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8 Best Motel Management Software of 2024

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Jordan Hollander in Operations

Last updated November 28, 2023

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Can motels use technology designed for hotels? What is the best software for motels to use in daily operations? Although hotels and motels have a lot of similarities, they have some key differences that affect the kind of tech needed to accept reservations, manage rooms and rates, and communicate with guests. As a motel operator, you don’t want to pay for bells and whistles you don’t need, like a module for making spa reservations, but you likely want software with a responsive support team, user-friendly core functionality, and strong track record for performance. But it can be difficult to deduce which software might be the best fit for your unique property. In this article, we’ll introduce you to two types of motel software: property management systems and guest apps. We’ll explain why they’re great for motels and what features to look for so you can make a more educated buying decision. Let’s dive in!

What makes motels different from regular hotels?

Taking a step back, what are the differences between motels and regular hotels? These two lodging types have a lot in common: they both have rooms to accommodate guests, they have front desks and housekeeping, and they might have some other on-site amenities like parking, a pool, or a gym. But that’s just about where the similarities end. While hotels are often found in the city center or near a demand driver, motels are ubiquitous – even the smallest town has a motel, and travelers can stop at a motel off nearly every exit off the interstate. Motels usually have a smaller footprint than hotels; motels might have one or two floors with less than 100 rooms in total, while hotels have upwards of several hundred keys. Motels tend to be no-frills: a clean room, basic amenities, continental breakfast, and perhaps a small pool or basic fitness center. Hotels can be packed with amenities like restaurants, bars, meeting rooms, spas, and retail, meaning that a sizable percentage of revenue comes from non-rooms departments.

To manage all of those hotel departments, hotels need a lot of staff, compared to motels, which might have just a couple of housekeepers and a front desk manager on-site at a given time. All of these factors lead guests to have different expectations when staying at a hotel or a motel. Guests expect a higher level of service at a hotel, but they’re also paying more for that service. Motel guests want lower rates, clean rooms, and an efficient check-in and checkout process so they can get to sleep or continue on their journey.

What is a motel management system?

Some motels still operate off a physical reservation book and a phone line, but many motels are transitioning into the modern age with a property management system doing the heavy lifting in the back office. A property management system, or PMS, is the central software used to book and manage reservations, track which rooms are clean or dirty, and collect payment from guests. While motels, hotels, and resorts all use PMSs, the functionality they need varies. For motels, the most important features of your PMS are reservation management, mobile-friendliness (so you can manage operations away from the front desk), and price. It’s not necessary to pay for a sophisticated system designed for resorts when you really only need a few features of that system. Choosing a simple and affordable PMS is a great option for most motels.

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What are the most popular property management systems for motels?

Let’s take a closer look at four leading property management systems that can be a good fit for your motel.

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THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
89 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Designed especially for small properties, InnRoad offers robust functionality that motel operators will appreciate. This cloud-based PMS houses your database of guest profiles and reservations, allows guests to book on your website through their booking engine, and can connect your motel to various third-party sites with the integrated channel manager. InnRoad’s team is available 24/7 for support, and they make the switch from another seamless, with free transfer of your past and future reservation data.
Product logo
innRoad Property Management Systems
THE PITCH
RATINGS
89 HT Score
Designed especially for small properties, InnRoad offers robust functionality that motel operators will appreciate. This cloud-based PMS houses your database of guest profiles and reservations, allows guests to book on your website through their booking engine, and can connect your motel to various third-party sites with the integrated channel manager. InnRoad’s team is available 24/7 for support, and they make the switch from another seamless, with free transfer of your past and future reservation data.
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Image
THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
87 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn More
Trusted by over 6,500 properties, RMS is a tried-and-true property management system that can deliver a lot of value to motels. Along with standard features like reservation management, rooms management, and guest profiles, RMS can streamline back office activities like payment processing and reporting. Because RMS also serves larger hotels and results, motels can benefit from functionality more basic property management systems might lack, like upsell offers and integration with your point-of-sale system for food and beverage or retail items.
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RMS Cloud PMS Property Management Systems
THE PITCH
RATINGS
87 HT Score
Trusted by over 6,500 properties, RMS is a tried-and-true property management system that can deliver a lot of value to motels. Along with standard features like reservation management, rooms management, and guest profiles, RMS can streamline back office activities like payment processing and reporting. Because RMS also serves larger hotels and results, motels can benefit from functionality more basic property management systems might lack, like upsell offers and integration with your point-of-sale system for food and beverage or retail items.
Learn More
Image
THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
99 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn More
As the 2023 winner in the Property Management System category at the HotelTechAwards, Cloudbeds is one of the top property management systems for any type of hotel, but it works especially well for motels and small hotels. Striking a good balance between functionality and affordability, Cloudbeds has all the features you need without going overboard on extras you wouldn’t use. Not only is Cloudbeds known for their helpful customer support team, but the software gets rave reviews for its user-friendliness: “I love Cloudbeds because it's user friendly and easy to train people on. Almost anyone can jump on the computer and know what’s going on with our reservations system.”
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Cloudbeds PMS Property Management Systems
THE PITCH
RATINGS
99 HT Score
As the 2023 winner in the Property Management System category at the HotelTechAwards, Cloudbeds is one of the top property management systems for any type of hotel, but it works especially well for motels and small hotels. Striking a good balance between functionality and affordability, Cloudbeds has all the features you need without going overboard on extras you wouldn’t use. Not only is Cloudbeds known for their helpful customer support team, but the software gets rave reviews for its user-friendliness: “I love Cloudbeds because it's user friendly and easy to train people on. Almost anyone can jump on the computer and know what’s going on with our reservations system.”
Learn More
Image
THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
90 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn More
With a stellar rating of 4.7/5 from HotelTechReport reviewers, WebRezPro is a cloud-based property management system that works well for motels, inns, B&Bs, and small hotels. The system has all the essential features for front desk and back office tasks, like inventory management, accounting, and reporting. WebRezPro has a mobile app, making it easy to manage your property on the go, and one reviewer mentions it’s especially useful for housekeeping staff: “I also like how housekeepers can access the system from their own phone to change the status of the rooms.”
Product logo
WebRezPro Property Management Systems
THE PITCH
RATINGS
90 HT Score
With a stellar rating of 4.7/5 from HotelTechReport reviewers, WebRezPro is a cloud-based property management system that works well for motels, inns, B&Bs, and small hotels. The system has all the essential features for front desk and back office tasks, like inventory management, accounting, and reporting. WebRezPro has a mobile app, making it easy to manage your property on the go, and one reviewer mentions it’s especially useful for housekeeping staff: “I also like how housekeepers can access the system from their own phone to change the status of the rooms.”
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What is a guest app for motels?

Besides a property management system, another popular and high-impact system to use at your motel is a guest experience app. This software can replace that physical binder that contains your policies, recommendations, and answers to frequently asked questions. Guests can reference the guest app for information about your property – everything that would normally live in that binder – and they can even communicate with the front desk and complete the check-in process through the app. On the back end, employees can respond to guest inquiries, take action on requests, and easily update content. Motels should look for a guest app that’s easy to maintain, is mobile-friendly, and comes at an affordable price.

What are the most popular guest apps for motels?

Which guest experience apps suit the needs of motels? Let’s review four of the best.

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THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
79 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn More
Boasting a 4.9/5 rating on HotelTechReport, Akia is a world-class guest messaging app that’s recommended by 98% of B&Bs and limited service hotels who reviewed it. Akia leverages text messages to communicate with guests, so there’s no need for guests to download an app. However, Akia has a web-based app that looks and feels a lot like an app you’d download, only it’s accessible by simply clicking a link. Motels can build automated message flows that power contactless check-in, checkout reminders, mid-stay feedback requests, and more.
Product logo
Akia Guest Messaging Software
THE PITCH
RATINGS
79 HT Score
Boasting a 4.9/5 rating on HotelTechReport, Akia is a world-class guest messaging app that’s recommended by 98% of B&Bs and limited service hotels who reviewed it. Akia leverages text messages to communicate with guests, so there’s no need for guests to download an app. However, Akia has a web-based app that looks and feels a lot like an app you’d download, only it’s accessible by simply clicking a link. Motels can build automated message flows that power contactless check-in, checkout reminders, mid-stay feedback requests, and more.
Learn More
Image
THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
100 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn More
Another HotelTechAward winner, Canary’s guest app can streamline your check-in experience by automating and digitizing tasks like credit card authorizations, ID verification, and guest registration. If you’re interested in going the route of contactless check-in, Canary has all the functionality to support a fully contactless arrival. Using Canary’s messaging feature, guests can ask questions and submit requests to your front desk, and staff can respond in real-time, from anywhere on property.
Product logo
Canary Messages Guest Messaging Software
THE PITCH
RATINGS
100 HT Score
Another HotelTechAward winner, Canary’s guest app can streamline your check-in experience by automating and digitizing tasks like credit card authorizations, ID verification, and guest registration. If you’re interested in going the route of contactless check-in, Canary has all the functionality to support a fully contactless arrival. Using Canary’s messaging feature, guests can ask questions and submit requests to your front desk, and staff can respond in real-time, from anywhere on property.
Learn More
Image
THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
74 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn More
Runtriz offers a few guest app options so you can pick what truly works best for your motel. Their suite of products includes a web-based guest app and a downloadable app where guests can complete check-in, verify their ID, browse property information, and even unlock their guestroom door using mobile key technology. Runtriz also offers text message and chat options for guest communication, enabling guests to use their preferred method of communication to reach the front desk.
Product logo
Runtriz Hotel Guest Apps
THE PITCH
RATINGS
74 HT Score
Runtriz offers a few guest app options so you can pick what truly works best for your motel. Their suite of products includes a web-based guest app and a downloadable app where guests can complete check-in, verify their ID, browse property information, and even unlock their guestroom door using mobile key technology. Runtriz also offers text message and chat options for guest communication, enabling guests to use their preferred method of communication to reach the front desk.
Learn More
Image
THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
14 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn More
Garnering a massive 97% recommend rate on HotelTechReport, Guest EQ provides motel operators with a text messaging platform that was created with independent operators in mind. The software allows staff to digitize workflows, especially related to guest requests. Staff members can triage, assign, and follow up on tickets in the Guest EQ portal so nothing is overlooked. In addition to giving guests an easy way to communicate with the front desk, Guest EQ helps employees stay organized and accomplish tasks across departments.
Product logo
GuestEQ Guest Messaging Software
THE PITCH
RATINGS
14 HT Score
Garnering a massive 97% recommend rate on HotelTechReport, Guest EQ provides motel operators with a text messaging platform that was created with independent operators in mind. The software allows staff to digitize workflows, especially related to guest requests. Staff members can triage, assign, and follow up on tickets in the Guest EQ portal so nothing is overlooked. In addition to giving guests an easy way to communicate with the front desk, Guest EQ helps employees stay organized and accomplish tasks across departments.
Learn More

Technology Levels the Playing Field Between Luxury and Limited Service

Motels typically operate with lightly staffed models and experience high guest turnover, making efficient operations and excellent guest experiences essential. Here's why technology is vital for motels:

Efficiency and Streamlined Operations: Motels can benefit from an all-in-one property management system (PMS) that includes modules for reservation management, invoicing, point of sale (POS), and more. A cloud-based PMS can automate day-to-day operations, such as check-ins, invoicing, and payment processing, reducing the workload on the front desk staff and enabling them to focus on guest interactions.

  • Real-time Updates and Inventory Management: With a channel manager integrated into the PMS, motels can manage their booking channels, including online travel agencies (OTAs) like Booking.com and Expedia, as well as their own online booking engine. This ensures that room availability, pricing, and occupancy are always up-to-date across all platforms, minimizing the risk of overbooking or double bookings.

  • Effective Pricing and Revenue Management: Technology allows motels to implement dynamic rate management strategies to maximize profitability. Hotel management software can provide real-time data on occupancy and demand trends, helping moteliers adjust pricing accordingly to optimize revenue.

  • Enhanced Guest Experience: Delivering a great guest experience is no longer limited to luxury properties. Motels can use technology to offer user-friendly online booking engines, mobile apps for check-in and messaging, and CRM systems to personalize guest interactions. These features enhance the guest experience while keeping operational costs in check.

  • Direct Bookings and Commission-Free Revenue: Motels can reduce their reliance on OTAs by promoting direct bookings through their websites and mobile apps. This not only saves on commission fees but also allows moteliers to have more control over their pricing and policies.

  • Upselling and Additional Services: Motel software solutions often include upselling features at the booking stage and during the guest's stay. This can lead to increased revenue by offering guests add-on services, such as late check-outs, room upgrades, or amenities.

  • Customer Support and Communication: Cloud-based PMS often come with messaging capabilities, allowing motels to communicate with guests in real-time. This enhances customer support and enables motels to address guest inquiries and requests promptly.

  • Back Office Management: Technology can assist in managing back-office functions such as inventory tracking, employee scheduling, and accounting, which are critical for profitability and day-to-day operations.

  • Payment Security: Secure payment processing solutions integrated into the PMS ensure that credit card information is handled safely and in compliance with industry standards.

  • Adaptability and Future-Proofing: With the rapid advancement of technology, motels need to stay current to remain competitive. Investing in adaptable software solutions ensures that the motel can evolve and integrate new features as needed.

Technology is essential for motels to efficiently manage their day-to-day operations, increase profitability, and deliver exceptional guest experiences. It allows motels to compete effectively in a highly competitive market, where great experiences are expected even in budget-friendly lodging options like motels, B&Bs, inns, and hostels. Adopting cloud-based property management systems and other software solutions can significantly contribute to the success and profitability of motel businesses.

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Jordan Hollander
Jordan is the co-founder of Hotel Tech Report, the hotel industry's app store where millions of professionals discover tech tools to transform their businesses. He was previously on the Global Partnerships team at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Prior to his work with SPG, Jordan was Director of Business Development at MWT Hospitality and an equity analyst at Wells Capital Management. Jordan received his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management where he was a Zell Global Entrepreneurship Scholar and a Pritzker Group Venture Fellow.