Hey there. If you’re looking for technology to help manage your seasonal business, you probably want something that’s cost-effective, right? You don’t want to be paying hefty fees when the majority of your bookings are coming in periodically.

Let’s dive in and look at some of the best options for a property like yours. We’ll run through the crucial features and requirements you should be looking for in a hotel software provider.

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A small property needs software designed for small properties

This may seem obvious but owners and operators can often get caught out spending too much money on solutions that offer way more features than they actually need or end up utilising. If your property has less than 10 rooms, there’s no need to get swallowed by the complexity of property management systems or booking systems designed for large independent hotels or groups. It’ll cost you more and won’t add any value to your business.

Software that is designed specifically for small properties is what you should look for. You need a provider that understands your everyday challenges – you have a lot to do with minimal resources and time so simplicity and efficiency is key. You’ll want to ensure that the product suits your budget, lifestyle and goals.

A platform that has options depending on your needs is ideal. If you only need the absolute basics to keep on top of things, it’s nice to be able to access a lower price point. On the other hand, you have the freedom to spend a little more for more advanced features or greater coverage if that’s suitable for you. 

Little Hotelier, as the name suggests, has always been on a mission of being the one solution that small properties can rely on. With flexible pricing models (no lock-in contracts) to suit any property, including seasonal hotels and B&Bs, it shapes as one of the market’s best options.

Why an all-in-one tech solution will suit your seasonal property

When you have to keep up with tech and distribution trends, managing your business, and attending to guests, there’s so much to juggle. Choosing a solution that can centralise all the functions you need helps simplify your day-to-day and give you precious time back.

When we say ‘all-in-one’ this typically means you’ll have access to a property management system (front desk system), channel manager, booking engine + website builder, rate intelligence and even a mobile app in some cases to run your property on-the-go.

What’s guaranteed is a streamlined experience where information is automatically updated and shared between features, ensuring your processes are done quickly and without error. This includes accepting and updating reservations from your connected booking channels, booking engine, and in your PMS.

With a solution like Little Hotelier, you can get started easily and master the software quickly with a free trial, enjoying the benefits of having your basic property management covered so you can spend more time attending to guests.

What to look for in a front desk system

A PMS is the control panel for your entire property, where you can manage your daily tasks and business admin with the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger on an app.

Make sure your PMS provider can:

  • Automate reservations, check-ins, and payments
  • Create and edit reservations almost instantly
  • Create or update promotions and rates easily
  • Customise guest communication
  • Automate invoicing

What to look for in a channel manager

A channel manager will enable you to promote your rooms on as many connected booking channels as you like at the same time. The beauty is that more channels doesn’t incur additional costs! When bookings are made, updates will be done automatically across all channels and be communicated to your PMS.

When considering a channel manager provider, look for:

  • A broad range of channel connections to increase your reach
  • A connection to Airbnb – perfect for small properties
  • Reduction in double bookings
  • Maximum exposure with no added commission fee
  • Direct integration with your PMS

What to look for in a booking engine

Your booking engine will score you valuable direct bookings from your website and social media channels, often increasing your bottom line thanks to reducing commission fees. It can also be managed along with your this-party partners on your channel manager.

Must haves for a booking engine include:

  • Seamless integration to your website
  • Easy ability to sell packages and extras
  • Automated guest communication about check-in, booking confirmations, and post-stay messages
  • Multiple languages and currencies
  • Mobile friendly design

Some questions to ask your potential technology provider

Investing in software to run your property is a crucial step in maintaining the success of your business but it shouldn’t be taken lightly. It will, after all, become the main point of control for your daily operations, so it’s important to make the best choice for your property.

Here are some questions you might want to tick so you can be confident in your provider?

  • Do you connect to the industry’s top revenue producing channels?
  • Can you seamless integration between PMS, channel manager, and booking engine?
  • Are you partnered with Airbnb?
  • Do you offer flexible pricing models?
  • Do you have product plans to suit my individual property?
  • Do you offer a free trial, training, and support?

It’s essential your potential provider offers the opportunity to trial the platform. This way, you can learn the software commitment-free, evaluating the benefits without making a payment or signing any sort of contract. You’ll be able to feel much more confident in your decision when you do decide to purchase.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).