Top 3 Things To Look For In Your PMS
The thought of looking for a new property management software for your vacation rental management company might be scary for you. Pulling the trigger to research and considering to switch softwares can be an even more daunting thought. We are here to help calm your nerves. After deep diving into VRMB’s annual Keystone Awards Algorithm and analyzing their results from over 1,000 property managers, this article will cover the importance of automation, owner portal, and API connectivity within your PMS.
Automation simply means removing the manual operational labor from a task and still getting the same end result. Sounds easy, right? Triggers and automations can save your VRMC time, money, resources, and errors all by automating systems to work together and achieve mutual goals. These tasks can be automated and triggered based on an event taking place all while creating ease throughout multiple departments at once. Let’s discuss a few examples of automations you might not have known you were missing out on.
Automation Example 1
A guest checks out of their unit and it automatically sends a work order to the housekeeper assigned to that unit. But that is not all, an hour after they check out, a post stay survey is also sent to the guests email to gain feedback on their stay. This example showcases the single action of a guest checking out and automating two tasks to remove the manual assignment of a housekeeper and the manual email entry for a survey.
Automation Example 2
A reservation is made by an owner through the owner portal. Immediately, following that reservation a work order for a deep cleaning the evening before as well as an additional inspection is created to ensure the property is exceptionally clean for the owner to stay in their unit. This example saves the time of manual entry as well as room for error. The chance an owner reservation falls through the cracks is eliminated with automation.
Automation Example 3
In a time where contactless experiences are top of mind, avoiding the hassle of checking in at a front desk is key. 3 hours before check in, a guest can receive a text message notification with their access code for their keyless entry of their unit.
As showcased in the examples above, automations can reduce risk of error and save time. “Automations have saved us 1000’s of hours of manual and repetitive processes.” says TRACK PMS client, Aaron Linfoot, COO of Meredith Lodging.
One of the main objectives of your vacation rental management company is to acquire new owners and increase owner retention rates. Providing a robust but user-friendly owner portal can help achieve that goal. All owners have different priorities and goals, making a configurable portal beneficial to customize owner portals specifically to each owner’s preferences. It is important to include options such as reporting, reservations, availability, documents, units, work orders, and messaging. This provides transparency and open communication to increase trust and owner retention.
Availability: Allowing your owners to see their availability calendar is a must. This gives them transparency into your marketing tactics and how successful they are at any given time.
Reservations: Verifying your PMS connects appropriately to all channels and your automated PMS setup is done correctly, you will be able to filter guests according to the reservation. An example of when this is beneficial is it allows you to keep condo style units on the market longer before placing them as a confirmed reservation.
Another huge advantage of the Owner Portal is creating owner reservations. This is where the owner can go into their dashboard, without the additional hassle of contacting your reservation team, to book their own stay. This automatically creates the owner as the folio and reservation owner creating streamlined contact to the appropriate owner. For tracking purposes, this allows your management companies reports to accurately represent the amount of personal usage on reservations from owners. If you’d like to see how to use this feature in TRACK Property Management Software, please view this help desk article here.
Reports: Allowing your PMS to automatically disperse owner statements and reports to your owners will save you hours of manual emails configured to each owner’s wants and needs. Also, increase accuracy by automating required statements and reports to reduce any falling through the cracks. Owner reports that are beneficial are:
- Owner Account Balance
- Owner Documents
- Owner Ledger
- Owner Payment List
- Owner Reservations
- Owner Statement Approval
- Owner Statement Comments
- Owner Statement Summary
- Owner Target Amount
- Owner Transactions
- Owner Trial Balance
- Owners Login
- Unit Availability
- Unit Owner History
- Units by Owner List
Having a consistent place to store owner documents allows your vacation rental management company to stay organized internally along with transparency to your owners. Finding a PMS that provides a secure document storage is a must where you can keep public and private owner documentation. Examples of documentation that could be stored here would be owner contracts, lease agreements, owner biography, and images.
Lastly, let’s talk about the importance of an open API.
What is an API? An API is an application programming interface. This means there is a one or two way connection between 2 platforms that simplifies your workload by removing manual data entry into multiple systems. The process that happens behind the scenes is creating seamless operations with little error while increasing your team’s efficiency and productivity. Having an open API within your PMS allows you to continue to use multiple vendors that connect to your PMS. Examples that TRACK have direct connections with include payment processors, smart home technology, direct distribution, channel management, revenue management, and housekeeping platforms. This allows you to keep your current relationships while still scaling your business operations within your Property Management Software. Below are a list of examples that open API’s can help your vacation rental management company.
Regardless, if you have a revenue management team or not, dynamic pricing and management is not a simple feat. Connecting your revenue management platform with your PMS allows you to input your pricing data into one platform while seamlessly pushing it out correctly on your channels and website. This will decrease room for incorrect pricing entry. Creating an efficient connection with your revenue management and PMS will also provide you with more time and resources to update pricing more frequently to fit your occupancy trends. TRACK integrates with PerfectPrice, BeyondPricing, and PriceLabs for industry leading revenue management partners.
Housekeeping & Maintenance
While using TRACK partners such as Breezeway or BeHome247 for your housekeeping and maintenance needs, you can be confident that no cleanings or work orders will go missed. This API helps increase your housekeeping and maintenance teams efficiency by providing one centralized platform for communication. All data put into your Breezeway platform will seamlessly sync to your PMS allowing for quicker cleans and more efficient scheduling.