The role of a hotel revenue manager has changed exponentially over the past 30 years. It all started in the 1980s when technological advancements enabled the airline industry to offer discounted prices to targeted customers, whilst charging full fares to others on the same flight. Strategies like these soon branched out to other sectors, including the hotel industry. As a result, hotel revenue managers began taking advantage of a diverse range of hotel management software solutions that enabled them to boost their revenue streams. Fast forward to the 21st century and these advancements have expanded into every area of hotel revenue management. Revenue managers who fail to keep up with this evolving technological landscape will soon find themselves falling behind and losing that all-important market share.
But, which solutions do you actually need, and how can they make your business run more efficiently?
Let’s take a look at some of the best hotel management software tools to help your revenue strategies run more smoothly and efficiently.
Optimal tech stack: define your objective
These days, hotel revenue managers are investing in all manner of hotel management software solutions. These valuable tools help hotels increase their productivity, gain a larger market share and, ultimately, provide them with a great return on their investment. But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to determine which IT tools you actually need, and how they can specifically optimise your business.
Perhaps the most crucial element to consider before you invest in any hotel management software solutions is making sure you optimise your tech stack so that all your data is centralised, easy to access, and updated in real time. In other words, you need to design an optimised tech stack that bridges all your solutions and creates a user-friendly data ecosystem.
So, what is a tech stack exactly?
Essentially, a tech stack is a collection of technologies that work together and run through one single application. This is necessary because there is no single application that you can use to manage every aspect of your hotel management process. So, you need to ensure all your individual platforms are able to communicate and share information with each other.
For example, your central reservation system needs to align with your booking engine so that you avoid potential overbookings. And your revenue management system needs access to data from your online reputation manager so that you can view real-time data relating to customer feedback. It’s all about creating an integrated network of systems where all your applications are able to centralise and share the vital data you need to make data-driven strategic decisions about your business.
Which hotel management software solutions are best?
The tools that will benefit you the most will obviously depend on the specific and unique objectives of your business. However, generally speaking, there are a few essential tools that, in this data-driven age, you simply cannot afford to work without.
For instance, you need a solution that helps you manage your reservations through every stage of the booking process. You also need tools to manage your online reputation so that you can build a solid and trustworthy brand that attracts guests to your hotel. And, perhaps most importantly of all, you need a system that enables you to analyse all your information so that you can make the right data-driven strategic decisions to continuously boost your revenue streams.
Here are some of the hotel management software solutions that can help you create the optimal tech stack for your business.
A channel manager is a software that will automatically update your prices and room availability on all your connected booking platforms each time you adjust your revenue management pricing strategy, close a room sale or make changes to your inventory. Its power lies in automation, two-way integration, and real-time data sharing.
With this tool, you’ll be able to save a huge amount of time as you won’t have to update each channel manually. That will leave you with the time you were lacking to invest more time into more strategic decisions.
Property management system (PMS)
A property management system, also known as a PMS, is a very useful tool for effective hotel management. It enables you to manage every stage of the guest experience in your hotel, from handling reservations, coordinating with your channel manager, processing payments, scheduling housekeeping, and managing front-desk operations. Essentially, PMS applications streamline all your administrative processes so that your bookings run smoothly, and your guests get the best possible experience at your hotel.
Many PMS solutions can now be integrated with other hotel management software applications so that you get a centralised interface that helps you build an effective hotel tech stack. And this is one of the key pillars of hotel revenue management.
Reputation management software
As its name suggests, reputation management software helps you manage and optimise your online reputation. You can use this type of hotel management software to collect feedback from the experiences of your guests. This includes reviews from sites like TripAdvisor, and testimonials posted on social media. Many solutions can also provide you with useful information about guest histories and tools to share guest experience surveys. Then, using this data, you can identify areas for improvement and implement benchmarks to continuously improve your reputation as a valued hotel.
Revenue management system
This is the golden chalice of all hotel management software solutions, and it is the one tool that you indisputably cannot afford to operate without.
A revenue management system is an application that enables you to collect, monitor and analyse every aspect of your revenue streams. For example, you can analyse customer demand, market supply and the rates that your competitors are offering. You can also use an RM system to get daily updates on your online reputation, forecast market trends, and optimise your pricing strategies so that you can consistently attract and retain loyal customers.
Essentially, a revenue management system can help you consolidate all the data you collect from your various hotel management software solutions. That way, you can create an automated, integrated hotel tech stack that gives you real-time access to every aspect of your business. And this is, without a doubt, the best strategy for boosting your efficiency and generating maximum revenue for your hotel.