What types of Property Management Systems exist

Hotel property management system
The Complete Guide to Property Management Systems (PMS)
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It's exactly like email accounts: You can either use Outlook on your computer and get all the emails there (this is the offline version, that saves your emails on your computer), or you can use Gmail or Hotmail for example and your emails stay at the Google or Microsoft servers across the world for free, and the emails are not saved on your computer. Nowadays most software tools are moving towards online or cloud (it's the same) as the cost, the complexity and the difficulty of offering a software tool that is not online ("on the cloud" as they say) is much greater. But let's have a look at both types, for demonstrating the differences: --

1. Online or Cloud PMS (it's the same)

You create an account online...

add the name and details of your hotel or accommodation inside that account, then add your bookings again inside that account and you can start using it. It will all be saved securely on the servers of the company that is offering it.

You and your team will be able to access it...

anytime in one or both of the following ways:
  1. The company's smartphone or tablet app that's connected always to your account
  2. The company's website where you log in with a username & password and access your account

The servers all always on 24/7, 356 days a year...

so you and your team can access the PMS at any time any day, and you don't need to switch on any computer for seeing your bookings.

It can connect automatically with any site...

like Booking.com, Expedia, and others for updating your availability.

You automatically get all the software updates...

in most cases for free, as the company will update the platform centrally and every account gets the updates. --

2. Offline PMS (installed on one computer)

You need to download it and install it on one computer...

as it will store all the information there.

You and your team will be able to access it only...

through that specific computer (unless if the company creates an online version of it which offers both offline and offline options).

If the computer gets damaged or stolen, you lose everything...

as doing backups and saving your information for moving it to another computer is very complex and it is almost guaranteed you will lose a big share of your bookings if this happens.

It can't connect automatically with any site...

as it's not online, so you will need to use another software (that probably will have an extra cost) for connecting to other sites.

You don't get automatically the software updates...

as you need to download the update on your own and save it so that you can install it. That has some additional risks as we have seen with similar software because updates don't always work well, and frequently it takes time for the company to fix any problems and create new updates that make it work without problems. A typical example of that is Microsoft Windows where they publish fixes for many months after every major update they do, as many things don't work correctly.

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How much do Property Management Systems cost

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