Whether you’re a host with a few short term rental properties, a boutique hotel owner, run a resort, or are a property manager, it takes a lot of work, organization, and coordination to manage all the different rooms and guests that come across your desk. There’s managing reservations, check-ins, check-outs, giving access, and guest communications, among other considerations. At some point, it becomes necessary to find a way to automate your rental via a management software.
Known as a Property Management System or Property Management Software (PMS), it can automatically take care of day-to-day operations, and allow you to focus on on-boarding new properties, perfect your guest experience, and focus on marketing and growth. There are several different types of PMS’s out there, and not all of them are the same. To ensure you get the most out of it, you need to find the one that best suits your business needs and goals.
How to Choose a Property Management Software
Each PMS offers a variety of features, depending on its clients. When choosing one, look for something that will be relevant to your business. You know your pain points and what you ultimately need, and you should take your time to find one that has things that will make your job easier, without paying for extra features and frills you won’t use. For example, if you’ve got a small team, you might not want something with a comprehensive staff management tool.
With that in mind, however, don’t be too quick to dismiss a feature at the onset. Something that seems unnecessary now, could come in handy later when you try to scale your business. It’d also be a good idea to explore the PMS’s development roadmap to see what new features are on the horizon, especially if the company offers a discount for more comprehensive versions of their software.
Finally, it should be able to work with your other tools via an open API and partner with OTAs, booking channels, automation tools, and any other sites and services you rely on.
Whatever your needs may be, there are certain features that are crucial for success. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
It Should Keep Procedures Organized
Control: The ideal management system would allow you to control everything from a centralized dashboard. This would include managing all of your listings across various booking channels, as well as offer information and stats about the bookings across your portfolio, and generate reports. It should also have the capabilities to let you know how well each property is doing, as well as showing you how profitable each rental is, in comparison to others.
It should also be device agnostic, working natively on a computer and your mobile devices.
Correspondence: On top of that, a good PMS should organize all of your correspondence into one unified inbox, including guest/client texts and emails, as well as any from the various OTA’s you work with. This functions as a built in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, to keep you on top of your guest communication, as well as any feedback and reviews.
Automation: Finally, a PMS that fits your business should offer automated processes for each aspect of your business. For example, prompting guests to leave reviews, sending automated welcome and thank you emails, as well as working with your outsourced services such as cleaning, to alert them when a booking has concluded and the space is vacant for a cleaning and turnover.
It should streamline your operations
Being a property manager means that more often than not, you’re spending far too much of your time on manual, tedious tasks. This is why you need a PMS that eliminates the busy work. Your software should have the ability to create a dynamic flow of communications between yourself and your guest. This is done through automated messages. Rather than greeting every guest personally, with a copy-and-paste message, the system can create automated messages that will go out according to a set schedule, triggered by various conditions; an approaching check-in date, upon checkout, or at the midpoint of a stay during a multi-night reservation.
In tandem with automated emails, a PMS with an AI concierge service is something you should be looking for to streamline your communications. This service offers a chatbot that will answer any of the most common questions about the WiFi, local restaurants, and where the host keeps the extra blankets. If there is a question the concierge can’t answer, then it will send a notification to the host to involve them. Thus, saving you from answering the same questions repeatedly, for every booking.
A helpful PMS should also work on optimizing your listings, allowing you to adjust prices and update descriptions across all your booking channels. As well, as a property gets booked, it should also automatically block off that listing on all your partner OTAs, to avoid double booking. The idea is to avoid all that wasted time logging in and out of different booking channel portals to keep your inventory updated.
Finally, the ideal PMS should work with automating the features of the listing itself through smart technology. This is done by using tools such as keyless entry and smart locks, noise sensors, smart thermostats, and other tools that will help improve the guest experience and make less work for you.
Helps to Grow your Business
The key to being a property owner, successful host, resort manager, B&B proprietor, etc. is repeat visitors and 5-star reviews. But you can only focus on striving for those things, if you automate and outsource a lot of the mechanical and routine processes. Once your business is a well-oiled machine, you can focus on the big-picture; revenue and delivering the best possible customer experience.
At Enso Connect, our focus is on automating as many of the tools you use, into one easy dashboard. We focus on leveraging smart home devices and automated messaging to help make the management of your property as effortless as possible.
Contact us to find out how to put your home on autopilot.