How to successfully start a hotel or hostel, pt.2

In Business /

Hotel management systems

An online booking engine is essential for helping travel and tour agencies support reservations for their clients. An OTA (Online Traveling Agency) provides options for your potential guests to be able to know where they may want to travel. A Property Management System (like us), unlike OTAs and Online Booking Engines, take total control of the property -including planning and sales.

Some people prefer to use separate Revenue Management Systems which enable you to sit back as an automated system comes up with a plan to make your business to work out in the most cost effective but profitable way. It is important for you to know what all these things are so that you can decide how you want to start running your business. In the beginning, we recommend having a “less is more” approach to spending a lot of money on systems you are not sure if you are going to need.

When choosing a suitable property management system, it is important to make sure they are not a brand-new company with 1 or 2 properties. Let someone else be the guinea pig unless you personally know the people behind the company. Stability is key when it comes to a PMS system since this will be the easily most business-critical system among the tools you will be working with. The company behind the PMS should have at least 100+ facilities, have existed at least a couple of years, and when discussing with the sales reps you should not get a feel that they are in any kind of financial troubles.

You should also make sure they have some sort of plan in case a disaster strikes, or any other kind of unplanned event. Can they provide you database dumps in case they shut down the service, or other kind of exporting of data? Is the database backed up properly, how does the data loss contingency plan look like? This might all be a bit too technical for you, but we do recommend that you investigate these issues beforehand. But in the end, a cloud based PMS might suffer downtime for various reasons that are out of anyone’s hands. You should also have a defined plan for how to act in case the system is unavailable. Pen and paper does still have its place in a modern work place in extreme situations!

Property Management Systems are a highly valuable tool since they help the hotel owner to get a quick overview and organize their information in a centralized way. Most people do eventually organize it all in some way, may it be in a large book, through post its or a spreadsheet, but in the end this will all be something like reinventing the wheel. The problem has been solved already, when it comes to how to get computerized assistance in the work day of front desk operations and management overview. We have seen customers save up to 2h a day on reduced workload when they have started using our system.

Trying to keep these posts at around 500 words, and soon this one is at 600, so time to wrap things up for this time. More posts are coming on this subject, stay tuned!

Read the first part of this series here!

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A selection of our customers

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  • Angel Inn Midhurst
  • Gasthaus _pyorealogo

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