Sure, a cloud based property management system such as the SkyTouch Hotel OS can be easy to use. But that doesn’t mean users won’t have any questions regarding how to maximize its capabilities. After all, switching over to such a flexible system peppered with a myriad of productivity tools,  can create some questions.

Already more than 6,200 properties are on the SkyTouch platform, and they’re discovering new ways to maximize opportunity. Take Lori Andrew, GM of the Canadas Best Value Inn Calgary, Alberta, for example. She’s passionate about a special events feature.

“It’s one of my favorite areas: the ease of use. Plus, I [can] do a lot of work from my phone and tablet,” says Andrew, who is finding she is getting a higher special event conversion rate because of the SkyTouch tool. “It’s so clear and easy to implement. You put numbers in and review it and see your creation right there. It keeps revenue happening.”

She was part of a webinar held recently, where we answered the top 5 questions that come through Tech Support. You can listen to that webinar here.

“How do I balance my folio?”

This is by far the number one question industry wide for all cloud based property management systems, explains Kathy Alberda, Supervisor, Technical Services, with SkyTouch. The feature allows for a guest service agent to make a necessary correction directly in the folio.

She says simply do the action from the ‘action bar.’ There, a user can pull charges, adjust them on the fly and enact any necessary changes. This also allows for configuring charge routing, and providing the guest with estimated costs from the folio at any time during the guest stay. “At end print the folio or email directly to the guest to eliminate the paper,” she says.

“How do I find a credit card on a reservation?”

Jordan Jones, Manager, Technical Services at SkyTouch says this is a very common question. Jones says looking up a credit card used on a reservation is needed for a variety of reasons such as changing the guest payment method.

Simply click the ‘reservations’ drop down menu and click the ‘payment info’ tab. Then click on ‘unmasked button’, and the credit card information is displayed. Be aware that the default setting masks the credit card number from the reservation and is restricted.. It’s there to keep information secure, and only the GM can unmask and view the information..

“Such focus on security makes it easy to see who unmasked an encrypted card, which allows you to track controls and react to them,” says Jones. “You can run a decryption report where you’re able to see user ID, credit card, type of card and the IP address of those who unmasked the credit card.”

“What report do I use for reporting taxes?”

Stewart Black, with SkyTouch’s Training Services  believes this is a great tool for knowing just how much is owed for various taxes at a specific time, such as when you must pay quarterly taxes.

Access the report by going to the ‘run report’ menu and select ‘hotel general summary’ report. From there the ‘hotel journal’ summary allows the user to select a date range. Then the screen is automatically populated with a net total column as well as columns for state tax, occupancy tax and other indicators that determine the financial liability that must be reported.

“How do you route charges to a different account?”

This is a critical feature for when a single person is handling payment for people in multiple rooms, such as a local construction crew taking up five rooms. The company in charge of paying for all those rooms in many cases prefer all charges to be routed to one bill, one payment and one receipt.

From the “in house list” on the ‘guest info’ page, follow actions in ‘guest folio.’  From ‘guest folio’ take actions into ‘configure charge routing.’ From there you choose whether a room is a ‘source’ (the folks being paid for) or ‘target,’ i.e. the one paying the total bill. Simply select each name individually and hit save. At that point, all future changes are routed to one account, making everything easier, says Black.

“How do I optimize rates for special events?”

Lance Jones, Sales Engineer Business Development with SkyTouch says there are different rates for special events, and many times they have different restrictions too.

He says simply create an event, add start and end date, cancelation policy, and add applicable discounts, or removal of special rates, such as no special AAA rate during the date range.

Here you can also set up stay controls for minimum length of stay or selling limits, if desired. This feature also provides the ability to put rates in rate buckets for items such as extra person in the room or a charge for a crib or rollaway bed.

Watch the full webinar here: