Here at HomeAway Software, we’ve upgraded hundreds of property managers from a server-based property management system (PMS) to one of our two cloud-based PMS products, V12.NET and Escapia. Most property managers are nervous to change such a fundamental business tool, and that’s understandable: changing your property management software often means changing your reservations systems, marketing tools, and distribution capabilities.
But, the property managers we speak to know that their business has outgrown their current PMS. Despite the anxiety and stress, their thoughts after the process are almost always the same: “I’m so glad we upgraded. It’s worth it.
Why is upgrading to a cloud-based PMS worth the stress?
Cloud-based software is more efficient than server-based software.
When was the last time you dug a well and pumped groundwater into a bucket to wash your hands? I doubt most of us ever have. Instead, we walk to the sink, turn on the tap, and water flows into our hands from the city’s water system. Easy access to the city system saves us the time and energy required to dig and pump so that we can quickly wash our hands and move on.
The same principle applies to property management systems. Gone are the days when property managers had to buy expensive servers, set them up in a utility closet, and call a technician to repair them when they crashed. Cloud-based property management systems allow PMs to simply “turn on the tap” to access their data and delegate setup and maintenance to cloud-computing providers.
Drawing water from the city system also saves us from having to dig a new well when the first one runs dry. The PC hardware required to run server-based property management software will inevitably become outdated or even be discontinued, forcing you to chase down old hardware on eBay or at garage sales, find a new PMS, or continue using unsecured, unsupported hardware.
Cloud-based systems, on the other hand, can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection and are designed to seamlessly integrate with the latest technology. Product updates, including new features and security updates, are delivered automatically. There’s no need to dig a new well if the first one doesn’t dry up!
Cloud-based software protects your business.
Cloud-based property management systems protect your data better than server-based systems in two key ways.
Unlike server-based systems where your data is stored on a server in a utility closet at the back of your office, cloud-based systems store it on enterprise-grade servers in remote locations.
This is a tremendous advantage to all property managers, especially those in areas that sometimes experience natural disasters or inclement weather. If the servers in your utility closet are damaged, your operations come to a halt. With cloud-based systems, your data and business remain safe, secure, and operational in the face of flooding, wildfires, or even just a lightning strike or power outage.
The remote servers on which your data is stored are maintained by professional cloud-computing providers who implement some of the highest security standards.
These protections typically include the following:
- Advanced encryption and 24-hour monitoring to protect against cyber attacks
- Redundant backups so you always have access to your data, even if one server fails
- Redundant Internet connections to safeguard against unexpected downtime
Cloud-based systems work anywhere.
The most immediate benefit of a cloud-based property management system is that you can run your business anytime, anywhere, on any device connected to the Internet.
In the office? Hop on your computer to check availability and complete a reservation. Meeting a maintenance team at a property so they can install a new appliance? Open your laptop and pull reports for your accounting teams while you wait for them to arrive. Need to know if a room is ready for check-in? Your housekeeping staff can use a mobile device to mark that they’ve cleaned a unit that is now ready for the next guest.
When your team can share or find information it needs at any time, your business can keep running smoothly all the time.
As technology advances, so do the tools property managers use every day. It’s time to quit pumping, start using the sink, and enjoy the efficiency, security, and flexibility that cloud-based property management systems offer.