Here is what I look for in a reservation system for a small property:
- Online accessibility (cloud based)
- Comprehensive reporting (daily, monthly and yearly finance reports, etc.)
- Seamless integrations with the property's website (the company should be able to help you design the booking page to look like your website)
- A support team that is responsive and easy to work with
- Ease of use (a time saver for yourself, your guests, and your staff)
Ultimately, you will need to decide on a system that works best for your property and your needs. I would highly recommend talking to the support staff of each company (to make sure you will have a good working relationship) and watching a demo of each system. If you feel like you still aren't sure, ask for a free trial period to test a few options out.
The Fees: Starting at $49 / month
The Rundown: This is a very user friendly, comprehensive system, one that I have used with great success for both small Inns and vacation rentals. Their rates are competitive, and they offer specifically low priced packages for vacation rental owners. Their support team is incredibly helpful and responsive, both necessary considering how reliant we are on our reservation systems.
The Fees: Starting at $60 / month
The Rundown: Their many interfaces make working with existing restaurant reservation systems, voicemail, entertainment systems, etc. a snap. They also integrate with FLIPKEY, which means you wouldn't need to worry about keeping track of two sets of books. The system is Mac friendly and will run well on mobile devices. Their electronic signature app for the iPad will save you a ton in paper costs.
The Fees: Starting at $100 / month
The Rundown: A great looking booking page that seamlessly integrates with your website, this is a new company with great ideas like a Facebook booking app and an easy approach to selling rooms through distribution channels (GDS).
The Fees: Starting at $150 / month
The Rundown: An easy to use system, which is important when training staff. They advertise 24/7 support, which is very helpful considering hotels operate 24/7. This is a great option for a hotel (rather than, for example, just one or two vacation rentals).