Why an RFP is a great tool to choose the right Property Management System for your hotel organization

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June 7, 2024By Christophe Harnisch

In today's rapidly evolving hospitality industry, technology plays a pivotal role in the success of hotels. From property management systems (PMS) to guest experience apps and beyond, choosing the right technology is critical for streamlining operations, increasing guest satisfaction, and remaining competitive. There are several reasons to switch PMSs and select a new hotel management system. Either the existing solution is too old and no longer meets today's technological requirements e.g. cloud, mobility, integrations, self-service, etc. or the existing hotel software fails to meet the expectations in terms of features, functionalities, user experience, support, agility, or other dissatisfaction with the software or provider.

Choosing the right Property Management System (PMS) for your hotel is a critical decision that can have a significant impact on operational efficiency, guest satisfaction, and ultimately, your bottom line. Accurate reporting and segmentation of your customer base provide valuable insights and data-driven decisions, leading to long-term revenue growth. With so many PMS solutions on the market making an informed decision can be difficult. That's where a Request for Proposal (RFP) comes into play. In this blog post, we'll explore why an RFP is the best tool to help you choose the right PMS for your hotel.

Understanding the Importance of a PMS

Before delving into the benefits of using an RFP, it's essential to understand the importance of a Property Management System for hotels. A PMS acts as the central nervous system of your property, streamlining your hotel operations, managing reservations, automating various tasks, and enhancing the guest experience and so much more. This allows your employees to focus on more important aspects of the business, such as guest service. This can improve guest and employee retention and is crucial to the long-term success of your hotel. As a result, selecting the right PMS is critical. Increasing retention means that more guests will book directly with you, resulting in stronger and more loyal guest connections and increased income. The right hotel management system can also assist you in optimizing your pricing strategies and as a result increase bookings and revenues. It plays a pivotal role in your hotel's day-to-day operation, making its selection a critical decision. 

What is an RFP?

In the business world, finding the right vendors or service providers is a crucial aspect of ensuring the success of a project, such as selecting new software. This is where a Request for Proposal (RFP) comes into play. A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a formal document that businesses use to solicit bids from potential vendors or service providers. In the context of selecting a PMS for your hotel, an RFP serves to obtain a comprehensive view of the market, understand what options are available, and evaluate the capabilities and information of the various potential vendors in a structure manner. It outlines your hotel's specific needs, expectations, and evaluation criteria, allowing the different vendors to respond with detailed proposals that address your requirements. By issuing an RFP, hotels are able to make informed decisions and choose the best PMS vendor who provides them the best solution and value.

Benefits of Using an RFP for PMS Selection

1. Clarity and Specificity

A well-written RFP ensures that your desired features, functionality, technical requirements, and expectations are all clearly defined, leaving no room for ambiguity. This clarity allows the vendors to understand your expectations accurately.

2. Customization

Different hotels have different needs and their own set of requirements. An RFP allows you to tailor your selection criteria to better match your organization’s unique and specific requirements, ensuring the perfect technology setup is possible.

3. Accountability of PMS Vendors

By documenting your expectations in an RFP, you hold them accountable for meeting your specifications. This reduces the risk of misunderstandings or broken promises, as well as the likelihood of disputes.

4. Comprehensive Evaluation

An RFP enables you to thoroughly evaluate vendors comprehensively by comparing their responses to your specific criteria. This methodical approach ensures a fair and impartial evaluation.

5. Future Proofing

The RFP process can assist you in identifying the right PMS partner who can grow and adapt with your organization growth and strategy.


Steps to Creating an Effective PMS RFP


1. Define Your Objectives

Begin by clearly outlining your hotel's objectives and what you want to accomplish within a specific time frame by implementing a new PMS. This lays the foundation for the rest of the RFP.

2. Identify Key Requirements

List the essential features and functionalities you need in a PMS. Involve different departments and stakeholders to understand their requirements and expectations from the new PMS. This could include expected needs for example in profile and reservation management, rate management and billing, user management, guest and staff facing mobile apps, self-service features, reporting, setup, additional modules to point of sales (POS), sales and events management (S&C), and so on, as well as integration capabilities with other systems.

3. Evaluation Criteria

It is critical to establish a set of evaluation criteria that will be used to assess vendor responses. Cost, scalability, support, and user-friendliness, technical architecture and so on, needs also to be considered.

4. Detailed Questions

Develop a list of detailed questions that vendors must address in their proposals. These questions should be tailored to your hotel's needs and objectives.

5. Timeline and Budget

Clearly define key dates in the RFP, such as the RFP release date, submission deadline, expected decision date and possibly also budget constraints. This helps the vendors to better understand your expectations and constraints.

6. Potential Vendors

Distribute your RFP to the vendors that seem like a possible good fit for your hotel based on your research. 


Finally, choosing the right Property Management System is a pivotal decision for your hotel's success. An RFP is the best tool for making an informed decision. It offers clarity, customization, vendor accountability, and a thorough evaluation process. You may build an effective PMS RFP by following the steps mentioned in this blog post. This will assist you in selecting a system that aligns with your hotel's unique objectives and goals. Remember, investing time and effort into the RFP process can yield substantial returns in the form of enhanced efficiency, guest and staff satisfaction, and profitability for your hotel.

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