to keep your rates competitive

Hotels may struggle to keep competitive pricing due to market factors and ineffective pricing strategies. This can decrease profitability and make it harder to attract guests, especially in price-sensitive markets. If this is your current state of affairs, you can address this by assessing pricing strategies, conducting market research, and using dynamic pricing models considering demand, seasonality, and competitor rates. We recommend using our competitor analysis tool, RaccoonRev, to develop a competitive pricing strategy. Download our brochure to learn more about it.


Check-in and check-out are manual

Manual check-in and check-out at hotels means no automation — staff manually handle tasks like recording guest information, providing keys, and processing payments. This can be time-consuming and generate more paperwork. With a PMS for automated check-in and check-out, wait times are reduced, and your staff can provide personalised service. Simply put, automation helps you to operate efficiently and modernise your operations.


Bookings are stuck in the dark ages

Concerned about missing calls from potential guests when you’re away from your desk? While a booking engine is a crucial solution to this problem, a PMS equipped with a booking proposal document offers an additional advantage. Automating the booking process not only allows you to accept online reservations seamlessly but also liberates you from the feeling of being tethered to your desk. This aligns with the preferences of modern travellers who seek quick solutions and convenience when securing a booking. Improve guest experience and operational efficiency with a PMS that offers a quick and hassle-free 5-step booking process.


Guest communication takes most of your time

Are you tired of not having access to historical guest data for personalised communication and offerings? RoomRaccoon’s PMS can revolutionize your approach by saving comprehensive guest profiles, including their preferences and preferred rates. With this information, automated emails can be set up for every step of the guest journey, from booking to post-stay. This can provide guests with a unique and personalised experience, which can help to maximise their loyalty to your business. Your guests will feel valued from arrival by tailoring each stay to their individual preferences. Modern travellers anticipate automated confirmation emails, text message updates, and being notified of any developments throughout their stay.

Here’s our free hotel email template to help you optimise guest communication.


Operations are scattered

Hotels using various separate tools and operating in a decentralised way might encounter difficulties in efficiency, communication, and daily operations. RoomRaccoon’s PMS can help centralise operations and enhance communication while minimising errors. Clear communication channels, staff training, and standard operating procedures can also contribute to organising hotel operations more effectively. And that is why you need an all-in-one system that simplifies daily operations and equips you with advanced pricing and upselling tools to increase your revenue.


What Is an All-In-One Hotel PMS?


An All-In-One PMS typically integrates various modules to comprehensively manage hotel operations, including:


  • A booking engine is a software application that enables online booking through direct channels such as a hotel’s website, social media pages, and metasearch. Due to the increasing trend of booking accommodation online, even small hotels must recognise the importance of having an online booking engine. Here’s our booking engine guide that will show you how to transform your website into a booking powerhouse.
  • A channel manager is a tool that helps you manage the various booking sites (also known as online travel agents or OTAs) through which your property is sold. It operates on a “pooled inventory model” to update your rooms, rates, and availability across multiple OTAs simultaneously. This ensures that your inventory is always up to date, and you never get overbooked, regardless of where the booking is made, whether directly on your website, through a third-party booking site, or at the point of sale.
  • A hotel payment processing system: RoomRaccoon’s PMS has an integrated payment solution, RaccoonPay. RaccoonPay ensures fast and seamless payment processing through the booking engine, channel manager, and also at your front desk. You can view all payment activity, payouts, refunds, and Virtual Credit Card (VCC) transactions.


What Is the Difference Between a Hotel PMS and Front Desk Software?


Front desk software, or a front desk system, is essentially a hotel PMS. The primary purpose of a PMS is to provide you with the technology you require to manage front desk tasks efficiently, hence the alternate name. In summary, everything you can do at the front desk can be done with a PMS.

However, it’s important to note that not all front desk and PMS tools are created equal. A hotel property management solution is named as such because it is intended to manage every aspect of your hotel. If a tool is referred to solely as a ‘front desk’ system and not a ‘PMS,’ it may lack crucial features found in modern, high-performing hotel PMSs.

To avoid confusion, it’s helpful to know other synonyms for PMS, such as hospitality management, hotel management software, motel management, and inn management software.

When looking for hotel management software, you may come across terms like ‘B&B software‘ or ‘hostel software.’ While these terms usually refer to a hotel PMS, some tools may be specifically designed for a certain type of accommodation and may not be suitable for others; it’s important to check the software’s capabilities and the intended user group before making a purchase decision.


What Are the Benefits of Using a Hotel PMS?

A PMS provides several benefits, including efficient streamlining and automation of business operations. It automatically adjusts rates, analyses competitors’ pricing, provides analytics and reporting features, remembers customer preferences, and handles guest communications. Here are more benefits of using the RoomRaccoon PMS:

  1. Save up to 4 hours daily: Automate processes to save up to four hours daily, cut costs, and optimise tasks.
  2. Enjoy more 5-star reviews: Use tools that focus on the guest to provide a seamless and integrated user experience without any obstacles.
  3. Higher guest lifetime value: Incorporating features that build a personalised connection with guests is important in encouraging loyalty.
  4. Instant connection to top OTA’s, GDS and metasearch engines: Manage availability, rates, and bookings to display your rooms on multiple travel channels and search engines.
  5. Increased revenue: During the European summer season of 2023, RevPAR increased by 20% due to high travel demand and improved room pricing strategies despite higher room rates.


What Features Should I Look for in a Small Hotel PMS?


When selecting hotel PMS, look for cloud-based front desk management, personalised communication, and upselling capabilities. If a crucial feature is missing, you will need to rely on a separate system, which defeats the purpose of an all-in-one hotel management experience.

Fortunately, RoomRaccoon offers a comprehensive solution that ensures you have every essential module. Now, let’s delve deeper into the ones that make RoomRaccoon an unparalleled and seamless hotel management experience.


Front desk management

Your PMS should provide the necessary tools to organise and run your small hotel efficiently. To offer your guests exceptional service from their arrival to departure, you should be able to perform the following tasks with ease:

  • Generate invoices
  • Stand out in property management with RoomRaccoon’s “Grey Rooms”. Sell and invoice extra spaces like conference rooms and parking easily, and earn more revenue.
  • Check guests in and out
  • Set up your property, including room categories and rate plans
  • Rearrange existing bookings and simplify hotel check-ins and enhance the guest experience with features such as scheduled reminders and booker profiles.
  • Keep track of returning guests

Check out our informative blog on why your hotel needs front-desk management.


Upsell and cross-sell capabilities

Upsell ancillary services to existing customers and maximise your revenue. A good PMS should include upselling software so you can offer additional services such as late check-out, breakfast, spa packages and increase TrevPAR. You should be able to customise these extras to meet the needs of each guest and add additional sale items to their reservation during their stay. By upselling relevant products and services, you can give your guests a better experience while boosting your profits. With the help of RaccoonUpsell, The Glen Boutique Hotel increased its ROI by 273% by offering spa packages and extra services during the booking process.


Download our informative brochure for upselling tips and how you can with RoomRaccoon’s PMS.


Cloud-based software

Regardless of your location or the device you are utilising, accessing your system should be convenient. To facilitate this, the system must be cloud-based. This way, you can easily monitor your reservations while going about your day. All you need to do is carry your smartphone or tablet with you.

Cloud-based software has several key characteristics, including:

  1. Accessibility: As long as you have an internet connection, you can access the software from any device, making it flexible and convenient for users.
  2. Scalability: Cloud-based solutions can quickly scale up or down according to user needs, making them a popular choice.
  3. Automatic Updates: Cloud service providers handle updates and maintenance, ensuring that users can always access the latest features and security patches.
  4. Collaboration: Cloud-based software promotes collaboration among users, allowing them to work together in real time, share documents, and communicate effectively.
  5. Data Security: Cloud providers invest in robust security measures to protect user data, often including encryption, access controls, and regular security audits.
  6. Cost Efficiency: Cloud-based software often operates on a subscription model, eliminating the need for upfront infrastructure costs and allowing users to pay for only what they use.


Functionality for personalised guest communication

A top-notch Property Management System can make all the difference for your guests to have the best possible stay at your property. RoomRaccoon’s PMS includes features allowing easy, structured communication with guests throughout their stay. Here’s how it works:


  1. Booking confirmation: As soon as your guests book their stay, our PMS will automatically send them a confirmation email. This confirms their reservation and lets them know that you’re excited to have them as guests.
  2. Pre-arrival information: In the days leading up to your guests’ arrival, the PMS will send an email with all the information they need for a seamless check-in. Take the opportunity to build excitement for their stay and offer additional services or amenities that might interest them.
  3. Post-stay thank you: The PMS will send a heartfelt thank-you email after your guests check out, request feedback on their stay and offer promotional codes for future bookings or referrals. By offering personalised codes, your guests will feel valued and more likely to become loyal repeat customers.

Every property is unique, so you must customize these emails to align with your brand’s image. With our PMS, you can create a consistent guest experience that keeps guests returning repeatedly.


Sell Rooms with Online Travel Agencies

Two-thirds of travellers book their trips online, so hotels need a seamless, user-friendly online booking experience. This is more important for international travellers who may have difficulty booking with smaller hotels. A PMS can help hotel owners partner with international OTAs such as Booking.com, Agoda, and Expedia to reach a wider audience and increase bookings.


It’s Time to Increase Revenue With Our PMS


Maximise your hotel’s revenue by using RaccoonRev, our revenue management tool that helps you sell your rooms strategically and at the right time at competitive prices. With RaccoonRev, you can adjust your room rates with automated yield management rules based on time periods, room prices, competitor rates, and availability. You can tailor these rules to increase your RevPAR (Revenue per Available Room).


Streamline Operations and Delight Guests With RoomRaccoon

The front desk feature streamlines and automates day-to-day operations crucial to running a property. Our channel manager manages your presence on third-party websites, allowing you to update all listings with a single click and automatically adjusts availability to prevent double bookings. Simple, intuitive, and optimised, the RoomRaccoon PMS does all the heavy lifting for you. Here’s a recap of what makes us the leading choice for independent hoteliers:

  • You can save hours daily by automating tasks like guest communication, payments, reservations, and checkouts. This enables your team to go above and beyond in providing a 5-star experience for your guests.
  • Ensure seamless guest journeys from the initial search to post-stay and make every guest touchpoint a delightful experience.
  • Our PMS software is also designed with revenue-generating tools, which can help you run a successful business in a dynamic industry with less effort. Elevate your operations, delight guests, and create unforgettable experiences with RoomRaccoon.


Author Image

Sini. M

Sini is an accomplished Content Manager at RoomRaccoon. As an agency-hailed talent, her work brings a fresh creative flair to the world of SaaS. And she brings her very own brand of sass to the SaaS world. While not on the clock, Sini enjoys a glass of fine wine, and well, her privacy.

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