The Boost Hospitality Podcast is back for another season! And we are now in Season 6. And this time, we are currently on the fourth episode of season six! In episode four, we have Na’im from Zeevou to share with us the things about Property Management System or Software and Channel Managers.
Na’im of Zeevou, this episode’s guest
Today, we are going to be talking all about property management systems, otherwise known as PMS. And I couldn’t think of anybody else better to invite on to this podcast other than Na’im of Zeevou. We’re going to get in, and we’re going to talk about what exactly is a property management software, what exactly is channel managers, we’re going to go through the full ins and outs of it.
He got into hospitality at a relatively young age, starting primarily in restaurants as a waiter. And later on in his summer holidays, working in hotels.
And while he is in university, Na’im tried to get the thing as a property, and then the token sort of mixed and ended up in the service department.
His initial encounter was when Airbnb was still a relatively new thing happening quite close. He started in Cambridge managing service apartments and setting up a company managing them for others. And from there, he went in to rent.
What is property management software? What is channel manager in the most simplistic ways that you could describe it?
The way I put it is that the property management system is the brains and the managers’ arms. So you’ve got everything sitting in the PMS, coordinating stuff. And then you’ve got the channel manager that’s looking you up with a different website, grabbing the booking, sending up the prices, and so on.
And they’re meant to help simplify the running of your business, help with your marketing, advertising, reaching more guests across multiple sites and automating the collection of those booking and processing to some degree.
Why is it so important to have a Property Management System for your business?
It’s slightly more complicated than running something like a hotel, instead. If you’ve got food and beverage in the hotel, of course, that adds complexity than if you’ve got swimming pools and just have fun. But just in terms of if you’re doing self-catering rooms on the guest house.
Or if you’re doing service apartments, the issue of service apartments is that you’ve got multiple units and different locations.
Once you start looking at the operational aspects of managing and ensuring to maintain the privacy and inform all the stakeholders, such as you cleaners, you know where to go.
At what point then you can be sure that the team has done that you can remotely monitor the policies of those screens without having a head housekeeper is going double checking on everything, to make sure you’ve got the supplies in place, you’ve got your linens there, your access arrangements are in place.
So as you start adding more and more units, those things adding complexity, and it sort of doesn’t scale linearly, you know, you end up in a mess. So I do, people who’ve got up to 15 or 20 units who don’t use any software, they’re on spreadsheets and Google calendars and think, for days between themselves.
But it takes up a lot of time. And there’s a lot of potential for error. So it’s okay, as long as a business owner is doing it. But if you’re thinking of starting to outsource things, if you want to have a VA who’s going to answer some emails, and they don’t need to know what’s going on, you really can’t rely just on spreadsheets.
What is the one big mistake that you see people make when they first sign up to a PMS?
I think one of the biggest mistakes is the research that people do.
So you know, everyone wants to be as systematic as possible. So you get your spreadsheet, you put your features, and then you categorise them.
You say I’m going to call all of them up, and I’m going to have my demos, I’m going to go on the website, and I’ll see how many of these boxes they think.
And I’m going to look at the prize and whichever has the best sort of very between features and price. That’s what I’m going to go.
Now there are two issues with that approach. I’ll first talk about the features issue. And then I’m going to talk about the price issue. The point of the features is that pretty much everyone tries to tick the boxes.
They will tell you that they tick the boxes. The question is, how do we fix unboxing. So a lot of systems out there will say to you, they can sort security deposit for you no problems.
Once you start asking more questions, they will tell you they can integrate with various websites.
So what is some bad advice that you can give and something that you want to set straight on this content on this form of publication?
I say that I’m proud some of the worst advice is outdated advice. Namely, something that worked three, four years ago, but doesn’t work anymore.
So even when I started my apartment, myself, it was enough to put it on Airbnb, and you were beautiful.
You’re making lots of money, and then things started weakening a bit, and you have to sort of start going on booking.com. And you have to think around the home away and holiday lettings, and it worked for another year or two, and then the market started getting covered.
So if you want to make it work, you need to be able to keep that extra slice of income that you’re paying for the old days of the listening side. I’d say the most significant advice is the missing advice.
You know, the things that some did not mention are about how critical direct bookings are and how you go about getting those direct bookings. And I think that’s the real luck and most of the training programs out there.
To listen to the full podcast of episode 4, go to Anchor and download the podcast.
Or you can go to the full series of Boostly Podcast.