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What is a Property Management System (PMS) ?

What is a Property Management System (PMS) ?

Property management systems are becoming increasingly important to manage short term rentals more efficiently as the industry becomes fiercely competitive.

Over the last decade, technology has redefined and revolutionized the short-term rental industry. Today, short-term rental owners can reach a global audience seamlessly through platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, Google Travel, TripAdvisor, etc.

Our focus today is on understanding and learning how a Property Management System can ease a host's life by reviewing the functionality, technology, and features, as well as how to utilize it efficiently to the best benefit.

An Overview of Property Management System (PMS)

As a simple explanation, Property Management software facilitates the organization and management of long-term and short-term rental properties by automating and simplifying the processes involved, providing property managers with increased flexibility to streamline their operations and replace traditional paper-based methods.

When it comes to managing multiple properties it can be quite challenging for property managers to ensure consistency and efficacy when using multiple booking platforms. As a result, property management software emerged and has evolved into a sophisticated indispensable tool that sits above the booking platform and integrates APIs to create a symbiotic system.

A PMS solution can vary in the features they offer. It combines mundane tasks into one software solution, alleviating property managers' day-to-day tasks. A great property management system can typically allow property managers and other staff a number of tasks such as bookings, cleaning, maintenance, bookkeeping, and a variety of other tasks that can be automated or easy to complete with a click of a button.

Also, one of the most important aspects is that property management systems enable property managers to monitor key performance metrics, and run analytics and reports, which help to scale the business much faster. For example, you can gain access to BI tools such as RevPar, Occupancy rate, ADR, profit/loss statements, listing ranking position and much more.

Why is a Property Management System Important?

Today, a Property Management System has become an absolute necessity, particularly if you're serious about entering the short-term rental industry and intend to expand. A property management system is and should be, well-equipped to handle every aspect of the guest experience – from the minute they start searching for a room on a website to the moment they check out from their room. Providing a smooth travel experience for your guests is the ultimate goal.

With a property management system in place, hosts, co-hosts, property managers, plus staff can carry out many of their duties quickly, as well as automate some of the more mundane administrative tasks.

The main benefit of a PMS is that you can focus on strategic business decisions instead of minute details. By choosing to use the software, you will be able to streamline the management of your short term rental property or multiple properties, saving you time and money while optimizing processes, resulting in better decisions, higher occupancy, and a stronger bottom line.

How does Property Management Software Function?

Using property management software enables you to connect all your property listings to the software via a channel manager. Your properties can be listed on a variety of vacation rental websites, and the channel manager facilitates synchronizing your calendar and managing all bookings in one place.

Additionally, it offers a range of automated features for managing short-term rentals.

These include:

Having features such as these at your disposal allows you time to concentrate on growing your business.

Key Benefits of Using a Property Management System

1. Optimized Channel Management

One of the key features of property management software is channel management. When using PMS software you gain access to multiple booking platforms from one place, eliminating the need to log in to each one individually.

A Channel Manager prevents overbooking and makes managing multiple listings a breeze. It is an all-in-one solution that makes it easy to optimize listings and increase bookings.

2. Centralized Calendar

A successful property management system provides tools such as a centralized calendar that can be used to update the availability of rooms on all listed platforms once an online reservation has been received.

By using a central calendar, you can view which booking sites perform the best and determine how well your short-term rental is doing.

This Multi-calendar feature is a great tool for hosts who manage multiple properties, as it provides them with a single view of the bookings across all platforms for all the properties they handle. This enables property managers to suggest alternative properties when a guest's preferred property is unavailable.

3.Increased Communication Efficiency

Property management software comes with inbuilt communication tools such as a unified inbox, automated messaging, and SMS / WhatsApp messaging features. The unified inbox helps you streamline guest communications and manage them in one place.

Communication between you and your guests becomes more efficient when all correspondences are organized by listing and inquiry stages. As a result, your guest experience will be improved and more productive communication will ensue.

Your business will flourish as you gain customer loyalty, increased bookings, and ultimately success!

4. Dynamic Pricing Tools

Gaining a dynamic pricing tool can optimize pricing and increase your profit margins by analyzing the market and considering your pricing strategy. Your business will not lose revenue even in quieter seasons.

5. Automated Booking Confirmations

A PMS comes with an inbuilt automated booking confirmation system, simplifying the guest's booking experience. In general, there is a very limited degree of automation in online booking platforms.

Using property management software, hosts have easy access,

  • To gather guest information
  • A payment mode that is secure
  • Guest Screening
  • Automated messages can be sent to guests as they progress through different stages of their stay

This way, you can ensure your guests always feel looked after before, during, and after their stay, as every property manager knows that providing outstanding hospitality is of the utmost importance.

6. Higher Revenue Potential

Property management software enables you to see a difference in your bottom line. More efficient management will allow you to reduce expenses and generate more bookings and higher occupancy rates.

7. Time-saving

The main reason to use a property management system is that it streamlines a bounty of tasks and saves you a tremendous amount of time managing properties that you can utilize to grow your business. In addition to the features, the software offers many options to automate property management tasks that burden property managers/hosts every day, allowing time to focus on the bigger picture instead of worrying about minute details.

8. Scale up your Business

With the time-saving factor, and automated management tasks, property management software facilitates accelerated business expansion. By replacing traditional property management, property managers will be able to spend more time investing in and expanding their business without feeling overwhelmed.

Property Management System: Picking the Right Software

Hosts can only stand to gain great benefits from using a property management system; though choosing the wrong one can lead to huge financial losses.

Here's our advice:

  1. Invest time and effort in your research
  2. Take into account all the features you require to run your business
  3. Review the benefits you stand to gain (as listed above)
  4. Analyze and compare similar software providers before deciding
  5. Make a list and compare and contrast the solutions, benefits, and services
  6. Take your time and don't be rushed into a decision

Having listed some of the most important features above, it goes without saying that you must look for the following with the property management software service provider.

  • An outstanding customer service team
  • Look for an onboarding team that can assist you with your new software and has proven success in the field
  • Try a free demo before committing
  • Consult with your vendor about your requirements in depth
  • Ask questions, discuss options and make sure you are getting what you paid for.
  • Check out the software's reviews and testimonials. (eg - Capterra, softwarepundit, g2, getapp, etc)
  • Verify accreditations and partnerships with top OTAs such as Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com etc

Invest in an All-In-One Solution such as Hostaway

The pros of using a smart, user-friendly property management system will always outweigh the cons.

Using a modern tech-savvy property management system will give you more time, save you resources, and increase your profits. A great PMS will be easy to use and integrate with other smart software applications so that you can run your short term rental business smoothly.

Hostaway is an all-in-one property management system and channel manager that provides short term rental managers with a scalable, comprehensive, and robust system for managing their properties. Depending on your business needs, Hostaway can be used as both an all-in-one property management solution or as a modular and tailored solution. To learn more, contact one of our product experts today to find out how Hostaway can enhance the growth potential of your short-term rental business.

Ready to find out how Hostaway can transform your business?

Hostaway is proud to support thousands of Property Managers and Airbnb Hosts Around the world. We take pride in being Top Ranked in Vacation Rental Software Review Sites: Capterra, G2, Software Advice, Trust Pilot, to name just a few! Check out our reviews and read the Hostaway Case Studies from real successful and growing Short-Term Rental Managers!