Although owning and managing one or several Short-Term Rental properties locally or remotely is still involving time and “human intervention,” a lot of products are available on the market and have proven to be helpful in running profitable STRs. Forget about the time when you needed to mail keys to your guests prior to their visit or wait for their payment in the mailbox!
It is not necessary to buy all these products, there are some that are worth the extra penny and made a difference in the way I personally run my STRs. Many research and reviews are available on the web to guide you in finding the best options to suit your needs. For each tool, I am providing a link (that I have chosen randomly) which will allow you to have access to more information on specific products.
This product has proven to be very useful in helping manage properties from a distance and allow anyone that needs to enter your residence at specific moments by providing a virtual key through a mobile app. On the other hand, although it may attract a younger crowd it may not be the ideal solution if you are dealing with older guests that are not familiar with technologies or worst, don’t even own a cell phone! That is why it’s always good to have a backup plan (ex. A key in a lock box) in case a problem occurs.
SMART DOORBELL CAMERA
A smart doorbell is internet-connected and notifies the homeowner via its smart phone app. or other when a visitor is at its door. The host can also watch or talk to its guest via the doorbell’s built-in high-definition infrared camera and microphone.
As a host, this tool can be useful to monitor for example, if extra guests are showing up or, if your guest checks in with a four-legged friend (or more than one!)
If there is one thing that can really explode when you operate a short-term rental, it’s the energy costs! With the smart thermostats, you can remotely lower the heat or the AC when the property is vacant or set to the right temperature before your guests check in. The smart thermostats can also monitor temperature and humidity levels inside and outside your property, your guests’ comings and goings, and adjust the temperature accordingly.
WATER SENSOR OR WATER LEAK AND FREEZE DETECTOR
This product can literally save you from bad surprises, lots of trouble and from having to spend thousands of dollars in repairs! The detector sends an alert if it’s sensing a water leak, sudden high humidity level, freezing or high temperatures. It can be installed near the bathrooms, kitchen sinks, W/D and you can even install a system that would automatically shut down the water main in the five seconds of detecting a leak.
They allow you to manage your lighting remotely and for example turn on the light outside your home if you know your guest will be checking late or turn off the lights if the guests have forgotten to do so before checking out. As per the official definition “A smart bulb is an internet-capable LED light bulb that allows lighting to be customized, scheduled and controlled remotely.” Implementing smart lighting in your STR can represent a costly investment upfront but these bulbs will last many years and energy costs will significantly drop.
SMART SMOKE/CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
Be notified before it is too late! When the alarm goes off, you automatically receive an audio alert on your smart phone informing you that a problem has been detected whether it’s smoke or CO. With some versions you can even get details on the severity of the smoke and have the lights start flashing within the house.
The smart fire device can be useful to turn the siren off while you are frying your food instead of trying to hit the shut-off button with a broomstick!
There are a lot of different kinds of security systems out there, and it is not always easy to find the best one for your vacation home. Make sure to start your research by reading the following article where the author is highlighting the best systems to protect your home away from home from vandalism, natural disasters and burglary.
NOISE LEVEL DETECTOR
Property owners in small communities or by a lake for example, would really benefit from installing a noise level detector that would detect excessive noise and automatically notify them via text message. It could help them avoid costly cities or HOA noise violations and could also give them ammunition to argue in case a neighbour would falsely accuse the guests from making excessive noise…
The NoiseAware monitoring system is by far the most popular one in the STR community.
For more information on Short Term Rentals visit www.facebook.com/utop.ca
Globe-trotter passionnée de design et d'architecture, Sophie Chagnon, est aussi propriétaire et gestionnaire de propriétés de vacances, partenaire premium sur VRBO et spécialiste de l'aménagement, la location et la gestion de propriétés de vacances.