Many hotel operators have turned to property technology, or proptech, to help run their properties more efficiently, Maestro Property Management Systems (PMS) President and co-owner Warren Dehan recently wrote for Hospitality Net. The combination of limited labor and other industry trends has given hoteliers no choice but to embrace technology to assist in operating their properties.
Leveraging technology to run a hotel is just the first step however, according to Dehan. Hotel operators also need a modern PMS than can communicate with multiple departments and be “mobile friendly” so users can access it remotely.
“Legacy systems simply aren’t cutting it,” Dehan said. “These limitations have led operators across the industry to make an incredibly tough decision: upending their tech stack and investing in a new PMS.”
Investing money in upgrading a hotel’s tech stack is often the biggest hurdle toward doing so, according to Dehan. At least it was. Today, hoteliers are putting more funds toward their tech budgets as they rely on digital tools more often.
Hospitality Technology’s 2023 Lodging Technology Study, revealed that hospitality IT professionals still have trouble implementing new mobile solutions and partnered integrations using legacy systems. It’s operators’ biggest challenge and a lot of hotel operators have now opted to resolve the issue by updating their PMS for better capabilities and vendor services.
Almost 70 percent of the Lodging Technology Study respondents said they will add, upgrade or change suppliers for their property management systems sometime this year. That’s 15 percent more than those who plan to just replace their revenue management system.
“(This means) operators are finally connecting the dots on what they’re missing regarding modern PMS capabilities,” Dehan said. “These benefits are even more significant for independent operators who lack the behind-the-scenes support of a big brand.”
The shift toward leveraging proptech in the hotel industry is a good sign, but there are still a number of operators who don’t know what a modern PMS can do for their property, according to Dehan. This lack of knowledge could put them at a competitive disadvantage vs. operators who are investing in new proptech.
Here are a few advantages PMS’ latest capabilities could offer hotel operators:
Mobile reservation systems
Hotels that use a modern PMS can offer guests an expanded mobile reservation system. Online pre-check-in services and a pre-payment portal help support this system, which improves the room reservation experience for guests and front desk staff. Additionally, hotel operators gain more accurate pre-check-in data while guests can book and manage their rooms as they wish.
The mobile check-in feature remains popular for guests who prefer self-service. It also minimizes crowding around the front desk and hotel operators can focus on other tasks. An updated hotel PMS also lets guests to turn their mobile devices into room keys, which makes the check-in process easier for all parties. Guests don’t have to stop at the front desk to get a key card. Instead, they can use the hotel’s mobile app to unlock their room’s door.
Contactless payments have become commonplace among many industries and every hotel is expected to support this method, according to Dehan. He also noted that PMS companies should be able to support installment payments for future stays. In this scenario, a hotel’s booking engine could be altered to support pay-for-stay-over-time models. Guests’ payments would be processed as they usually are and the hotel would receive the reservation payment in full in advance.
“It will soon become a seamless part of the reservation process, as guests will be looking for conveniences to choose one hotel over another,” Dehan said. “Hotels are becoming more competitive thanks to technology, and the PMS is the bedrock upon which these improvements are being made. Operators have big goals for 2023, as they should, and to achieve them, the industry will need to continue embracing the innovations that have supported its growth.”