Choosing a Vacation Rental property management system (PMS) is a decision that requires time and commitment to the process. In a simple list of where to start, the one factor that must always be considered is time. The time spent on the process will be time well spent when you can look back on the time you wasted wondering why your competitors had more bookings, or managing manual reports/communication/work orders. With a new PMS you can now have the time to market your properties efficiently!
Create a Team
Take your time to be prepared for the process of looking at PMS demos. Put together a team of your key staff who use the system, before contacting PMS companies.
As a team, evaluate what is missing from your current system. What are the processes that could easily save your team time? What do they need to make their jobs easier and give them more time to focus on your guests? Are there monthly reports that are needed? Can you integrate with distribution channels? How much time is spent dealing with your current PMS support? Take that list and break it out into categories and assign your team members to those categories to review as you continue the process.
The next step also requires time; research is more than looking at websites. First contact your web company and peers in the industry for their input on software that they are currently working with to find out who can provide you with what you need. Attending a VRMA conference can be overwhelming with all the vendors, but that can be a good place to “kick the tires” to get a sense of what is available. As you go through the process of checking out PMS Websites and their sales materials, try to get your list down to 5 companies matching your team’s list of wants and needs to the PMS options.
Now it’s time to contact potential companies to set up a discovery call. This should not be considered a sales call since the time should be spent on learning about each other’s company. If the PMS sales team doesn’t start with asking you for your needs first, use your team’s list to ask direct questions about the software. Remember, it’s all about your company’s needs for a new PMS, this shouldn’t be a sales call. During the call, take notes or have another team member on the call just to take notes. After the call, read through the notes and contact the PMS company with direct questions for clarification.
The last step consists of scheduling product demonstrations. It is crucial to have your team involved viewing the demonstrations. Your ability to provide the time to include your team in the process will pay off as they will generate important questions and provide feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of each system viewed. Once your company has chosen a system, you now have a committed team for the implementation.
At Barefoot, we take the opportunity to learn about your company throughout the sales process. Our time with you is important because we recognize the impact a new implementation can have on your company. We respect your company’s uniqueness and that is taken into account when a Barefoot Agent system is designed around your company’s business rules. Take the time to contact us if you would like experienced help in choosing a new vacation rental property management system.