Find the best Motel Software
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SkyTouch Hotel OS
As a motel owner or manager, imagine someone on your staff mistakenly bills a guest for a three-night stay, when the person actually stayed four nights. Human errors due to manual entry can be costly for your business.
Motel software can help you avoid such errors. This type of software is designed to streamline operations such as managing housekeeping, processing payments, checking guests in and out, and handling bookings. This makes many everyday tasks easier, and it also creates more time for you to focus on tasks that require personal attention, such as interacting with your guests and working to improve the guest experience.
To help you find the right software for your motel, we've created this buyers guide.
Here's what we'll cover:
What is motel software?
Motel software is a type of software that motel owners and managers can use to manage the operational and financial functions of their properties. It can also be used by hotels, resorts, bed-and-breakfasts, and other lodging businesses with quick guest turnover.
This type of software helps users streamline common tasks such as creating room reservations, scheduling housekeeping routines, and processing check-ins and check-outs. Some solutions also include advanced features such as customer relationship management (CRM), retail support, and employee management.
Common features of motel software
The features and functionalities offered by motel software are similar to those of hotel management software and bed-and-breakfast software. The ultimate goal of each of these solutions is to help you run an efficient, clean, and profitable lodging business.
Here's a look at some of the most common features:
Accept and track reservations and record them on a central booking calendar. Allow guests to reserve rooms themselves by integrating the reservation feature with your website and/or partnering with an online travel agency (OTA).
Import reservations from your website and third-party OTA platforms into a central booking calendar.
Front desk management
Check-in and check-out guests, issue key cards, and manage room and booking change requests.
Create and process invoices for guests. Automatically add applicable taxes and any additional charges, such as room service or spa services, to the invoice; accept payments in multiple forms including cash, credit cards, or online transfers.
Access all features of the software from a centralized dashboard.
Track cleaning status for each room and schedule housekeeping requests. Also, keep a record of maintenance work.
Generate detailed reports on bookings, housekeeping, financials, and guest communications. Also, customize reports as needed and share them with appropriate stakeholders.
Centrally manage operations across multiple properties with a single sign-in.
Some solutions also offer advanced features such as:
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Communicate with guests via email and/or SMS and keep a record of each interaction. Share booking details with guests and take notes about their preferences and special requests.
Offer and redeem gift certificates and discount codes for bookings and special packages. Create coupons or discount codes to share for online bookings.
Employee management and payroll
Create profiles for employees and capture information such as contact details, compensation, and benefits for each employee. Record time off and manage payroll within the system.
Maintain an inventory of housekeeping material and food items. Know when stock is about to run out and receive automatic reminders to place orders in advance.
What type of buyer are you?
To make sure you don't buy software with too many or too few features, it's important to understand what features to look for based on what type of software buyer you are. Buyers of motel software typically fall into one of the following categories:
Single-location motel: If you own a single property, the most common features such as front desk management, point-of-sale, and housekeeping management will usually suffice. In addition, you may want to seek out software that supports your website and facilitates management of postings on OTA platforms.
Multiple property or motel chain: If you own or manage multiple motels, look for a tool that offers multiproperty support. This will allow you to manage all the properties within a single system, and centrally organize bookings and guest information.
Franchisees: The software needs of franchisees can be quite similar to that of motel chains. However, some franchisors allow their franchisees to choose which software to use, while others specify which software can be used. Check with your franchisor for details.
Benefits of motel software
Motel software can help users save time and money by reducing various recurring tasks. Additional benefits of adopting motel software include:
Avoiding double or over booking: See how many rooms are booked at any point, and ensure enough buffer between reservations. Manage bookings from multiple sources in real time.
Streamlining front desk tasks: Make front desk tasks simpler by processing check-ins and check-outs digitally and creating invoices within the system. Note down requests such as wake-up call or bedding preferences to provide a more personalized experience.
Staying on top of housekeeping and maintenance needs: Ensure all housekeeping and maintenance needs are met in time by tracking them in the system. Create a calendar for more efficient management of housekeeping staff.
Monitoring in real time: Increase visibility into the status and progress of each task and assess the efficiency of your staff with the help of detailed reports. Spot bottlenecks and identify ways to make your processes more efficient and effective.
Key considerations when buying motel software
Keeping the following considerations in mind as you evaluate the many options on the market:
Choosing either cloud-based or on-premise software: In a cloud-based deployment, the vendor is responsible for hosting and maintaining the solution, and you can access it via a web browser or application. In an on-premise deployment, you are in charge of hosting and maintaining the software. Due to the lower upfront costs and flexibility, cloud-based software may appeal to small and midsize businesses; however, since hospitality businesses store personal and financial customer data, security can be a concern when hosting that data on third-party servers. Discuss both security concerns and the total cost of ownership with software vendors on your shortlist.
Considering what advanced features you might need: Advanced features such as CRM, gift certificates/coupons, retail support, and employee management may be more necessary for some motels than others. Before you make a final choice, evaluate some solutions with these features and see if they add enough value to your business to justify any extra cost.
Mobile capabilities for remote management: If you tend to be away from your front desk often or have multiple properties, look at software that also works on your smartphone or tablet.
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations, obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.