What is the best PMS for your B&B? Many small accommodation facility managers are still convinced in 2023, despite the revolutions caused by the Internet and Airbnb, that only hotels need a PMS.
Instead, since even running a bed-and-breakfast successfully takes a lot of time and effort, hospitality and extra-hotel management programs are most useful for B&Bs, as well as for vacation homes and short-rental apartments.
Rather, there is no single answer to the initial question, because:
- B&Bs are not all the same. Think about the differences between a B&B located in a seaside resort and one in the historic center of one of the many cities of art scattered throughout Italy;
- the needs of the person running the bed & breakfast also change according to the time available to run the B&B, professional skills, income goals, etc.
For all these reasons, you will not find here a simple list of B&B PMS names. Rather, we will explain what the features of the most popular B&B management systems and their advantages are.
Also because, it often happens that several packages are available of the same management software, with different prices depending on the integrated features, even free in the basic version. Therefore, you will need to be able to figure out which offer meets your needs.
By the end of the article, you will be able to evaluate, based on your managerial and personal needs, which is the best B&B management software
What is the best management software for B&Bs: 9 features
Although a bed & breakfast is not a hotel, it takes quite a bit of time to welcome guests, possibly in the best possible way, set up and clean the facility, take care of its upkeep, stock up on everything needed for breakfast, cleaning, etc.
To these activities, you need to add administrative-accounting, communication and marketing,
A B&B property management system system can help you do all these tasks in less time, saving you effort and even money by optimizing processes.
So let’s take a look, one by one, at what functions and features B&B managers currently on the market have.
1. How management systems work: the essentials
Management systems are also called PMS, Property Management System.
The basic characteristics of good management are: effectiveness, security and simplicity.
These characteristics are more valuable in the extra-hotel industry where there is less professionalism than in the hotellerie and less time for training, since the extra-hotel operator often comes from other sectors, also has another job, and has not done specific studies.
The basic functions of a management system are check-ins and check-outs, customer archive management (very valuable for your work), changing the room assigned by the same management system to the reservation, messaging systems with the guest (automatic e-mail, mobile notifications, chat).
If you are looking for truly effective technology, to these features you should add: the creation and submission of lodging forms to the Web Lodging Portal, the management of housekeeping and lodging fees, and the generation of invoices and receipts. That’s why a good management system should allow your accountant access as well.
2. Usable by different types of devices
Almost all B & B management systems marketed today can be used on multiple devices: desktops, smartphones, tablets.
This is possible because they take advantage of cloud platforms, which are generally responsive, i.e. suitable for use on multiple types of devices.
Do not underestimate this feature. Don’t think:
it is about work, so I will deal with it from desktop
In fact, especially those who run bed & breakfasts, vacation homes, and apartments do not have a fixed operations office and it often happens to them that they have to work a reservation or communicate with a customer from a smartphone.
This feature allows you to access your management software wherever you are, from your smartphone, even better if through thePMS-specific app, from your tablet, and not just from a pc.
In addition, using the cloud as an alternative to installing software or buying/leasing a server allows service providers to lower the price of management.
3. Integrated booking engine
Integration of a booking engine, a proprietary booking engine, or the ability to synchronize with one’s own direct booking engine is among the most common features of all B&B management systems.
Through the booking engine, users can book directly from your site and pay by credit card or Paypal. Otherwise, they will have to call you, a rare behavior now, or send you an e-mail, which they may find boring and therefore not do, ending up preferring another facility.
Or you can redirect users from your site to OTAs, obviously paying the commission on that booking.
In addition, booking engines automatically send booking confirmation emails, reminders, and thank-you emails.
4. Integration with channel manager
Taking advantage of integration with a channel manager or a native channel manager means that you can control the entire sales and distribution network of your rooms or apartments from one platform.
In fact, in one calendar of reservations you will have those received from the OTAs, from the booking engine plus those entered manually. So, you will end up with customer information all neatly arranged, such as: the check-in date, the number of guests, their requests.
In addition, synchronization with the channel manager allows you to block bookings on other channels to avoid overbooking and update prices quickly on all OTAs.
5. Cross-selling and up-selling system
Synchronization with booking engines and channel managers, calendar unification, and online payment management will enable you to earn more from cross-selling and up-selling internal and external services.
In fact, through a modern management system you can easily add services and activities to your offerings that customers will purchase at the time of booking.
In particular, the study of travel behavior showed that along with the reservation usually essential services such as rental and transfer are purchased. While the purchase of additional services and travel experiences is delayed until a few hours before departure or at the same time as the stay.
How do I push the customer to buy other services and experiences as well?
What if I don’t have services and experiences to offer?
I am not a hotel, I cannot sell services….
The answer to these questions is a digital concierge like Manet. Manet is an advanced digital concierge also designed for the non-hotel sector, developed precisely to help you cross-sell and increase profits.
With Manet you increase the visibility of your extra services.
Manet works as a mobile showcase of services. Manet allows you to customize all the information and services available in your B&B and customers will be able to book them directly from the app.
You can upload your services, those of your local partners (at no additional cost) or point out to guests all services already integrated into Manet, such as the wonderful experiences available on wannaticket.net.
In addition, Manet allows you to automate your B&B, from check-in to sending push notifications.
Contact us now for a free demo.
The security of the PMS for B&B is one of its most important features, because if there are any flaws, you risk ruining your reputation.
Therefore, it is essential that the online payment systems implemented through the management system are secure and make your customers feel safe when they enter their credit card information. For example, if you refer to an external page for payment, the url must use the https: protocol, not http:.
The most modern B&B management systems allow you to collect large amounts of data, which are essential for improving your offering.
For example, many B&B PMSs allow you to add Google Analytics tracking code to the booking engine, which is already in use on the site.
This way you can track all online transactions, calculate RevPar, Occupancy Rate and many other KPIs, find out which channels convert best and produce detailed reports on which to base your marketing strategy.
8. Revenue management
As mentioned in section 4 on channel managers, this integration makes it possible to simultaneously and quickly update rates on all distribution channels used.
This is just one of the many automations that B&B managers allow you to make as part of your revenue management strategy.
In fact, even management systems for B&Bs, as well as those designed for hotels, allow you to manage the many variables that affect rates, such as seasonality, room type, and age of guests.
With a good management system you can plan price lists over the long term, automate the creation of quotes and the application of discounts and surcharges.
Channel manager, booking engine, and digital concierge are just three of the tools that can be offered in conjunction with a management system, whether native, integrated, or integrable in the future.
In fact, you may already be using a booking engine or a digital concierge like Manet, which also allows you to automate remote check-in for B&Bs, schedule the sending of emails and push notifications.
In this case, when choosing your management system, pay attention to what features are included to avoid spending on something you already have.
Check out Manet’s integrations here to see if we’re implemented with the technologies you already use.
What is the best property management system for B&Bs: benefits
Have you seen how much functionality a management system can offer you? Now it will be very easy to make a list of benefits:
- Automations of check-in/check-out, notifications, invoices, fees
- Better direct booking experience for the customer
- simplification of online reception/reception
- increased earnings from cross-selling and up-selling
- Synchronization of all booking channels
- fewer errors in bed management
- increase in direct bookings
- dynamic revenue management
- greater control over turnover
- single, centralized system
- secure online payments
- saving of resources
- forecast reports
- more time for you
- no overbooking
Are you now clearer about which management system you need for your b&b?
Connect Manet to your PMS. You will be able to get the maximum profit from your up-selling and cross-selling activities.
Or, if you are not yet ready for a property management system, with Manet you have a personalized digital concierge for your B&B.
Not only will you be able to increase extra service bookings, but you will also be able to automate check-in, manage communication with customers remotely, and offer them all info about your accomodation facility and destination together with your travel advice like a true local host.