Survey of buyers of hotel management software reveals trendsNewsBy Sean O'Neil | May 9, 2014Share This article was originally published on A majority of small to medium properties that are in the market for new hotel management software are seeking reservation and online booking capabilities in the new tools, according to a new survey.While not a scientifically representative survey, the results are substantial enough to suggest trends in independent hotels looking for specific tools, such as real-time reservation data, online bookings, and guest management capabilities.The survey of 385 hotel management software shoppers was done by Software Advice, an Austin company that has reviewed and recommended enterprise software for 160,000 businesses of all kinds — not just hospitality ones — since 2006.The properties varied, but were generally small independents who "do enough business to require the assistance of a HMS, but are still small enough to be able to make independent decisions about software purchases (unlike most global hotel brands)."Says the report: The reasons buyers gave for replacing an existing HMS are diverse. About 18 percent mention the need to update an older system that doesn’t operate quickly enough, or doesn’t function with newer hardware. Other common reasons include that their current software is missing necessary features (16 percent), such as online bookings or sales channel management, or that they simply need to improve efficiency (15 percent).Share this quoteReal-time reservation data and online sales channel management was noted as the top priorities of shoppers. About 11 percent of the requested features mentioned by the surveyed properties were for guest management features, which can help properties maintain guest preference information.Here's a Slideshare, thought the full report is online. EARLIER: Which incentives should hotels offer to boost direct bookings?NB:Hotel reception desk image via Shutterstock.