Managing a hostel comes with many expected and unexpected challenges. It requires a full-time commitment. Fortunately, several software solutions exist to help make hostel management easier through handling things like booking reservations, processing payments, and much more.
Do you Need a Software-based Tool for Hostel Management?
Some software suites even produce email marketing campaigns and automate check-in. Software solutions and packages for hostel management vary in features and price. Below we provide an overview of some effective tools to help you succeed.
Counter.app puts all your hostel management tools on one easy-to-use platform. With Counter.app, users can manage just about every aspect of their business, including:
- Room management
- Payment processing
- Expense reporting
- Online bookings
- Guest reviews
Counter.app integrates with some of the premier management apps used in the hostel industry. On the Counter.app platform, you have access to your accounts with Stripe, Hostelworld, Booking.com, Expedia, Quickbooks, Goki, and a half dozen others. The UI is simple and streamlined, requiring no coding experience to integrate apps or use the other management tools.
The company’s flexible pricing structure makes it affordable for established hostels and accessible for startups. New hostels or those looking to upgrade their SaaS management systems can even try Counter.app for free, with a limited but essential list of features.
For those hostel hosts looking for a proprietary platform with an integrated payment system, customizable forms and branding elements, and network access to IoT devices (such as kiosks), Mews is a solid choice.
As a standalone platform, Mews provides everything to keep your hostel running efficiently. The operations tool features a drag-and-drop calendar that allows you to manage everything from reservation bookings to housekeeping. The data management tool lets you separately track data relevant to your properties, current budgets, and targeted growth. Select data can also be integrated into customized reports.
Mews also provides a superior customer experience with a suite of tools for bookings, payments, and self-serve kiosk management. UI color scheme and other branding elements are all customizable.
As robust a platform as Mews is, it does not force users to discard management apps they like and need. Mews integrates with more than 450 management, revenue, and convenience apps to maintain a consistent workflow and familiar guest experience.
Cloudbeds hostel management system is popular among hostel and small hotel owners. The platform provides access to more than 300 channels for reservations, providing a high return on investment (ROI). In addition to online booking, Cloudbeds offers hostels cash drawer management, housekeeping management, reservations management, and a point-of-sale (POS) system for front-desk purchases.
One of the major benefits of Cloudbeds and other hostel management systems is one central log-in location that syncs information, making it easier to keep track of different aspects of your hostel in real-time. Users report that the dashboard is highly functional, and its drag-and-drop function is especially convenient for booking and managing reservations. Finally, Cloudbeds integrates with a wide range of other tools and services you might choose to use.
Switch.cm is another common software solution for hostels, Airbnbs', and small hotels. The main benefit of Switch.cm for hostel owners is its affordability. It's a cloud-based platform with an all-in-one system, and plans begin at only $15 per month. The company offers tier pricing up to about $100 per month, depending on which features you want to include in your package.
Another unique feature of Switch.cm is their "Book Now" button, which allows guests to book rooms directly from the hostel's website and social media sites. Users also benefit from 24/7 Customer Support if they have issues or questions when using the platform.
Hostel owners can use Switch.cm to manage online bookings, employees, housekeeping schedules, and other administrative tasks, freeing them up to be there for their guests. Switch.cm also offers a POS system for purchases and payments, making bookkeeping much easier for small hostel owners.
NewBook has been serving hostels and small hotels since 2010. Like many other hostel management software solutions, Newbook is a cloud-based platform. Users also benefit from live help 24/7.
NewBook does not publish their pricing, so you will need to contact them for a free demo and a quote to learn how much their service will cost you. You can expect that NewBook will likely cost more than Switch.com, but their hostel management package is comprehensive, providing almost everything you need to run your property successfully.
When you consider the time and cost savings of using their service, you will likely find their pricing in line with other solutions. Some key features of NewBook include:
- Cash Drawer Management
- Employee Management
- Housekeeping Management
- Online Booking
- Price optimization
NewBook also provides connections to Expedia, Airbnb, Booking.com, and other channels, and you can integrate with a variety of third-party companies to enhance your management capabilities. NewBook's largest drawback is that it does not include a POS system, leaving you to find another solution on that front.
For small hostel owners who want an affordable, stripped-down management system, BananaDesk is likely a good fit. They offer a free trial, so you can find out if their platform is actually a good fit before you commit to spending $41 per month. BananaDesk only offers two channels for guests to book, but they are the most common—Booking.com and Hostelworld.
BananaDesk only offers online booking and basic reservations management. It's meant to simplify front-desk operations, but it also allows you to price your property like a dorm or as private rooms, depending on what works best for you. One key feature for BananaDesk users is the ability to use the platform to sell services to guests such as tours, bike rentals, or anything else you want to offer.
Goki is easily a must-have tool if you own or manage a hostel or small boutique hotel. Many software packages include functional and convenient tools to help with reservations, check-in, and management, but finding a solution that works with hardware to keep your guests safe is rare.
In today's environment, keeping customers safe includes reducing contact because of COVID-19 in addition to room security. Goki can be a standalone tool for your hostile, but for complete automation, channel management, and more, it can be helpful to integrate it with one of the other hostel management programs above.
Goki combines software with hardware. A smart lock goes on each door of your hostel. When guests make a reservation, the software issues a Smart Key and unique PIN for the length of their stay. The software wirelessly connects to the lock and allows your guests to automatically check-in from an app on their smartphone.
Goki also has a user-friendly guest management dashboard so you can see exactly what's going on with check-ins and check-outs. This gives you the access to make any changes in a pinch and run lock audits when necessary.
Aside from safety, Goki also provides cost savings by reducing the amount of staff you need for check-in/check-out by guiding your guests from the time they book until they open the door to their room.
Are Smart Locks Part of Your Hostel Management Plan?
Successfully managing your hostel involves juggling various tasks, including keeping your guests safe and happy, so they return again and again. Automating the way you manage your reservations and guest information saves you time and money that increases your profitability, and allows you to devote resources to other areas.
It’s important to pick a solution that gives you control over your inventory and pricing. Hostel management systems that include components for employee management and housekeeping management also help your property run smoothly.
Goki smart locks are an integral part of any efficient hostel management system. Click on the button below to find out how to integrate Goki smart locks with your present management system.