6 Motel Software Solutions: Features, Benefits, and Deployment

Motels have the potential to provide way more than just a bed to crash in.

And with just a quick look at The June Motel in Netflix’s Motel Makeover, the impact of a great guest experience on business growth is clear.

The June Motel’s focus on providing guests with creative extras like yoga classes and a shop full of amenities is vital to their popularity and occupancy rates, allowing them to now have two thriving motels where they regularly host weddings and other events. 

But as Melanie Bible, Central Services Lead at The June, described when we spoke to her, The June Motel’s use of software solutions has been equally important to its ability to scale. 

These tools and features are designed to help you cut costs, boost operational efficiency, and mitigate the impact of labor shortages by automating tasks and minimizing error. But they also help you improve customer satisfaction by giving your guests more independence. 

Melanie says: “There’s often a fear of letting technology take control of your business and making guests feel like the service they’re receiving is impersonal. However, in reality, using these tools frees us up to do what we’re passionate about—hosting guests.”

In this article, we look at what software solutions help you reduce costs and enhance your guest relationships. We also include lots of Melanie’s unique insights and give you six fantastic motel software recommendations.

Modernize your motel’s guest experience and reduce the workload for your team with Operto Guest.

9 Features to look for in a motel software

Labor shortages force you to reconsider your team’s workload. And because motel guests often book at the last-minute and can arrive at any time of day, you need to reduce their reliance on your reception staff.

As Melanie explained, “Through integrations and automation, your systems can take guests on a journey from booking to check-out with little to no manual action required.” 

Here are nine tools and features that immediately help you to support your staff and provide a frictionless, independent guest experience.  

1. Property management system

As Melanie points out, “Technology is an incredible tool to leverage when dealing with staffing shortages.” A property management system can take on day-to-day tasks so you don’t have to constantly use your best staff to train new starts. These tasks typically include:

  • Booking centralization through integration with booking engines 
  • Room allocation
  • Recording guest data

Since these platforms form an integral part of automating administrative tasks, many have grown to include other tools and features. These include channel management (which we look at below) and dynamic pricing, which sets room prices based on data about demand and availability.

2. Channel manager

When running a motel business, you can grow the number of customers you reach by promoting your property across several channels. But this means you’ll need to keep every listing updated across every OTA, and this is a lot of work. 

A channel manager allows you to keep room rates and availability synced, and to make changes easily in one place. You can amend a property description in one dashboard, and this will be reflected across booking platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com, as well as on your direct booking site.

Woman lying in a hammock at The June Motel
The June Motel nails seasonal marketing with imagery that showcase the venue year-round

3. Automated task scheduling

You can optimize operational efficiency by integrating a task-scheduling solution with your PMS. You’ll be able to organize your team from wherever you are and accept last-minute guests without having to be present on-site to handle the Tetris puzzle of setting up cleaning tasks. 

With Operto Teams, you can automate cleaning schedules based on the latest information from your PMS. Your housekeeper will know exactly what they need to do next, and the scheduling takes care of itself—even when there’s a last-minute booking in the early hours.

Operto Teams scheduling calendar
A centralized scheduling calendar like Operto’s gives your team an instant view of their day

4. Team communication

With a dedicated tool for team communication, you can save your staff time and reduce the chance of issues impacting guests. For example, if one of your cleaning team notices a leaky tap or broken lamp, they can notify maintenance immediately by messaging them and uploading an image or video.

Operto Teams’ Staff Dashboard: Submitting an issue.
Operto Teams allows staff to highlight urgent issues instantly

5. Time tracking and reporting

With software that provides time-tracking and reporting, you can gain access to a wealth of data that boosts operational efficiency. In one place, you’ll see team strengths alongside where you need to provide extra support.   

Operto Teams offers a solution that uses GPS to verify that staff are onsite when they clock in. It also generates reports showing which housekeepers clean the quickest, which you can run alongside their clean ratings to find the sweet spot between efficiency and quality in your processes.

6. Finance and accounting

You can save time and reduce errors with an accounting tool that ideally includes the following features:

  • A payroll solution that integrates with your time tracking software (you can use Quickbooks and Stripe with Operto Teams)
  • Reporting on costs and revenue 
  • Guest payment processing 

7. Self check-in

Learn from a winning hotel operations management strategy and automate check-in to reduce lines at reception. 

As Melanie points out, “You can take staff off shifts without impacting late arrivals who can digitally check in and access their room without having to pick up a key.” 

Contactless check-in gives people independent access to their rooms through a kiosk, mobile app, text, or email. With Operto Guest, for example, your guests will be sent a unique code or mobile key upon check-in, having been guided through the verification and security deposit process within the branded web app.

8. Guest communication

With more time on their hands as a result of automated processes, your staff can provide extra customer care that will differentiate your service from the competition.

Operto Guest makes it easy to maintain a great relationship with your guests. You can respond to questions and requests directly within the branded web app via two-way messaging. 

And you can create digital guidebooks with essential, time-saving information that increase independence, with details like WiFi codes and local recommendations.  

Operto Guest’s digital guidebook
Include smart buttons inside your digital guidebooks to link out to local services like restaurants

9. Centralized tech stack

As a tech-enabled motel that’s continually looking to optimize processes, The June Motel has, in the words of Melanie, a “tech stack that’s constantly growing and evolving.” 

This is crucial as you scale, but it can be difficult for teams to navigate several different platforms. To save your staff time and keep costs down, it’s important to use a centralized motel software solution. 

By integrating all of your tools, you can also see where there are cases of software redundancy or inefficiency. Operto Connect provides complete visibility on your PMS, access control, guest experience solutions, and smart devices, bringing everything together in one place so your teams can use each tool more effectively. 

6 Best motel software solutions 

See our recommendations for leading motel software solutions.

1. Operto 

Operto is a hospitality automation platform that streamlines the entire guest experience and internal operations. Melanie says, “The moment a guest checks out of their room using their unique access code, you receive a notification from Operto that prevents any delay to cleaning.” 

From within a single dashboard, you can use Operto to:

  • Facilitate keyless room entry and manage access 
  • Communicate with guests and create digital guidebooks  
  • Automatically schedule tasks for your staff
  • Create calendars to organize team workflows
  • Monitor productivity with time-tracking
  • Manage smart devices like thermostats and noise monitoring
  • Manage payroll
Screenshot of Operto’s front-desk solution
You can manage the entire guest journey from before check-in inside Operto’s dashboard

2. Cloudbeds

Cloudbeds is an intuitive cloud-based property management system that allows you to streamline team operations and the guest experience. It offers plenty of features to support you as you scale, including: 

  • A reservation system 
  • A booking channel manager that syncs with OTA’s 
  • A direct online booking engine 
  • A revenue management tool 
  • Financial reports 
  • Payment processing and terminals
  • Done-for-you digital marketing services
Screenshot of Cloudbeds dashboard
View real-time information easily with Cloudbeds dashboard

3. Mews

If you’re looking for a PMS with an integrated payment gateway, Mews is a great option. Your guests can make debit or credit card payments at any point of sale or online in just one click. Other features include: 

  • Reservation management
  • Guest preference data
  • Team reminders for payments  
  • Invoicing solution
  • Task management tool 
  • Occupancy and accounting reports
Screenshot of Mews payment dashboard
Gain greater control over your finances with Mews’ integrated solution

4. WebrezPro

WebrezPro helps you manage both back-office and front-office operations, with financial management and guest experience solutions in one easy to use dashboard. Features of the property management solution include:

  • Revenue management
  • Direct booking builder
  • Reservations management, including group reservations solution
  • Email templates for guest communications 
  • Room cleaning status 
  • Digital housekeeping checklist builder 
  • Accounting and business insights
Screenshot of the WebrezPro dashboard
View team operations alongside guest status in WebrezPro’s interactive calendar

5. Hostaway

Hostaway is a motel and vacation rental management system that offers a robust automated messaging function. This is particularly useful if you are operating a larger motel and need to manage large numbers of conversations. Other features include:

  • Reservation management
  • Channel manager
  • Direct booking site
  • Customer relationship and lead management 
  • Automated guest messaging
  • Revenue management
  • Performance, occupancy, and financial reports
  • Payment processing
  • Task management and guest invoicing
Screenshot of Hostaway’s messaging dashboard
Save time by automating personalized messages to your guests with Hostaway

6. Guesty

Guesty provides a suite of communication solutions, including a unified inbox for text messages, emails, and OTA messaging; automated messaging for scheduled instructions, triggered responses, and review requests; 24/7 communication services; and Guesty’s own Mobile Management App. 

Their property management software also includes:

  • A multi-calendar reservations manager
  • A channel manager
  • A direct booking site
  • Dynamic pricing to maximize revenue
  • Automated guest messaging
  • Accounting tools
  • Task management 
  • Payment processing
  • Revenue management
  • Performance data
Screenshot of the Guesty automated message feature
Centralize guest communication with the Guesty unified inbox

How to deploy a motel software solution

Modern motel guests are looking for a tech-enabled experience—and with centralized motel management software, you can make it easy for your team to deliver exactly this. Integrate Operto with a wide range of solutions including PMSs and smart devices. Inside the dashboard, you’ll be able to:

  • See your team’s work schedule
  • Manage team and guest communications
  • Schedule tasks
  • View reports on team productivity 
  • Access information from your smart lock
  • Automatically generate and share mobile keys for secure self check-in (more on this below)
  • View finance and accounting insights   

Integrating and centralizing your access system

Crucial to providing the ideal guest experience is integrating your access system, too, which may mean reviewing your locks. This is often a sore point for a small to mid-sized hospitality business, since replacing locks can cost several hundred dollars or more per door. 

With cutting-edge technology, though, you can upgrade your locks without having to replace them. Operto Boost does this by inserting the ​​Boost Smart Chip into your magstripe or RFID lock, immediately giving it Bluetooth connectivity. 

This makes guest autonomy possible, allows you to have full remote access control over all your units, and gives you access to a range of automation solutions for your management team, staff, and guests.

Tightening operations with a centralized motel software solution 

Technology is an incredible tool when you’re faced with staffing shortages and the need to tighten operations as you compete with major hotels. But the personal, friendly feel of a great motel doesn’t have to be impacted.

In fact, with processes like contactless check-in and digital guidebooks, you can improve the guest experience, providing independent room access and enhanced customer support. 

To optimize operational and financial efficiency, you need to deploy a solution that brings all your tools into one dashboard. 

Just like Melanie says: “This provides employees with a central place to turn to, taking the onus off motel management, and ensuring a streamlined guest experience.” 

Modernize your motel’s guest experience and reduce the workload for your team with Operto Guest.