Expert Guide to Step-by-Step Hotel Software Development

COVID-19, with the need for social distancing, has dramatically shaped every industry, especially the hospitality market. For almost one year, this industry stood stunned. Still, hotel software developers and field experts predict that it will grow to $4132.5 billion in 2021, which means that new players are joining the market despite all challenges.

Expert Guide to Step by Step Hotel Software Development

One reason why the hospitality industry survives lockdowns is breakthrough technologies that allow for quality hotel software development. Recent innovations help hotels resist ups and downs, build innovative solutions, and achieve exceptional results despite social distancing.

Statistics show that key perks of implementing new management technology solutions (like hotel management software development) in the hospitality industry include a 135% growth in revenue, a 71% reduction in customer complaints, and a 19% increase in client service ratings.

Being part of the hotel’s management or its owner, you might think about bringing your business back to life, and hotel software development is the best thing you can do. This post by OpenGeeksLab will help you learn more about how hotel software development can reinvent your business.

Years of our history and experience allow us to deliver striking outcomes for those involved in the hospitality industry. Our team feels especially proud of a service called GOeureka. This is an innovative blockchain-based hotel management software development solution to reshape the travel industry.

We hope that this piece will answer all questions you may have. Keep reading.

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What Does Hotel Software Development Stand for?

How do hotel software developers define software development for hotel management?

Hotel management system (HMS) tools are hotel software development solutions that allow managers to streamline their administrative tasks, increasing their bookings at once in the short- and long term. This kind of hotel software development is not only for daily operations but also for the general customer experience.

Usually, management looks for robust hotel software development solutions with several goals in mind. Such software automates administrative work like reservations management, room services, front-desk operations, GDS/OTA, and many more.

Hotel management applications for travelers also allow optimizing costs, offering premium-quality service for clients, and generating novel revenue streams. Hotel management system development suggests the functions you need to manage your business in a global economic climate effectively.

What’s the Point in Hotel Software Development?

Discover good reasons why you should develop and design a hotel management system.

The hospitality management industry today cannot deny the vital role of hotel software development. As we can see from reports, roughly 92% of visitors carry mobile phones, while around 40% already have hotel applications for various services. Let’s unlock the benefits of hospitality apps for hotel management system development. First, here is why hotel software development makes sense:

  • The growing complexity of the hospitality app development industry tech.
  • Harsh hotel software development industry competition.
  • Growth in construction expenses, as well as the necessity for the strict economy of resources.
  • Sales revolution caused by the fact that the hospitality app development industry is quickly digitizing.

Hotel software development features for hospitality businesses deliver plenty of perks. Look at how your business may benefit from hotel software development.

Streamlining Operations

When you design a hotel management system, remember that various daily processes require switching between different applications, which is not convenient and prone to human error. A property management system (PMS) aggregates the functions of multiple applications, removes mistakes, automates tasks, and allows for seamless workflows. It integrates with third-party services to match different requirements, and that is why PMS development matters.

Improving Maintenance

For your software development for hotel management, you should consider the property management system. PMS apps send notifications about room services for the employees to arrive on time. Management of smaller hotels is better prepared for handling support and maintenance, as well as cleaning. Asset management is carried out similarly – PMS sends notifications to managers reminding them about the necessity to buy the inventories.

Managing Revenue Streams

Contemporary management applications are integrated with payment gateways and processing systems. Hotel software development assists with managing the property finances, benefiting from the analytic insights and controlling the costs and profits.

Improving Data Collection

You should know the tastes of your visitors excellently to meet their expectations. Hotel software development assists with finding out more about your visitors’ purpose of stay, room services, choice of rooms, preferred meals, payment options, and expenses. Learning this type of info is crucial for developing tailor-made customer offers and conducting inner marketing research. Specified apps allow dragging different statistical reports in multiple formats, using them in your routine activities.

For instance, your Golden Card guests left lots of money during their last visit to your hotel’s bar. So the next time, you may greet some of your VIP guests with their favorite cocktails. A small hotel software allows booking places for these visitors ahead upon their next arrival. After analyzing reports about customer behavior, it’s way simpler for management to understand what has to be improved and how to build trustful relations with guests.

Delivering Personalized Services

Increasing brand loyalty is an essential key to management success, and that’s what hotel software development is for. Such activities as serving visitors with their chosen tea or coffee or sending gift cards significantly engage client loyalty.

That’s not all: submitting welcome and special offer emails, adding detailed maps with necessary geo-locations, developing loyalty programs, and many other features for customer engagement are available. It’s also possible for management to check how customer behavior of a specific visitor or a client category modifies based on a season or other circumstances and create tailored offers.

Safeguarding Customer Data

Keeping your business docs in Excel or on paper is rather threatening, and these options are prone to hacking. Storing the data about visitors in the electronic system integrated with a CRM is a way better decision. Your staff then will have complete control of the sensitive info with the minimized threat of data hacking or loss. Having a native hotel software development app provides fast, regular updates on rooms’ availability with images.

As most of the hotel software development solutions are cloud-based, safeguarding client data is not difficult. All personalized visitor data involving bank card data is encrypted and saved in a safe cloud environment.

Simplifying Digital Marketing

One of the digital marketing instruments is marketing channel management, which you should consider for your software development for hotel management. Client insights received via data analytics allow performing marketing tasks with no problems, and there is no need to switch between applications.

Improving Staff Communication

Hotel software development solutions allow communicating quicker, scheduling, and delegating core business activities. Thanks to hotel software development, it’s unnecessary for employees to remain in a single place, and notifications will help avoid getting lost in their tasks.

Opening New Growth Opportunities

Focusing on core business activities is vital for management. Hotel software development stands for extra time and resources that allow concentrating on strategic planning, fostering client relationships, and searching for various revenue streams.

Enhancing Customer Experience

One of the ways to do so while working on your hotel software development project is providing flawless room service and creating a less formal atmosphere. Automated check-ins and check-outs significantly speed up the process and minimize the possible time in a waiting line, and it saves plenty of customers’ time, making them less nervous.

Other privileges that allow for enhanced client experience include booking hotel restaurant places, ordering additional services, and more. Such opportunities are especially critical for Gen Z reps. Human communication between clients and staff decreases with such benefits, which leads to a less formal atmosphere.

The enhanced automation of processes will surely decrease the potential personnel mistakes, helping to avoid various conflicts.

That is how you can benefit from hotel management system development. However, what kind of features should your hotel software development have?

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Basic Modules and Key Features That a Hotel Management System Development Should Have

Observe the primary modules and basic features that a custom hotel property management system must include.

The next stage of hotel software development is to describe the main modules and primary features of HMS. Decide which of them will best fit your business and target audience.

Reservation

The reservation feature is how clients start their first communication with a hotel. That is what staff initially see during the first interaction. They can view such details as check-in and check-out dates, room preferences, number of guests, and more. All these functionalities matter for software development for hotel management.

In its turn, this module involves some other features, like a booking engine or a channel manager. The first one refers to processing booking info, while the second feature syncs reservations from numerous online platforms (for example, TripAdvisor or Booking). Your customers should know what to expect from your hotel.

Thus, providing clients with accurate info and developing quality property listings is a must for hotel software developers. Images, descriptions, and rates are the other three critical elements that this module must have.

Front-Desk Operations

These processes are the starting point of contact for clients in the hospitality business. If you’re about to create a hotel management system, just imagine: an overwhelmed, sleepy traveler enters a hotel to find their bookings mixed up by the front-desk reps, which leads to a significant delay in getting the keys.

Avoiding such scenarios and further negative outcomes is possible thanks to the specialized management tools. Imagine how simple it is to manage all front-desk duties from one platform if your hotel software developers add this module.

Housekeeping

Housekeeping features are a vital module to include in your software development for hotel management. This one serves as a bridge between the front office and housekeeping personnel. While front-office staff creates tasks, housekeepers can update room status, and doing it via mobile device is often possible.

Also, housekeeping stands for keeping records of any disruptions and repairs with the further assignment of a specialist who can handle an issue.

Channel Management

Hotel software development should allow implementing your distribution strategy with ease. Developing partnerships with various types of agents in this market is vital to surviving in a competitive environment.

Channel managers are tech that makes it possible to expand the reach, boost online visibility, as well as manage fees, availability, and bookings way simpler.

Hotels can list all rooms and their availability on different channels like Expedia, GDS, or AirBnB, and a diverse distribution strategy assists with continually driving bookings.

Revenue Management

This feature of hotel software development is about analytical data usage automation. It assists with choosing the optimal price for rooms and maximizing net revenue. Revenue management allows mixing historical and marketing data with forward-looking demand signals and deciding on a rate for every room category.

This feature is necessary for accurate forecasting, improved RevPAR and GOPPAR, operational efficiency, and accurately predicted demand.

CRM and Customer Data Management

A custom hotel software development should save all visitors’ data, including personal contacts, room orders/details, preferred payment options, and more. This module integrates with the front desk and reservation system, and the main goal is to store information in a secure way.

Another purpose of this module is to submit different notifications along with electronic bills and invoices to clients. Finally, CRM helps with marketing and promotions, pre-and post-stay services, as well as user experience assessment.

Reports and Analytics

Both small hotel management and management of large chains should add this module to achieve business success. Analytical functions are required for tracking overall financial and marketing performance, and your hotel software development will benefit from both a report aggregator and revenue manager.

The first tool arranges various sets of hotel info, like weekly or monthly profits and room categories.

A revenue manager tracks income and spendings. It also estimates fees based on rivals’ offers, controls the quality of the sales and distribution channels, and evaluates customer behavior and the company’s marketing position.

Back-Office Management

When you build a hospitality app, keep in mind that facilitating inside admin operations is crucial. Potential functions are catering, SPA and gym management, inventory assessment, payment options, event management, reviews management, promo campaigns, human resource management, and spendings reports.

Point-Of-Sale Services

Numerous POS terminals lead to a demand for corresponding services to handle transactions. This module should automate money transfers and store financial data in a single place. Besides, it assists with dealing with extra costs, such as in-room services, Spa, gyms, animation, restaurants, bars, and more.

These are the modules and features that a good hotel software development solution should have. Adding all of them is a challenge, but every function boosts your revenues when appropriately implemented.

Hotel Software Development Market Trends That You Should Remember

Check out hotel property management software market trends for the years to come.

In the hospitality industry, more than 173 million people are employed. They all should keep up-to-date with market trends if they don’t want to lose customers. Read more about the “hottest” hospitality app development industry trends in 2021.

Trend 1: Dominate with a Mobile App

Having a good site is half the battle when it comes to hotel software development. A mobile app is also required so that the world can do more than just see you; it makes the globe connect with you within seconds. Such software assists with expanding your reach and targeting the audience more accurately. Mobile applications are definitely the trend in the hospitality industry.

Trend 2: Application Program Interfaces

API-first approach is another “hot” topic; it ensures integration between different hotel tech systems. Without employees’ participation, HMS communicate with each other and exchange functionalities and data, and that’s why it matters for hotel software developers.

Trend 3: Involving Augmented Reality Tech

AR allows feeling like in a land-based hotel instead of an online platform. By putting on a VR headset, customers can explore your hotel, deciding whether this option fits them. Some even add tactical sensations so their clients can touch things just like they would do in a real hotel. This option is great when recommending specific types of activities like swimming in a pool or doing aerobics.

Trend 4: Applying Blockchain Technology

It’s a common way to get payments for goods and services; this tech’s primary benefit is security and stability. Using blockchain, developers can streamline processes and make them more transparent, increasing credibility.

Trend 5: Direct Booking Options

While being involved in hotel software development, integrate booking alternatives to make sure that you don’t miss a customer when some issues with the planning team or redirections occur. Your clients should have the alternative for direct bookings. During your digital transformation trip, find a hotel software development team with the necessary expertise. Some companies create hotel booking app development separately.

Trend 6: Voice Assistants

Voice recognition and voice assistants are actively being used today. Alexa of Hospitality might be one example from this category. Marriott already deals with this voice assistant system; its management has installed Echo smart speakers in every room for guests’ convenience.

This tech allows obtaining info about the place, ordering various services, contacting reception and other staff, and learning more about different types of recreation offered on the hotel’s territory. In addition, guests can control smart tech like lighting, television, bar, and air temperature in their rooms.

Trend 7: Personalized Experience

Personalization is your approach to winning loyalty through hotel app development. Personalized experiences require data collection and in-depth analytics. After research, share the destinations or special events with your customers.

Trend 8: AI-Powered Solutions

Artificial intelligence hotel management software development solutions, such as robotic butlers used in Japan and “smart” numbers, are definitely a trend in hospitality. Various AI tools may recognize plenty of languages and serve clients from different parts of the world. It’s even possible to install special gadgets for tracking guests’ mobile devices to learn their habits and preferences.

As Hotel Technology News reports, using AI for hospitality is no longer a matter of obtaining a competitive advantage but rather a must for those who wish to stay in this business. Still, 49% of businesses that took part in a survey by CoStar replied that their industry ranks in the middle at a grade of “C” for AI implementation.

Trend 9: Usage of Drones for Delivery

Drones are becoming more and more popular in daily life because of the growing demand for on-demand and delivery services. Primarily, they are used by video production and geo-location services, but the hospitality industry is not falling behind.

When social distancing is a new norm, hotels and restaurants use them for different kinds of delivery services. Such drones may also serve as robotic receptionists that will follow guests and obey their commands.

It all sounds great, but some risks and challenges exist. Management should not ignore them – check out what you should be ready to face.

What Are the Potential Challenges of Hotel Software Development?

You will need to be aware of some challenges of hotel management software development.

The last couple of years claimed to be the hardest-hit challenge for the hospitality market since social distancing makes people stay at home. This industry tends to be under-recovery. However, new technologies may revive the travel and hospitality sector in case business owners manage to overcome certain challenges.

Integration and Communication Issues

Based on the opinion of Robert Holland, managing director of UK & Ireland at HotelPartner Yield Management, integration is the primary tech challenge when it comes to hospitality. Hotels are a spider web of hotel software development.

Integrating hotel management software development apps and solutions, including legacy systems, is difficult because of certain communication obstacles. It has to be done in real-time in a perfect scenario. The cost for achieving an ideal integration is rather high; many hoteliers complain about that.

Staff Recruitment and Training

Another challenge is staff recruitment and training. With the appearance of a native hotel management system development, the need for new staff and education of your already hired employees arises.

Dynamically Changing Marketing Environment

Marketing trends are changing dynamically, and that’s another challenge. Online marketing is a surefire approach, though it might take years for hotel managers to establish their strength.

Operational Challenges

Many different operational challenges also may scare off some managers. From carrying out front-desk operations to maintaining cleanliness in rooms, all of these tasks are equally important; each requires a new small hotel software module or feature and extra time and costs.

Customer Behaviors

Customer behaviors change dynamically with the appearance of new technologies. Software for hotels should include entertainment systems, free WiFi everywhere, contactless services, swift check-in/check-out services, and a unique stay experience. Resource or capital bandwidth might make these demands a challenge for management.

Finally, many difficulties are associated with data security; you shouldn’t exclude data leaks and virus attacks unless you set up time-tested protection measures. Anyway, the features described above can help your hotel overcome all troubles mentioned in this section.

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Hotel Software Development Explained

Grab our expert guide to developing software for hotels step-by-step and follow our recommendations.

The cost of a hotel application depends on what it consists of; predicting an approximate cost of an app is still possible in terms of time. Hotel software development should include such basic features as listing, online booking, reservation system, bills/invoices, CRM, and reports. These features might take up to five months on average to accomplish your project.

Now, if you’re ready to start working on your hotel software development project, have a look at the recommended steps below. From analyzing the industry to supporting and maintaining your HMS, each stage of hotel software development is equally vital for your business success.

1. Analyze the Market and Industry Trends

Only after that, you can choose a partner. Some necessary factors to keep in mind when picking a partner involve: hourly rate, employee count, the experience of hotel software development firm, and location. Except for having relevant experience in your field, a dedicated hotel software development team should grasp the business goals of your project hassle-free.

Also, based on the market research and analysis, decide on the functions to include in your system. One approach is starting from a simple optimization in a specific field, like people management or booking. Another approach is obtaining a complete set with all available integrations so that every process would be digitized.

2. Decide on a Tech Stack and Module Architecture

Check the integration of the needful APIs into the expected hotel management systems. Providing integration services to all the systems that hotel staff apply is essential unless you’re ready to pay more for extra tech support.

Next, make sure that you possess permanent access to round-the-clock tech support. Even a tiny error in a property listing can cost your business plenty of customers in this highly competitive environment. While dealing with dedicated hotel software development teams, specify all the nuances related to tech support in the contract agreement. Maintenance and support are their responsibility after all.

Finally, employing cloud solutions is a good idea. Cloud solutions for hotel software development exclude any need for maintenance fees. Besides, this option guarantees improved system integration and is automatically updated all the time.

3. Mind UI/UX Design

The interface is what you should take care of while being involved in hotel software development. The main goal of a hotel software development team is to build custom hotel management software with an interface that would be simple to use for every hotel employee. Checking the top contemporary trends of modern hotel management system design is a must.

Top UI/UX designers can help you design a hotel management system by developing user-friendly application screens. For some people, hotel management system design matters more than features; simple and intuitive hotel management system design is what you need.

4. Data Safety

Here is what we would recommend keeping your hotel software development solution secured. Use multifactor authentication, which means adding one more layer of authentication upon accessing your account—credit, and debit card information encryption.

Provide users with secure transactions by complying with the PCI-DSS. Security and safety training for your teams is critical as well. Finally, don’t forget that testing the strength of your system’s defenses is vital.

5. Testing

Software examination is an integral part of any development process, and skipping it is the biggest problem of many companies. Making sure that your final product works well and meets your business goals is possible through a comprehensive evaluation.

The basic purpose is to detect all the mistakes before implementing and launching your application. If you ignore this step, you risk facing high costs to fix the bugs after your software’s launch. At the same time, assessing your software and fixing errors at this stage allows obtaining customers’ trust. Products that perform accurately won’t force you to pay any extra support costs.

An offshore hotel software development team will assist with selecting the appropriate testing method for your goals. A list of the testing processes involves feature testing, platform testing, performance testing, safety testing, and UX/UI testing.

6. Hotel Software Development

It’s time for your plans, stacks, and functions to become a working hotel management software development solution. Come up with milestones and analyze the speed of your hotel software development team’s work.

7. Launch

Once all stages of hotel app development are accomplished and double-checked, it’s time to deploy. Launching your project makes sense only if it is a fully-functioning service instead of MVP.

8. Post-Launch Support and Maintenance

Is the process of your hotel app development over? Is your product launched? It’s not the time to relax: your hotel management software development team should start working on feedback and bug fixing. You may believe that your system is 100% reliable, but technical issues may still arise.

Provide your staff with support so that they get familiar with a brand new tool quickly. We recommend selecting a trusted tech partner who can guarantee round-the-clock support to assist with solving any possible problems with your system.

Once you’re done, spread the word through effective marketing. Make sure that users provide feedback and rate your software so that you know how they perceive it. Watch how your hotel software development team releases updates and fixes bugs.

Conquer the Industry with Our Professionals by Your Side

As the hospitality industry is heavily dependent on digital solutions, soon savvy business representatives will turn to hotel software development. Indeed, hotel management systems allow for multiple advantages: personalization, flawless communication with clients, and daily tasks automation. You can obtain these benefits only by overcoming specific challenges, knowing market trends, and implementing necessary features and models.

Mind that OpenGeeksLab has vast experience in hotel software development. We have an all-time expanding pool of qualified engineers to work on your project of any complexity, so don’t hesitate to contact us at any time – just fill out the corresponding form on our website.

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