Platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com have made it easier for homeowners to enter the hospitality industry. However, to start and operate a bed and breakfast is slightly more challenging.
For starters, you’ll need more than an extra room. Bed and breakfast establishments generally have a few rooms. This means more administrative tasks. While it’s still smaller than independent hotels, it can make sense to invest in the same type of software that small hotels use. Here are six of the most popular bed and breakfast software solutions that you can check out, along with must-have features to add to your criteria.
There are two main reasons why you’ll need some type of reservation management software for your business — to save time and improve the guest experience. Managing this type of hospitality business is demanding. Aside from the guest demands, you’ll also have your hands full with administrative tasks like confirming future reservations, room service, updating property listings on distribution channels, monitoring cash flow, etc.
Guests’ needs have evolved. Not only do they anticipate a variety of services and extras, but they also expect that it will be delivered fast. Take billing as an example. They expect to see the payment status updated in real-time. If online stores can do it, why can’t accommodation providers? To ensure guest satisfaction, you’ll need to embrace technology and update existing systems so that you can match the level of service and speed that other businesses offer them.
Basically, you’re searching for software that streamlines all the essential tasks involved in reservation management.
There should be a unified calendar displaying all your reservations. It should also be easy to manage reservations and edit bookings.
If you use multiple channels, integrations are also important. It should offer two-way integration with the distribution channels that you use to reduce the risk of receiving double bookings.
While not essential, the ability to create guest profiles is useful, especially if you have many returning guests. This just makes it easier to personalize their experience. For example, if you offer add-on services to your guests, you can use these profiles to make notes, helping you to maximize revenue.
Cloudbeds is used by a wide range of property types including hostels, hotels, and bed and breakfasts. Users have described it as straightforward to set up and easy to use. They’ve also been praised for their support.
It can automate various manual tasks like ensuring all your different booking channels stay synchronized. In fact, with its built-in channel manager, you can connect to over 300 booking sites. It also has an online booking engine that you can use to leverage direct bookings.
In addition to its powerful booking software features, it also includes key features and services like:
As for pricing, they offer tiered plans and a number of add-ons. You also don’t have to pay any commission on bookings made via their booking engine or channel manager. For more info about their pricing, you’ll need to contact them for a quote.
ResNexus is an all-in-one property management system that’s aimed at independent properties as well as hoteliers. It also offers features aimed at guests, like contactless check-in and travel protection, to enhance guest experience.
Aside from its channel manager and booking engine, it also offers various solutions to help with guest communications like text messaging and automated email marketing. You can, for example, use cart abandonment features to remind guests to complete their booking.
Some of its other noteworthy features and services include:
Pricing is available upon request.
Not to be confused by its name, Little Hotelier is also aimed at small accommodation providers like bed and breakfast establishments and guest houses. It offers several features aimed at the guest experience as well as daily tasks.
From managing reservations to processing payments to concluding checkouts, it can come in handy across all stages of the guest journey. You can, for example, use it to send out personalized checkout messages to encourage guests, useful for gathering more reviews.
Convenience is at the core of its design. There’s a mobile app making it easier to work remotely and a virtual front desk, a centralized command center from where you can get an overview and manage online bookings.
Unlike several of the other management software, Little Hotelier is also upfront about its pricing. There’s no need first to schedule a demo. Pricing is published on their website. Pricing starts at about $24 per month. That said, with a tool like Cloudbeds that doesn’t change commission per booking, you’ll also be charged 1% of the booking value. For owners who prefer a fixed monthly cost, there’s the Pro plan. It’s more expensive (about $100 per month), but you’ll also get more advanced functionality and the ability to add extra features like payment processing and a website builder, for a fee.
Other key features include:
Hoteliga is one of the top property management software solutions in the bed and breakfast category on Software Advice when using the average rating as criterion. It describes itself as a comprehensive cloud software platform for managing all types of properties — from hotels to hostels to villas to vacation rentals.
It offers customizable, interactive calendar and team management features like real-time tracking of housekeeping and permission-based access roles. This way, you can set it up so that your receptionist has access to only the features and reports needed for front desk operations.
Speaking of reports, this is one area in which Hoteliga shines. There are over 100 reports that you can view and export about key business operations like reservations, daily check-ins and checkouts, and payments.
As for its pricing, small properties, like bed and breakfasts, are looking at $36 per month. While this plan lets you add up to 10 rooms (which will most likely be enough), you can only add one user. For the ability to add two users and access phone support, it suddenly becomes expensive and you’re looking at about double the price. Also, if you want to use its channel manager and booking engine, additional charges will apply.
While iGMS might be synonymous with vacation rentals, it’s also one of the most reviewed bed and breakfast solutions on a platform like Software Advice. Here, it has over 260 reviews, boasting a score of 4.6 out of 5. It might have received a few dozen reviews less than software like Cloudbeds, but users have rated iGMS functionality higher. As it can be used by owners operating a single vacation rental too, it makes it a great option if you know that your plan is to scale.
As bed and breakfasts typically require a small team to complete the daily tasks, you’ll want a management software solution that offers solid team management features. iGMS is used by dozens of companies that range from two employees all the way to 50 employees.
Features like the ability to automate the cleaning assignment process, create checklists for cleaning tasks, and track guest communication productivity can streamline operations.
No bed and breakfast software is complete without a robust channel manager. iGMS integrates seamlessly with the major OTAs, helping you eliminate double bookings. It also offers a direct booking management toolset that you can use to collect a security damage deposit, manage invoices, and process online payments.
Other key features are:
Similarly to Little Hotelier, it also offers transparent pricing. It starts at $30 per property per month. However, if you sign up for annual billing, you can save up to a third and a free 14-day trial.
For B&Bs with bigger budgets, there’s Easy Innkeeping. It’s an all-in-one hotel reservation and property management software for accommodation providers of all shapes and sizes.
Its bed and breakfast management system offers several comprehensive solutions that include a reservation calendar and dashboard, a commission-free online booking engine, and communication tools.
It’s more than just a bed and breakfast reservation software. For example, there’s an auto email feature that sends reservation confirmations automatically.
Another useful feature is the housekeeping module. It can create printable worksheets that give cleaners an overview of what needs to be completed. Then, when a room is ready, the cleaning team can notify the front desk. It’s these types of touches that can streamline day-to-day operations.
As mentioned, it’s one of the more expensive tools to manage bookings. Pricing is available upon request, but to give you an idea setting up integrations will cost you a few hundred dollars alone.
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