There are literally dozens of property management systems on the market, but it’s fairly easy to thin the herd if you demand a true technology partner. That’s primarily what made IQware stand out recently among at least 10 other property management system (PMS) vendors vying to optimize operations at three of East West Resorts’ slope-side destinations comprising more than 700 managed units.
“We started to look at PMS vendors’ technology and teams last April,” says Mary Beth Ottley, Systems Manager for East West Resorts. “We looked into at least 10 companies, but we knew within jut two months that IQware had what we wanted - a world-class system proven in the management world and an experienced, committed team that would listen closely to the needs of our different divisions so we could best serve our property owners and their guests.”
Before partnering with IQware last summer, East West Resorts’ high-end properties in Beaver Creek, Colo., Big Sky, Mont., and Tahoe, Calif., for the past 15 years had managed inventory using antiquated “green screen,” DOS-based property management systems. Deploying the Microsoft Windows/SQL Server-based IQware Global Property Management System would require a bit of custom work and on-site training but East West Resorts’ due diligence showed that IQware’s customers are in good hands.
Management of Rental Condominiums with Hotel-like Services
“You can find property management systems that handle traditional hotels all over the place, but finding a system designed for our kind of rental condominiums is a horse of a different color,” Ottley says. “We needed a flexible-yet-comprehensive system proven to handle rental operations and high-end home care. IQware delivered on both counts.”
Not every PMS can accommodate such a service-oriented collection of mountain resorts. IQware technology goes way beyond informing East West Resorts’ property managers which owners and renters plan to arrive where and when, and how long they’ll be staying. The intuitive software also allows owners to tell property managers how to air out and ready their residences - including everything from what room temperatures they want their units set at to what groceries they want their refrigerators and cupboards stocked with.
“East West Resorts is known for its world-class amenities. We provide these high-end services for both our owners and renters,” Ottley adds.
The IQware Global Property Management System’s modular design, open architecture and experienced custom software developers helped ensure that East West Resorts could offer owners highly customized, detailed rental contracts and related booking schedules - with the capability for owners to access, change and share that information over the Internet with just a few clicks.
“Owners can and do change their minds on when they’re coming and going, as well as when they’ll rent their residences, to whom, and under what specific terms,” Ottley says. “Every owner is different and how he wants us to manage his residence might be different tomorrow than it is today. IQware helps us, and our valued property owners and guests, stay on top of every last detail in real time.”
While the system’s unique management functionality certainly was key, Ottley says the “real deal maker” was IQware’s commitment to custom development and comprehensive training so clients can maximize returns on their technology investments.
“During our due diligence, we heard from several of IQware’s clients, and now we’ve experienced firsthand, how IQware also regularly goes above and beyond for its customers,” Ottley says. “IQware does a remarkable job post implementation. They’re simply amazing technology partners.”
The installations began in August and concluded in mid-September, but the custom development work and hands-on training and support continues even today.
“While some PMS suppliers make the sale and then basically just walk away, IQware stays and intently listens to our unique needs and then takes the time and care to truly customize its suite of robust applications to meet our every need,” Ottley adds. “IQware continues to help us crank up the functionality as our team members get over the learning curve and we brainstorm more ways to hand tailor the system so it’s even more user friendly and productive for East West Resorts and our owners and guests.”
Liza Smith, Director of Finance for East West Resorts’ Tahoe Mountain Resorts Lodging, concurs.
“IQware’s talented trainers are very knowledgeable and helpful,” Smith notes. “They spent two weeks with us here in Tahoe, which really helped us hit the ground running. But since IQware’s technology toolbox is so extensive, and sometimes we just don’t know what we don’t know, some follow-up was needed. In those cases, we picked up the phone and received immediate, professional assistance - not someone’s voice mail or a voice recognition system at a third-party support center.”
The Intelligent Solution
Dan Brown, IQware’s VP of Sales, says the installations included the following optional modules selected by East West Resorts:
Advanced Group Management
Allotment/Tour Operator Management
Sales/Travel Agent Commissions
Yield Management (4-Tier)
Zip Code Look-Up
Condo Owner Online Access
Brown added that custom development included, among other things:
? Properties (Units), Contracts & Owners - Add configurable contract types to the condo agreements; allow S/A agent chargeback overrides at the contract level; enhance the Refusal clause; add Seasonal Length of Stay and Seasonal Saturday-Saturday restrictions; create dummy rooms for lock-offs; link and list additional names to condo contracts; allow the number of promotional nights to be set a the contract level; and create an ACH file to collect money from owners as well as send it;
Reservations, Packages & Activities - Allow unit grading from 1 to 100; permit group shoulder dates; management of travel insurance, included in the deposit policy and charged at a % of the total stay (including taxes); create the Payable 30 days prior to arrival; add stay frequencies to the Sales screen; and manage the split of the cancellation penalty with condo owner;
Reports - Print the posting journal by GL number; and provide average length of stay reports to separate OWN, FOO, COMP;
Work Orders & Maintenance - Invoice parts and labor to different GL accounts within the same WO; provide a preset list of parts and labor types for ease of entry; link labor and parts prices each contract; add the vendor /invoice number to the line item for reference on the external WO during the reconciliation process; track individual labor hours billed; add a comment field with the WO posting to the owner statement; and assign the markup to the line items, not globally on parts and labor;
Housekeeping - Establish flexible cleaning levels based on lengths of stay; assign multiple maids to a room; and attach piece value to cleaning levels;
Online Capabilities - Automatically process the CC deposit for online reservations and process it for 2nd/3rd deposits when “guest approved” at the time of original booking and deposit; and allow certain units to be booked at the unit number level and others at the unit type level.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to optimize operations at properties the caliber of East West Resorts’ one-of-kind mountain destinations,” concludes David Perkins, IQware President & CEO. “Our custom development on this job speaks volumes about what we’re all about. For 25 years, we’ve proved one property, one comprehensive customized solution at a time, that we’re much more than just another PMS vendor. We’re hospitality’s single-source technology partner.”
East West Resorts
East West Resorts is a hospitality industry leader with property management expertise in hotel, timeshare and wholly owned properties located in California, Colorado and Montana. East West offers great mountain vacations to consumers worldwide. East West Resorts was founded in Beaver Creek in 1987 and since that time has applied and perfected its clear business model based on quality accommodations and exceptional service, with a core business philosophy of providing unforgettable vacation experiences. As a property management company, East West Resorts provides the structure and management to help our partners succeed. When you are ready for your perfect vacation rental, whether for your next ski vacation or golf vacation, visit www.eastwestresort.com and call us at 888-832-7893 – let us help you with all your mountain lodging needs.
Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based IQware has been “Helping Hospitality Partner With IntelligenceSM” for 25 years. Today, more than 5,000 end users utilize IQware software to help best market and manage more than 100,000 rooms generating more than $3 billion in gross room revenue. IQware brings with it more than 300 years of combined experience managing hospitality properties and developing and supporting related software. “Built By Hoteliers For Hoteliers,” IQware’s Global Property Management System and more than two dozen add-on modules optimize operations at properties of all types - limited- and full-service hotels, resorts, condo-hotels and timeshares - and all sizes - from regional hotel chains to multi-property management companies to small independents IQware is Your Single-Source Technology Partner through ongoing customized training, user-driven technology development, 24x7 support and lifetime software upgrades. Looking for a competitive edge? Look no further. IQware “Helps Hospitality Better Find, Book, Host, Know & Retain Clients.” IQware solutions offer numerous ROI-generating tools including e-marketing, four-tier yield management, Web-Rez, packages, loyalty points, IQDestinations and IQLink — which pushes your existing PMS inventory directly to the most effective and profitable Intranet, GDS and Extranet channels, saving you $10 or more (5%) per online transaction. And because IQware’s Global Property Management System has served as the heart of so many hotel operations for a quarter century, today IQware also can provide the lifeblood for Condo Management, Point Of Sale, Sales & Catering, Online Reservations, Spa Management, Marina Management, Central Reservations System and e-CRM electronic (Customer Relationship Management). IQware takes technology partnering to a new level - just ask our ever-expanding family of clients conducting business in two dozen countries. For more information, visit www.iqwareinc.com or call (877) 698-5151.