Homeowners Using Smart Home Technology to Spy on Vacation Rental Guests: The Need for Enterprise Smart Home Control Continues to Grow

spy vs. spyBased on my experience in the vacation rental industry, Baby Boomers constitute the majority of vacation rental homeowners.

As I mentioned in a post this past spring, Baby Boomers are also technology adopters.

As a corollary to those statements, your homeowners are technology adopters.

And these technology adopting, baby booming, vacation rental homeowners are using this new technology to keep tabs on your guests.

With or without your permission.  

As I mentioned in the above linked-to post, I hear stories of homeowners installing and using smart home technology all the time. With or without VRM permission. Even when guests are in the house.

It sounds a bit crazy, but it is indeed a growing trend. (Especially now that Apple and Google have upped the smart home ante.)

A bit amusing when you think of the thrifty homeowner turning the heat down at night.

But control can take a creepy turn very quickly.

VRMIntel recently shared a post discussing vacation rental homeowners (already under professional VRM care, mind you) using self-installed smart home cameras to spy on guests!

For real.

Three instances this year, across three state, all under professional management.

Check ‘er out…

I’ll let you jump over to VRMIntel to read the full article, but here’s the PointCentral perspective as quoted in the article:

Owner Installed vs. VRM Installed

According to Greg Burge, president at PointCentral and past president at GE Security, America’s, vacation rental managers have an opportunity to establish primary control of installed smart home technology.

“These incidents reflect a growing trend by homeowners to independently install smart home products,” said Burge.  “Unlike ‘enterprise’ smart home solutions being implemented by leading VRM’s across the country, these owner installed ‘single property’ systems compromise guest security.”

Burge continued, “More and more VRM’s are taking a leadership role and moving in front of owners to deploy smart home solutions that improve guest, owner, and employee security; drive down owner energy costs; and provide significant VRM operational improvements and efficiencies. With the added benefit of a potential revenue source.”

Your homeowners are using this technology. And the smart home trend is growing fast. If you don’t get out in front of this wave, the operational improvements, client satisfaction, and revenue opportunity may be traded for operational chaos and increased headaches.

The “Secret Sauce” for Vacation Rental Smart Energy Management: Occupancy-Based Automation & Revenue Opportunity

Energy MoneyEditor’s Note:

Part II of our VRM Smart Energy Management series. See Part I here. Onward!

VRM Smart Energy Management: The “Secret Sauce”
Occupancy-Based Automation

As you discovered in Part I, PointCentral gives VRMs the ability to remotely monitor AND control HVAC and pool heat…across ALL homes.

  • Save trips to the homes
  • No more disgruntled homeowners
  • Proactive maintenance

Awesome! But here’s the real magic…

Occupancy Based HVAC Automation

Automate HVAC based on occupancy across EVERY home. Set it & forget it.

  • Determine heat & cool set points
  • PointCentral knows when your homes are occupied vs. unoccupied
  • PointCentral automatically adjusts the HVAC to your set points based on occupancy

Done & done.

Revenue Opportunity

In addition to all the greatness we’ve already covered, how about a revenue opportunity?

Awesomer!

  • No upfront capital investment for VRM or homeowner
  • Full turn-key installation
  • 3-year hardware financing
  • Energy savings of 10-15%+ (see Part III for our case study)
  • Ex.: If average energy bill is $150 per month, homeowners can expect to save $17.50 per month.

Would an energy savings of $20 per month be worth spending $15 per month for homeowners? Quick math says yes.

This leaves a great revenue opportunity for you – resell a service that your homeowners greatly want/need!

Go green. Create Revenue. Improve efficiency.

[Watch] Vacation Rental Smart Energy Management: All Star Vacation Homes CEO, and former VRMA President, Steve Trover discusses the impact of PointCentral energy management.

 
Coming up:

Part III: VRM Case Study

Realize the benefits of Smart Home Control at no cost to you!
Including, full turn-key installation by PointCentral

Learn more at www.PointCentral.com.
Contact us at SmartSolutions@pointcentral.com or 888.532.3032.

What is Vacation Rental Smart Energy Management & Why Should You Care?

Energy MoneyVRM Smart Energy Management

Editor’s Note:  Conserving resources is crucial – time, energy & money. Over the next few days, we will share 3 (short) posts that demonstrate the power of smart energy management to help you conserve resources and please your homeowners.

Onward!

What is Smart Energy Management?

Managing HVAC and pool heat is a strain on resources that  leads to wastes in energy, time, and money.

PointCentral gives you control of energy consumption across ALL of your homes.

Monitor & control energy for EVERY property from any web-enabled device.

  • Monitor & control HVAC remotely
  • Set high & low HVAC temperature limits
  • Control pool heat on/off remotely
  • Monitor pool heat temperature remotely
  • Set temperature notifications & alerts
Why Should You Care?

Smart energy management gives you control.
(Psssst….And a new revenue opportunity?!)

  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Reduce trips to the homes
  • Prevent A/C compressor issues
  • Create opportunities for proactive maintenance
  • Save homeowners 10-15%+ on energy bills
  • Create revenue by selling Energy Management as a service
  • Ensure comfortable settings upon guest arrival
Go green. Save money. Improve efficiency.

[Watch] Vacation Rental Smart Energy Management: All Star Vacation Homes CEO, and former VRMA President, Steve Trover discusses the impact of PointCentral energy management.

Coming up:

  • Part II: The Secret Sauce
  • Part III: VRM Case Study

Realize the benefits of Smart Home Control at no cost to you!
Including, full turn-key installation by PointCentral

Learn more at www.PointCentral.com.
Contact us at SmartSolutions@pointcentral.com or 888.532.3032.

 

Apple, Google & the Future of the Smart Home | How Will this Impact Your [Smart] Business?

Cellular Smart Home ControlA few weeks ago I shared a blog post asking if Apple was racing towards the smart home.

It turns out, the answer to that question is a GIANT, yes!

Apple is indeed jumping into the smart home arena. To make the market a bit more exciting, Google is doubling-down on their smart home bets as well…and a slew of big name companies are piling on – Microsoft, Cisco, Samsung…and the list goes on.

As my previous post indicated, the big question on my mind is:

  • How will the smart home push from these two giants impact your [smart] business?

I’ll share my analysis in a minute, but first, let’s take a look at the new smart home arms race building momentum.

I’ve waited a few weeks for a follow-up post because I wanted to collect feedback from the media. Wow, has there be A LOT of feedback!

When I made my first smart home post on this very blog almost two years ago (first post!), the media coverage was few and far between. Now? Talk of the smart home is every where we turn. Thanks in large part, to Apple and Google making a full-force assault on the smart home.

Exciting times indeed!

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most prominent/best smart home coverage I’ve seen since Apple made their BIG smart home announcement…

1. TheWireCutter: Great overview of all of Apple’s recent announcements. If you’re an Apple fan, you’ll love the overview, but the focus is definitely on HomeKit:

  • HomeKit has the potential to turn your iPhone/iPad into the all-in-one smarthome controller of your dreams.
  • That’s a pipe dream for the time being. This is something that will depend highly on the outside companies that choose to integrate their services with HomeKit.
  • It’s not a device (or set of devices) offered directly through Apple—so we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out in the future.
  • One major smart device maker that was conveniently left out of the WWDC keynote was Nest. We are concerned that Nest may never integrate with HomeKit due to the rivalry between Apple and Google.

2. Wall St. Journal: The writer spent time with the CEO of SmartThings, a DIY smart home vendor,  to witness a day in the life of a smart home. The writer was less than impressed. [Side note: SmartThings got it's motivation from a vacation rental!]

  • Frankly, other than people who have very specific reasons to add automation to their homes, I have no idea why anyone would do it[.] As countless reviewers have noted, even when smart-home technology works as advertised, the complexity it adds to everyday life outweighs any convenience it might provide.
    • Editor’s Note: I hear ya WSJ, but as I noted in my previous “Apple” postI’m not sure it matters. The smart home is cool, affordable, easy to implement, and offers the potential to save time and money. Once you cross the tipping point, the masses get what the masses want.
    • My emphasis added above. Let’s come back to the “specific reasons” idea in a minute.

3. Time Magazine: Time also paid a visit to the SmartThings CEO. Popular guy. Popular house. Time offered some similar thoughts to the WSJ article, but one aspect Time dug into a bit more was security, or lack there of.

4. PC Magazine: While we’re discussing hacking, PC Mag sees an ugly trend developing with WiFi-based home automation…

  • Once they start getting hacked there will be no stopping it. Nobody will be bothering to update the devices to block unwanted access—until they come home in the middle of summer with all the heaters on full blast, the lights flashing on and off, and the coffee pot on fire. This is exactly where this all leads. And it only evolves to this because people are too lazy to get up and turn off some lights or set a thermostat.
  • Editor’s Note: A bit comical. And scary. But the interesting trend I see (and have seen for 2 years) is that people (media, consumers, business owners) have not yet realized the benefit BEYOND the primary residence. I’ll get to that point in a moment.

5. Forbes: Forbes asks “Why Did Google Buy Dropcam?” Good question Forbes. Quick answer: to beat Apple. Google and Apple are stepping out on the proverbial limb with these smart home moves. This is not their forte. But that is not stopping the momentum.

  • As Forbes notes, Nest has already stumbled – it is six times as expensive as the average thermostat sold in that channel, far more complicated to install and run, and far less reliable. In addition, the Nest Protect smoke and fire detector, was even prettier, sold for 10x the price of the average product in the space, and was unreliable enough to be recalled soon after making its debut.
  • Editor’s Note: Choose wisely. This is an early stage in smart home development. Do you want to bet on a company (even if they are big and well-known) that has little experience and demonstrated their ability to stumble?

7. Apple vs. Nest Labs: The Battle for Home Automation: This article discusses the potential “end game” for these market giants. However, the point that I’d like to note is that everyone (especially the big guys) is solely focused on where you live. What about where you work?

8. Mobile Business Insights: A relatively technical piece discussing the lack of common platforms/protocols for the Internet of Things (IoT) and the value of consumer choice, but I whole-heartedly agree with the closing sentiment – my emphasis added:

  • While Home Kit is likely to be a home-automation walled garden, let’s not underestimate the impact of Apple’s entry into the home automation market. Their brand capital, customer loyalty, retail network and legions of developer and device partners represent something of a juggernaut. The Home Kit announcement will generate significant media-coverage, consumer interest and presumably adoption, which ultimately is good for everyone.

Whew, that’s quite a recap! And that is just scratching the surface of the smart home media coverage taking off.

Editor’s Analysis – The SMART Business is Taking Shape

I’ll try not to be long-winded with this analysis. If you’ve followed this blog, perused the website, or digested the notes I’ve made in this post, you can probably guess my position:

  • Smart home technology is having an amazing impact on businesses. Now.

As noted in the Forbes article, there are “specific reasons to add automation,” and businesses handle these specific reasons every day – tracking employees, managing energy, monitoring systems, streamlining processes, cutting costs.

Smart home technology is super cool at your house. But do you need it? Probably not – not today anyway.

But business? Yeah, businesses NEED smart home technology to provide adequate security, differentiate from the competition, cut costs, and improve operations.

PointCentral smart control solutions is helping to improve business operations across the country. Today. Not some far off future waiting to be developed. Now. As I bang on this keyboard.

A quick example: Tomorrow is 4th of July. A huge amount of travelers are headed to vacation rental homes to enjoy a holiday vacation. PointCentral is helping vacation rental managers across the country manage a wide variety of homes across vast distances – all through the magic of smart home technology.

A “specific need” to automate being used to it’s full potential!

Smart Home Control – for Business!

PointCentral is focused on bringing the amazing residential smart home technology to commercial businesses. And the impact is BIG.

The smart home offers an amazing impact on business operations when you take the residential benefits and multiply it by 2, 200, or 2000+ properties…all controlled from one dashboard.

Home automation on an “enterprise” level is pretty amazing. :)

I’ve discussed the great benefits of smart home control for businesses in a variety of previous posts. Rather than rehashing the ideas here, I’ll cut it short and list related posts below.

Conclusion

In short, Apple’s entrance to the smart home market is big. It will push adoption past the tipping point and add further credibility to the smart home.

From a business perspective, this means each of your clients, employees, guests, vendors (I.E. everyone) will start to recognize the benefits of the smart home and will grow to expect it.

For example, a lack of control over who can access your properties and when will not be tolerated much longer –  this is no longer a satisfactory standard of care.

  • I.E. traditional mechanical keys that can be lost, stolen, copied, and shared will no longer be acceptable.

But this is is a good thing. This gives businesses the motivation to improve:

  • Operations
  • Experience
  • Security
  • Energy/Cost Savings

One final note to keep your interest peaked. How is PointCentral able to focus on “enterprise” smart home technology while everyone else is only focused on your primary residence?

By the way, when will the mass media realize the benefit of smart home technology to businesses?! Major publications are missing the forest through the trees.

Related Posts:
  1. A New Way to Do Business: Commercial Property Automation
  2. PointCentral is Uniquely Positioned to Provide Commercial Property Automation
  3. Home Automation Can Save Your BUSINESS Time & Money
  4. Use Technology Hacks to Improve Your Company’s Efficiency
  5. [Case Study] Smart Control = Smart Business: Reduce Costs, Increase Security & Improve Business Intelligence 
  6. WiFi vs. Cellular = Home Automation vs. Property Automation
Vacation Rental Posts:
  1. Vacation Rental Insurance: Where Does Coverage End & Liability Begin?
  2. Your Guests & Homeowners Want it Too!
  3. Mechanical Keys: An Unnecessary Vacation Rental Liability [White Paper]
  4. Control ALL of Your Homes from ONE Dashboard
  5. Your Vacation Homes are Targets: The New Standard of Care & Security for Vacation Rental Management
  6. Milestones: Is Bluewater Vacation Rentals the Largest Smart Home Installation in the World?!
  7. [Case Study] Energy/Money Savings with Vacation Rental Smart Energy Management

WiFi vs. Cellular Smart Homes: Almost 98 Percent of Data Use in US Homes Will Be Over Wi-Fi by 2018

walking, looking at smart phonesTake a quick peak at the picture to the right.

What do you notice?

Everyone looking down at their smart phone. We all do it.

Our connection to mobile devices is constant.

The smart phone/head down phenomenon is so common these days that people are actually injuring themselves walking and looking at their phone!

Now, take a quick analysis of ALL of the devices you and your family use on a daily basis in your home. A lot right?

My guess is almost all of these devices are connected to the WiFi network at your home. That WiFi network sure is busy!

[Related Post: WiFi vs. Cellular: Your WiFi Network is ALREADY Full]

To extrapolate a bit further, conjure up a picture in your mind’s eye of ALL the devices being carried into a 10 bedroom vacation rental home during a mult-family group vacation. Staggering, right?

Cellular News is reporting that by 2018 98% of data use in US homes will be over WiFi!

Holy moly!

How is the WiFi going to keep up with ALL of our devices?!

And WiFi smart home vendors want to add even more load to our burdened WiFi networks?! Mission-critical applications like access control, energy management and security, at that!

I’ve preached the HUGE difference between WiFi and cellular-based smart home control a number of times. I won’t rehash my points here, but I will share the related links below.

When you consider the need for enterprise control of “smart” products across an inventory of properties, it’s clear that overburdened WiFi networks cannot keep up…and the burden is only getting worse.

Trust cellular for your smart home needs.

After the “related links” below, I’ve included a couple images to offer a visual demonstration of the difference between WiFi and cellular networks.

  • Notice how cellular covers vast distances. Cellular leverages tower after tower to build a strong, reliable network that covers a great area.
  • WiFi on the other hand, stretches just outside the building and dies. No larger, continuous network. Just individual networks subject to overload and erratic behavior.

Related Links: WiFi vs. Cellular

  1. WiFi vs. Cellular = Home Automation vs. Property Automation
  2. 7 Hours Per Month with No WiFi. Not Bad? Unless Your Business Depends on It.
  3. Why Would WiFi Home Automation Systems Use Cellular “Backup”?
  4. Can Home Automation Be Hacked?! Trust Cellular Over WiFi.
  5. WiFi Reset Instructions: A Great Reminder of the MAJOR Difference Between WiFi & Cellular Reliability
  6. WiFi vs. Cellular: Your WiFi Network is ALREADY Full
Visible Cellular Network

Visible Cellular Network

Visible WiFi Networks

Visible WiFi Networks

 

http://www.cellular-news.com/story/Reports/66374.php?source=rss

Squatters at the Home: The Need for Vacation Rental Smart Home Control Grows

burglar & keyIt is awesome to see how much the vacation rental industry is growing.

I read an article today that placed the value of US/Europe VR market at over $100B! And TripAdvisor has shared survey results showing almost 50% of travelers plan to stay in a vacation rental home.

Those are amazing numbers.

Such a HUGE change from when I started in the VR industry 7 years ago.

It’s amazing to see all of the great media attention – and rightly so. Vacation rental homes are a great product that offers fantastic benefits for travelers. Clearly the traveling public agrees.

However, there is a bit of a dark side to all of this growth and attention. (My 4 year old lover of Star Wars is doing cartwheels because I just mentioned the “dark side.” :))

The media focuses on the positive AND the negative, and with all of the great attention, the media spotlight is bound to be shined on the darker aspects as well.

We’ve mentioned a few troubling stories in the past:

I’m a believer that this is a good thing. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the negative in order to improve.

Crime happens. It’s part of life.

But we can do better than just brush it aside as inevitable. Invited/paying guests deserve more.

As hospitality providers, there is a standard of care that guests being welcomed into a new home expect..and deserve. And I do not believe the vacation rental industry is meeting this standard of care.

I’ve raised the vacation rental security “red flag” a number of times. I won’t repeat a tired sermon. I’ll share related links below.

Before you jump to amazing below links :), here’s the newest vacation rental security story you need to be aware of:

How often do you think this type of scenario plays out at vacation rental homes throughout the country?

I know from experience that it is much more than we (the collect VR industry) would like to admit.

How is this impacting guests? Here’s what this guest had to say:

“We couldn’t sleep, we just couldn’t relax the rest of the time we were there.We couldn’t get no peace at all.”

Obviously not a great vacation experience. I wonder if they’ll stay in a vacation rental home again.

Vacation rental security and Access Control procedures are outdated. Occupancy calendars are published online for the world to see. Keys and access codes are floating around with very little control. The system is ripe for abuse.

The solution in the squatter story was to rekey and hand out a new key. Great. Solves the immediate issue…sort of. But what happens when that new key is lost, stolen, shared, or copied? Right back where we started.

To offer another level of concern, we recently mentioned that this is the exact type of security issue that the hotel industry is seeking to attack – traditional keys and codes cannot be managed effectively, and unidentified crimes are taking place.

Real-time access control is imperative to safety and security. Hotels know this. They have had tight security and access procedures for a long time. It’s time for the the VR industry to catch-up.

VR Security

  1. Mechanical Keys: An Unnecessary Liability [White Paper]
  2. There’s a HUGE Need for Vacation Rental Security
  3. Breaking Bad: A Look at a Vacation Rental Security Loophole
  4. Floating Keys STINK, But they WERE a Necessary Evil
  5. Vacation Rental Insurance: Where Does Coverage End & Liability Begin?
  6. Where are Your Keys?! {Take Control with Smart Home Automation}
  7. Vacation Rental Security & the Art of War: Why Its Time to Make Your Homes Safe & Secure
  8. Your Vacation Homes are Targets: The New Standard of Care & Security for Vacation Rental Management

Vacation Rental Smart Home Control Sweeping the Nation

Smart Home Control

Much Thanks to Our Partners

Vacation rental smart home control is spreading fast.

VRM’s across the country are quickly embracing the great benefits of “enterprise” home automation.

We want to take a brief pause to offer a HUGE “thanks” to all the PointCentral partners listed below.

VR Smart Home Control Stats

First, a quick look at some telling VR smart home stats:

Muchas gracias vacation rental industry partners:

LiveRezbarefoot logo

 

 

 

 

RNS-Logo-Horizontal

 

 

HomeAway logo

 

 

glad to have you logo

 

 

Smart Home Control Seminar: An In-Depth Review of the Benefits of Home Automation for Vacation Rental Managers

Over the past nine months, we have hosted five Smart Home Control Seminars at PointCentral client sites – i.e. vacation rental managers that have implemented PointCentral smart home control.

One at Sunriver Resort (Bend, OR), three at All Star Vacation Homes (Orlando, FL), and we just completed our latest party seminar this week at Winter Park Lodging Company (Winter Park, CO).

VRMs from around the country have joined us, and greater than 50% of the attendees have already moved on to implement the PointCentral system.

A quick sample of feedback from attendees:

I thoroughly enjoyed everything that was covered.

I think this sales approach is brilliant. .

The Seminars have quickly become the most effective method for vacation rental managers to get an in-depth understanding of the benefits of smart home control – for their guests, homeowners, overall operations and the bottom line.

Best of all, it’s not a sales pitch.

It’s real-world information from vacation rental managers that are leveraging smart home control on a daily basis to improve their companies. An open discussion and a hands-on review of the system.

A quick rundown of a typical Seminar schedule:

  • Arrival and settling in at “smart” homes
  • Tour of the VRM facility
  • VRM/smart home operational benefits
  • VRM Implementation
  • VRM funding approaches
  • Group Q&A
  • Group meals before and/after seminar – consistently one of the most popular aspects of the seminar…great networking!
  • Departure 

Short and sweet. :) The typical event usually runs 24-48 hours from arrival to departure, and we consistently hear that it is time very well spent.

The Smart Home Control Seminars are invite-only, but keep your eyes open for more opportunities soon – think San Diego around National VRMA or a fall trip to the Outer Banks?!

PSSST - I know a guy who can get you in. :) Just drop a comment below if you’d like to make sure you’re included on the next invite list.

We will share additional information about upcoming Seminars ASAP. In the meantime, I’d like to share a quick thanks to all of our great VRM attendees and a HUGE thanks to the VRM hosts for opening their doors and their operations.

We look forward to continually moving the vacation rental industry in the “smart” direction. See you soon!

Here’s a look at the great group of attendees enjoying dinner in Winter Park…

WP Forum

Is Apple Racing Towards the Smart Home? | How Will This Impact Your Business?

Apple smart home-question markApple & the Smart Home?

The big tech news right now?

Apple is rumored to be ready to announce their move towards the smart home at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on Monday.

Pretty big deal right?

Google, Microsoft, and now Apple?

Yeah, the smart home has arrived.

Here’s a quick rundown of four good articles discussing the idea of an Apple smart home application:

  1. 5 Things Apple Can Bring to the Smart Home
  2. 6 Things You Need to Know About Apple’s Smart Homes
  3. Apple Stock Hits 19 Month High on Home Automation Report
  4. Apple Home Automation Already Has Skeptics
Skepticism

I want to focus on a quote from #4:

Bloomberg View contributor Leonid Bershidsky pooh-poohed the smart-home market.

There is “no compelling reason to ‘smarten’ your home,” Bershidsky wrote. “Sure, you can have your porch light go on when you’re a few blocks from your house or get a push notification on your phone when a neighbor’s kid breaks your window with a soccer ball, but who has ever lost any sleep about not having that functionality?”

“Smart-home technology brings with it cost and maintenance concerns,” he said. “Early consumer reports suggest an intelligent home makes for nice dinner conversation but is not much of a quality-of-life enhancement,” Bershidsky said.

Interesting point.

I’m not sure it matters.

The smart home is cool, affordable, easy to implement, and offers the potential to save time and money.

Once you cross the tipping point (great book :)), the masses get what the masses want.

But, still an interesting point. From the perspective of a single-family consumer, I can understand this perspective.

I use my smart home every day and love the cool. But I understand the cost/benefit analysis is a bit grey.

However, this critique falls prey to its limited view. Apple jumping into the world of smart homes and the Internet of Things will catapult this technology to the masses. Just like Google, the weight of Apple’s participation open’s eyes and pushes markets. Overtime, this will push the smart home development and make the value proposition much more clear.

So, the future is bright. Great. But what about now?

Smart Home Control – for Business!

This critique also misses the amazing impact the smart home is having NOW – on commercial business…especially the vacation rental industry.

Single-family “smart home” automation is getting a lot of attention these days. And an Apple announcement will create more buzz than the industry has seen to date. But very few (any?!) people are discussing the potential of the smart home on a commercial level.

PointCentral is focused on bringing the amazing residential smart home technology to commercial businesses. And the impact is BIG.

The smart home offers an amazing impact on business operations when you take the residential benefits and multiply it by 2, 200, or 2000+ properties…all controlled from one dashboard.

Home automation on an “enterprise” level is pretty amazing. :)

I’ve discussed the great benefits of smart home control for businesses in a variety of previous posts. Rather than rehashing the ideas here, I’ll cut it short and list related posts below.

Conclusion

In short, Apple’s entrance to the smart home market will be big. It will push adoption past the tipping point and add further credibility to the smart home.

From a business perspective, this means each of your clients, employees, guests, vendors (I.E. everyone) will start to recognize the benefits of the smart home and will grow to expect it.

For example, a lack of control over who can access your properties and when will not be tolerated much longer –  this is no longer a satisfactory standard of care. I.E. traditional mechanical keys that can be lost, stolen, copied, and shared will no longer be acceptable.

But this is is a good thing. This gives businesses the motivation to improve:

  • Operations
  • Experience
  • Security
  • Energy/Cost Savings

I’m eagerly anticipating Apple’s Monday announcement. Hope you are too.

Related Posts:
  1. A New Way to Do Business: Commercial Property Automation
  2. PointCentral is Uniquely Positioned to Provide Commercial Property Automation
  3. Home Automation Can Save Your BUSINESS Time & Money
  4. Use Technology Hacks to Improve Your Company’s Efficiency
  5. [Case Study] Smart Control = Smart Business: Reduce Costs, Increase Security & Improve Business Intelligence 
  6. WiFi vs. Cellular = Home Automation vs. Property Automation
Vacation Rental Posts:
  1. Vacation Rental Insurance: Where Does Coverage End & Liability Begin?
  2. Your Guests & Homeowners Want it Too!
  3. Mechanical Keys: An Unnecessary Vacation Rental Liability [White Paper]
  4. Control ALL of Your Homes from ONE Dashboard
  5. Your Vacation Homes are Targets: The New Standard of Care & Security for Vacation Rental Management
  6. Milestones: Is Bluewater Vacation Rentals the Largest Smart Home Installation in the World?!
  7. [Case Study] Energy/Money Savings with Vacation Rental Smart Energy Management
PS

While Apple is set to make a smart home announcement Monday, Google is rumored to be extending their smart home reach from Nest to Dropcam.

Very interesting times, indeed.

It’s Official: PointCentral & LiveRez Join Forces to Move the Vacation Rental Industry Towards Smart Home Control

LiveRez + PointCentralLast week I (unofficially) announced that PointCentral and LiveRez have partnered to offer a “tight” integration for vacation rental managers.

The partnership announcement is now official. Press releases have been released…to the press. :)

You can find the full press release on the LiveRez blog:

I’ll pull out a few highlights that I think are pretty awesome – It’s great to hear vacation rental veterans echoing the same thoughts we’ve been sharing for a while…

  1. Next Big Innovation: “Without a doubt, smart home control is the next big innovation in the vacation rental industry,” said LiveRez Founder and CEO Tracy Lotz, a 20-year veteran of the vacation rental industry. “Our partnership with PointCentral will position our partners at the forefront of this new revolution and give them a significant competitive advantage in their respective markets.”
  2. Transform VR Industry: The enhanced real-time control and awareness offered by the PointCentral integration has the ability to fundamentally transform the way professional managers do business. “This technology will completely change the vacation rental industry,” said Steve Trover, the immediate past president of the Vacation Rental Managers Association.
  3. Trust Cellular, Not WiFi: Lotz said the fact that PointCentral is cellular powered made a big impact on his decision to integrate, as cellular connectivity ensures a level of reliability not provided by broadband / Wi-Fi offerings. “There were other solutions in the marketplace, but none of them offered our partners a proven and reliable connection to the home,” Lotz said. “PointCentral’s cellular technology and unique offering led to our exclusive relationship.”

The announcement was also covered by VRM Intel and Tnooz.

Like I said, awesome to have the VR industry talking about the benefits of smart home control and the ability for PointCentral to help transform the industry.

However, I would like to mention a couple points:

The “smart” home automation market is a pretty confusing space right now.

  1. How can consumers differentiate between all of the Kickstarter products, big names (Google, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung), and off-shoots entering the market?
  2. What’s the difference between single-family/at-home products and systems that can control a full inventory of properties?
  3. Does cellular vs. WiFi matter?

I LOVE that smart home technology is being discussed and the benefits for VRMs are being realized across the US.

However, my challenge to journalists covering these emerging technologies is to take the time to understand the differentiators and try clear up the confusion, rather than perpetuating it.

Great to see the coverage, but deeper analysis on these new trends and the potential impact would be awesome.

At the end of the day, the market will decide. My guess is you know where my money is. :)

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