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When independent hotels decide to move from on-premise or manual processes to modern cloud based Hotel Management System, there can be a lot of indecisiveness around this move. Small hotels feel the pinch since the move means investment in terms of money, time and effort. These hotels are already stretched and any change demands instant ROI to justify the move.

A common worry among small and mid-sized properties is that cloud based hotel management system mayn’t give instant returns and this may lead to a confused approach. It’s always recommended that you create your own checklist based on,

What is your budget limit?
Which features are important for your hotel?
Is the system simple or complex?

We bring you hits and misses that will help you arrive at the best Hotel Management System for your hotel,

The follow are definite hits that should feature in your check list:

Smooth integration: With almost every platform and tool moving to cloud, easy integration between your Hotel Management System and 3rd party tool is a must. This will save time and provide real time data for better decision making
Connect with Channel Managers: Channel Managers are perhaps the most popular online integration that hotels go in for. This helps update your room rate and inventory stay updated at all times and ensure zero bookings
Housekeeping & POS: Most Hotel Management System vendors provide basic functionalities like checkin, checkout and that’s it. Why not go for comprehensive PMS systems that come with Housekeeping and POS modules included
Reporting: Smart Hotel Management System have the ability to capture crucial data like occupancy, market trend, competitor pricing and more, which translates to informed business decisions
Support: This can be tricky since you are required to judge which Hotel Management System vendor will provide you timely service and support. Sites like Capterra and Software Suggest are great listing sites which include user reviews

Misses that you should steer clear of,

Opting for features than required: Evaluate features that make most sense for your hotel and then start your hunt. Keep a list of your hotel’s requirements ready and match it against the key features of a Hotel Management System.
Choosing by cost alone: Determine the ROI after you arrive at favorable options. Going in for for any low-cost solution would be a bad idea.
Obsolete systems: We cannot stress this enough. To best position your hotel business for the market trends in future, choose a modern system which will ensure a long and prosperous time ahead.

Running a hotel is difficult and you want to seek all the assistance that you can get. But with all right systems in place, it can be truly rewarding. Get the Hotel Management System to unlock new opportunities for your hotel.

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Online Reservation Software are online tools that hotel businesses use to process reservations. Hotels relying on manual processes like pen and paper to run their operations, often feel the need to switch to an Online Reservation Software. Quick benefits like automated systems to reduce booking errors, implement online payments to increase cash flow, and create a more centralized approach to improve efficiency and save time is what hoteliers are looking to get out of Online Reservation Software.

 

Hotel businesses feel the need to optimize on the evolving technology and many, irrespective of size or location, are adopting them rapidly to increase revenue and occupancy. Be it a Bed and Breakfast, Motel, Service Apartment or a Full Service City Hotel, everyone can benefit from Online Reservation Software. Infact, its the small and mid sized properties who gain the most out of evolved hotel software. A lot of these properties usually run a tight ship when it comes to resources like staff and revenue.

 

Areas where hoteliers are benefiting from Online Reservation Software

 

Seamless check in

With no Online Reservation Software in place, booking may get lost or damaged. Your frontdesk staff may be attending to customers or assigning tasks to other department like housekeeping and can easily lose track of the bookings that have come in. This is a common scenario and can easily escalate to situations where guests arrive at your hotel and wait endlessly till you figure out which room are they reserved for.

If your hotel is connected to an Online Reservation Software, not only can you capture your walk-ins and call-ins, but also maintain a real time update of reservations that roll in through OTAs. This lets your staff to be on top of the complete reservation data, giving them the time and confidence to plan their schedule better.

 

Easier booking experience for guests

With guests getting more comfortable with online channels, OTAs dominate the market pretty much. Call-ins and walk-ins are few, with only corporate and travel agents making up for a fair share apart from OTAs. Online Reservation Software let hoteliers connect with online booking channels seamlessly. In fact, evolved cloud PMS’s like Hotelogix is popular for its seamless 2-way integration with Channel Managers which leads to real time room rate and inventory update. Double bookings, missed booking, etc are a thing of the past now.

 

Online Payment option

With popular online bookings come online payment requirement. Integrating your hotel with a software that supports online reservations but not payment gateways make for poor business decision. Also, creating a safe and secure environment for guests when they are booking online is crucial. Shopcart abandonment is a very common problem across businesses, major reason being lack of security. Empower your hotel with an Online Reservation Software that help your guests provide a safe, simple and flexible payment solution.

 

Connecting with Guests

Today’s guest expect a certain level of communication when they book with you. These can be booking confirmation mails, seasonal offer mails, thank you mails when they check out, request for review mails and so on. To carry out all of these manually would be a nightmare. Modern Online Reservation Software let you automate the entire process, saving time and effort for you. You don’t need to worry about which database to send it to and what time.

 

Analyzing hotel data

An evolved Online Reservation Software gives you the ability to optimize on your existing hotel data. Your marketing campaigns, pricing strategy, future plans, all of them depend on how you analyze and make of the data. Hotelogix PMS for instance gives you access to 100+ reports giving you better insights into your hotel. Accessibility of these reports play a major role because if it’s difficult to access, then it becomes a tedious and time consuming process.

 

We leave you with a checklist for choosing the best Online Reservation Software for your hotel,

-Features (Check for the one’s that your hotel requires, look out for features that may come at an additional expense)

-Cost (Are there any overhead expense involved in the system. Look out for extra fees and such)

-Support (Talk to existing clients for the kind of support that the Online Reservation Software vendor provides to them)

 

 

We all know that OTAs help in getting bookings for hotels. But what about direct bookings? There is no disagreement that OTA services are extremely beneficial and is driving hotel’s occupancy rate, but you can get more hotel guests and increase your revenues by putting forth an effort towards attracting direct bookings. It’s entirely possible to do so without violating your OTA agreements, and direct bookings will help you:
• Enhance your brand image
• Build a base of loyal customers
• Reduce the commissions you pay to OTAs

 

 

There are a variety of ways to increase direct bookings while working in parallel with your OTAs. Here are 5 of them:

1. Offer special discounts and loyalty programs to a targeted audience

OTA agreements prevent hotels from offering cheaper deals publicly, but they say nothing about offering deals and discounts to selected set of customers. For instance, offer your Facebook fans a discount code that they can use for future bookings via a designated landing page. If the deal is not open for all, you are perfectly within your rights to do this. Also loyalty programs, allows you to offer special deals in order to keep them coming back and booking with your hotel again.

2. Website that is captivating

To gain good traction in direct bookings, having a good website becomes essential as part of your hotel marketing strategy. Having user friendly interface with right communication is ideal to attract more guests. Always remember a company is often judged by the level of its communications. Booking page must be simple or else you will find visitors “bouncing” away to more user-friendly sites. Not only this, payment methods should be included that are widely used by your target audience and be integrated with a reputable online payment solution.

3. Digital Marketing Efforts

Get your hotel’s site and brand out there in front of your target audience by employing effective digital marketing techniques such as SEO, PPC, and writing blog posts.

Search Engine Optimization

Quality content is one of the most fundamental parts of SEO. Google bases rank partly on the relevance and quality of content for the users, so write for your potential guests, and your rank in the SERPs will follow. You should also focus on the following:

Meta tags and descriptions
Title tags
H2 tags
Keyword usage
Internal and external links
Read more about SEO tips for hotels in this blog post.

PPC

PPC means “pay-per-click”. You can set up PPC campaigns in Google Adwords. Basically, you create ads and bid on the keyword you want the ad to appear for. If your advert is clicked, you pay for that click. In the simplest terms, the higher your bid, the more likely your ad is to appear and get clicked.

Blog

Your blog is an excellent place to publish new, fresh content on a regular basis. Not only is this a way to provide your audience with useful and insightful posts to read, but it is great for SEO, as well. Optimize your blog posts for search engines with relevant keywords and internal links to drive more organic traffic to your website.

 

4. Use your Front Desk as a Point of Contact

In addition to your website, use your front desk to full advantage. When your concierge has face-to-face interaction with customers, he/she should give them a reason to use your website instead of an OTA for future bookings – like a 10 percent discount off their next stay if they sign up for your loyalty program and book directly from your website.

5. Participate in Conversations on Review Sites

Review sites give you an opportunity to draw customers to your own site, rather than to an OTA to book.

Respond positively to every comment users post – good or bad. It is important to engage with your guests and show them that you care and appreciate their feedback. When potential guests see your professional and positive attitude towards guest feedback, they will be more comfortable booking with your hotel.

You can also use guest reviews as a place for offering incentives for direct bookings. For example, if someone comments on how nice your spa was, you could respond by thanking the customer for their feedback and informing them (and everyone who reads the comment thread) of a new spa package you’re currently offering with bookings through your website. You could take it one step further and add an extra incentive, like the first 5 bookings get a special gift, too.

Increasing your hotel’s number of direct bookings is as easy as 1, 2, 3 (4, 5). With these effective methods, you can gain a much higher rate of direct bookings while still enjoying the essential services offered by OTAs, and watch your revenues significantly increase.

 

In a competitive industry like hospitality, technology goes a long way in redefining your hotel business. Many hoteliers have switched to cloud technology and they have not looked back. The easy-to-use, effective and pocket friendly solution has made property management smoother and improved the overall quality of properties as well.

 

If you are a small or mid-sized hotel looking to expand your hold in the global market without compromising on quality of returns, you must look at the below,

 

4 reasons why you should switch over to Hotelogix PMS.

1.Automated system

Streamlining day-to-day hotel operations is necessary so independent hoteliers can provide excellent guest experience. The answer lies in automation – run your hotel operations smoothly and smartly, save time and increase efficiency. Be it reservations, housekeeping or POS, an automated system lets you stay ahead. Promote special deals, track your staff’s performance and remove all chances of manual error.

 

2.Real time Update

OTAs attract millions of users to their sites on a regular basis and new bookings are constantly being made every second. With hotels selling their rooms on several avenues, managing room inventory and distribution can become extremely challenging. Integrate with Channel managers to update room rate and availability across all channels whenever a new booking is made on any platform – all in real time. However, that’s not enough, real-time integration is critical to preventing double-bookings.

 

3.Better Time Management

A powerful PMS system provides you access to centralized reports. This means you don’t need to waste time creating separate reports from each department. Cloud PMS solutions like Hotelogix collect data from each department creating a variety of MIS reports in fraction of a second. Hoteliers can dedicate more time to studying these reports and improve areas that need attention.

 

4.Compete with Big Brands

Automating operations and distribution gives independent hoteliers more time to focus on the guest experience. Getting guest service right starts even before the guest checks in and remains even after departure. While the big brands might have multiple advantages like the location, brand, and service, independent hotels can increase their odds by focusing on ROE (Return on Experience). With Hotelogix cloud PMS, guest preferences and behavioural trend data is saved centrally, enabling properties to access the data in real time to provide a satisfying experience to the guest during to his/her stay.

 

Whether you are running your hotel with a pen & paper or a legacy system, we urge you to explore cloud based PMS. They are a perfect fit for everyone – be it a 20 room property or 200.

 

property management system

Legacy systems in a hospitality industry is now a thing of the past. Cloud based PMS is providing the opportunity for hotels to compete on the global stage, for both small and mid-size properties. The benefits of cloud based Property Management System are many! Hotels can free themselves of physical infrastructure and benefit from an easy to access platform that houses best of systems – including the hotel’s revenue management system, central reservation system, online reputation management, rate recommendation and intelligence tools, data insight platform, channel manager, online booking engine and Global Distribution System, to name but a few.

Going forward, let’s discuss the benefits of cloud based PMS and its role to grow your business:

Data security

There is no risk of losing data due to virus or malware as all applications and vital data are stored in the cloud. The hotels can receive automatic upgrades and explore new features and performance enhancements, allowing hoteliers to benefit from an increased pace of technical innovation. The PMS software is designed in such a way that it programs automatically to accommodate any latest update or feature.

Get automated

Capabilities and systems previously accessible only to the largest breed of chain hotel are now accessible to all hotels, small, medium and large. An independent small hotel today can be using the same cloud technology as the large ones, in key markets of the world. Easily manage the complexities of running the hotel operations such as online distribution and direct bookings by effectively using cloud based PMS. No more investing heavily on ‘legacy technology’ or consistently struggling to keep up with the pace of cloud based hotel solutions.

Mobile accessibility

Property management system is accessible from any mobile device (tablets and smartphones with working Internet connection), giving you the access to manage your property from practically anytime and from anywhere. Get rid of the hassle of making reservations, keeping track of check-ins/ check-outs and managing housekeeping reports.

No manual error

Since the PMS is completely automated, there is absolutely no chance of manual error. The software is programmed to prevent duplicate entries, over or double booking, wrong data entry and so on.

Speed up the process

PMS is designed particularly to save time and maximize your ROI. Saving time paves the way for hoteliers to serve their guests better. Property owners can now eliminate time consuming front desk job and manual tasks by switching to PMS.

Fully integrated Web Reservations

Since cloud based PMS is a fully integrated online reservation system, allocation of separate room inventory for Web bookings is not required. Whenever a booking happens from the hotel website or via the GDS, the room inventory is immediately updated in real time.

Avoid double and over booking

Double booking is common when it comes to manual operations. It can hamper your company’s image, business and operations to a great extent. PMS and hospitality software can avoid this occurrence due to system trappings and multiple checks.

infographic-top-hospitality-trends-for-2017

The onset of cloud computing technology has revolutionized accessibility to modern digital software for hoteliers around the world, enabling them to compete with the largest multi-property groups. The introduction of the cloud based PMS has enabled small and mid-sized hotels to experience the same level of efficiency as hotels with much larger budgets.

However, there are now so many providers of cloud-based management systems that finding the right one to fit a specific hotels requirements can be quite challenging. With so many options, it may be tempting to go for a free software. However, property management systems involve complex algorithms that simply cannot be programmed at no cost to the developer and free systems often lack critical functionalities.

Let’s take a look at some of the important factors you should consider while deciding on a cloud PMS provider –

  1. Cloud PMS Functionality:

PMSs today are built to serve a diverse network of properties that range from five star luxury hotels all the way to small inns and lodges. As you may have guessed, these different property types have different needs – there’s no point investing in a system that’s not meeting your specific requirements. If you run a serviced apartment for instance, you don’t need features like a KOT integration. Ensure that the service provider isn’t forcing you to pay for features that you’re not going to use!

  1. PMS Pricing:

With so many different systems on the market today, finding a software at a competitive price shouldn’t be too hard. That’s not to say that hotel property management systems are cheap, but with the amount of options available, you should be able to find one that’s built just for your specific needs and is priced accordingly. Another important factor is the pricing plans – ensure that your provider offers flexible plans and doesn’t make you sign contractual obligations.

  1. Integrations:

There’s no point investing in a PMS and then discovering that it’s unable to integrate to your other management tools. Revenue management software, distribution systems, analytics tools and other critical parts of your hotel management platform need to be able to integrate in real-time with your PMS. If you provider doesn’t support popular global platforms, you could be making a very expensive mistake by signing up for the system!

  1. Scalability:

Like we previously mentioned, a PMS may come with a number of features that may not be useful for your specific property. However, as you grow in inventory and perhaps diversify across multiple regions, you may begin to require these features – such as independent booking engines, social media engines, and multi-property management modules. It’s always a great idea to ensure that your provider offers these various functions as add-ons later.

  1. Evaluation:

A critical part of the search is evaluation. Make sure that you take a free trial before you decide on any PMS – if the provider doesn’t offer a trial, be wary. You’re going to be using the system on a daily basis for the next several months at least, and switching systems is no simple feat. Additionally, try to identify companies that offer a simple trial that’s easy to get started with – complicated trial procedures are usually implemented by companies that aren’t very comfortable letting users try out their system without a sales representative present.

Remember that investing in a PMS is no simple affair and it can take weeks to months of searching before you find the right one. However, the long-term benefits in the form of increased efficiency, higher revenue, and most importantly, a better guest experience make the journey worthwhile!

hotel PMS