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. For example, digital welcome books are becoming increasingly commonplace in vacation rental homes. Delving even deeper, recent research from Transparent about property management technology solutions 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.
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. 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.
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.
Now we know some of the advantages of installing intelligent devices, which are the most useful to have in your vacation rental?
1. Smart lock
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.
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, 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.
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.