Home technology is rapidly evolving. As a result there are some pretty useful high-tech gadgets to help manage and protect your property remotely. In some cases you may spend a little extra for the peace of mind, but you’ll save in the long run.
The Internet of Things - and specifically connected home devices - is a hot category right now; meaning, you have a lot of features, brands and price points to choose from. Here are some gadget ideas for vacation rental managers and owners who are looking to stay in control of their properties remotely.
Lockitron is a smart product that lets your guests lock and unlock the door with their cell phones. You can add or revoke access instantly, so it’s great for a multi-user situation like a vacation rental. The system also sends out a low-battery alert, so you won’t have to worry about an unlucky guest being locked out of your property.
Rethink basic doorbells
You’ve most likely seen the likes of Ring, Nest, SimpliSafe and more brands advertising their smart doorbell offerings recently. For about $100 you can install a smart doorbell for your vacation rental so you can see who’s at your door no matter where you are. Many smart doorbells also include a two-way audio system, which lets you welcome guests when they first arrive and can also provide those same guests peace of mind in a new environment. This is not only an added safety feature but a great way to enhance the guest experience!
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
The Nest Protect is a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm that not only detects and alerts you in the event of a fire or CO leak, but it will notify you if someone is smoking (or even burning popcorn) in your vacation rental.
Algorithms in the Nest Thermostat collects data about your property, like how well sealed the interior is and what your living habits are to create a “thermal profile.” The best thing about this offering is that it automatically controls the temperature of your rental. Nest’s Auto-Away feature detects when no one’s at your property and shifts the temperature to an energy-efficient level, saving you money.
Setting lights to a timer is perfect for making your rental property look occupied when no one’s there. Many of these products use radio waves, so little setup is needed and they’re fairly cost-efficient. You can also control other electronics and appliances and sync them up with each other, then control them from wherever you are. Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge is one example of programmable lighting that can work with your Nest thermostat. It can also be activated by Alexa.
If you live in an area susceptible to flooding, you likely worry about water getting into your rental property when you’re not there. Honeywell makes a water sensor device that will alert you if water is seeping into your property so you can stay ahead of incidents before they become a devastating expense.
One device that is sure to enhance the guest experience is a virtual assistant. Let guests change the music, hear the weather forecast, or ask for restaurant recommendations all with the sound of their voice. There are a number of virtual assistants on the market today, but the Amazon Echo is the most compatible with the other types of smart technology mentioned in this article.