When we started building Roombler (early 2014), there were no mobile solutions for managing an accommodation business (at least none that I knew of). A few modern alternatives had started to surface, but they were all built for the desktop browser.
This still holds true today. Gladly, there are more and better alternatives out there. And the big players have started to move a bit, going from installed software only to being able to reach at least some parts of the system from a browser. I'm glad that we're seeing the market move in the right direction. But everything is still moving slow and the majority of accommodation owners we speak to still either have no clue what to use or use a system that they are clearly dissatisfied with.
We strongly believe (obviously) that having a mobile approach to manage your hotel, your vacation rentals, your B&B or your apartment rentals is in many cases the best choice. You shouldn't use a mobile solution for the sake of mobile. You should use a mobile solution because of the benefits it will bring.
Some of the added benefits we see when talking to and observing our customers are:
Easy to learn. Easy to use. The number one problem with many of the other solutions available is that they are extremely complex and notoriously hard to learn and use. We believe that everybody can, and should, use a system to manage their accommodation business. Even the smallest ones with one or two units. There is no reason anybody should be forced to use pen and paper anymore. If they don't want to. The number 1 reason we see for not using any system at all is that people don't know what they need and they feel that spending all that time trying to learn something that should be natural and easy is just not worth it. Mobile gives us as developers a very constrained environment that forces us to hide all the complexities. This is why Roombler is very easy to learn and use.
Always at your side. I remember a time when Facebook was still a browser only experience. I didn't use it very often, maybe checked on it a couple of times each week. I also remember when they decided that mobile was going to be their future. Suddenly Facebook was right there in my phone, giving me notifications whenever something happened. This was a fundamental shift for Facebook, and for me as a Facebook user. These days you most likely check Facebook many times each day. It has become part of many peoples daily routine. I am certain that business (enterprise and small alike) software is going in the same direction. And especially for small business owners. The business you run is very much a part of your life, so why wouldn't you have an app that tells you each time something is going on. Each time a new reservation has been made, each time someone checks in and so on. An app where you at any time can perform crucial business operations.
Let everybody play. Today virtually everybody have a mobile device. So by using a mobile approach to managing your accommodation business, means it is much easier to let everybody in on the fun (and the boring). One of the most common situations we see is that you are a couple of people running the business. But in almost every case only one person is responsible for managing bookings. This is because most systems (including pen and paper) is surprisingly single user centric. Even if you use a digital system, only one person "owns" the booking calendar. This is strange and certainly not optimal. Using Roombler lets everybody make business critical operations, not leaving different parts of the business management to only one person.
Now, the traits described above is of course traits of Roombler, not something that automagically appears in any system just because it is mobile. But I believe that by going mobile we have been forced to think hard around a lot of different areas. And the ones above are some of those.