It’s an exhilarating time to be in the VR industry—huge technological shifts are underway, and there is a lot of consolidation among vendors and tools. While the potential of streamlined toolsets and cutting-edge tech seem positive, actually putting them into production can be tricky and cause unexpected hiccups along the way.
One recent example is HomeAway Software announcing its plan to sunset two property management systems (PMSs), V12.NET and Australia-based YesBookit, while continuing to develop its Escapia PMS. The goal is to focus on a single product to deliver the best PMS for its customers.
During this transition, vacation rental companies are considering their options for selecting a new property management system. Vacation rental managers weigh their options and decide if they would like to go with best-in-class software options or a PMS company that offers an all-in-one solution. There are a lot of considerations when selecting the right PMS for your organization. We’ve put together an eight-point checklist of things to think about.
There are pros and cons with both best-in-class PMSs and all-in-one solutions that happen to include a PMS. Best-in-class solutions provide the best tool for core PMS functions with deep capabilities and a proven track record. On the other hand, you’ll potentially have to work with multiple vendors to build your guest management tech stack. With all-in-one solutions, you’ll have a more simplistic tool, but these may fall short with functionality, innovation, and support.
Find a company that is well regarded by the industry and by its customers. Don’t just take its word for it, though. Ask for references, particularly from former customers.
It’s going to take a while to transition to a new PMS, and you’re going to have questions—lots of them. There are no “off ” hours in the hospitality industry, so look for a company that will support you 24/7/365. Additionally, consider the level of support you will receive. Ask if the company is adding new divisions or if they’ve scaled to support any new offerings.
The hospitality sector is facing more cybersecurity risks than ever before. As the operations hub, if your PMS is compromised, it can have devastating and extensive consequences. Make sure your new PMS follows cybersecurity best practices and standards in all areas, including network segmentation and control and multifactor authentication.
It’s important that new employees and seasonal staff quickly understand and utilize a new PMS, particularly because training is already such a hefty undertaking.
Do some research to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting for your money. Inquire about additional charges and ask current customers about any hidden fees they may have encountered. As a rule of thumb, if the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also, keep in mind that companies are increasingly adopting revenue-share pricing (i.e., charging users a percentage of their sales). Adopting a PMS is a long-term decision, so take a long-term view when considering your options. Don’t just think about where your company is today but consider where it will be two to five years down the road and how the pricing model could affect your business.
7) Business Requirements
Before vetting PMS solutions, make a clear list of your top five needs. Every system will have its strengths and weaknesses, and it’s important not to get distracted by the bells and whistles. Frankly, some PMS solutions will be a better fit for your company than others, so stay focused by making sure the top five needs you identified at the beginning are met.
8) User Adoption
It goes without saying that demonstrations are an essential part of the selection process. Make sure the top five needs you’ve identified are addressed in your demo. In addition to demoing the solution with one of the company’s representatives ask for a demo account where your team can interact with the tools they’ll use daily and test if it actually meets their needs.
The shakeup in PMS vendors is just one of many changes affecting the industry today. For more insights and trends from top vacation rental leaders, join us March 2–4, 2020 for the Navigate Hospitality Leaders Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Visit naviscrm.com/ navigate for more information.