Technology is at the forefront of everything we do. Whether that’s paying for a purchase in the supermarket, connecting with a loved one on the other side of the world or simply kicking back to watch a new Netflix series, there is no denying the major role that technology plays in our daily lives.
Unsurprisingly, the world of vacation rentals is no different. Not only do travelers already use a combination of apps and tech tools to plan and book their trips, but they’re also beginning to expect technological solutions as part of the package.
In fact, digital welcome books are becoming increasingly commonplace in vacation rental homes. Delving even deeper, research shows that two-thirds are already using channel managers for their businesses.
Besides software use for booking management, owners and managers are also revealing a growing trend for on-site technology adoption. For instance, just under one-quarter have already installed a keyless entry system at their properties and one-fifth have a connected thermostat.
Most Popular Smart Home Gadgets for Vacation Rentals
Many guests staying at vacation rentals choose to do so for the “home away from home” factor. That said, it’s still essential that the property is in good working order and that everyday operations such as check-in and communication are on point.
So what are the most useful to have in your vacation rental? We’ve come up with six smart home gadgets that will revolutionize your business:
1. Smart Locks
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. In fact, over 70% of guests say they prefer having a smart lock in their vacation rental than traditional lock keys, in fear of losing them.
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.
2. Smart Thermostat
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.
Connected smart light systems are a perk for both hosts and guests at a vacation rental. 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.
4. Virtual Assistant
According to a report by NPR and Edison Research, 1 in 5 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.
5. Video Doorbell
Video doorbells have become increasingly popular over the past few years, with companies such as Ring and Nest making a name for themselves in the market.
This latest invention is a doorbell with a camera installed that automatically notifies your smartphone when anyone is near it. It then connects you live to the camera. No matter where you are, you’ll be able to see the whole time who is at your front door, and even speak to them!
Some hosts are prone to guests having additional visitors without informing them. This causes a lot of inconveniences: the property may not be suitable for a certain number of people, neighbors may complain of excessive noise, or hosts have an additional guest fee that visitors are avoiding. A video doorbell will solve all these challenges, as you can see exactly who enters and leaves your vacation rental property.
If you manage your vacation rental remotely, you can now personally greet your guests and give them a warm welcome. Be sure to let the guests know in advance that there is a video doorbell installed to avoid any frights and surprises!
6. Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Robot vacuum cleaners work on their own. No more need for manual labor! They clean the entire room and also go from room to room, sucking up dust and picking up all sorts of dirt. They even work underneath furniture such as sofas and kitchen counters. What’s more, is that these new type of cleaners are not limited to a type of floor and work on wooden floors, carpeted, tiles, laminated, etc.
When guests are on vacation they want to relax and not worry about cleaning the property they are staying in. Of course, floors get dirty quickly so this latest invention will clean it up in no time. This smart home gadget will certainly wow your guests.
Another plus: cleaning after each guest turnover will be a much faster process. It also means you can focus your cleaning efforts on other things, or have more time leftover.
Advantages of Using Smart Home Devices
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.
Many smart home devices can even simplify processes and optimize the overall management of a vacation rental, allowing hosts to run their businesses remotely.
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.