5 Big Reasons Your Hostel Needs a Cloud PMS

From managing dorm bed bookings and activity reservations to dealing with high staff turnover, managing a hostel is quite different to running a hotel. But just like a hotel, hostels also need an efficient, automated solution to streamline daily operations and maximize revenue.

While a hotel property management system (PMS) is designed to sell rooms, not beds, a hostel-friendly PMS like WebRezPro does both. A PMS designed with hostels in mind offers flexible functionality tailored to hostel operations that reduces daily administrative workload, sells more beds, and improves both the guest and staff experience.

Accessible online, a cloud PMS offers even the smallest hostel a modern, automated and affordable solution. Here are five big reasons any hostel needs a cloud PMS.

1. Sell the Way you Want

A cloud PMS offers full, flexible functionality, which means you don’t have to fit your business around your PMS; your PMS fits the way your business works. From dorm beds to private rooms, groups to packages and discounts, your PMS should offer the flexibility to sell the way you want in order to maximize your revenue.

>> Customizable unit inventory

A hostel-friendly PMS accommodates dorm beds as well as private rooms and other units, including tent sites, cabins and more. WebRezPro even allows dorm beds to be assigned to gender-designated or mixed dorms.

>> Flexible rate management

Hostels require flexible rate management tools to meet dynamic pricing needs, including seasonal rates, discounts, packaged activities, etc. A cloud PMS like WebRezPro makes it easy to set up (and override) seasonal rates, long-term rates, discounts, add-ons, group rates, rate restrictions and even the most complex packages.

>> Upsell activities and other extras

Hostels typically offer guests additional products and services like padlocks, linen, and tours and activities, so it’s important for a hostel PMS to manage and track these sales. A hostel-friendly PMS will allow upsells and other extras to be added and included with the bed/room booking, or sold separately.

2. Fully Integrated Direct Online Bookings

Direct bookings are so important in the quest to improve your hostel’s bottom line. That’s why it’s crucial to offer your guests the ability to book direct through your hostel’s own website.

A cloud PMS tailored for hostels will offer an online booking engine for your website that supports both dorm bed and private room reservations, as well as all types of rates, packages and add-ons. WebRezPro’s online booking engine allows your guests to book multiple beds at once on a single reservation and search for beds in gender-specific dorms. And it’s mobile optimized for travelers on the go.

Integrated with the PMS, the online booking engine sends direct bookings coming through your website straight to your PMS, with availability updated automatically. That means you don’t have to manually consolidate website bookings with telephone and walk-in reservations—the PMS does it all for you.

3. OTA Integration for Seamless Online Distribution

While direct (commission-free) bookings are essential for optimizing profit, it’s also important to sell inventory across the right third-party channels to increase reach and revenue. Here’s where a cloud PMS can also save you significant time and prevent overbooking.

Through direct integration with your OTA channels, your cloud PMS streamlines and centralizes the online distribution process, allowing you to manage your OTA inventory and rates directly through the PMS. Reservations made through third-party booking sites are automatically sent to your PMS and availability is automatically adjusted accordingly. By automating the online distribution process, your reservation data and availability are always up to date, preventing overbooking.

A hostel-friendly PMS like WebRezPro knows the importance of being on the right channels and offers established connections with distribution partners that work well for hostels—like Hostelworld.com, the world’s largest online hostel-booking platform. WebRezPro also offers connections to Booking.com, Expedia, Siteminder, Myallocator and many more OTA channels and channel managers.

4. On-the-Go Access

You probably got into this business because you enjoy meeting people from all over the world and are a bit of an adventurer yourself. Being tied to the front desk all day should not be a part of the plan!

A Cloud PMS works on any computer or mobile device connected to the internet, allowing authorized personnel to access reservation data, reports and more from anywhere—on or off property. So when it’s time for your own travel adventure, you can relax knowing that you can securely log into your system to lend a helping hand if needed while you’re away.

5. Easy to Learn and Use

Large hostels in particular can have a high staff turnover. Many hostel owners offer longer-term guests a work trade program where the guest volunteers at the hostel in exchange for accommodation. With staff coming and going it is especially beneficial to have an easy-to-learn system in place.

Most modern cloud PMS offer an intuitive user interface complete with quick-access menus, shortcut buttons and graphical calendars that give a clear overview of reservations and availability. WebRezPro’s user interface offers a modern, consistent design that helps new staff catch on quick (according to many of our customers). For example, our interactive availability calendar offers drag-and-drop functionality that allows reservations to be easily moved and modified.

A modern, responsive, intuitive user interface design not only helps new staff learn the system fast, but is critical for maximizing daily efficiency.

A hostel-oriented cloud PMS equips hostels of any size with the tools they need to streamline daily operations, sell more beds, and improve both the guest and staff experience. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about how WebRezPro can work for your hostel.

Nomada Urban Beach Hostel

Located in San Juan, Puerto RicoNómada Urban Beach Hostel & Rooftop Camping is a unique property that offers accommodation in dorms, private rooms and fourth-story rooftop tents that overlook the beach and mountains. The hostel features a wide range of amenities including a common kitchen, air conditioning and WiFi. Nomada Urban Beach Hostel has chosen to use our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their operations. See how they’re using WebRezPro to accept online bookings by visiting their website!

A Hoteliers Guide to Targeting Millennials

People have a lot to say about Millennials—some of it flattering, some of it less so. But whatever your opinion about Generation Y (born in the ’80s and ’90s) they’re one that cannot be ignored by marketers in any industry. Now outnumbering baby boomers, and aging into financial independence, Millennials have become a powerful cohort in the consumer landscape. In fact, it is projected they will collectively spend 1.4 trillion dollars every year, by 2020. Considering Millennials have a greater desire to travel than any other generation, you can bet a significant chunk of that spending will find its way into the hospitality industry. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to start thinking about ways you can begin targeting what has been dubbed the ‘Wanderlust Generation,’ to capitalize on this powerful demographic.

What Millennials Want

So what are Millennials looking for in a vacation? When it comes to trip-planning, this generation prioritizes authentic experiences, unique spaces and a social atmosphere. Luckily for you, this places independent and boutique hotels at a distinct advantage!

Authenticity >> Studies show that more than anything else, traveling Millennials are in pursuit of an immersive cultural experience. This generation wants to eat authentic cuisine, explore colorful neighborhoods and enjoy new activities. Cater to this appetite for authenticity by highlighting your community’s character and offering suggestions for the unique local businesses that will stand out in your guests’ memories (and on their social media feeds).

Unique Spaces >> In the past, chain hotels were frequented by guests for their consistency. It was a comfort to know exactly what to expect from a property regardless of location.  Now that potential guests have access to so much information online (including user reviews and virtual tours) it’s much easier to ensure quality. As a result, Millennials are able to focus on seeking out unique properties instead. Make sure to emphasize your hotel’s individuality on your website and OTA profiles in order to appeal to this generation.

Social Atmosphere >> Another significant change from previous generations is a desire for communal areas and social events.  Millennials are spending less time in their rooms and looking for shared spaces to work, relax and socialize. Hotels are forgoing traditional lobbies for an aesthetic more closely resembling a living room or your favorite coffee shop. Consider creating spaces at your property where guests can work on their laptops, read books and play board games.

Marketing to Millennials

As an independent hotel, you have a lot to offer to the Millennial generation. But that doesn’t mean much if you’re not marketing to them effectively. Generation Y interacts with brands and businesses in a very different way than previous generations. To maximize Millennial clientele, make sure your marketing is mobile-friendly, social media heavy, and emphasizes engagement over selling.

Mobile >> 49% of Millennials use their smartphones to plan and book vacations, and most don’t bother trying to navigate a site that isn’t designed for mobile devices. We’ve been talking about the importance of mobile-friendly sites and booking engines for ages.  With Millennials beginning to dominate the consumer market, this advice is only becoming more relevant and necessary. If you haven’t made this change yet, it’s officially time.

Social Media >> Millennials are known for their avid use of social media. If you want to get their attention you need to be targeting them where they are, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Snapchat. Your strategy for these platforms should include plans for your own content (like choosing images that evoke #travelinspo) as well as campaigns to encourage guests to share their own experiences. Consider partnering with social media ‘influencers’ (whom Millennials trust significantly over traditional advertising) by offering complimentary stays or perks for sharing their experience online.

Engagement  >> The use of social media has changed the way Millennials expect to interact with businesses. Marketing campaigns that feel too corporate will completely miss their mark. This generation wants personalized interaction and two-way communication with their favorite brands. It’s a good idea to share, comment and engage with guests regularly on all your social media platforms and inspire loyalty with promotional campaigns and insider info.

The Millennial generation has become an exceedingly important group of consumers. Due to their size and growing spending power, Generation Y has changed the way brands do business across all industries. Start thinking about ways your property can target Millennials and capitalize on this generation of travelers.

Getting to Know WebRezPro: Location Module

Hospitality technology of today must be flexible to adapt to the unique and evolving needs of modern accommodation. Not all properties are run the same way. WebRezPro property management system meets the diverse operational requirements of independent accommodation providers through flexible standard features and optional modules.

One such module is our Location Module. Designed for properties that offer units in defined sites or areas (like vacation rental companies managing rentals in separate buildings), or that provide a diverse range of accommodation styles (for example, campsites, cabins and motel rooms), the Location Module offers the ability to track revenue and availability by site or location, within the same system, providing a more transparent view of data.

Track Revenue by Location

Imagine a resort that hosts guests in motel rooms at $100 per night and campsites at $20 per night; it’s easy to see how RevPAR would appear misleading without the ability to track motel and campsite revenue and availability separately.

With WebRezPro’s Location Module, locations (such as “Building A” and “Building B” or “campground” and “motel”) are defined within the PMS, with units assigned to the appropriate location to allow for separate revenue tracking. The monthly report can be switched between showing stats for a single location only, or for the property as a whole (all locations). Custom reports can also be filtered by location.

But this is not the only benefit of the Location Module…

Organize Availability Calendars by Location

Availability and rate calendars can be organized by location, providing reservation agents with a clear and immediate picture of availability across sites to manage occupancy more effectively and efficiently.

Independent Booking Engines per Location

The Location Module even allows independent booking engines per location, as well as customized check-in and check-out receipts for each location — a useful feature for separately branded small properties that are run by the same owner and located in close proximity to each other.

Take, for example, a B&B owner that also runs a small inn a couple of blocks away. She often books customers at the other property depending on occupancy and customer requirements, and her customers can search availability online for just one property or across both. The Location Module allows her to run both properties from one system while maintaining each property’s distinct branding via separate booking engines and customized receipts.

 

Every property is unique. Unlike the rigid systems of the past, today’s hospitality management technology should adapt to the diverse operational requirements of independent properties — not the other way around. WebRezPro’s Location Module is one example of how our PMS caters to properties that function outside the typical hotel mold, equipping them with tools and data to support their goals. If your property manages units on separate sites, contact us to see our Location Module in action.

Auberge jeunesse Magog-Orford

The Auberge jeunesse Magog-Orford is located in downtown Magog, Quebec, just one hour from Montreal. Accommodation is provided in private rooms, family rooms and dormitories, and all guests have access to common areas including a fully-equipped kitchen. Additional amenities include free WiFi and complimentary breakfast. This inn has chosen to use our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their operations. Visit their website to see how they’re using WebRezPro’s integrated Web reservation software to take online bookings!

Getaway Hostel

Getaway Hostel is located in Chicago’s historic Lincoln Park district and offers 106 guest rooms and 96 dorm beds in a fun, vibrant atmosphere. A wide range of amenities are available including a charming courtyard, free WiFi, daily breakfast and bike rentals. Getaway Hostel has just started using WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their business. See how they’re using our cloud PMS to take online bookings from their website!

Sweet Peas Hostel

Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Sweet Peas Hostel offers comfortable accommodations, as well as amenities like a full kitchen, a spacious common area with fantastic views and the city’s hottest new brew pub onsite! Sweet Peas Hostel has chosen to use our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help operate their hostel. Visit their website to see how they’re using WebRezPro’s integrated Web reservation software to take online bookings!

Mountain Shadow Hostel

Mountain Shadow Hostel is located in downtown Rossland, British Columbia, just a three-minute drive from Red Mountain ski area. The hostel welcomes groups, families, skiers, snowboarders, bikers, hikers, students and backpackers! Amenities include two kitchens, a chill-out room, laundry facilities and a pool table. This hostel has just started using our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their day-to-day operations. Visit their website to see how they’re using WebRezPro to take online bookings!

Jasper Downtown Hostel

The Jasper Downtown Hostel is located in Jasper National Park, in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. This hostel offers accommodation in 24 hostel beds in dormitories and four private guest rooms and is conveniently located right downtown, close to restaurants and one block from the train station. The Jasper Downtown Hostel has just started using our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their day-to-day operations. You can see how they’re using WebRezPro’s availability calendar and the integrated Web reservation software to take online bookings by visiting their website!

Himalayan Institute

The Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, is a retreat center that offers a full array of yoga and health workshops! Accommodation is provided in private rooms, shared rooms and dorms and vegetarian meal plans are available. The Himalayan Institute has just started using our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their 23-room and 50-bed facility. Visit their website to see how they’re using WebRezPro to take online bookings!