Best Smart Home Upgrades for Rental Property Owners
Post by: Christine Saba
Christine has experience managing luxury rentals through her company LuxeBae. She also heads up marketing at NoiseAware with a passion for building unicorn ideas, providing unique travel experiences and enjoying short term rentals herself.
Thanks to advancements in technology and home automation, turning a short term rental into a “smart short term rental” is easier now than ever. Plus, you no longer have to put in a lot of sweat equity to get a big return on your investment. Guest enjoy cool, intuitive devices, and if your rental offers the potential for a better experience, there’s a good chance you will end up with glowing 5-star reviews.
Ready to hop on the “smart home” train but struggling to figure out what high-tech upgrades are worth it and which ones aren’t? We get it. Been there, done that. To help you get started, we’ve assembled a short list of the most popular and guest-appreciated high-tech upgrades that will boost the appeal of any property.
Image via Surfboard
Modern vacationers expect strong wifi throughout your rental. Every home is unique and we all hate dealing with internet and cable providers. If you already have high speed internet - great! For vacationers wifi is the most commonly required amenity and is present in 99% of short term rentals.
Take it from me because I went through this exact headache. After using a Comcast provided router and getting nowhere with their technicians I spent a day researching this.
I can attest, Arris Sufrboard is the best technology for a wifi challenged home. Arris’s slogan is great “Wifi unconfined.” It doesn’t matter how many devices are using the wifi, what room anyone is in, the speed is fast and reliable throughout the house. This makes for less calls about Netflix not working or the wifi being down at your property. And if you’re like me and have multiple smart home devices - having reliable wifi connection means that these devices will never go offline.
Smart Thermostats (like Nest)
Image via https://nest.com/press/
One guest’s “too chilly” is the next guest’s “too hot”. No one likes being subjected to someone else’s idea of a comfortable room temperature. With Nest, your guests can easily view and adjust the temperature of the rental without the stress or frustration many renters feel when fiddling with an old thermostat.
Plus, Nest is packed with features like Auto-Away that make managing your STR’s ambient temp easier and will save you more money.
With a smart TV or a dumb TV with a streaming device like Amazon Firestick, Roku, or Apple TV, for just a couple bucks a month that a Netflix subscription costs, you can give your guest endless amounts of relaxing entertainment. I chose the Apple TV because, well, it made my place seem fancy!
I’ve found that most guests no longer expect full blown cable packages. At the least, I make sure to provide recommendations to local sports bars for the “big game” and with access to your NetFlix account, most guests can “chill.”
Image source; Amazon.com
Ask Alexa anything! Amazon's voice-activated smart home speaker is very futuristic, but also gives you the ability to control everything in your rental.
“Alexa, turn on the pool fountain.”
“Alexa, what’s the nearest restaurant to our house right now?”
“Alexa, what will the weather be like today ?”
Your guest probably already know all about this amazing device because its been popular on tv and media. There are so many features and integrations into other smart home devices that the possibilities with what you can do with Echo are endless.
Image source http://resortlock.com/
Ever wish you didn’t have to worry about arranging key drop off & pick up for your STR? If you install a smart lock, you won’t need to anymore. Not only do many smart locks allow you to create multiple passcodes, but you can also assign a time limit based on how long your guests are staying. And, if you ever need to let anyone in remotely, you can send a signal from your smartphone to unlock the door instantly.
For maximum flexibility, opt for a model with a keypad and the ability to remotely manage it. One of my favorite suggestions is, LockState. Lockstate is a part of the Airbnb Host Assist program since I know a lot of NoiseAware customers use them we’ve heard amazing reviews. They feel checkins are 100 times easier!
Beverage Brewing Systems
Image source CBTL Kaldi via Amazon
You don’t need a WiFi connected coffee pot (though those do exist) to provide guests with a customized and luxurious morning ritual. By replacing your traditional drip-brew system with a more innovative alternative, you can allow guests to pick their favorite beverage and add to the overall experience of staying in your STR.
There’s a variety of manufacturers in the single-serve beverage space, and you can choose between machines that make coffees, teas, and cocoa; or espresso drinks complete with frothed milk.
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