The Power of Property Management Automation [Benefits & Opportunities]

property management automation

Imagine it’s an uncharacteristically beautiful day outside, given the time of year, but you’re stuck at your computer managing incoming bookings. Because you’ve listed your campground, RV park, hotel, or vacation rental property with multiple Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), and you have a direct booking plugin on your website, every booking that pops up in your email needs to be added to your bookings calendar, staff needs to be scheduled, and check-in and check-out times need to be set. Plus, the guest needs an invoice to be drawn up for their purchase and sent to them as soon as possible. Looks like you’re not going to be able to check out early and enjoy the sun as you planned.

sure is a nice day to be on the computer


And that’s only one small part of property management administration. There’s also the other stuff, like regular maintenance and cleaning schedules, communications with guests, payment processing, responding to ad-hoc requests…the list goes on. 

Business automation can be incorporated into your regular workflows to reduce the burden of tedious administrative tasks for property managers and staff. Automation allows you to “set it and forget it” for a wide range of tasks related to bookings, scheduling, invoicing, and more. 

This article explores the benefits of automation, including how it can save you time and money with your accommodation business. 

Trends in Property Automation Management

While business automation isn’t exactly a new form of technology (evidence of business process automation has been found dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries), there are several recent trends with the technology that have made it even more impactful for accommodation providers:

1. Incorporating Automation into Fintech

The first trend with property management automation is fintech automation. Fintech (financial technology) refers to the integration of technology into financial services to improve the speed, efficiency, and security of transactions and the general movement of money. Within the hospitality industry, fintech has been huge in terms of helping accommodation providers and property managers set better pricing for their vacation rentals.

One of the most impactful fintech technologies in the hospitality industry is dynamic pricing. Originally, the technology behind dynamic pricing was used in the airline industry to help airlines price seats according to a customer’s willingness to pay. Several measurement factors are often used (with the specifics determined by the dynamic pricing technology used and the algorithm’s ability to draw patterns and trends from the data) in conjunction with prediction, market intelligence, and internal data to set the most appropriate prices for seats. 

Seeing this technology’s success in selling airplane seats, the hospitality industry took note. After all, revenue managers for accommodation businesses have to consider multiple hard-to-measure factors when setting prices for accommodations, such as:

  • Economic conditions 
  • Political conditions
  • Weather and seasonality
  • Guest willingness to pay
  • Location
  • Proximity to amenities or attractions
  • General market conditions

The manual effort that’s required to include all of these considerations, as well as market intelligence and internal data, is a significant time sink for revenue managers. But dynamic pricing can do it all, thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). With Newbook, for example, you simply put in your minimum and maximum pricing, and the dynamic pricing algorithm sets the right price for your accommodations without you having to lift a finger. 

2. Automated Communication

Another important trend in automation property management is automated communication. Property managers can handle repairs and maintenance requests better through an automated ticketing system, or when a guest successfully completes a booking, an automatic task can be scheduled with housekeeping to clean a room before their arrival. Automated communication can also extend to the accommodation business’s website, where a chatbot can answer commonly asked questions without needing to involve a customer service agent. 

3. Remote Management With Integrations

Property management automation has made it possible for more complex tasks to be managed remotely. For example, with Newbook, an integration with a provider like Wild Energy means that once a guest checks in to your campground, an automatic notification can be sent to a staff member to start the power meter reading on that site. In addition, when the guest checks out, a notification to stop the reading is sent. With just two clicks of a button, the traditional process of physically visiting the site and taking manual readings is eliminated. 

4. Automated Email and SMS

Keeping in close contact with your guests is extremely important in the hospitality industry. Automated email and SMS capabilities have been used by other industries for years, but they have been making waves in the hospitality industry as of late because of time savings and increased guest engagement without extra effort. Automated messaging allows accommodation providers to send a variety of different types of messages without having to manually craft each message for each guest. 

A single message can be written for SMS or email, with spaces for the guest’s name and other information to be filled in automatically by the software. This is done using qualifiers such as [name], [check-in], [check-out] date, and much more. For example:

  • Bookings can be easily confirmed as soon as the payment is successfully received. 
  • Room codes, site numbers, and other information can be automatically sent to the guest once the booking is confirmed.
  • Upgrades or additional amenities that the guest decides to add to their booking can also be confirmed via an automated email or text message.

Through AI, more complex interactions can be done through automation. For instance, if a guest wants to upgrade their campsite to a different location that costs more, a text message or email can be sent prompting the guest to confirm with a simple Yes or No. Once the system receives this message, the booking can proceed accordingly. 

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Efficiencies Gained from Booking Automation

efficiencies gained from booking automation

When a property management company employs booking automation, a wide range of efficiencies are gained with regard to the standard booking process. These efficiencies are outlined in the table below:

Efficiency from Booking AutomationHow it Works
Automatic scheduling – Automatically schedules a task or notification upon a successful booking, such as cleaning, maintenance, or payment request
– Reduces downtime with staff
– Allows tasks to be completed faster
Updated availability calendar– When a successful booking comes in, your availability calendar is automatically updated on all channels, eliminating double bookings
– Eliminates the need to manually update vacancies on multiple platforms
– Eliminates human error with date selection
Allows for easy channel management– Booking automation can centralize incoming bookings so that all bookings are viewable in one location
– Makes it easy to see current bookings as well as any changes that guests might make to their bookings on different platforms
Easy commission calculations– An automated booking system can compile commissions paid to multiple OTAs, allowing you to view them in one area
– Clear commission payment information allows you to prioritize the OTAs that are the most lucrative for your business

Why Should Companies Use Property Management Marketing Automation?

The efficiency benefits of property management workflow automation can be extended to marketing efforts. Property management marketing automation allows managers to build their business’s brand, stay front of mind with their target audience, and reduce the costs associated with manual marketing tasks.

  • With property management marketing automation, automatic emails can be scheduled to engage with existing and potential customers at the right time. For example, when a new promotion is available, an accommodations package, or to provide general information about your business.
  • Automation can also improve process speed. Let’s say you send an email to a potential guest about a new promotion that you’re running. The guest can click on the link in the email, go through the booking process, and trigger a series of automations that keep the booking flow moving seamlessly from start to finish.
  • The time savings that can be realized with property management marketing automation should also not be ignored. Automation can take over routine marketing activities, so you aren’t spending time manually tracking communications or compiling reports. The most valuable ways you can use property management marketing automation is to schedule customized emails and set up auto-responders for certain inquiries. With automations in place, you can focus your time and attention on building relationships with guests. 

Benefits of Property Management Automation Software

While efficiency gains are a huge benefit of property management automation software, there are other benefits as well. These include:

  1. Eliminating human error. Property management workflow automation performs the same task in the same way every time. This means that the potential for human error is eliminated entirely. This is not to say that staff or managers are incompetent, just that human error is an inevitability that computer automation can solve. 
  2. Save on staffing costs. Hiring and training staff is costly. Now more than ever, property managers have to figure out how to stretch their budgets without affecting their level of customer service or operations. Property management automation software is a worthwhile investment here, as it can reduce workload for yourself and your employees without sacrificing quality of service. In fact, in many cases, the quality of service is increased because of automated responses and instant answers.
  3. Facilitates seamless workflows. From booking to task execution, property management automation can ensure seamless workflows from start to finish. Instead of manually scheduling different tasks, certain triggers can be set up to automatically schedule important tasks without manual management. For example, let’s say a cleaner finds a broken appliance in a room. By submitting a maintenance ticket, a task can be automatically scheduled for someone to go and fix the problem.
  4. Automatic payment collection. Property management automation can help increase the efficiency of payment collections through automated invoicing and payment requests. For instance, let’s say a long-term guest has a weekly payment schedule. An automatic invoice can be generated through software like Newbook, allowing the guest to get their bill and at the same time act as a reminder that they need to pay. 
  5. Ensures consistency. Process consistency is essential for staff and management alike. Every automated process is going to be done the same way every time, ensuring reliability. Staff and management will get used to the automated system’s process, allowing any errors or hitches to be identified and rectified quickly, reducing costly service delays.  
self service kiosks newbook

Opportunities to Use Automation in Property Management

automation in property management

There are endless possibilities for automation in property management. Some important opportunities are outlined in the table below:

Opportunity for Automation in Property ManagementDescription
Maintenance request managementWhen a maintenance request gets sent in, automation can schedule a staff member without any manual intervention needed
Rent collectionFor long-term guests, automated invoicing is essential to ensure that they pay on time and to eliminate the need to manually manage different payment schedules
Lease renewal notifications Similar to rent payments for long-term guests automatic lease renewal notifications keep track of different lease renewal dates, reduce lease expirations, and help facilitate seamless renewals
Expense tracking and reportingFrom expense tracking to budgeting and creating detailed financial reports, automation can help facilitate better financial business management
Reporting and analyticsAutomated reports can provide insights on business performance metrics and other information on a regular basis, making business decisions easier

How to Successfully Set Up a Property Management Workflow Automation

Properly setting up a property management workflow automation depends on your business’s individual procedures, but in a nutshell, here is an example of workflow automation that would transpire from a successful booking through Newbook:

  1. A guest makes a successful booking, either directly or through an OTA. The booking information is automatically sent to Newbook.
  2. Availability calendar information is automatically updated on all channels, including OTAs.
  3. Essential tasks to prepare for the guest’s arrival are scheduled, including cleanings or general maintenance.
  4. Check-in and check-out times are set and sent to the guest via email or SMS.
  5. An invoice is automatically generated and sent to the guest, confirming that their payment went through and their booking has been finalized.

How Newbook’s Property Management Sales Automation Features Can Help Boost Revenue

newbook property management automation

When it comes to property management automation, there are a variety of ways that Newbook’s sales automation features can help boost revenue for your accommodation business.

One of the most important ways that automation can increase revenue is through reduced staffing costs. This doesn’t mean that existing staff members become redundant, but it does mean that workload is reduced. 

For example, consider the fact that without automation, the amount of administrative work needed to keep a typical accommodation business running is quite high. There are bookings to contend with, scheduling, task management, and more that are required for a smooth operational workflow. Without someone overseeing these, likely as a full-time position, things start falling behind. Cleanings aren’t done on time, and maintenance tasks stack up. Plus, customer inquiries need to be answered, and invoices need to be processed.

The workload needed to manage these different processes and workflows is significantly reduced by implementing property management automation. This means that staff can be scheduled to perform more high-value tasks rather than spend the majority of their time on administrative work. 

In addition, there’s revenue management. Managing the different factors that go into setting prices, such as economic conditions, political conditions, guest demand fluctuations, weather, seasonality, and competitor rates, can make setting the right prices difficult. Dynamic pricing automation can help here as well by simplifying price setting via dynamic pricing, freeing the revenue manager to analyze data and insights and use that information to set minimum and maximum price ranges for the dynamic pricing tool to work with. 

channel manager newbook

Final Takeaways 

In a world where property management involves a myriad of time-consuming tasks, embracing automation emerges as a game-changer. 

From the hassles of manually updating booking calendars to handling maintenance requests and ad-hoc inquiries, property management administration can be overwhelming. Herein lies the beauty of automation—a tool that allows accommodation providers to streamline workflows, freeing up time and resources.

The trends in property management automation, ranging from fintech integration for dynamic pricing to automated communication and remote management, showcase the evolution of technology in facilitating seamless operations. Newbook stands as an exemplar, utilizing technologies like AI and ML to automate pricing strategies and streamline operations with ease.

The efficiencies gained through booking automation are substantial, enabling automatic scheduling, real-time updates across platforms, and easy commission calculations, which significantly improves the standard booking process.

Beyond efficiency gains, property management automation software eliminates human error, reduces staffing costs, ensures consistency in workflows, and simplifies payment collections, all contributing to a more effective and reliable operational framework.

Newbook’s automation features contribute to revenue augmentation by reducing staffing burdens and enabling more efficient workflow management.
To learn more about Newbook and how it can improve your business’s bottom line, reach out to us today.

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