What is the best front desk system for small hotels?

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Your small property’s front desk system (also known as a property management system), is the software used to automate the operations of a hotel.

It will allow you to manage the day-to-day operations of a property:

  • Process reservations (online and POS)
  • Manage guest check-ins and check-outs
  • Manage guest booking details
  • Track your inventory and rates
  • Handle front office accounting
  • Manage maintenance
  • Manage guest communications (automatic emails)

A good front desk system will keep you totally organised and save you plenty of time by doing all the heavy lifting for your administrative work.

Watch how Little Hotelier helps you manage your small property with the Best Front Desk System


Automate guest communications

Email is the best way to keep in touch with your guests, as a lot of your guests will be overseas in conflicting time zones, making it difficult to get in touch over the phone. The tricky bit for small hotel owners is prioritising your time so that each guest receives a consistent and high quality experience when receiving standard email communications from you.

While you may have outlined a set of emails you’d like to send guests before and after their stay, sometimes things get so busy and you just forget! Your front desk system should allow you to automate the following emails:

  • Confirmation of reservation (guest details, booking details, credit card used, terms and conditions)
  • Preparation for stay (reminder of check-in and check-out times, your check-in process, any upsell opportunities like airport pick-up)

    Email automation gives guests confidence in your business, because they’re getting a more professional experience. Guests have come to expect this type of consistency.  

Manage guest booking details

Your front desk system should allow you to easily amend reservations. You should be able to edit every aspect of the reservation, including the ability to add notes, extras, and payments to a booking.

Also, when you reschedule guests, your front desk system should integrate with your channel manager so that your room inventory across all booking sites is automatically updated. An all-in-one solution like Little Hotelier does this automatically. All that you have to do is drag and drop a reservation to another date and it’s all done!  

Easily check guests in and out

As a small property owner, you wear many hats throughout the day. This means that you can’t afford to be constantly at your front desk, waiting for guests to check in. You need to step away from your desk to clean your property and make sure that you have your food and toiletries in stock.

Without a solid front desk system, this means that organising your daily schedule can become difficult. Guests may arrive, but their room isn’t ready, so they have to wait for you to prepare it. Or guests may want to check out, but you’re away from your desk.

With a modern front desk system, you will be able to go about your day with confidence, because the hassle of checking guests in and out is done for you. Your front desk system should allow you to:

  • Remotely access your reservations calendar, from a mobile device (smartphone or tablet). This means you don’t have to physically be at your front desk to manage your property and keep an eye on reservations.
  • Request important information like check-in times from all sales channel bookings. You won’t need to contact your guest afterwards to request this information, making life much easier for you.
  • Print out a check-in and check-out view so you can bring it with you and plan out your day properly.

  A front desk system is the perfect solution when hiring a full time receptionist is out of your budget.  

Your front desk system is just one piece of the puzzle

Front desk systems have advanced to the point that they integrate with booking engines and channel managers.

Small hotels don’t need the added hassle of using separate systems for each. Find an all-in-one hotel reservation system that is suited to small hotels, like Little Hotelier is. Make sure the software you choose lines up with the needs of your small property, especially in terms of flexibility and cost.

Some solutions will enforce contracts, and structure their pricing based on a percentage of commission per booking, but it is difficult to grow with such a pricing model. On the other hand, systems like Little Hotelier operate off a no contract, fixed monthly fee, which makes it easier for you to budget your expenses.

Make sure you take a free trial of each of the systems you look at – they are standard in the industry. If no free trial is available, at least request a demonstration of the product. You want to play around with it to make sure that it is truly the easiest and most comprehensive solution for your small property.

Choose the best Front Desk System for your small property

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