Located in beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, Casa Cupula is a boutique gay hotel in the Zona Romantica. Offering luxurious guest rooms in a private hilltop retreat overlooking Banderas Bay, this property also offers free WiFi, an outdoor pool and some pet-friendly guest rooms. Casa Cupula has chosen to use our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their operations. See how they’re using WebRezPro’s integrated reservation software to accept bookings directly from their website by clicking the link below!
As guest expectations evolve along with technology, it’s increasingly important for hotels to streamline operations and meet guest demand for mobile interactions with a mobile-friendly property management system (PMS). From guest profile and booking data to hotel performance reports, mobile-friendly PMS make data accessible on the go for improved workflow and guest service. Here are four important mobile capabilities that modern PMS should offer in this new decade and ahead.
Mobile-friendly Online Bookings
Hotel bookings on mobile continue to climb with Criteo research showing smartphone bookings are growing three to 10 times faster than desktop bookings, and approximately 70 percent of last-minute bookings are made on mobile devices.
The evidence is clear; accommodation providers of today simply must provide consumers with a mobile-friendly direct booking option, or lose customers to competitors and OTAs.
Your PMS should include a commission-free online booking engine for your website that works well on mobile devices too. This means an online booking engine with a simple and intuitive booking process that is easy to read and navigate on a small touch screen, and is compatible with various mobile operating systems. The booking process must give consumers confidence by demonstrating page and data security (https), and by delivering automatic on-screen confirmation that affirms the booking was successful.
Mobile Housekeeping Report
Modern PMS are all about improving workflow for greater productivity and guest service and this is especially apparent in mobile housekeeping applications.
Mobile housekeeping reports allow cleaning staff to view and update room cleaning status directly from their mobile devices as they work, boosting productivity and accountability. Integrated with front desk, mobile housekeeping reports improve inter-departmental communication too, displaying live room status to front desk agents and making early check-ins a breeze.
Last but not least, a mobile housekeeping report eliminates the need to print cleaning schedules, reducing paper and printing costs and your property’s environmental footprint.
While baby boomers tend to prefer an efficient front-desk check-in experience, millennials are drawn to self-service apps and kiosks. Looking ahead, evolving guest expectations and technology will continue to move the check-in process away from the constraints of the front desk. In the meantime, hotels can accommodate the varied preferences and expectations of today’s guests by offering both conventional front-desk check-in processes and mobile check-in options. A future-proof PMS will equip you to do both with features like:
Paperless check-in functionality allows guests to sign check-in receipts or registration cards digitally on a mobile device using electronic signature capture. Without the need to print and file check-in receipts in hard copy, the check-in process is faster, more cost-effective, and environmentally friendlier.
Paperless check-in also frees agents from the front desk, allowing for a more personable check-in experience within the hotel lobby or lounge. This can be especially welcome by guests during busy periods when queues are building at the front desk, or when guests require assistance at the self-check-in kiosk.
>>Self-Check-in App Integration
Just as pre-flight self-check-in has taken off in airports and online, hotel guests are calling for hotel self-check-in too.
Allowing guests to bypass the front desk if desired, hotel self-check-in is made possible through mobile apps (and on-property kiosks). Integration with the PMS ensures a seamless self-check-in (and out) experience powered by accurate reservation and availability data in real time.
The demand for frictionless, automated self-service options in the hospitality industry will only continue to grow, so it’s crucial your PMS supports such innovations.
>>Mobile Key Integration
Mobile keys play an important part in facilitating a frictionless mobile check-in experience. Using NFC (near field communication) or Bluetooth technology, mobile key apps turn the guest’s mobile phone into their room key.
Due to customer demand, the positive environmental impact (no more plastic keycards) and ease of adoption, mobile keys are rapidly becoming mainstream. Direct integration between PMS and mobile key solutions automates secure mobile key delivery to the guest upon check-in for a seamless mobile check-in experience—or a more efficient front-desk process.
Mobile Messaging Integration
Social media and mobile technology has changed the way businesses and consumers communicate, resulting in a business-consumer relationship that is much more personal than in the past. These days, consumers are inclined to reach out to brands just as they do to friends and family—via social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, messaging apps like WhatsApp and Messenger, and even SMS.
Businesses of all kinds need to provide mobile channels of communication in order to remain accessible and relevant to modern consumers.
A PMS that integrates mobile messaging platforms makes implementing and managing mobile messaging much more efficient and personalized. With a direct connection between your PMS and mobile messaging solution, guest and reservation data is automatically sent from the PMS to the messaging platform in real time to automate routine message delivery, and to match incoming guest inquiries with reservation data for more efficient and personalized responses and resolution.
These days it can be difficult to keep up with the pace of technology, but your PMS can help. Modern cloud PMS vendors like WebRezPro have their finger on the pulse of hospitality technology and already include relevant and exciting mobile functionality to support your business now and in the future.
The Village at River Landing in Wallace, North Carolina, offers a choice of accommodation options including luxurious two-bedroom Clubhouse Suites and private four-bedroom Guest Cottages. River Landing is the perfect vacation getaway, as it is home to two 18-hole golf courses, a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools and event facilities. The Village at River Landing has just started using our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their operations. Visit their website to see how they’re using WebRezPro’s integrated booking engine to accept online bookings!
Here we are in the year 2020! At the start of this new decade, we are firmly planted in an era of AI, VR and IoT. Chatbots, smart room controls and mobile keys are no longer futuristic hotel dreams to look forward to—they are already here. Technology is evolving faster and faster; how do we keep up?
At the core of hotel operations, your property management system (PMS) is a key component of your hotel tech stack that you want to get right. Your PMS should streamline operations by automating daily tasks and of course it must deliver a healthy ROI, but in these high-tech times it’s also important to choose a PMS that maintains pace with technological innovation and changing guest expectations.
These days, there’s no shortage of hotel property management systems to choose from, which only makes the decision harder. So to help, we’ve compiled a list of what to look for in a hotel PMS that will help drive profitability through this next decade and beyond.
An intuitive user interface
Choose a PMS that functions in a way that makes sense to you and your staff, even if you don’t quite understand every feature right away. Your PMS should quickly become second nature to use in order to fully benefit from the efficiencies it affords. A confusing user interface will only slow staff down and cause errors to be made that could result in lost revenue.
Because the PMS is central to daily hotel operation, staff spend a lot of time using it—so look for a modern user interface that is easy on the eyes! The tape chart should be easy to navigate and to understand at a glance.
Guest engagement tools
The business to consumer relationship is growing closer than ever, in large part due to social media. Today’s guests expect personalized service that shows they are valued and recognizes loyalty.
From motels to B&Bs to vacation rentals, any property can personalize the guest experience with the right tools. Most importantly, make sure your PMS creates guest profiles to store guest data (contact details, stay and spend history, requests and preferences) that will help you recognize loyal customers and personalize future communications and stays. Automated email functionality for booking confirmations and pre-arrival and post-stay email campaigns is key to engaging guests and building customer relationships.
Loyalty program integration and integrations with CRM, mobile messaging and mobile app solutions also indicate a PMS that will equip you well to engage guests.
Commission-free direct online bookings
While OTAs sell rooms, the commissions can hurt, which is why every hotel should aim to increase direct bookings. Offering customers the ability to book online through your property’s own website is critical to any successful direct booking strategy. Look for a PMS that includes a commission-free online booking engine to improve your bottom line.
Completing a booking online should be quick and easy for your customers, to avoid booking abandonment. Choose an online booking engine with a modern, mobile-friendly user interface that showcases rooms with image slideshows, and displays rates in multiple currencies.
Your online booking engine should also make life easier for you; make sure it’s fully integrated with the PMS for live rates and availability and so that online bookings are automatically sent to your PMS. Can it sell your rooms and packages the way you want? Can you easily override availability, sell add-ons and password-protected rates, and generate online booking reports?
Integrated channel management
While it’s important to choose a system that supports your direct booking strategy, it’s also important to look for one that supports your wider distribution strategy too, through integrated channel management. Make sure your new PMS offers direct connections to the OTAs and channel managers your property works with so that rates and availability are automatically updated across all channels, directly from the PMS, saving a great deal of time and reducing the risk of overbooking.
Flexibility to fit your business
Competition has become hotter than ever for hotels, and properties have to work hard to stand out. As hotel stays have become less conventional and increasingly flexible, so has the technology used to run operations. Make sure your PMS fits the way your business works so you can provide the kind of unique experiences that today’s guests are looking for.
In addition to making sure your PMS offers the features you need (whether that be group booking functionality, activity bookings or centralized admin tools for multiple properties), look for a system that offers flexible rate and package management and supports ancillary revenue streams so that you can easily adjust to demand and aren’t limited in how to sell your rooms. It’s also important to find a PMS that provides the reports you need to make smart decisions. Does it offer custom reporting to generate the data you need for your unique business?
Finally, prepare for the future with a scalable system that will evolve and grow with your business. This means a PMS that can accommodate additional (or less) rooms, locations, integrations and revenue streams as needed.
Data is the key to elevating the guest experience, as long as it is unified and accessible. Breaking data out of silos that isolate and trap information, modern hotel technology puts data to work through system integration. When the PMS is directly integrated with other hotel systems—like distribution channels (as mentioned above), POS systems, payment gateways, revenue management solutions, CRM and guest engagement platforms—relevant data is shared between the systems to automate processes for more efficient, personalized service.
Look for a PMS that not only offers integration with your other systems, but has an impressive and ever-growing list of reputable partners so you can be sure that additional integrations can be implemented as needed down the track.
Just as we’ve become used to checking email on our phones, cloud technology has accustomed hoteliers to accessing their PMS remotely, first from offsite computers and now from mobile devices. This has always been one of the biggest advantages of cloud PMS; granting authorized personnel access to guest, reservation and reporting data on the go for improved efficiency, service and decision-making.
Freeing staff from the physical front desk and greatly boosting efficiency, mobile-friendly PMS boast features such as mobile housekeeping reports that allow housekeepers to update room status and maintenance requests in real time as they work, paperless check-in functionality allowing guests to sign registration cards electronically on a mobile device, and mobile key and mobile messaging integrations to support modern guest expectations.
Unfortunately, with our online world comes online crime. Data theft is a serious and constant threat to hospitality providers. Keeping your guests’ data safe is a top priority so it’s of utmost importance that your software solutions employ robust security measures.
You want a PMS that stores and processes your data on secure servers protected by internet firewalls, intrusion detection, anti-virus protection and network monitoring. Look for a system that offers PCI-compliant credit card processing, EMV solutions for card-present transactions, and strong user access controls like two-factor authentication.
Accessible customer support
Whether you need help understanding new features, want to make a customization request, or something just goes wrong, an attentive, knowledgeable and accessible customer support team is a must-have for any future-proof PMS that is constantly innovating and evolving. You don’t want to be left high and dry in the thick of the busy season, so check plenty of software reviews to make sure the vendor you are considering takes good care of their customers—both large and small.
Expertise & innovation
It’s an exciting time for hospitality technology and new PMS vendors are popping up like mushrooms. Unfortunately, not all of them last. Make sure you choose a solution with staying power to maximize efficiency and revenue through the next decade and beyond.
A proven PMS will demonstrate experience and expertise through years of operation, a substantial and growing customer base, frequent upgrades and integrations, affiliations and partnerships, and, very importantly, reliability in terms of low downtime risk.
At the start of this new decade, we look forward to an exciting era of hospitality technology. Make sure you are well-equipped to meet and exceed guest expectations now and in the future with a reputable, innovative cloud PMS that will help drive profitability through the 2020s and beyond.
Located in one of the nation’s largest intact Victorian era National Historic Landmark Districts – Cathedral Hill – in Saint Paul, Minnesota, The Davidson Hotel is a boutique property that offers eight unique suites in a beautiful historic mansion. Guests have easy access to the district’s restaurants, museums and theaters. The Davidson Hotel has chosen to use our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their operations. Visit their website to see how they are using WebRezPro to accept online bookings!
The Thatcher Hotel in Hopland, California, is at the southern tip of Mendocino County and offers easy access to area attractions like wineries. A wide range of individually decorated guest rooms and available, and additional amenities include onsite dining, an outdoor pool and private event space. The Thatcher Hotel 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 availability calendar and booking engine software to accept online reservations!
Located in popular Ocean City, New Jersey, Ocean 7 Motel is a seasonal property that offers 75 individually-owned and decorated studios and suites. All units are equipped with kitchenettes with two-burner stoves, and additional amenities include laundry facilities, an outdoor pool and a convenient located just steps from the beach and boardwalk. Ocean 7 has just started using our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their operations. Visit the hotel’s website to see how they are using WebRezPro to accept online bookings!
Lake Roosevelt Adventures is situated the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area in Davenport, Washington. Managed by Guest Services, Inc., this unique establishment offers houseboat rentals and campsites, as well as a marina. Lake Roosevelt Adventures has just started using WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their operations. Check out their website to see how WebRezPro enables them to accept online bookings for both their boat rentals and campsites!
Keeping up with guest expectations in our fast-paced, high-tech world can be hard! Today’s guests want more personalized service yet more self-service options and although that might seem like an oxymoron, modern hospitality technology makes it all possible.
But while the technology supporting hoteliers in delivering a great guest experience evolves, there are fundamental guest expectations that don’t really change, like a clean room and a comfortable bed. As well, an efficient check-in process and secure payment options will always be key to guest satisfaction.
One way lodging operators can improve check-in and payment processes is by integrating their property management system (PMS) with a payment gateway. A payment gateway interface not only speeds up guest check-in, but it makes accepting card payments more secure—a win for both your business and your guests.
What is a Payment Gateway?
A payment gateway is a system that securely transmits card payment data from a website to the payment processing network. If your property wants to accept online payments, you need a payment gateway.
When a customer makes a payment with their credit or debit card, the payment gateway encrypts and securely sends the card and transaction data from the website to the payment processing network and then returns the response (approved or declined) back to the website, and authorizes the transfer of funds.
How Does a Payment Gateway Interface Work with Your Cloud PMS?
Integrating a payment gateway with a cloud PMS eliminates the need to manually process card payments on a physical terminal. Payments and authorizations can be completely automated and securely managed online, directly through your PMS.
Here’s an overview of how a payment gateway interface works with your PMS:
- The customer enters their credit card information on your website (through your online booking engine), or they insert their card into a credit card reader connected to your front desk computer or mobile device.
- The card and transaction data is sent directly from your website booking engine or card reader to the payment gateway.
- The payment gateway encrypts the credit card data and sends payment information to your payment processor via secure connection. Some gateways create a token —a placeholder— for the credit card information as an additional layer of security, ensuring your PMS never possesses guest credit card data.
- The payment processor transmits the encoded payment information to the rest of the payment network, including the credit card network, issuing bank (customer’s bank) and acquiring bank (your bank), to authorize the payment.
- Whether the transaction is approved or declined by the issuing bank, the payment processor sends the response back to the payment gateway, which automatically delivers it to your PMS, authorizing the transfer of funds when required.
All of this happens in approximately two or three seconds.
Take a look at our video for a visual, step-by-step explanation of how a payment gateway interface works with WebRezPro PMS:
Advantages of a Payment Gateway Interface
Integrating a payment gateway with your cloud PMS offers two important advantages:
>>Reduces the steps required to process card payments, speeding up the check-in/out process.
Payment gateway integration allows you to accept card payments directly through your PMS, removing the need for a standalone credit card terminal, eliminating manual keying errors by staff, and completely automating online payment acceptance.
There’s no need to manually duplicate data across systems, speeding up the check-in process and simplifying the reconciliation process too.
>>Makes processing card payments more secure.
Payment gateways use security measures such as point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization to keep customers’ credit card data safe from hackers. When the PMS is integrated with a payment gateway, these measures protect hotel businesses too, by keeping guest credit card data out of the property management system and therefore reducing hotel liability in case of a system breach.
Unfortunately, online payment card theft is as common as stolen wallets. Consider working with an EMV-certified payment gateway to protect card-present transactions on site too.
There’s no reason not to connect your PMS with your payment gateway. Now’s the time to offer your guests a more secure booking experience and a speedier check-in, while protecting your business. WebRezPro PMS integrates with a number of leading payment gateways, including Shift4, USAePay, Stripe, Authorize.net and PayPal. Visit our website for a complete list of payment gateways we work with. The list is always growing, so if you’re interested in connecting to a payment gateway that isn’t yet included, let us know and we’ll do our best to make it happen.
Stout’s Island Lodge is situated on an 18-acre island on Red Cedar Lake and offers an impressive array of unique accommodations, some of which boast amenities like a kitchen, a gas or wood-burning fireplace or a Jacuzzi. Stout’s also offers an onsite restaurant, wedding facilities and meeting space. This lodge has just started using our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their operations. Visit their website to see how they’re using WebRezPro to accept online bookings. While you’re there, you may just want to book your next vacation to Birchwood, Wisconsin!