Customer Success Story: Property Manager - Blake, EMR Vacation Rentals
Here at NoiseAware, we absolutely love our customers! We love to learn about their business, follow along with them through their journey with their vacation rentals and they become a part of our family. Blake Mackenzie, owner of EMR Vacation Rentals in Victoria, British Columbia is one of those valued customers! We got the opportunity to learn a little more about him and exactly why he is team NoiseAware - here’s our interview with him:
How’d you get into the STR industry?
B: I just sort of stumbled into it. Before I was working for an airline and I wanted to expand my knowledge. The opportunity came up and I seized it.
How has the industry changed since entering it?
B: It’s changed a lot! From about 2012 onwards we saw a dramatic shift. Maybe even earlier with the economic downturn in 2008. In 2012 we saw an increase in inventory and a change in marketing due to both Google’s change in organic searches.
How has noise affected your business?
B: Noise has always been an issue to homeowners, but it seems that people are far more sensitive to it now. Possibly it’s due to elevated media attention which has triggered hysteria. Some people just don’t like the idea of STRs and will report any noise.
It sounds like you’re speaking from a personal experience, care to share?
B: We’ve had a few properties receive complaints over the years. It’s tough because there is no check-in desk like at hotels and our properties are scattered miles apart. Once a property owner receives a call from a neighbor it’s too late and you’re having to address the issue after the fact. At one of our properties a huge party was thrown that caused a ton of damage, ultimately causing us to lose the property. In addition to losing the property, there was $20,000 in damage.
Can you tell us about when you first heard about NoiseAware?
B: The first time I heard about NoiseAware was when reading an article that described what the product did. It was like a lightbulb. It was exactly what we needed and could use at our properties. Not just with noise, but you can tell if someone is at the property. I read the article and was like “holy smokes, I need to call you guys”!
How has your experience with NoiseAware been thus far?
B: My experience with the NoiseAware team has been terrific. Everyone has been very helpful! My experience with NoiseAware has been both smooth and perfect!
How has NoiseAware helped you?
B: NoiseAware has helped with tracking and preventing both problems and parties! Also, an additional value add of NoiseAware is that we can see when someone is in the property. We know when the cleaners have arrived to clean and we can manage the staff without phoning or bugging them. It helps with a number of other factors - when there’s someone at the property when there’s not supposed to be, when the power or wifi goes down, and when the sensor has been unplugged.
We know before we get the call! The number one reason guests call us is about wifi signal and now we can call them and let them know we are on top of it before they call us! It’s also helped reduce worry and stress. When you’re managing some of these major investments, you worry. You might have to do drive-bys at 9/10pm. Now we can feel more confident that the property is secure. If there is a problem, we will know about it, quick!
We love when people tell us the different ways in which NoiseAware has helped them get ahead of problems or stay proactive when a reactive or ill-timed request comes in.
How have your homeowners reacted to NoiseAware?
B: Our homeowners have reacted 100% positively. They all love the idea because it’s securing their property. NoiseAware is an enhancement tool to help enhance their property.
How do you tell a new homeowner about NoiseAware and why it needs to be installed in their home?
B: We are securing your property in a way that provides security for you, security for your neighbors, and security for your business!
What message would you give to someone that has questions about privacy?
B: It does not affect privacy at all! It doesn’t record voices, it’s a decibel reader. A smoke detector detects smoke, it doesn’t know where there’s smoke, it just knows that there is smoke.
People who aren’t comfortable with NoiseAware are usually guests who have ulterior motives -- partying. Some people will back out and it prevents problems before they materialize.
Is NoiseAware a necessity in the future of STRs?
B: It’s a necessity for all landlords, not just vacation rentals! Vacation rentals are easy targets, yet, there are considerably more problems with long term rentals. It’s a product that could be promoted to local governments to protect neighborhoods and allow STRs while protecting from bad renters. You can get advanced knowledge of what’s going on in those properties.
If you could give a message to yourself a year ago, what would it be?
B: We were stressed. We didn’t know what was happening at a property unless we went by it. “Since implementing NoiseAware, it has changed our stress level”. We have reduced the worry. We can trust that these places are being monitored and it gives us that level of security that these places are being monitored well. NoiseAware is a great product to be brought on board. It’s a stress reliever and a value add service. “NoiseAware enhances what you do and makes it that much better!”
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