Comparing and choosing hotel property management system vendors

With so much to manage at your hotel, making sure everything runs smoothly, you’ve obviously realised a manual process is not the most effective option.

Running all the daily operations of your property, from managing incoming reservations, to attending to guests, to ensuring the property is properly cleaned and maintained.

The best way to take care of this is of course a hotel property management system. It will perform many of your tasks autonomously and instantly, while giving you back hours of your time each week that you can spend on equally important tasks such as interacting with guests.

The challenge for you is trawling through the many vendors on the market and deciding which option to go with for your business. It takes a lot of research and comparison to make the right choice and it can be a long, draining process.

This page aims to help you get all the information you need so that you can find a management system vendor you’re happy with.

Top hotel property management system vendors

There are literally hundreds of hotel property management systems on the market, which is why it’s so hard to narrow down your options and differentiate between them. 

That’s why it can be handy to get a general idea of what are regarded as the top providers in the industry. 

Here are the systems you’re most likely to come across in your research:

Little Hotelier

Little Hotelier is a robust all-in-one system that includes a property management system, channel manager, online booking engine, payments solution, and web design tool. Designed specifically for small accommodation owners/operators. With a high level of integration, ease of use, and ROI, Little Hotelier is the best solution for small hotels.

Little Hotelier will allow you to:

  • View all of your reservations on a calendar page
  • Add additional rooms and extra sale items to a booking
  • Add new rate plans to existing rooms
  • Close out specific rooms for a spring clean
  • Move existing bookings around
  • Produce invoices
  • Check guests in and out
  • Send pre-arrival and post-stay emails
  • Remember your returning guests
  • Manage your housekeeping schedule

Other major vendors:

  • Cloudbeds
  • eZee Frontdesk
  • Frontdesk Anywhere
  • Hotelogix PMS
  • Maestro PMS
  • MSI CloudPM
  • OPERA Property Management System
  • SkyTouch Hotel OS
  • Preno
  • WebRezPro
  • Sirvoy
  • Clock PMS

All of these systems will do the job for your property but there is no better option than an all-in-one solution like Little Hotelier. Ensure when comparing vendors that you look at the key features offered and the costs involved.

Types of property management systems in the hospitality industry

Some property management systems are built for the hospitality industry in general, some are not built for the hospitality industry at all, and some are built for the hotel and accommodation industry in particular.

This is why your research is so important because sometimes it can be hard to distinguish between them until you’re using a product that doesn’t feel quite right for your business.

Make sure that you choose a vendor that is designed to service hotels and B&Bs specifically.

Another consideration is that some property management systems encompass a suite of products – such as Little Hotelier – while others only include a front desk system. Others still will label themselves property management systems but only include a few key features.

For example, a vendor may say they are a property management system, but their main features may revolve around something like accounting services and they won’t have a housekeeping feature.

Your priorities and business goals have to match what is being offered by a system provider if you’re going to be happy paying for a product long term.

Hotel room management system cost, setup, and training considerations

For an all-in-one package like Little Hotelier you can essentially get four or five products in one, adding enormous value to your purchase – especially when you consider how easily they integrate with one another.

Pricing will depend on the size of your property, i.e how many rooms you have. Paying an annual fee will get you a discount on a complete business solution.

Visit Little Hotelier’s pricing scale to see how your property fits in.

A reliable provider should contact you within one business day to get setup after you express your interest in a free trial. All your initial setup and training will be covered during this time, with dedicated onboarding and support staff to ease you through any teething issues.

It means that once you have completed your free 30-day trial, your systems will be running smoothly and the results you wanted, such as increased bookings and revenue, will have started to filter through.

Your training can also include an online knowledge base and video tutorials, along with your hands-on Little Hotelier specialist.

Will a housekeeping module be included in your hotel management system?

Housekeeping is a huge factor in hotel management. Guest experience depends upon a tight, organised, housekeeping schedule. If rooms aren’t clean or aren’t ready for guest’s arrival it will be hard to win back their approval – and negative feedback can considerably hurt the number of bookings you can attract.

It’s an absolute must that your hotel management system includes a housekeeping feature, so that:

  • You can view the list of rooms and their statuses (check-in, check-out, stay through etc)
  • You can see the ‘cleaned’ status of rooms – for today, tomorrow, a specific date, or a duration of time
  • Staff can easily mark a room as cleaned, add notes, and provide details to cleaners
  • You can print-out of the schedule of the rooms to clean, to give to the cleaners
  • There is mobile-friendly access – so information can be shared to cleaner’s devices
  • You can plan ahead – you need to run reports for more than just today
  • Progress can be tracked on the schedule

Often staff can waste a lot of time just trying to figure out what room needs to be cleaned at any given time, and any mistakes are disastrous for guest satisfaction.

The property management system should include housekeeping software as a matter of course, meaning:

  • Any information you manage on them will be automatically communicated
  • You will eliminate the risk of errors or missing information and you can stay on schedule with maintaining your rooms and preparing for the arrival of guests
  • You’ll also save time since you won’t be double-handling any tasks or performing more updates than you have to

If you ask a provider if they have a housekeeping module and the answer is no, it’s an easy way to cross an option off your list and narrow down your choices.

Free trial for a hotel management system

Any good provider will offer a free trial period. This should be risk and commitment free for you. You should not be locked into any sort of contract by signing up to a trial and you should be able to opt out of the product at any stage.

The best systems cannot remain free. Because of how powerful they are and the range of features they possess, it takes a lot of development to build, update, and improve them.

However, Little Hotelier offers a free trial that extends to 30 days, giving you the full functionality of the platform. Across one month you should clearly see the benefits, including the time you save and the increased bookings and revenue you should gain – not to mention driving a better guest experience.

When you choose to enter a free trial with Little Hotelier you’ll be contacted within one business day to get started.

Hotel property management system reviews

Just like you would check reviews before booking a table at a restaurant, it’s extremely useful to check the reviews of hotel property management systems.

Reviews are submitted by your peers – other people who are running properties just like yours who experience the same challenges and pain points.

To get a quick idea of how a hotel property management system is viewed by its customers, visit Facebook and access the reviews section. There will normally be a star rating, written feedback, and recommendations. 

Reading comments on Facebook and Instagram, or visiting twitter can also unearth very useful insight. For instance, how often does the provider have a technical or support issue that cause friction for users?

This is a good place to start before you do a deep-dive into serious review sites.

Hotel property management system comparison

The comparison of hotel property management systems is best done on industry review sites. These will list all your available options and include detailed rundowns of how they are rated and regarded by experienced hoteliers who have used the products before.

One of the best resources to use is Hotel Tech Report. 

This review site will detail all the feedback your peers have about their use of the particular system you’re considering.

It will show you star ratings and number ratings on scales for metrics including ease of use, ROI, level of support, functionality, integration, implementation, and more.

Written reviews will also be visible, giving you feedback in everyday language from other hoteliers who are, or have been, customers of the provider. Reading real, in-depth accounts gives you a lot of context on which to make your purchase decision, leaving you feeling more confident about it. You’ll also be able to better decide which concerns are actually important to you, since you may have different priorities or requirements to other property managers.

Why you shouldn’t use a hotel management system software free download

‘Free downloads’ are never a good idea in favour of cloud-based systems.

Any truly ‘free’ technology likely won’t give your hotel the functionality it needs to really make a difference – it could even make things worse!

Here are the reasons a static piece of technology such as a download is so limited on functionality: 

  • Restricted to Windows or Mac operating systems
  • Rely too heavily on stable internet connections
  • Clunky interfaces
  • Lack of advanced features
  • Little to no customer support (definitely not local or 24/7 support)
  • Can lack security measures and encryption
  • Not mobile responsive
  • Glitches regularly

It’s a much better idea to stick to a known industry brand that has the infrastructure in place to continue developing the product and give you the support you need, when you need it. Using a software partner like Little Hotelier means all the work that needs to be done will be completed without interrupting your service. A free download will never have this capability.

See how Little Hotelier can help you!

View a demo of the all-in-one hotel booking management system that is helping small accommodation providers be more efficient everyday.

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