As consumers in the technological age, every day we are inundated with new, innovative products that promise to improve some aspect of our lives.
Nowadays, it’s on an even bigger scale. At present, it’s almost impossible to visit the mall, surf the internet or even watch a TV show without coming across some form of smart home technology. So much so that there are already around 4.6 million smart homes in the United States – a number which is expected to quintuple before 2020.
A recent survey found that 45% of renters believe physical door keys will be obsolete within 10 years. That’s just one small aspect of home automation – but it helps make the case for its importance for the future of vacation rentals.
An increasing number of vacation rental owners are turning to home automation and smart home technology to upgrade their businesses. And it’s no surprise, given the long list of benefits it can bring. Let’s take a look at some of the most notable advantages of home automation.
1. Enhance property safety and security
In a study conducted at the end of 2016, 75% of participants stated that safety was the driving force behind their home automation technology purchases.
As well as helping guests to feel safe and secure during their stay, home security systems can also improve property security (and peace of mind for hosts) during vacancies. With smart locks, hosts can usually generate a random key code for a limited time which corresponds to each guest’s stay. This type of technology therefore removes the worry that guests may potentially make copies of keys or lock themselves out.
Additionally, smart smoke alarms and water sensors can further reinforce guest and property safety. Not only can they notify the property owner if anything out of the ordinary happens, they can also help them to eliminate potential issues before they have chance to arise.
2. Improve daily processes
If you manage your vacation rental remotely, home automation will take a lot of hassle out of hosting. Late check-in? You’ll have it under control. Early check-out? Not a problem!
Access to these features makes the process run a lot smoother for both you and your guests – no matter whether they are coming or leaving. Research even shows that more than 61% of renters are likely to pick an apartment specifically because it has electronic access.
Having automated check-in systems in place such as smart locks or lock boxes also means that if you ever have to call for maintenance or repairs, you won’t have to worry about letting service providers into your unit.
3. Boost comfort and convenience
Travelers who opt to stay in vacation rentals are ultimately looking for the kind of “home comforts” they’d find in their own houses. So if you can provide them with that, plus more – you’ll be on your way to a providing a great guest experience unlike no other.
Intelligent home features such as smart lighting systems and smart thermostats will give your property the edge when it comes to your competition. These luxurious touches will allow guests to control lighting and heating at the touch of a button. You can even give them a warm (or cool) welcome by programming certain lights to come on or regulating the house temperature in advance of their arrival.
4. Save money and help the environment
At present, around 39% of energy consumed by the average home goes on heating and cooling. When research shows that smart thermostats can save customers around 10-15% on their monthly energy bill, home automation a great way to help cut down your vacation rental bills (and energy use!).
These days, smart thermostats allow homeowners (or renters) to control indoor temperatures remotely. You can easily define high and low settings, and set up text or email alerts in case of any big increases or decreases. Replacing regular bulbs with LEDs and using smart lighting solutions also help to cut energy costs. LEDs use less than a quarter of the energy of a traditional lightbulb, and smart lighting can extend their life even longer.
You can also invest in smart plugs which can help to regulate other, everyday appliances in your vacation rental (such as toasters, coffee machines, electric heaters and so on). Vacation guests might not always have the environment at the top of their list of priorities, but as an owner you can do your bit by checking your smart home apps to ensure everything is switched off correctly when they vacate your property.
5. Add extra value to your vacation rental
While an investment in itself, automating your vacation rental home will also add a ton of extra value when it comes to bookings. As guests compare destinations across the market, they’ll likely make a note of the desirable features and amenities of each property. If your home is fully – or even partially – automated, you’ll be able to up the price tag a little bit. On average, millennial renters would pay about a fifth more for these types of smart home features.
Be sure to outline the benefits of your home automation services in your property descriptions, paying particular attention to how convenient and comfortable they will make their stay.
If 20 million US properties will have home automation by 2020, it’s a trend vacation rental owners can’t afford to ignore. Adding just a few of these modern gadgets to your property can help you to save money and time, as well as increase security, comfort and your rental’s worth.