Imran Jivani is the seasoned General Manager of Portfolio Hotels and Resorts based out of Chicago. He has been in the hotel industry for 22 years and began his hospitality career on the front lines working primarily for boutique hotels. Imran explains that he enjoys working in the boutique space due to its flexibility rather than working with a “scripted environment.”
From Upstate New York to Southern California, the success of this full-service hotel management company operates and manages a select group of 20 properties around the country; a mix of destination resorts and urban hotels. The boutique, people-centric mindset, however, is evident at every property – regardless of size or location. The organization has developed a deep understanding of their customers and offers experiences that are tailored to their specific liking when they stay at one of our hotels. By becoming attuned to the preferences of current and potential guests, they are able to foster meaningful, lasting relationships with them while building long-term value for investors.
Background on the hotel using StayNTouch’s Rover Mobile PMS
116 rooms, European style boutique hotel in Chicago. The clientele is mainly younger, looking for a value-based stay and proximity to the medical district of Chicago.
did you start looking for a new platform?
Rover Mobile PMS is the undisputed leader, in this category, so it was the right decision. Often, people’s misconception of cloud-based systems is that they are not fully-featured, but in fact, this is not necessarily the case. The development and implementation of the system dictates how limited or advanced it may be. Cloud-based systems are more reliable, more flexible, more affordable, and can scale. Rover Mobile PMS had everything we were looking for today and to lead us into the future.
What was the primary focus during the decision-making process?
Imran: Of course, many other elements play a role in the decision to commit to a new property management system. The primary driver was affordability along with finding a PMS that had all the latest ‘bells and whistles’. We wanted to make sure that it suited our environment and that it would meet all of our operational, marketing and guest service needs. We do understand that hotel software can be developed to have too many features based on what is deemed to be the next big thing, but we needed a flexible, future-proof solution that would enable us to manage our hotel the way we wanted to. Another thing to note is the fact that Rover is highly intuitive and allows our front desk employees to have conversations with our guests without being distracted by the PMS system. Guest relationship-building is a key differentiator for our hotel.
How much did the service and support of the solution weigh into your decision-making process?
Imran: In today’s hectic hotel operational environment, the one thing you don’t want to worry about is the support of your PMS. If you need help, you want to feel secure that your technology supplier has your back. StayNTouch has been amazing to work with. We have felt supported from day one and have been able to create connections with everybody in the company. I see that the company has picked up the most knowledgeable team of the hotel support industry. Jos got the best of the best. When we make a recommendation or request a new feature or some different function, the request is managed quickly and effectively. Plus, when I need anything, I am not on hold for hours or waiting for three days for someone to get back to me. I give StayNTouch five stars when it comes to service and support.
In the guest engagement world, what do you think the hotel industry needs to do next to amplify guest service?
Imran: Service differentiation is now among the highest priorities within the hotel landscape. I believe that hotels need to give more control to the guests. The industry needs to put the decision-making process back into the guests’ hands and stop insulting our/their intelligence. Today’s consumers know how to shop around and find the best deals, so now they want to stay at the hotel that enables them to get what they want and how they want it - like remote check-in and out, purchasing ancillary items while on-property or pre-stay.
Also, there is too much information out there today. Guest are inundated, so the decision-making process is overly complicated. We, as an industry, need to make it simple for our guests to choose the right hotel for their trip and personalize their stay experience. If hotels listen to their guests, and go above and beyond in developing relationships with them, they will be able to drive both loyalty and revenues.
To view a live demo of Rover PMS from StayNTouch, please visit StayNTouch.com/demo-requests.
Powering over 85,000 rooms globally, our game-changing solution frees hotels from the constraints of legacy or premise systems, dramatically streamlines operations, increases margins, and revolutionizes how front-line staff connect with guests. StayNTouch is a trusted partner to many of the most forward thinking hotels, resorts, casinos and chains in the industry, including Yotel, Zoku Amsterdam, Conscious Hotels, Valencia Hotels, The Freehand Hotels, Modus hotels and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.
For more information, visit www.StayNTouch.com.