Picture this: it’s a beautiful Summer afternoon at your RV park or campground, and you just checked in the last guest for the day. All your spots are full, and looking out into the distance with a glass of wine in hand, you can see children having the best time just kicking a ball around.
“Ah, life managing an RV park isn’t so bad,” you think.
But suddenly, you’re pulled back into reality with stacks of papers on your desk and a laptop that displays your current RV park management software, which causes you to sigh as you recall that you never really learned how to use it properly because of its steep learning curve. People are waiting in your office trying to check in or check out, pay, or ask you questions. You find yourself wishing your daydream that you just had a few minutes ago was true.
How can you optimize your daily workflow so you have time for that glass of wine in the afternoon? You might already have RV park management software, but if the above scenario (or something close to it) is your reality, it’s probably not helping your workflow as much as it should be.
In this article, we give you the lowdown on modern RV park management software, including features, benefits, and recommendations for the best options on the market.
Key Features of RV Park Reservation Software
The best RV park management software today is feature-rich in that they have intuitive booking systems, real-time updates on site availability, and much more. Let’s examine the key features defining the best RV park PMS platforms.
1. Check in and Check Out
Streamlining check-in and check-out is essential for every RV Park and Campground—you don’t want trailers, fifth-wheels, and SUVs packed to the brim taking up the entire road because they’re waiting to check in or out!
Your guest’s statuses should be easily viewable within your RV management software so that the process is reduced from having to click around in the software to find a specific guest to a simple search.
With Newbook, for example, the guest arrival and departure information is displayed prominently on your main dashboard, so most of the time, you just need to click a single button next to a name for check-in and out.
2. Online Reservations
These days, people want to make a reservation online without having to contact a staff member on the phone for help. An excellent online RV park booking app will make it easy for guests to choose a property (if you have multiple campgrounds or RV parks), select a site they like from available sites only, and confirm their reservation. If the process isn’t straightforward and results in them making a call to confirm or bring up a live chat, the chances of them going with a competitor with a newer, better system rise significantly.
With Newbook, online reservations for your RV park or campground are straightforward for your guests and include all the information you need to make sure they have a great experience. For example, you can have your guests input the length of their RV so that the booking app only shows sites that can accommodate an RV of that size. This way, your guest doesn’t arrive only to find out that the site they wanted can’t fit their vehicle, or worse, their vehicle is damaged while they try to fit it into a site that wasn’t made for an RV of that size.
Suppose tedious, repetitive, or time-consuming tasks can be done automatically. In that case, it makes your business more efficient and reduces the chances of human error negatively affecting your operations.
- Automating email and SMS communications for your guests ensures that they get the messages they need at the right time (e.g., a confirmation message after they finish making a reservation or a reminder on check-out times on the day they are supposed to check out), improving their experience.
- On the other hand, business automations can add significant improvements to your business’s operational efficiency. For example, when you integrate Newbook with Wild Energy, a remote meter-reading software, usage stats from individual sites offering power, water, sewer, or any combination of utility services can be measured automatically. This helps you better determine future costs for full-hookup sites, all without needing a staff member or yourself to individually check each meter.
4. Integration Support
Compatibility with your current tech stack is important. You might rely on multiple pieces of software (like the aforementioned Wild Energy) to manage and maintain your campground or RV park. Instead of having all of these software offerings isolated from each other, they should work together through integrations.
Since your RV park management software will be your central operations hub, the option you choose has robust integration support.
Newbook connects to leading OTAs and popular software offerings that you likely use daily for your business’s operations. If an integration isn’t available, there’s always Newbook’s API—a special code that allows you to create custom integrations with Newbook or reach out to a software developer to help them create one for you.
5. Maintenance Management
Keeping a regular site maintenance schedule shouldn’t be complicated. But rather than simply checking all sites once or twice a day and carrying around all your equipment (because you don’t know what needs to be done), maintenance tasks can be set via your RV park management software.
- Did a guest point out that a power cord is frayed and should be changed? A task that notifies your maintenance person on staff on their phone or tablet can be set. This way, they can grab a new power cord and any necessary tools and head to the site immediately to fix the issue.
- Tree felled on a campsite, blocking the main area? Simply put in a task so that your maintenance team can call in someone to remove it or remove it themselves.
- Your utilities monitoring app highlighting unusual water use on a specific campsite (could be due to a leak)? Automatically have the app notify your maintenance team to check it out without you having to lift a finger.
Why Do You Need an RV Booking App?
Flexibility, efficiency, and productivity are the main reasons you need an RV booking app for your campground or RV park. By taking advantage of an RV booking app’s improvements in each of these categories, you’ll quickly find that the saved time equals saved money.
Plus, an RV booking app bridges the gap between desktop software and mobile. If you and your staff are out and about on the property, they can still access important tasks, updates, and other information as if they were in the office. This flexibility means that staff can break away from their desk and finish more in less time while prioritizing the guest experience.
Benefits of Reservation Software for RV Parks
Implementing reservation software for RV parks offers many benefits that can significantly enhance operational efficiency, guest satisfaction, and overall business success.
Here are some key advantages:
1. More Effective Financial and Revenue Management
There are a lot of considerations that factor in before you can set effective and competitive prices for your campground. Proximity to outdoor activities like hiking trails, swimmable lakes, boat launches, fishing, and more affect prices and availability of hookups for RVs. The locations of individual campsites also can affect the price. Tenting sites closer to facilities like washrooms, laundry, and showers might be more desirable, so they may be priced higher. Sites closer to scenic or public areas like beaches may also be priced higher than those without views. Plus, weather conditions, seasonality, and competition drastically affect what prices you set.
Revenue management solutions are essential for campgrounds and RV parks to implement to gather data and set more competitive prices for each of their lots. There are simply too many factors to consider to be able to set effective pricing manually without it being extremely time-consuming.
A revenue management system like Newbook provides dynamic pricing capabilities. It reads through large amounts of data to identify patterns and trends to set automatic pricing for all your sites and properties.
2. Make Better Business Decisions
Reservation software for RV parks can provide useful information and insights that are visualized for you in charts and graphs so you don’t have to dig through datasets. With important data at your fingertips and the ability to understand it at a glance, you can make better and more educated business decisions that will positively impact your business from every angle.
Newbook provides robust reporting options, allowing high-level reports for multiple properties or granular information broken down by property.
3. Better Promote Campground Facilities for Hire and Rentals
Sometimes, while you’re focusing on optimizing reservations, it’s easy to forget about the other items in your repertoire, like campground facilities and outdoor equipment rentals. Capitalizing on these easy-to-add-to-cart items is important for maximizing your revenue potential and enhancing the guest experience.
With Newbook, your guest can easily add a kayak rental, book a communal cooking area for an outdoor party, or rent an additional picnic table for their campsite in the same flow as when they choose their campsite.
4. Manage Recurring Billing Through Automation
Many RV parks have guests with permanent sites that guests use periodically throughout the year or for a certain number of months, depending on where the site is located and weather conditions. Managing long-term stays typically requires manual billing at specific rates that are different from what you charge regular guests, plus manual follow-up when required.
Thankfully, some RV park management software like Newbook offers automated recurring billing for guests who are staying long-term. Instead of creating manual invoices, Newbook automatically generates the right invoice and sends it to the guest. Alongside online payment functionality, you can significantly reduce admin.
5. Guests Have Self-Service Options with a Guest Portal
A guest portal is a win-win piece of software that’s included in most RV park management software options (like Newbook) that allows guests to conveniently modify, cancel, add extras, check-in and out, and make payments without needing to interact with a staff member. This not only means that they can manage their own stay their own way whenever they want but also reduces administrative work for you and your staff.
How to Find the Best RV Park Management Software
Finding the best RV park management software is a crucial step toward ensuring the smooth operation of your business, but it can also be difficult to choose from the myriad of options available on the market. Identifying a solution that meets your business needs requires a bit of research and, in some cases, testing with free trials.
Finding the best RV park management software often starts with a simple Google search, but there are some prerequisites to complete before you jump in:
- Ease of use: If the software is easy to navigate, has an intuitive interface, and shows clear, actionable information where you’d expect it to be, it’s already got a big green flag. If RV park management software is tough to use, you’ll not only likely end up going back to your older, more established manual processes because they are easier for you, but it’ll be tough to gain buy-in from your staff.
- Features versus benefits: It’s easy to get caught up in feature creep, where you see a shiny feature and immediately say, “Oh yes, I want that!” But it’s important to stay focused on what you need, especially if it’s your first time using RV park management software or you’re switching from another system. In both cases, you’re looking for a solution that solves your pain points first. Making a list of what you’d like the software to do in your own words helps to keep you focused and narrow down your options.
- Implementation and Onboarding time: While there might be seasonal downtime that you can take advantage of to get new RV park management software up and running, having a clear understanding of the onboarding process that a company offers, as well as any additional costs that may be associated with it, is important. You’ll want a clear timeline that lists milestones, like when the software is installed, and past data is integrated, when software integrations with other tools in your tech stack are set up, and when you and your staff are trained on the system.
- Set an appropriate budget: By looking at different RV management software solutions that match the features you’re looking for, you can set an appropriate budget for the software. Use websites like Software Advice, Capterra, and G2 to do direct pricing comparisons to narrow your search further.
- Scalability: As your business grows, you want RV park management software that will be able to grow with you. Granular user controls, robust security measures, and a centralized management system for multiple properties are essential.
What to Look for in Revenue and Booking Rates with Campground and RV Park Management Software
One of the most important components of an RV park PMS is the ability to perform robust and accurate dynamic pricing through effective revenue management. Being able to consider multiple data points like weather, economic conditions, political climate, seasonality, competitors, and market conditions and provide pricing that makes sense is paramount.
Manually setting prices for your sites means having the data in front of you, but where Campground and RV management software with revenue management shines is its ability to use current and past data to set the best rates without you having to lift a finger. This means your pricing will always be current and competitive.
To pick the best campground and RV park management software for revenue and booking rates, it’s important to look for the following:
|Software Feature||What to Look for|
|Booking Engine||– Customized branding to instill trust and confidence throughout your booking process (a different brand, tone of writing, and color scheme popping up when a user clicks “book” might make them feel like they are on the wrong website and back out)|
– Availability calendar and site selection that outlines available sites based on specific dates makes it easy for customers to understand when their preferred accommodations are available and when they are not
– Extras and activities incorporated during the booking process, like outdoor equipment rentals and facility rentals, ensure that the guest can easily book what they need to have the best experience and also streamline bookings
– An online guest portal is essential for guest convenience and reducing administration for you. Guests should be able to modify, cancel, or make payments without having to talk to a staff member
|Revenue Management System||– Dynamic pricing is a necessity to ensure that you can offer competitive pricing when you don’t have time for manual management|
– Robust billing options that can handle billing for regular guests and guests that stay long-term
– Automated reports and insights so you always know where your business stands and can make valuable, educated, and effective business decisions
How Newbook Can Help With RV Park Revenue Management
Regarding RV park revenue management with Newbook, three focuses make us stand out from the competition: product, technology, and partnership.
|– One-stop-shop software that offers revenue management, bookings, property management, and more|
– Robust integration support so you can customize how you want the software to work with other apps in your tech stack
– Native OTA connections so that you can maximize your bookings
|– Investment in world-class infrastructure and hosting services so that you don’t have to worry about unreliability|
– Integrated and highly effective security, including encryption, threat anomaly detection, penetration testing, and more, to keep data safe
– 99.99% uptime (max 52 mins 35 secs downtime annually)
|– Customer collaboration is key from the outset so that our customers see us as partners rather than just a software provider|
– During the onboarding process, the customer is assigned an account manager who works with them throughout the entire process
– Support never stops—ongoing support over the phone and through email is available, and quick, effective answers are provided
RV park management software is essential for campsite-style accommodations businesses. The ability to take advantage of automations and dynamic pricing and do more without increasing your workload cannot be ignored. Aside from efficiency gains, RV park management software also gives you valuable insights that you can use to make better and more educated business decisions to help you meet your business goals and objectives.
Newbook is the RV resort management software that you’ve been looking for. Let us show you how by booking a demo with Newbook today.