September 9, 2019
With the rise of services like Airbnb and Vrbo, competition in vacation rentals is intense. As a property owner or property management company you need to explore ways to make your properties stand out from the crowd.
While you have many ways to do this, for example partnering with local businesses offering complimentary services, the one that many property managers are turning to is home automation.
Home automation offers owners, property managers, and guests a number of benefits. It can make monitoring properties easier, offer guests an easy way to gather information about your area, improve safety, and streamline operations, to name just a few.
Let’s explore some of the key benefits and how home automation can transform your vacation rental to give you a competitive edge!
Automation Can Cut Expenses
Property management companies are aware of the twin needs of increasing revenue and cutting expenses. Taxes, fees, insurance and repairs can all impact the profitability of any property, and if you are managing multiple units it can be expensive.
Home automation can not only reduce long-term costs, but it can increase perceived value to guests thereby increasing profits. For example, a smart thermostat can significantly save on energy costs. By adjusting the temperature when the property is vacant, you can cut energy usage saving you money. When the property is rented, sensors can prevent the A/C from running when windows or a door is left open. Just these simple actions can save as much as $180 per unit, per year. If you’re managing 100 units, that’s a significant reduction in expenses.
Automation Can Protect Your Properties
Smart thermostats can prevent frozen pipes and also can prevent mold from growing by monitoring moisture levels and turning on a dehumidifier or the air conditioning to keep humidity levels below the threshold that encourages mold growth.
Digitally controlled locks eliminate the need for keys. You’ll no longer have to worry about lost or stolen keys, or who has access while guests are on the property. Plus, it makes check-in a breeze! Guests can proceed directly to the property to start their vacation. Digital locks can also monitor entry and exit, and you can provide vendors with unique access codes, so you’ll always know who is on the property.
By installing cameras in driveways and entryways you can remotely monitor unoccupied properties. Automating outdoor lighting and using plug-in modules on lamps allow you to schedule outdoor lights to come on a dusk, turn off at dawn, welcome guests who arrive late, and simulate occupancy to deter troublemakers.
Each of these functions can be operated and monitored on your laptop at home, in the office from your desk, or on your smartphone when you’re on the road!
Home Automation: Cost vs Benefits
While the upfront costs of the technology can scare budget-minded property managers, the fact is the benefits far outweigh the costs. Renters are willing to pay more for properties that offer home automation technology but keep the guest interface simple.
Multiple devices running on several different apps is neither convenient for the guest or the property manager. Look for a system that offers functionality on a single device or consider a system to drive the backend (security, HVAC, leak monitoring) and a second, simple voice activated device, like ALEXA for guests.
For property managers who manage multiple properties, the time savings alone should justify the cost. The bottom line, if you’re looking for a way to make your properties stand out, while offering you the ability to more efficiently manage multiple properties, home automation technology is worth a look.