The Complete Guide to Remote Hotel Management

By August 18, 2022August 31st, 2022hotels

One of the biggest challenges hoteliers face is a high dependency on staff, an issue which has been magnified due to recent labor shortages. Staffing shortages in the hotel industry cause problems like neglected tasks, unhappy guests, and negative reviews. 

But what if you were able to efficiently run your hotel remotely and enhance the guest experience with fewer staff? That’s where a remote hotel management tool can help. The right solution will make you less reliant on staff to manage your hotel wherever you are, while providing your guests an exceptional stay. 

This guide explains what you need to look for in remote hotel management software and outlines how you can see happier guests with fewer on-site staff.

Discover Operto Guest, a solution that can empower you to run your hotel remotely while enhancing the guest experience.


Can you run a hotel remotely?

Yes, you absolutely can run a hotel remotely. Despite being a traditionally high-touch industry, with the right solutions in place, hotel operators are able to  embrace the benefits of running their business off-site.

The idea of managing your hotel without actually being there may seem a bit unconventional. However, when done right, remote hotel management lets you:

  • Scale hotel operations while minimizing your staffing needs

  • Become less dependent on your front desk and employees

  • Improve revenue management

  • Increase positive reviews and deliver a premium guest experience

  • Reduce turnover times and guest complaints

You might be skeptical about modifying the way you and your team members work together. And the learning curve required to implement remote hotel management will vary depending on the efficiency of your current system and the tech-savviness of your staff. 

But by investing a bit of effort upfront to set everything up and train your staff, you can reap the benefits of remote hotel management long-term. Take a look at an example of how. 

Hotel Annex in Toronto has taken a “high-tech, low-touch” approach to hotel management. In fact, incorporating technology has improved guest satisfaction at the hotel, all while Annex was able to reduce its staffing costs.

More precisely, they’ve been able to run their hotel with an average of just 1.5 staff across 24 rooms, thanks to hotel management’s decision to embrace technology and eliminate their front desk entirely. 

Hotel Annex’s cost savings were significant: A 24-hour front desk with a single staff member operating it 365 days per year would cost around $122,000 annually. When you factor in other part-time and full-time employees, their hotel labor costs would be even higher. 

With remote hotel management, you can automate numerous hospitality jobs and recoup revenue that can be reinvested into scaling your operations and enhancing the guest experience.

Centralize and automate your management processes

If your management solutions aren't centralized, it's impossible to operate efficiently as a remote team. Here are some of the issues you can experience if you use multiple disconnected management tools, plus an example of how a unified remote hotel management solution can solve them:

Issue

Example of the situation

Solution

As a general manager, you are constantly being pulled in all directions and fear that going off-site will mean everything falling apart.

You are trying to address various guest complaints, fix a serious staffing mix-up, and complete general operational tasks, and you don’t have enough time in the day.

Remote hotel management software gives you real-time visibility over issues, staffing, and operations, all in one place.

Decentralized guest communication makes it difficult to respond to guest requests and complaints in a timely manner.

Summer temps are at a record high, and a family of four is experiencing an issue with the A/C in their room. They have to wait for hours for someone to come fix it.

Two-way messaging lets guests reach out directly to your staff and receive an instant response, allowing issues to be addressed in a timely manner.

Scattered data leads to a poor overview of staff schedules, room statuses, and tasks in progress.

A guest has decided to extend their stay. The cleaning team wasn’t aware of this, so they interrupted the guest and created confusion.

Remote hotel management software enables your staff to update tasks statuses on the go via their mobile devices. Everyone is kept in the loop.

Effective remote hotel management depends on unifying your tech stack and bringing all your solutions under one roof. You need a centralized platform that provides an overview of all your operations, as well as the ability to manage guest communication, keep track of issues, monitor room access, and more.

An all-in-one hospitality management dashboard can allow you to:

  • Connect to your PMS and channel manager

  • Know when your guests arrive, how their stay is going, and whether or not your attention is needed

  • Monitor room status, noise levels, and room temperatures in one place

  • Easily monetize early hotel check-in and late check-out requests

  • Offer upsells with a customizable mobile concierge

  • Ensure a seamless user experience by not forcing your guests to download an app

Take Operto Connect, for example—a remote hotel management solution brings together guests, hotel managers, and other hotel staff onto one platform:

Operto Guest dashboard

Monitor room status, noise levels, guest messages, and more within the Operto Connect dashboard.

PMS and Channel manager

To maximize revenue, your room availability and pricing need to be up-to-date. That’s where a PMS and channel manager come into play. 

And though your PMS and channel manager may boast strong guest communication tools, you can take guest experience further with the right remote hotel management solution.

A great PMS in conjunction with a tool like Operto Guest will help ensure an exceptional experience for both guests and hoteliers from the moment a reservation is booked—and all the way through the guest journey.

In-app guest communication and digital guides

What’s another key to successful remote guest experience management? Making it easy for your guests to get answers to their questions via a messaging app and digital guidebooks instead of requiring them to call the front desk. 

By anticipating their needs, you give guests a frictionless stay while also minimizing the need for interactions with staff. A big part of this is organizing the guest onboarding flow and providing them with all the information they need ahead of time, such as:

  • Check-in codes and Wi-Fi passwords

  • Digital guides that provide comprehensive information about your hotel

  • Curated recommendations about the surrounding area

  • Information about local businesses and attractions

  • Customized upsells (e.g. room upgrades, extended stays, restaurant reservations)

Operto Guest web app local recommendations

Operto Guest lets you create curated local area guides so your guests can start planning their trip as soon as they book it.

Be sure to choose a solution that lets you meet your guests at all the hotel guest journey touchpoints, meaning before, during, and after their stay. Plus, having a single point of contact with your guests creates a win-win situation: They’ll be happy about receiving convenient, helpful information and you’ll save hours on guest communication.

With Operto Guest, you can enjoy the benefits of remote hotel management while going above and beyond for your guests.

Contactless access and self check-in

The modern guest expects to have all the information they need for a hassle-free stay at their fingertips, as well as contactless access to their hotel room. Thankfully, remote hotel management is completely compatible with these desires. 

To make this possible, using a reliable tech solution that integrates with a smart lock solution, generates unique door codes, and works seamlessly with your PMS is essential.  The right tool can help you: 

  • Send guests their access codes prior to their stay for a smooth check-in experience

  • Monitor occupancy without invading guest privacy

  • Prevent unauthorized guests from entering and causing damage

Smart in-room devices

Smart in-room devices help you manage guest comfort more effectively. For example, noise monitoring solutions alert you when noise levels are too high. That way, you can address the situation appropriately and ensure your other guests have an enjoyable stay. 

Also, temperature and energy monitoring capabilities ensure optimal conditions for your guests. Not only does this lead to five-star reviews, but it also helps you reduce energy bills.

Looking for a remote solution to offer your guests contactless access and enhance their stay? Try Operto Tech.

Automated workflows for cleaning and maintenance

If your hotel group relies on Excel spreadsheets to organize employee schedules and workflows, remote hotel management may seem impossible. However, with the proper tool, you can minimize time and energy spent on scheduling with task automation, all while managing your hotel remotely. 

The right remote hotel management solution will instantly assign tasks to the right employee, eliminating the need to spend hours per week organizing a staff calendar. Plus, a tool like Operto Teams centralizes all issues, such as repairs and maintenance, to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

Operto Teams staff scheduling software

With Operto Teams, get an overview of all your employees’ schedules, all in one place.

Again, this software should integrate with your PMS so you know all your reservations are covered without having to be there yourself. 

Still using spreadsheets and wall calendars to manage your hotel employees? Get organized with Operto Teams.

Payments/Mobile POS

The right solution for remote hotel management will help you sustainably grow your hotel business as well. This means using a tool that allows guests to purchase upsells, like early check-in, late check-out, room upgrades, and additional guest services, right within the platform. There are three key things to consider here:

  • What are the payment options within the platform?

  • How easy is it for guests to make a payment?

  • Are there any challenges that would make the guest give up on their purchase?

Don’t impose unnecessary steps for your guests that could result in abandoned carts, such as requiring them to download an app on their phone. Instead, use a solution that’s immediately available via a mobile web app.

Accounting

Another key feature of a remote hotel management solution is billing, payroll, and invoicing capabilities. You want your tool to help you manage your expenses and pay your employees on one convenient platform. 

That way, you can keep track of your employees’ hours and issue payments in one place without having to manually track timesheets.

Is remote hotel management for you?

Remote hotel management is not only possible and easy to adopt, but it’s a logical progression towards exceeding guest expectations and optimizing the hotelier experience. To summarize, here are the key benefits of remote hotel management:

  • Centralize your operations

  • Streamline guest communication

  • Offer contactless check-in and check-out

  • Automate cleaning and maintenance processes

  • Reduce staffing needs

  • Maximize revenue and increase upsell opportunities

  • Enhance the guest experience 

At the end of the day, making the move towards remote hotel management is a smart move, both for your business and your guests.

Discover remote hotel management made easy with Operto. Centralize your guest communication, operations, scheduling, and payments.