The health of your innovative living business - be it serviced apartments, coliving or build-to-rent (BTR) - ultimately depends on guest experience. It inspires five star reviews, encourages repeat custom and keeps the lifeblood of revenue flowing through your company.
With a property management system (PMS), you can easily generate ‘wow’ moments across the customer journey that make your resident experience stand out from the crowd. Here’s 5 PMS features that help you do this.
- Maintenance/housekeeping operations
Broken shower head? No problem. A PMS can transform a maintenance request from a potential reputation-hit into a reputation-boost. With a two-way communication feature, residents can report a maintenance issue in real-time using their smart device, upload any necessary photos and speak to maintenance personnel directly in their native language (with automatic translation). Guests can even track the progress of service workers in real-time and receive a notification when the problem has been resolved (i.e. can go back to the apartment when the shower is fixed). As the app automatically assigns the request to the most appropriate staff member, repairs are made in hours, not days.
What’s more, a PMS gives customers control over their housekeeping. Every resident will have their own housekeeping preferences - i.e. some prefer daily cleans, others require weekly linen changes - which they can choose in advance of their stay with a PMS, which also facilitates in-stay updates (i.e. emergency clean-up or washing requests). The app assigns the request to specific cleaners with tailored checklists and sends notifications to the guest.
The bottom line: giving customers control over their environment makes them feel respected and boosts their in-stay experience.
- Booking engine
A slick and seamless booking process not only improves your conversion rate (the best-performing booking engines have double the conversion rate of the lowest), but enhances resident experience by setting a positive tone for a guest’s stay. Integrate online booking software into your PMS and website, so you can ‘wow’ guests with customisation, connection and cost.
From HD photo carousels and virtual tours to clear floor plans and straightforward cancellation policies, having a customised booking portal that’s tailored to guest search preferences makes a great first impression with customers. A live chat feature and quote portal (bespoke quotes in 60 seconds) provide an instant connection between the operator and guest, quickly resolving any queries, concerns or special requests (i.e. adding a child’s bed or cot). This not only makes guests feel more valued than speaking to an online travel agent that doesn’t know the apartment, but without the 15-30% OTA fee, you can also offer direct booking discounts and a range of payment options (i.e. monthly instalments or zero upfront payments) suited to a guest.
The bottom line: providing a bespoke booking platform makes residents feel special before their stay even begins.
- Guest portal
Be it the choice and demand of Netflix or the ease and simplicity of Alexa, customer expectations are shaped by guests’ day-to-day life. For business travellers staying in serviced apartments, recent graduates choosing to “colive” or young families residing in build-to-rent units, their in-stay amenities and services can be managed with the touch of a button.
A guest portal offers residents a control centre for their entire stay. If they’re keen to book a gym session on the way home from work, they can use the guest portal. If they want to sign-up to a film night in the cinema room, they can use the guest portal. If they’d like to arrange children’s activities with other guest families, they can use the guest portal. From passively receiving notifications when parcels arrive at the front desk to actively speaking to other guests to set up recreational clubs, a guest portal empowers guests to personalise their residential experience at any time during their stay.
The bottom line: slick guest portals allow guests to curate the exact in-stay experience they want.
- Access control
Like swanning through an airport without baggage and hassle-free, seamlessly accessing private and public areas during stay is an underestimated experience-enhancer for residents. With a PMS, digital access control creates frictionless movement.
Instead of signing-in at the front desk, filling in manual forms for visitors’ access or getting locked out of private areas, digital access control takes away the pain burden of entering and exiting. Using one digital token, such as a QR code on a mobile app, guests can simply tap in and out of individual areas (i.e. private bedroom in coliving) and communal spaces (i.e. shared swimming pool) with no friction. Smart lock settings provide peace of mind (i.e. gender or age restrictions to certain spa areas), meaning guests don’t need to worry about duplicated or lost keys. What’s more, residents can also request temporary access codes for visiting friends or family with a simple click of a button.
The bottom line: PMS access control is light-touch, but heavy reward. It perfectly blends security and freedom of movement with a seamless resident experience.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Receiving impersonal promotions and blanket advice shows a lack of care. On the flip side, curated offers are both useful and reassuring, showing that operators care about residents’ in-stay experience.
With an in-built CRM software, you can use a PMS to deliver personalised experience to each and every guest. The CRM gathers data from multiple interactions across the customer journey - i.e. the questions guests asked pre-booking and the amenities they used most during their stay - to build a profile on each guest. As such, you can send tailored information to guests, such as restaurant tips, nearby attractions and upcoming events, based on their preferences, as well as personalised deals, like bespoke room upgrades and free spa treatments for their next stay As the CRM is automated, providing a personalised experience to each guest no longer requires intensive staff time either. Given 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if the brand offers personalised experiences, it’s also a great way to upsell smartly as you know what guests like.
The bottom line: a CRM shows guests that you value their individuality and want to make their stay as comfortable for them as possible.
Better guest experience x better management experience
The benefits of a PMS to manage your properties are limitless. Give your guests more control over their stay, customise their experience and inject ‘wow’ moments throughout the customer journey - and watch your customers come back again and again as they stay loyal to your brand as advocates.
At the same time, automated PMS features make it easier to manage multiple units and free up your staff time to focus more on guest experience and less on non-valuable tasks.
The bottom line: better guest experience is also better management experience.
Download the Ultimate Guide to Coliving Management Software 2023 to learn how property management software supports coliving operators.
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