Managing a hostel is quite different from running a hotel. You sell beds—not always rooms—and often have to deal with activity reservations and high staff turnover. Your guests’ expectations are different too; they’re looking for clean bathrooms and a chance to meet new people, not an aromatherapy butler. (Wi-Fi is still mandatory though). But, just like a hotel, hostels need an efficient, automated solution to streamline daily operations and maximize revenue.
A hostel-friendly property management system (PMS) offers functions specifically tailored to hostel operations that reduce daily administrative workload, sell more beds, and improve both guest and staff experience.
Here are five big reasons any hostel needs a cloud PMS.
1. Sell the Way You Want
You don’t have to fit your business around your cloud PMS; your cloud PMS fits around your business with full, flexible functionality—on any device. From dorm beds and private rooms to packages and discounts, your PMS enables you to sell the way you want and thereby maximize your revenue.
>> Customizable Unit Inventory
A hostel-friendly PMS accommodates dorm beds as well as private rooms and other units, including tent sites, cabins, and more. WebRezPro even allows beds to be assigned to gender-designated or mixed dorms.
>> Flexible Rate Management
Hostels require flexible rate management tools to meet dynamic pricing needs, including seasonal rates, discounts, packaged activities, etc. A PMS like WebRezPro makes it easy to set up (and override) seasonal rates, long-term rates, discounts, add-ons, group rates, rate restrictions, and complex packages.
>> Upsell Activities and Extras
Hostels typically offer additional products and services like lockers, linen, tours, and activities, so it’s important that your PMS can manage and track these sales. A hostel-friendly PMS allows upsells and other extras to be included with bed/room bookings or sold separately.
2. Fully Integrated Online Bookings
It’s crucial to offer direct booking through your hostel’s own website because it drives profits (commission-free bookings), is more efficient and because guests expect it—if they can’t book online with you, they’ll switch to an OTA or competitor.
A hostel-oriented cloud PMS offers an online booking engine that supports both dorm bed and private room reservations and any rates, packages, and add-ons you choose. WebRezPro’s booking engine allows guests to book multiple beds at once on a single reservation and search for beds in gender-specific dorms. Plus it’s mobile optimized for travelers on the go!
The online booking engine sends direct bookings coming through your website straight to your PMS with availability updated automatically. You don’t have to type anything in twice, which makes it much less likely that a reservation will slip through the cracks.
While direct online bookings are preferable (no commission fees), it still makes sense to have an OTA presence for increased exposure. Your PMS streamlines and centralizes online distribution by integrating with your OTA channels in addition to your own booking engine. Reservations made through third-party booking sites are automatically sent to your PMS and availability adjusts accordingly across all channels to prevent overbooking (again, no double-typing).
WebRezPro connects with distribution partners that work well for hostels like Hostelworld.com (the world’s largest online hostel-booking platform), Booking.com, Expedia, Siteminder, and many more OTA channels and channel managers.
Your online booking engine and OTAs aren’t the only connections a cloud PMS can offer. An effective PMS integrates with your entire tech stack, from your payment gateway to your guest messaging platforms. It’s the hub where everything meets. Eliminating the need to manually duplicate data across systems, integrations drastically increase efficiency and functionality and allow you to enhance guest services, e.g., contactless check-in.
For example, to provide contactless check-in, you must collect guest documentation, process payment, and provide room keys all without seeing guests face to face. It’s not something you can do with a spreadsheet. Integrating with a payment gateway like Novera and a digital key solution like OpenKey makes the entire process seamless.
A payment gateway is especially important whether or not you offer contactless check-in. Locker or no locker, travelers don’t necessarily want to carry around wads of cash in their back pockets.
4. Financial Reporting
A cloud PMS keeps you in the black by providing thorough, up-to-date financial reporting, so you have the information you need to make the best possible decisions for your property. It’s too easy to make mistakes with a calculator and spreadsheet, and finding that misplaced decimal point takes time you don’t have.
WebRezPro automatically tracks all transactions and offers custom reports that enable you to choose the individual metrics that are most useful. You don’t have to comb through a mountain of data to find the numbers you need.
5. Easy to Learn and Use
Large hostels in particular can have high staff turnover. Many hostel owners offer longer-term guests a work trade program where the guest volunteers at the hostel in exchange for accommodation. With staff coming and going, it is especially beneficial to have an easy-to-learn system.
Most modern cloud PMS offer an intuitive user interface complete with quick-access menus, shortcut buttons, and graphical calendars that give a clear overview of reservations and availability. Staff can tell at a glance what’s happening.
WebRezPro’s user interface offers a consistent, up-to-date design that helps new staff catch on quickly (according to many customers). For instance, our interactive availability calendar uses drag-and-drop functionality that allows reservations to be easily moved and modified.
Because it’s a cloud-based system, authorized staff can access it from any device with Wi-Fi, both on and off property. They don’t have to huddle around the lobby computer, waiting their turn to look something up. It’s also handy for when you want to travel. You can enjoy your own adventure safe in the knowledge that you can access the system if needed.
A hostel-oriented cloud PMS equips hostels of any size with the tools they need to streamline daily operations and ensure a positive experience for staff and guests alike—all while increasing your revenue! Contact us if you’d like to learn more about how WebRezPro can work for your hostel.
Editor’s note: Post updated January 2023.