As independent hotel owners and operators work through the selection of a new hotel property management system (PMS), they will reach a point where they must sort through the various systems and vendors found in the market. Each PMS provides hotels with different features and benefits, so operators must be knowledgeable of the core functions that should be included with a new PMS and which should be viewed as optional add-ons. Without this information, hoteliers risk purchasing an inadequate system that may be inexpensive in the short-term, but will prove costly over time by requiring the purchase of add-ons to complete important tasks – steadily eroding a hotel’s budget and impeding its long-term financial goals.
In the beginning stages of selecting a new property management system (PMS), independent hoteliers often become overwhelmed by the amount of information they must sort through to identify the various systems in the marketplace. Many systems appear similar, but after comparing their functionality, features and prices, it becomes clear that some systems are a better match than others. To avoid purchasing the wrong system for their hotel, we recommend that operators establish specific expectations for their new software.
The hotel industry is currently experiencing success not witnessed since the mid-2000s. With positive results forecasted for the industry’s most important performance indicators, such as Occupancy, Average Daily Rate (ADR) and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR), independent hoteliers are deciding to invest in their properties now, so they are positioned to capture increased bookings, stronger revenues and greater profits in the coming years. And to ensure their future success, making a new hotel property management system (PMS) purchase has become a top priority of independent hotel owners and operators nationwide.
In July, the United States hotel industry achieved historic, never-before-seen results. Highlighting STR’s most recent U.S. hotel industry performance review, Jan Freitag, senior VP of strategic development, noted:
“Hotels in July saw the strongest demand of a single month ever, selling 113 million room nights. RevPAR saw the second-highest growth rate of the year (+8.8 percent). Absolute occupancy this month was 73.6 percent, the third highest ever, and the highest since the mid-90s.”
As we have discussed recently, the hotel industry is experiencing great success that is expected to continue in 2015. Alongside operational performance results, hotel pipeline metrics are widely considered strong indicators of the industry’s overall health. In STR’s U.S. Hotel Pipeline July Report, the hotel reporting specialists revealed:
Across all segments, there are 3,228 hotels totaling 388,359 rooms Under Contract in the US.
- Represents a 12.3% year-over-year increase in rooms Under Contract.
- Also represents a 43.5% increase in rooms Under Construction compared with July 2013.
The Unaffiliated/Independent segment currently has 1,542,323 rooms in the US marketplace.
Hotel budgets are impacted by a variety of factors, such as seasonality, events, labor and competition. And, of course, unforeseen occurrences, like extreme weather, have the ability to drastically skew or contribute a surprise lift to forecasted figures. Budgeting will never evolve into an exact science, but utilizing the proper technology and strategies will allow hoteliers to keep a firmer grasp on their expenses, revenues and profits.
innRoad’s Hotel Revenue Management System, one of the core technologies seamlessly integrated into our cloud-based hotel management software, provides independent hotel operators with an easy-to-use system for managing financial performance. By streamlining accessibility to important performance data, such as Average Daily Rate (ADR), Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) and Occupancy, operators remain in total control of daily operations with accurate financial information presented in real-time. Additionally, comprehensive reports providing detailed accounts of sales, historical data and forecasts are easily downloaded for greater insight into financial performance.
The hotel industry is changing. Standards that were once the status quo are now routinely challenged and it’s travelers who are leading the charge. Technology has helped swing the power of influence from hotels to savvy, sophisticated global travelers. Guests know that if a hotel fails to deliver upon their hospitality promise, they can quickly find others that are willing and waiting to meet their needs.
The collective influence of travelers has disrupted the historical norms of the hotel industry, resulting in a wave of new ideas, creative solutions and permanent changes to how the industry operates. Independent hoteliers must decide to either embrace this disruption by innovating or try their luck at keeping afloat atop this wave of change.
In a recent blog post titled “Making the Switch: Upgrading Your Hotel Property Management System,” we touched upon the differences between local client/server-based and web-based hotel management systems. To build upon this discussion, we will take a deeper look at the advantages of web-based hotel management software and why independent hotel operators are selecting innRoad to manage and elevate their hospitality businesses.
A hotel’s website is its most powerful sales and marketing tool. It’s where travelers from around the world can learn more about the property, rooms, service, amenities, rates, etc. A well-designed website may provide all the information a potential guest needs to book a reservation. However, what happens when it does not include a hotel booking system to processes online reservations, but instead asks travelers to call or email the front desk? Will travelers be compelled enough to contact the hotel via email or offline? Or will they simply find another hotel that allows online bookings?
Recently published research notes that in 2013, 65% of business travelers booked travel directly on company sites more often than via online travel agencies, which is an 11% increase from 2012. Also of note, 1 in 4 smartphone users who use their device for travel planning book their trip via their smartphone. Today’s youth travel segment has the highest number of smartphone users, so as current youth travelers mature and continue to travel, the importance of providing these potential guests with a fast and direct method of booking rooms will grow each year.
Every week at innRoad, we speak with independent hotel owners and operators who are searching for a solution to improve their operations. Some hoteliers have specific issues they wish to correct, such as increasing reservations, and others just want to save time and make the workday easier for team members and themselves.
Knowing that independent hoteliers encounter unique challenges daily, we developed a cloud-based, fully integrated hotel property management system that provides operators with the tools to address their complex operational issues. By incorporating key functions and features, such as our Property Manager, Booking Engine, Global Distribution and Revenue Manager, into one, easy-to-use system, managers are able to streamline operations and simplify the responsibilities required to run successful hotels.