Things have changed radically over the past few years in the hospitality industry. As most changes are here to stay, specific solutions, such as self check-in and check-out technologies, have become not just popular but vital for vacation rental property management.

There is a surge in property management companies seeking different solutions to enable self check-in and check-out processes. Even though these solutions can provide numerous benefits to guests and vacation rental management businesses alike, assessing all of the pros and cons is the only way to determine if they’re a good fit for your company as well. To help you with this, let’s take a look at the most important benefits and drawbacks these solutions bring along. 

The Pros

Shorter wait times – Having the right self check-in and check-out processes in place can help you reduce wait times and many other inconveniences. Imagine a guest waiting for you to arrive at one of the properties you manage before he can check out. If you get stuck in traffic or something else happens unexpectedly, the guest could miss his flight, which might affect his entire travel plan. Also, if a guest arrives at 3 a.m., you would need to drive to the vacation rental he booked in the middle of the night just to greet him and hand over the keys. You can avoid these two scenarios and many problems that could lead to complaints and negative reviews by simply opting for advanced check-in and check-out technologies. 

A better guest experience – For a vacation rental management company, being able to cater to the modern traveler’s needs is more important than ever before. According to new research conducted by Oracle, 73% of travelers prefer to use their mobile devices to manage every aspect of their vacation experience, from booking an accommodation option and checking-in to paying for different services, accessing digital guide books, and checking-out. The greatest thing about self check-in and check-out technologies is that they give guests more flexibility, allowing them to arrive earlier and leave later than the standard check-in and check-out times. Because today’s guests crave the flexibility that allows them to really enjoy their vacation, opting for self check-in and check-out technologies as well as other self-service solutions may be the upgrade your company needs in order to offer your guests exactly what they expect.  

A secure check-in and check-out process – Not only do self check-in and check-out technologies save time, enhance the guest experience, and simplify things for all those involved; they also ensure a completely safe check-in and check-out process, regardless of the systems and processes you already use or intend to choose. That’s because the smart technology that’s behind self-service processes is totally digital and integrates with a wide range of features, which gives vacation rental managers total control over different appliances and devices, including lockboxes, smart locks, keypads, air conditioning and heating systems, as well as outdoor and indoor lighting.  

Improved business efficiency – When managing multiple vacation rentals, efficiency is critically important. Self check-in and check-out systems along with other self-service technologies allow you to effectively manage all of your properties so that you can complete more tasks yourself. This might translate into fewer employees and third-party service providers to pay, which could significantly lower your operating costs.

The Cons

Lack of personal interaction – If 73% of guests appreciate self-service technologies, 27% do not. For those guests, human interaction still plays a big role in their overall experience, which basically means that they might prefer to talk to someone in person when they arrive at a vacation rental and before they leave. As a vacation rental property manager, you need to cater to those guests as well. Furthermore, not being able to meet guests personally before handing over the keys can be frustrating for vacation rental managers as well because they don’t know who will be staying in the vacation rentals they manage.

Potential errors and malfunctions – Specific software errors and system malfunctions, which may prevent guests from entering the vacation rentals they’ve booked and leaving the properties secure when checking-out, could occur, especially when disparate systems and tools that don’t integrate seamlessly with one another are used. The frustration that a guest might feel when, for example, a smart lock returns the same error code will nullify the frictionless experience that a self-service solution might promise. To prevent errors and malfunctions, we highly recommend opting for a comprehensive and reliable PMS system that is integrated with all the features you need in order to run a successful vacation rental management company.   

A PMS system that can help you provide a top-notch self-service experience at the best possible price is JANIIS. Besides making available a series of vital tools that eliminate friction points for guests and vacation rental property managers alike, our solution is also flexible enough to ensure a personal connection between you and your guests. In a nutshell, with our partnered self-check-in/check-out systems, payment integrations, digital guidebooks, instant messaging, and many other features on your side, you’ll be able to provide a superior guest experience and gain an edge over your competitors.