Nowadays, running a successful Airbnb isn’t just about providing good quality bedding and a generous welcome gift. It’s also about making your Airbnb home as “smart” as possible.
Installing smart devices can not only increase your security, but also make check-ins easier and increase your chances of getting positive reviews.
It’s good to remember that having a smart home is convenient for guests and hosts alike.
As an Airbnb host, one of the most important tasks is to make sure that the guest can feel like a home away from home, or at least stay in a place that is more welcoming and hospitable than your average hotel or hostel. But as a host, the safety of your home and your family is always a top priority, which is why it is necessary to invest in devices that allow you to be free from worries, having a little information and control over your guests’ stay.
For guests themselves, the benefits are huge. Guests can access home entertainment systems. Many will be travelling with just a laptop or smartphone and the majority will want to utilise your big screen. Guests can also feel more secure with well placed external security systems such as alarms and smart cameras. If there are any problems in the house, they know they just need to contact the host who can often literally sort out the problem at the touch of a button. This is especially true with heating related issues!
Here are a variety of smart home devices that you can add to your home to make life easier not just for your guests but also for you as a host!
1. Smart locks
With physical keys, you run certain risks that could be avoided entirely with smart locks. Physical keys can [and in our experience are!] be quickly lost or copied for as little as £3 at a hardware store. The logistics of arranging a key pick-up time when your guest checks in and receiving the keys back when their stay ends also tend to be very difficult, especially in rush hour in cities such as Manchester and London.
With a Smart Lock, you can remotely create and provide your guests with a temporary access code that begins at check-in and expires after the date and time you set for check-out. You can also assign different access codes to other guests or cleaning staff and stay informed in real time of who enters or leaves the property.
2. Smart Video Lock
One of the most common concerns for Airbnb hosts is being able to keep an eye on how many people are staying at their property. If you charge extra fees for extra guests, you probably want to know how many people are staying at your place when you have multiple apartments or when you’re away. Also, if you have a strict no-pets policy and you suspect a guest might be hiding their furry friend, you’d probably like a way to check.
With the Smart Video Lock you can monitor who’s coming to the door with real-time HD video. The Smart Video Lock is also a good protection option against any mishap, in case the guest loses his card or forgets his access code and cannot unlock the lock. You just have to press the doorbell and you will receive a call to your mobile with two-way audio (and one-way video), through the cell phone you can see who is at the door, chat and open the door remotely, wherever you are.
3. Climate control (Heating and Air Conditioning)
Energy efficiency is another of the pros of having a smart home. Being able to automate and control all our devices remotely allows us to have greater control of what we spend. In addition, smart appliances are usually low consumption, so in general we will improve your energy costs if you have them.
With remote access to heating and air-conditioning devices, you’ll never have to go through your apartment to turn on the air conditioner / heating before a guest arrives or worry about the tenant leaving the air conditioner / heating on when they leave home. You can program timers remotely so that the heating / cooling devices turn on before your tenant arrives home.
These simple automations will save you a lot of hassle and some energy costs over time, especially if your rental stays vacant for extended periods.
4. Smart lighting
The benefits of smart lighting are more for the host than the guest. By replacing your traditional light switches with Smart Switches, traditional light bulbs with Smart Bulbs and placing Motion Sensors in the room, the system can detect if your guest left the lights on when they checked out and turn them off automatically. You can also set the lights to turn on or off randomly to simulate that someone is home when the property is empty.
For guests, they continue to work as normal lights. Again, these can be controlled remotely by the host to ensure that lighting is switched off, especially for prolonged periods of your home being vacant.
5. Motion Sensors
When creating your Airbnb listing, you may want to restrict certain parts of your property to guests, such as a basement where you can store your personal belongings, your work area, or your backyard. You can install Motion Sensors that will alert you if guests start exploring areas where they are not welcome.
As with security cameras, you must indicate that there are motion detectors installed in off-limits areas. These devices are not against Airbnb policies, as long as they do not activate a video camera that can record or transmit audio, video, or capture photos
Motion Sensors will not only help you monitor those private areas, you can also link them with the bathroom light, so that it turns on when someone enters and turns off automatically in the absence of movement. Use them to save energy by linking them to the lights and appliances in your tenants’ rooms so the room goes into energy saving mode when they’re away.
Another benefit of motion sensors is that they can detect how many people are staying at your property. If you charge for extra guests it can be useful to know if more people are staying than should be. Also, it allows you to keep an eye on any parties that may be happening without your consent!
6. Smoke, gas leak and water detectors
Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and water leak detectors save lives. That’s why Airbnb hosts should check if they already have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors or install them if they don’t.
Once detectors are in place and working properly, hosts should test them regularly and make sure they have a plan of action in case of home leak alerts.
7. Smart TV
Aside from watching terrestrial television, a smart TV also provides your guests with access to online media. With your Smart TV you will be able to watch Netflix, HBO and other video channels, YouTube and the like and all without needing any external device.Guests can stream videos, record from TV
Guests can use your TV as a media centre to Browse the Internet, Play games, Check news, see the weather, check social networks, video calles play videos from USB and a whole host of other features!
8. Smart speakers (Google Nest / Amazon Alexa)
Smart speakers make life easier for your Airbnb guests by helping them to do and find things, like access media, manage your tasks and plan your day using only their voice.
Guests can listen to media of their choice (or watch with Google Nest) and link their Alexa / Google Home account to the speaker.
They will also be able to control your smart home devices – control supported smart home devices, like thermostats, plugs, lights and more.
If they want to, they can also stream your outdoor security camera (with the nest hub), have access to the Doorbell (for home delivery / takeaway orders etc).
Guests will also be able to check the weather to help plan their stay. They can also ask the speaker about local attractions / facilities or special events that are happening right now in the area. They can also find out more mundane but important information about traffic in the area and when the best time to travel.
Guests will also be able to control thermostats, audio, TV, check the security cameras and a whole host of other features including family games to play!
A smart home is a good idea for hosts and guests alike. In our experience, smart homes are more likely to achieve Superhost status as they cater to the wants and needs of today’s customers. In fact, smart homes can be more or less expected by some Airbnb guests.
For the host, smart technology decreases energy bills, keeps an eye on guests, gives them complete control over devices and general remote monitoring.
For guests, they have the convenience of security by not being so worried about losing their keys, having access to security cameras as well as having access to a full media and entertainment system.
A full smart home solution can be installed inexpensively. Having such a system will no doubt boost your Airbnb ratings as well as your income. It’s a no-brainer to have such a smart home system in your Airbnb property!
I guarantee that this will make your life and the life of your guests much easier!
So tell us – are there any smart home solutions that we have missed that should be included in Airbnb stays?