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Guest Portal Guide: Elevating the Guest Experience in Serviced Apartments

When it comes to delivering excellent guest experience in serviced apartments, a property management system (PMS) is the undisputed champion of PropTech software. In fact, 74% of operators rely on their PMS to run their operations efficiently and deliver for guests throughout the customer journey. But one PMS feature that takes resident experience to the next level is less heralded: the guest portal

Hosted either through a web-based browser or via a downloadable app, a guest portal not only makes residents feel valued, it streamlines their experience at three crucial touchpoints: communication, maintenance and payments. 

Here’s how the res:harmonics guest portal elevates your guest experience in serviced apartments. 


Property managers spend 11 hours per month communicating with guests. Meanwhile, guest portal communication simplifies information sharing, making it more efficient. 

On the portal’s landing page, embed simple directions to your property and contact details for onsite staff. Store user guides (i.e how to use the oven) and post useful blogs providing information about the local area, such as the nearest coworking cafes and best restaurants. Inform guests with upcoming events (sharing Eventbrite sign-up links for fast registrations) and important upcoming maintenance updates (i.e. please don't take the lift between 09.00-10.00) during their stay. 

But it’s not all one-way traffic. Like a direct messaging (DM) channel, guests can contact your property managers directly using the portal, which has a two-way comms platform that logs interactions with guests for useful insights. Guests can even receive message notifications on their phone while using the app. 


Complicated maintenance issues hinders the guest experience. But seamlessly resolving maintenance issues through a guest portal is actually a resident experience booster. 

Instead of taking calls from guests (or making guests come to the front desk to fill in cumbersome forms), the guest portal enables guests to log their maintenance tickets digitally. With simple instructions, guests create new maintenance requests from the list of issue types and upload any relevant photos, while the PMS automatically inputs their unit, building and name directly from their booking info. The maintenance request is then actioned - alerting guest and operations team - with the ability to add text notes to the request during its resolution. 

As a property manager, you can use the guest portal to see what’s been uploaded, monitor the conversation between your guest and maintenance staff, and check the status of the issue. Find the issue quickly on your property management system by searching the issues tab or the booking. 


Making simple and secure payments via the guest portal not only ensures you’re paid on time, but it gives your guests peace of mind during their stay.

Like the home screen of your banking app, the guest portal acts as a payment hub for invoices and in-stay extras. For example, if you have a long-stay guest who pays on a monthly basis, add the invoice directly to the guest portal to make it payable online. The guest can either view the invoice (and download a PDF version) or pay directly via a button linked to the Stripe payment system. Once paid online, the payment automatically updates the PMS and your finance dashboard

Guests can put their card number into the portal to set up a direct debit and make ad-hoc payments for in-stay extras, such as purchasing toiletries, paying for the car park or putting down a deposit for a bike rental. Today’s digital-savvy guest expects to use technology at all touchpoints to make their stay even better.

3 key considerations when choosing a guest portal 

Not all guest portals are the same. When looking for the right guest portal for your business, consider these three criteria:

  • Essential or specialist - Some specialist guest portals have interactive features and room service modules. Unless you need those particular features, they can be expensive and unnecessary. For most serviced apartment operators, a basic guest portal that covers the essentials will more than suffice. 
  • Integrated or additional - Not all PMS have an in-built guest portal, with some property management systems offering it as an add-on for a fee. If choosing an add-on, ensure it syncs with all other parts of your PMS. On the other hand, directly integrated guest portals ensure automatic updates across your property management platform. 
  • Web-based portal or downloadable app - Although the features are similar (i.e. both are branded with your logo, colour and font, and provide the same powerful communication, maintenance and payment options), app users can receive push notifications (i.e. for maintenance messages and events). As an app requires guests to download it, it’s therefore better suited for long-stay residents who will use it often. If your average guest stays for less than two weeks, a web-based guest portal is a far simpler solution. 

Simple and effective

At res:harmonics, we offer both a guest portal and guest app that are directly integrated with our PMS. They are both simple to use, but have a major impact on guest experience. 

Still unsure which guest portal would best suit your serviced apartment operations? Download the Ultimate Guide to Serviced Apartment Management Software 2024 to learn how property management software supports serviced apartment operators.

Request a demo to find out more. 

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