Hotel Management Software: Everything the Hospitality Industry Needs to Know

hotel management software

Members of the hospitality industry work hard every single day to provide a memorable experience for their guests. And while these all-star teams might make it look easy to their customers, the experience—and the revenue that follows—is the hard-earned result of behind-the-scenes work from the entire hospitality team.

For instance, asset owners are consistently working to drive revenue and streamline systems for their properties. Property operators are constantly managing teams, events, bookings, and more. Area vice presidents are traveling around to ensure each property is performing well and implementing the correct operating procedures. General managers want to ensure a great guest experience and positive team collaboration. Catering sales managers and associates are ensuring event bookings and revenue are executed well. Finance teams are reconciling previous payments and invoices, while sales teams are focused on securing future bookings. And that’s just the beginning.

Obviously, there’s no shortage of tasks that hospitality teams need to complete on a daily basis to ensure everything runs smoothly for guests and results in positive business growth, at both a property and portfolio level. But historically, these tasks have been completed using antiquated processes and systems, which slows teams—and business growth—down. That’s where hotel management software comes into play.

Hotel management software (also called hotel management tools, hotel software companies, hotel management systems software, and other similar names) improves processes and business outcomes for hospitality properties and their teams. There are tons of different types of hotel management software to choose from, and many properties utilize several systems to grow their businesses. All in all, this software is a key tool for the hospitality industry.

That said, the topic can feel a little overwhelming. There are so many different choices of hotel software to pick from, each with its own unique offerings. That’s why our team of hospitality experts created this guide to help you understand the ins and outs of this software. We’ll cover what it is exactly, the benefits of adopting it, the various hotel software options available (from hotel marketing software to hotel payment systems and more) and what they do, who should use these hotel software systems, and how to pick the best hotel management software for you, your team, and your properties.

Ready to get started? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.

What is hotel management software?

First things first: What is hotel management software, exactly? There’s no one universal or best hotel management software definition, as each platform comes with its own unique offerings and capabilities. That said, you can generally think of it as technology that allows your team to streamline and manage operations, bookings, payments, and more at your hotel or hotel group.

There are many different types of hotel management software. While some hotel software programs focus on modernizing and optimizing tasks like reservation management and guest check-ins and check-outs, others prioritize financial operations, sales, and marketing. Ultimately, the best hotel management software for your property (or properties) will come down to the biggest challenges you’re hoping to overcome or the largest opportunities for growth. (We’ll cover more information on how to choose the best platforms for your business later in this guide.)

Hotel management software has advanced quite a bit in recent years, which is especially beneficial as the industry continues to grow. According to a report from global market research firm Technavio, the hotel and hospitality management software market is expected to grow $1176.2 million from 2023 to 2027. Meanwhile, hotel segment revenue in general is forecasted to reach $408.8 billion in 2023, according to data from Statista.

Ultimately, hotel management software can streamline operations and stimulate increased growth for your property. If you want to get a better sense of what a certain hotel software system covers, you can sign up for a hotel management software demo. Sales representatives from hotel software companies can cover how their specific platform can optimize your property’s operations in order to increase hotel revenue, plus potentially streamline things like hotel invoicing and hotel marketing.

What does hotel management software do?

Hotel management software makes it possible for hospitality groups and properties to enhance their operations and standardize team processes, making it possible for hotels to drive conversions, efficiency, and hotel payment increases. And as mentioned previously, the best option for your hotel will be the platform that accomplishes your property or portfolio’s specific needs and goals.

That said, there are various approaches when it comes to software for the hotel industry. Each hotel industry software option is unique, and comes with various capabilities. For instance, revenue management software for hotels will likely have different features than a standard property management system.

Keep reading for a list of the main types of hotel management software and what each typically does.

What are the different types of hotel management software, and what do they do?

There are several different types of software for the hotel industry, from hotel marketing software to hotel operations software. Each type of platform comes with its own unique focus and features. While some platforms are for reserving and selling individual guest rooms (which are sometimes called hotel property management software or hotel manager software), others are more focused on the financial side of things, from revenue optimization to invoices and payments (which may be referred to with names like hotel revenue management software or billing software for hotels).

Because there are so many different types of hotel software, there are no hard requirements for what a platform must include in order to fit within the category. That said, it can help to know the different types of hotel software when you’re trying to learn more about the industry, or when you’re hoping to determine which platform might be the best hotel management software for your properties.

Here are a few of the main sectors of hotel management software to keep in mind:

Hotel Software for Bookings & Reservations

When you think of hotel management software, you probably think of platforms designed for creating and managing guest reservations. This type of hotel system software is often used to streamline bookings for both guests and hotels, making it easy for clients to book a room, restaurant reservation, guest service, or another activity at the property, such as a spa appointment or recreational event.

This type of hotel software streamlines the reservation process, making it easy for on-property teams to get a high-level overview of bookings across the property. For instance, your front desk team can easily see how many rooms are available at any given time, or even help guests book a table at the on-site restaurant. That not only optimizes the process for internal teams, but makes the booking process more efficient for your customers too.

These types of hotel systems software are often referred to as “hotel property management software” or “property management software for hotels.” In addition to streamlining your property’s reservation processes, they often connect with your hotel’s website or any external booking engines that your property relies on, keeping everything synchronous and connected.

Hotel Operations Software & Hotel Manager Software

If you’re searching for hotel software that streamlines things like staff scheduling and housekeeping operations, the best hotel management software for your property should include features that streamline your operations or day-to-day tasks.

This type of platform (which can also be referred to as “hotel property management software” or “property management software for hotels”) often optimizes on-property employee schedules, housekeeping tasks, maintenance requests, inventory tracking, and more. While each platform varies, this type of hotel manager software or hotel property management software may also handle guest reservations and other bookings too. Ultimately, these platforms specialize in helping your team and your property operations run smoothly.

Hotel Billing Software & Hotel Payment Software

Another popular type of hotel management systems software is hotel billing software and hotel payment software. These platforms typically focus on the financial aspects of your property, and include features that help you centralize and efficiently manage your hotel’s payments, billing, invoices, and more.

Billing software for hotels might provide more efficient invoice and hotel payment processing tools to modernize your hotel proposals for guests, while hotel payment software might help you keep track of things like RevPAR (revenue per available room) and ADR (average daily rate). Some hotel payment software may also work as a POS (point of sale) system, such as at your front desk or at hotel restaurants.

These hotel system software options may also include accounting features, exportable financial dashboards, helpful data and insights, and more. (As always, you can sign up for a hotel management software demo to see which is the best hotel software for your property.)

Hotel Revenue Optimization Software

Is it a priority for your property to increase hotel conversions and increase hotel revenue? Consider hotel revenue optimization software, which is built to provide a positive return on investment for your property or portfolio of properties. Each type of hotel revenue optimization software typically works a bit differently, but the ultimate goal of revenue management software for hotels is to increase revenue through enhanced features and property benefits.

Hotel Marketing Software

If you’re hoping to get more qualified leads for your hotel, consider implementing hotel marketing software, or at least a type of hotel software that includes marketing support. Hotel marketing software helps increase your property’s brand awareness and prospective client base, leading to more potential customers and increased bookings for your hotel. Hotel marketing software may include social media features, editorial content spotlights, email shoutouts, paid referrals and advertisements, and more.

Hotel SEO Software

Another great way to increase your property’s prospective customer list—and drive increased referral traffic to your hotel’s website—is by implementing hotel SEO software.

In case you’re not familiar with the concept, SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” which is the process of optimizing your website for search engines like Google. If your hotel appears as one of the top search result pages when prospective guests look up terms related to your property (for instance, “Cincinnati hotels,” “Brooklyn meeting venues,” or “Boston room blocks”), you can help increase your site traffic and grow your business further.

However, this process is much easier said than done, but that’s where hotel SEO software comes into play. This type of hotel software is the best hotel management software for any properties hoping to increase their website traffic and drive additional leads.

Of course, there are many more types of hotel management software outside of what our guide lists above, and the best hotel software for your property might describe itself as a different name than one of the choices listed above. That said, it can help to know the general variety of hotel software companies and hotel industry software as you learn more about the topic and determine which is the best hotel management software for your property.

It’s also important to keep in mind that some platforms for hotel management combine several of the above-mentioned purposes. For instance, one hotel system software pick might be considered both hotel billing software and hotel manager software. Another platform could be considered as revenue management software for hotels and payment software for hotels. Or, some platforms for hotel management may focus on optimizing one main area of your business (like marketing or SEO), but it may easily integrate with some of the other best hotel software options out there. Ultimately, you should consider which hotel management software features are a priority for your property or portfolio, then make sure any prospective platform includes them, whether that be in a hotel management software demo or otherwise.

What is the difference between cloud-based hotel management software and desktop-based hotel management software?

Another important factor to keep in mind when researching the best hotel management software is if the software is cloud-based or desktop-based. But what’s the difference?

Cloud-based hotel software describes applications that can be used via the internet from nearly any device, while desktop-based hotel management software describes applications that must be installed on a desktop or laptop computer and accessed from that device.

As you might be able to infer, cloud-based hotel management software (also known as online hotel software or web-based hotel management software) provides teams with greater flexibility and easier access than desktop-based hotel management software typically does.

For instance, with cloud-based hotel software, you can typically access the application when you’re on-the-go, from your phone, a tablet, or a laptop so long as you have an internet connection. On the other hand, desktop-based hotel management software requires that you use the device the application is installed on to use it—but it generally doesn’t require an internet connection.

Most of the best hotel management software options today are cloud-based hotel software, due to the flexibility and benefits the format provides. You can ask for a hotel management software demo to better understand how a certain type of web-based hotel management software could work for your property’s needs and help you increase hotel revenue.

What are the benefits of using hotel management software?

The best hotel management software results in an array of benefits for your hotel or hotel group. We’ll dive into more of the benefits later in this guide, but here are some high-level pros typically associated with software for the hotel industry:

  • More customer conversions and bookings
  • Comprehensive property data and insights
  • Enhanced team collaboration and organization
  • Streamlined hotel invoicing and hotel proposal processes
  • Improved efficiency, at both a property and portfolio level
  • Elevated guest experiences, leading to more loyal customers
  • Modernized hotel payment systems for guests and hotel teams
  • Ability to increase hotel revenue and hotel payment amounts
  • More effective hotel marketing efforts

And as always, a hotel management software demo can illustrate the specific benefits you, your property, and your team can receive from a specific platform for hotel management.

Who should use hotel management software?

If you work in the hospitality industry in any way, you can benefit from adopting hotel management software. Property operators, asset owners, hotel brands, on-property teams, and more can all enjoy the software features, such as the ability to streamline processes, increase hotel revenue, standardize operations, increase hotel conversions, and much more.

Of course, each team member’s role will determine how exactly they use and benefit from the hotel software system. For instance, a catering sales director might use hotel payment systems or billing software for hotels to easily send a hotel proposal to a prospective client looking for a corporate meeting venue. A front desk manager might get the most use out of the ability to easily charge guests using payment software for hotels.

Those are only a handful of examples. Here are more of hospitality roles that can benefit from using hotel systems software of all sorts:

  • Asset owners: Whether it’s a goal for your portfolio to increase hotel conversions and increase hotel revenue or streamline efficiency and collaboration, hotel software makes it possible.
  • Property operators: Using a platform for hotel management enables property operators to better manage their bookings, teams, event-driven business, and more. Property management software for hotels, hotel revenue management software, and more might all be of use to property operators.
  • Area vice presidents: Area vice presidents (AVPS) are constantly on-the-go, but still want to keep an eye on their properties to ensure everything is running smoothly and as it should. Cloud-based hotel software makes it possible for AVPs to keep track of each property’s revenue streams, bookings, and more, no matter where they’re at.
  • General managers: Using a hotel software system or hotel manager software better empowers general managers to effectively manage their property, from team organization and collaboration to how well your property can increase hotel revenue. These platforms make it simpler for not only general managers to get work done, but for their teams as well.
  • Front desk staff and other on-property team members: With the best hotel management software, it’s easy for front desk staff to complete hotel payments, send hotel proposals, and other daily tasks. Plus, property management software for hotels helps staff stay organized and efficient, helping to further increase hotel revenue.
  • Catering sales managers and associates: Historically, catering sales managers and associates have been forced to use antiquated methods to send a hotel payment or hotel proposal. But with a modern platform for hotel management that allows teams to send hotel payments, hotel proposals, invoices, and contracts digitally, customers have an easier way to pay and teams get paid faster.
  • Sales teams: Implementing a hotel software system helps property sales teams close more deals without any extra effort required, enabling them to better increase hotel conversions. When you adopt a platform for hotel management that includes modern hotel invoicing tools and useful hotel marketing, you attract more qualified prospective customers to your property.
  • Finance teams: Often, finance teams spend a significant amount of time tracking down hotel proposals and hotel invoicing statuses, trying to reconcile what’s been paid and what hasn’t. The best hotel software keeps finance teams aligned with the rest of your property through increased visibility and standardization, making it easy to track hotel payments and generally stay on top of financial accounting and billing.
  • Marketing teams: Make your hotel marketing more effective and increase hotel conversions with the helpful hotel management tools that come with hotel system software. Market your property more constructively with the right hotel management tools.
  • Hotel guests: Depending on the hotel system software your property implements, your guests and clients will experience the benefits too. For example, if you start using a hotel software system that streamlines your guests’ check-in and check-out experience, or begin using a cloud-based hotel management software that frees you up from being stuck at your desk all day and provides more time to interact with customers, your guests will feel the advantages as well.

Several other hospitality team members beyond the roles listed above will also benefit from implementing these tools. That said, it can be useful to see how different teams benefit from platforms for hotel management in unique ways.

How to pick which hotel management software to use

With so many different hotel software programs and hotel management software features to consider, it can be difficult trying to narrow down on which pick is the best hotel software for your property or portfolio.

To make it easier, here are a list of considerations to keep in mind when researching the best hotel management software or hotel software company for your team:

Your Portfolio’s Unique Needs

Every property group and hospitality brand is different, each with its own unique challenges and needs. So, it makes sense to look for hotel management software that has the right tools your property is looking for.

Work with your team to consider which hotel management software features and hotel management tools are top priority. For example…

  • If you’re hoping to modernize how you create and send a hotel proposal or a hotel payment, you’d want to look for hotel system software that includes invoice creation capabilities.
  • If you’re looking for hotel management software features that enhance your hotel marketing efforts, you’d want to look for hotel software programs that include promotion and hotel marketing benefits, in addition to it offering property management software for hotel capabilities or online hotel software flexibility.
  • If you’re hoping to implement a program that simplifies room reservations or employee scheduling, the best hotel management software for your property would probably include scheduling and hotel management tools.
  • If you want to streamline your property’s financial information and better understand hotel payment data, it’d make sense to look for revenue management software for hotels or platforms with revenue optimization capabilities.

Those are just a few instances of the specific qualities you might prioritize in a hotel software company. Take some time to think about what features would make your life easier (and your hotel more profitable and efficient!), then look for those characteristics while you’re getting a hotel management software demo to determine the best hotel management software for your property.

Hotel Software Design and Capabilities

When you’re adopting hotel systems software, you’ll want to make sure that it’ll be a valuable solution for your team for years to come. Ask yourself if the hotel software companies you’re considering offer modern, up-to-speed capabilities and programs so that it’s easy and approachable for team members to use. Plus, think about whether you want a cloud- or web-based hotel management software versus a desktop-based hotel industry software option. Think, too, about whether or not the hotel software systems you’re considering are mobile-friendly and meet today’s customers’ needs for a smooth hotel payment process.

Your Property or Hotel Group Size

Another important thing to consider when you’re searching for the best hotel management software? Your property or hotel group size. For instance, if you’re hoping to easily track and manage hotel payments or hotel proposals across multiple properties, look for hotel software systems that work across a portfolio, rather than just at one individual property at a time. Plus, if your property hosts event-driven business, prioritize a hotel software company or hotel software systems that allow your team to create custom hotel proposals, making for simple hotel payment and hotel invoicing processes.

Hotel Management Software Users

It’s crucial that anyone who could benefit from the hotel management software you pick can actually access and use the platform with ease. Ensure that any hotel management systems software you’re considering allows for visibility across hotel management and on-property teams so that everyone can find the information they need. Whether the finance team needs access to the latest hotel payment statuses, the sales team wants to see updates to recent hotel proposals, or on-property teams need access to an array of hotel management tools, the best hotel management software for your business should work for the teams who plan to use it on a regular basis.

Integrations with Existing Processes

It can feel daunting to implement a new platform for hotel management or updated hotel systems software. That’s why it’s important to ensure that any hotel software company you contemplate works with your existing systems and workflows. The best hotel management software should be able to integrate with any software that you already use, whether that be venue management software, property management software or another type of proptech platform.

Benefits of ROH’s software

After you’ve taken time to consider your biggest must-haves for hotel management software for your property or property group, it’s time to research which platforms meet your criteria.

One of the top hotel industry software options for hospitality brands and property groups is ROH. As the first purpose-built revenue optimization platform for the hospitality industry, ROH drives conversions, increases hotel revenue, and empowers real collaboration for the top hotel brands, leading to more efficient and profitable hotel management.

Here are some of the biggest features that you can access with ROH’s proptech platform, plus details on how they benefit your property or portfolio:

Mobile-Friendly Invoices and Contracts

ROH allows your property to create any custom hotel proposal or quote right in our platform. You can immediately enhance your hotel invoicing process by creating custom, branded, mobile-friendly invoices and contracts in our platform that you can send to clients in just a few clicks. No more needing to download and send PDFs, get payment information over the phone, or ask guests to mail in physical checks—instead, you can send customers an easy-to-use invoice link that lets them sign and pay in minutes. When your property touts a simple, fast payment process, you have the ability to increase hotel conversions and increase hotel revenue.

Flexible, Self-Serve Customer Payment Options

When your property uses ROH’s platform, your hotel invoicing process not only becomes more modern and efficient, it also allows customers to pay in a more flexible way. With ROH, guests have the option to pay all at once or in four interest-free payments over time. Plus, they can choose to pay on their phone or laptop, and with a credit card or ACH. No matter which method they choose, properties receive the full invoice amount from ROH upfront, leading to increased cash flow and conversions. Plus, your property benefits from more enhanced, attractive hotel payment systems, with 81% of payments converting faster.

Card on File Functionality

ROH upgrades your property’s hotel payment systems and platforms further with our card on file functionality. With ROH, you no longer need to store customer credit card information in one place and then charge it in another—or, you no longer need to re-ask customers for their payment information for each new booking, activity, or guest service either. Instead, you can securely store customer card information in ROH and use our platform to charge it as well, increasing your efficiency and making for a more streamlined guest payment experience. Plus, know that your customer’s payment information is stored safely and securely, as ROH is a PCI DSS Level 1 certified service provider.

Data and Insights

ROH’s platform clues hospitality teams into the ins and outs of what’s going on across properties. Our easy-to-read dashboard gives team members valuable, actionable insights, from the number of active invoices to which hotel payment has just been received to contract statuses. Any team member can easily log in to access the information they need at a glance, amping up your property’s standardization and visibility. These benefits are especially beneficial for properties looking for hotel revenue management software capabilities.

Cloud-Based Capabilities

Many of the best hotel software options available today are cloud-based platforms. As a cloud-based hotel software provider, ROH’s features are accessible to you and your customers no matter where you’re at. Whether you’re traveling and want to view your dashboard from your tablet or are in your office creating a new invoice, ROH works for you.

Comprehensive Software Integrations

While some software can feel burdensome to implement, rest assured that ROH is both easy to activate and easily integrates with any existing systems your property relies on. Whether you need ROH to sync up with your team’s go-to accounting software, property management platform, or other popular software for hotels, know that ROH won’t disrupt your team’s status quo or other systems.

Real-Time Notifications & Automated Reminders

Easily stay on top of your hotel invoicing and contracts with ROH’s automated reminders and real-time notifications. No more chasing down payments or tracking down contract statuses—our platform sends you and your team members notifications and reminders in real time, such as when invoices have been paid (or need to be paid!) or when contracts have been signed. Additionally, ROH automates any necessary customer follow-ups, saving you even more time.

No More Burdensome Payment Hassles

When you partner with ROH, your team gets to offload time-consuming payment headaches to our team of experts. Any chargebacks, cancellations, disputes, or fraud complaints get sent to us rather than being put on your team’s plate. That frees up much more time for your team members to focus on what they love—providing a memorable guest experience—rather than being stuck in their office dealing with unforeseen payment issues.

A Centralized Admin Dashboard

It’s much easier said than done to keep teams on the same page. From finance to sales to on-property roles to management, each hospitality team is busy with their own unique responsibilities, and it can be hard to stay aligned on all the events, room blocks, group sales, activities, guest services, and more going on at your property.

That’s where ROH’s centralized admin comes into play. Any member of your team can log in to ROH’s platform and quickly get the answers they need, from contract updates to invoice action items to the latest payments. Having one standard, universal place the whole team can access for answers helps your team’s collaboration and efficiency skyrocket, portfolio-wide.

Exclusive Marketing Support

When you partner with ROH, your hotel also unlocks exclusive access to support from Carats & Cake for any of your social event hotel marketing needs. Carats & Cake’s seasoned marketing experts spotlight your property to our 100 million-strong social audience, making sure to always show your hotel in its best possible light. Plus, a custom marketing microsite shows prospective customers how real events at your hotel look, helping them to easily envision their own event at your property and leading to increased conversions. To cap it off, dedicated editorial coverage and an on-trend venue profile make your hotel marketing promotions even stronger and more effective.

There are many other benefits that come with ROH’s hotel industry software beyond the features listed above, but overall, ROH is built to address the needs of the top asset owners, property operators, and hotel brands as they look to expand, optimize, and grow their businesses. As a result, our partners experience an average 15% increase in revenue managed through ROH and a 4.5x return on investment (ROI).

How to learn more about hotel management software

If you’re interested in learning more about ROH and the best hotel management software options for your property, our team of experts would love to help you learn more about ROH’s hotel software. You can sign up for a free hotel management software demo with a member of our team. We’ll walk you through how ROH’s hotel revenue management software modernizes hotel proposals and hotel payments, increases customer conversions, drives revenue, empowers true collaboration, and much more.