9 Devices Every Host Should
Put In Their Vacation Rental
There are a wide number of benefits to modernizing your vacation rental with smart home devices. As well as improving property safety and security, home automation and intelligent features can also make for a more comfortable and convenient stay for guests. In addition, smart appliances can boost the value of a rental property while simultaneously helping reduce costs and impact on the environment. A further advantage is that some smart home devices can even simplify processes and optimize the overall management of a vacation rental, allowing hosts to run their businesses remotely.
Keyless entry to your property by way of a smart lock is one of the most convenient upgrades you can add to your vacation rental. No matter the type of lock in question, a keyless entry system is a much safer option for short-term rental properties.
First off, it allows guests to enter and leave the property without having to think about the logistics of who needs the key and when. Secondly, for those systems which use a key code, a unique number can be generated for each incoming guest or group ahead of check-in, facilitating a smoother arrival and departure process. Intelligent locks also help to prevent accidental incidences of travelers leaving the front door unlocked as they generally lock automatically on closure. Finally, it’s impossible for guests to lose the key or make a physical copy – guests and hosts alike can rest assured that no previous renters will show up on the property long after checkout.
Unlike controlling when someone has access to your Airbnb, it can be difficult to police how many people are staying. If you charge additional fees for extra guests, you probably want to know how many people are actually crashing at your place when you're not there. Or if you have a strict no-pet policy and suspect a guest might be sneaking in a furry friend, you'd probably like a way to check on that. You can monitor who is coming and going with something like a video doorbell.
Video door bells are also a nice fail-safe, in case the guest loses or forgets their access code or their phone is dead and they can't unlock the smart lock. They can simply press the doorbell, which will give you two-way audio (and one-way video) communication with your guests and you can unlock the door for them.
Any device that can record or transmit video, audio or still images needs to be disclosed in your listing, so make sure to make it known you are using a video doorbell.
Give your guests something to do after they've spent a long day touristing around with a media streamer. An Apple TV is the cream of the crop, but there are many other streaming options that are more affordable and perhaps less likely to go missing.
The Chromecast, Roku and Fire TV Stick are all affordable ways to give your guests some entertainment without running such a high risk of theft. Plus, now that Fire TV Sticks have Alexa capabilities built-in, you can let guests control some of the smart amenities, like smart bulbs, door locks or the thermostat without needing an expensive smart speaker.
Pollution is harmful to the environment, and noise pollution can be detrimental to your business. Rowdiness and calls from your neighbors, or even the police, are often indicators of a wild house party that you did not intend to host. Thankfully NoiseAware came up with a solution by creating the first ever noise detector. Designed to look like a standard smoke detector this device will send you a text message when the volume level in your rental passes the appropriate standard, which is the perfect time for you to shut down the party, before it gets out of hand.
Prevent water damage before it has the chance to ruin your rental. Attach a smart home valve sensor to existing valves as opposed to hiring a plumber to replace old ones. This friendly robot will detect a leak and shut off any necessary valves, and of course send you a notification (ding!).
As opposed to checking that a guest didn’t forget to shut off the tap, or finding out once its already too late, install a flood preventing device. Once water level reaches the overflow outlet, in the sink or tub, the device will instantly shut off the tap. Overflow averted.
As a vacation rental owner, energy consumption is difficult to monitor. In the height of summer, your guests may leave the air-conditioning on full-blast when they go out. Whereas mid-winter, it’s a similar story but with heating instead. Smart thermostats can help reduce this risk using temperature automation – owners can set restrictions regarding the temperature settings and even control them remotely. What’s more, some of these devices can also determine when travelers are at home or out for the day and adjust the air or heating accordingly. Smart thermostats not only help to save on energy usage, but they can also reduce bills for owners and managers by optimizing the temperature.
According to a report by NPR and Edison Research, one in five Americans now use a smart speaker such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home. This is a number which has grown by 78% in just one year! Turning your Amazon or Google product into a virtual assistant can be a great addition to a vacation rental home, as it can act as your guests’ very own personal concierge. You can easily program a number of different requests and pieces of information which guests can trigger with voice activation. This is especially useful for hosts who have automated check-in processes, as the device can still go over important safety information or perform a walk-through of the property. This type of device can truly enhance the overall guest experience.
Avoid having your guests fumble for the light switch by installing occupancy-sensing switches. These smart devices turn the lights on when someone enters and off after a period of no movement. For guests, they can give a luxury high-tech feel to the home – while they continue to work as traditional lights always have. For hosts, however, there are two main benefits of intelligent lighting systems. Firstly, you can check that lights aren’t left switched on after guests vacate your property – and control them from the app if so. As well as this, in the low season (or when the property is not rented), you can set rules for the lights to switch on and off to give the appearance that somebody is home. This can help deter burglars or other uninvited visitors from peering into your property.
Nothing says luxury like having your tunes on tap while you bathe. Install a top-of-the-line bathroom fan with an embedded Bluetooth speaker to offer guests a sublime sound experience. Guests can enjoy their playlists just by walking into the bathroom with their device, which connects wirelessly. They can control the music through a remote control mounted on the bathroom wall. As a bonus, the high-powered fan also whisks away any condensation from the mirror in minutes.
Adding smart home gadgets to your property can be extremely beneficial for all parties. Hosts can enjoy streamlined turnover, reduced bills and energy use, as well as simplified control of the property remotely. For guests, on the other hand, smart tools can add instant luxury and a high-tech feel to the vacation, alongside increased security and convenience.