CHANGING PRODUCT, CHANGING PMS

The popularity of the condo-hotel is changing the way hotel companies do software business. Examples include the new, upscale Lexington Collection from the Vantage Hospitality Group, which bundles condo-hotel PMS software in its membership offerings. In addition, Hotel Information Systems has partnered with CondotelWare to provide a condo-hotel PMS; clients include Kimpton Hotel Group, The Falor Companies, Kor Hotel Group and Dolce International. All those companies offer a variety of lodging and lodging-related configurations.

In the Vantage case, new condo-hotel software from IQWare joins other components such as a GenaRes central reservation application and the traditional IQWare PMS, according to Roger Bloss, Vantage CEO.

“IQWare has all kinds of different levels of their system, which we've adapted to meet our brand segmentation,” Bloss says. “It's not like you have to buy Model 73526; it's offering what you need and adapting it.”

In hotels, accounting affects one owner; it's different with condo-hotels. “Instead of accounting to one owner, you're accounting to hundreds, maybe thousands,” Bloss explains. “With condos, you have to have condo operations, including owners' profile, owners' fulfillment, and accounting and management of internal condo units that may have many different owners. Then you may have external, rental units.”

David Perkins, president and CEO of IQWare, suggests condo-hotel software must handle very complex transactions. “In a condo hotel, once someone buys a unit, it's given to an owner or manager to run, and there's a split on the revenues. The property management company and the owner split the revenue based on their contract.” After the appropriate fees are deducted, a check is issued to the owner. The software has to deal with all these variables — and more.

“With hoteliers today, it's a big education curve,” says Brian Bowerfind, vice president and general manager, Hotel Information Systems. “A lot of hotels getting into mixed-use need experts in the field to help them when it comes to owner statements.”

Bowerfind says the Kimpton and Falor firms approached HIS for help with their mixed-use environments. An executive from Timeshareware turned HIS on to CondotelWare. Bowerfind and Allen Rice, executive VP of CondotelWare, began to “pencil in where the touch points needed to be,” Bowerfind says. “We asked where the property management system left off and the condo system picked up; you want it to be seamless for the guest or the owner.” Transparent and invisible, too.

“The bulk of the hotel requirement functionality is contained within the PMS,” Bowerfind says. “One of the key elements owners want today is to deal with one company, so everything goes on HIS's contract, and HIS utilizes the expertise from CondotelWare behind the scenes.”

Hotel owners dealing in this increasingly complex environment can add the CondotelWare module to their regular HIS PMS, Rice says, “so that they can continue to do business as they normally would as a hotel while in the back office, CondotelWare is handling all of the owner accounting.”

“We're not finding any leads today that don't have some component of mixed use,” Bowerfind says.

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