Independent hoteliers have a huge job. To run a successful lodging operation, they must oversee on-site operations, hire and manage staff, and develop marketing strategies—all while ensuring top-quality customer experience. It can all sound a little overwhelming, but we live in a modern time, and there are technological solutions that can do a lot of the heavy lifting. Here are the four management tools every hotelier should have in their arsenal (and a few extra thrown in for your consideration):
Property Management System
The most important tool for success in this business is a powerful . The right choice will handle all front-office operations from making reservations to checking guests in and out to controlling rates and inventory. By managing these daily processes, and integrating with other core systems, the manual tasks that eat away at your time can be eliminated—allowing you to focus on more important matters.
There are a lot of options out there, and not all PMSs are created equal. So how do you know if a PMS is right for your property? Read on the essential features you should be looking for in a PMS.
Content Management System
When it comes to marketing, your website is your most important asset. It’s the digital extension of your property, and likely the first experience guests will have with your hotel. So you need to leave a good impression. And guest expectations for websites are high. They need to be informative, aesthetically pleasing, and dynamic—static sites just don’t cut it anymore. That’s where content management systems come in. With platforms like WordPress, keeping your website fresh is easy because content can be updated quickly, without the need for any coding or web design abilities.
Social Media Manager
No marketing approach is complete without a social media strategy. There are over three billion users active on social sites around the world, so it should be a priority for any business that wants to be successful. But there are a lot of different platforms out there, and while you don’t need to be on every one, you’ll likely have at least a couple different profiles to curate and maintain. So how do you stay on top of all these accounts? Social media management systems (like Hootsuite) allow you to manage all your profiles from one place. You can schedule posts (so you don’t have to waste time in the middle of a busy workday), monitor keywords online (so you know what people are saying about your property), and even measure the impact of your campaigns with built-in analytics features.
Customer Relationship Manager
The hospitality industry is all about customer experience. And while things like knowledgeable staff and excellent amenities still matter, personalization is what makes a business stand out today.
Being able to offer personalized experiences requires comprehensive guest profiles. If you want to surprise a guest with their favorite coffee, you need to know what their favorite coffee is. Customer relationship managers (like Guestfolio) allow you to keep track of valuable information about your guests as well as manage email communication, send newsletters, and facilitate guest surveys.
Scheduling solutions >> From front-desk staff to housekeeping to restaurant servers, hoteliers have to schedule and manage a team on top of all their other responsibilities. Tools like Agendrix can make that job a lot easier—saving you time and reducing inconvenient scheduling mistakes.
Task manager >> Whether you’re planning an event or running a marketing campaign, undertaking projects can be daunting. Task managers, like Trello and Asana, can help you plan, collaborate on, and track the progress of any tasks big or small.
Running an independent hotel can feel a little overwhelming. Set yourself up for success with these four (or more) management tools.