You’ve heard the news – smart home technology is all the rave in the short-term rental industry right now. So much so that 42% of guests have stated tech amenities are their most enjoyed feature of a short-term rental. But is it really worth the investment?
From smart locks to smart thermostats – we take a look at what a day in the life of a property manager looks like in a standard short-term rental vs a tech-equipped property, so you can decide for yourself.
A day in the life of a property manager: standard vs smart short-term rental
Standard short-term rental: Your guests check out at 9:15am. They leave the keys on the counter as instructed in the manual welcome book. The short-term rental remains unlocked until check-out time at 11am when you arrive to collect the keys. You notice the rental’s temperature is high and manually turn down the thermostat. You are none the wiser that your guests checked out early, meaning your HVAC has been heating an empty house for almost two hours.
Smart short-term rental: You and your housekeeping team receive an app notification, “guest checked out at 9:15am.” With full access to your rental’s property automation software data, you’re assured that the door has locked itself, your security system has armed, and your smart thermostat has adjusted to vacant mode to reduce wasted energy – even from your remote location. No action is required from you as the property manager.
Standard short-term rental: At 11:15am, you inform the cleaning team to confirm the rental is ready for turnover and await their arrival to grant the team access to the accommodation. You busy yourself with tasks nearby, such as collecting keys from other rentals, as you wait for the team to clean the property. Once they’re done you lock the rental.
Smart short-term rental: Thanks to the Community Access solution, you receive a notification that “housekeeping entered the property at 9:45am”. This enables you to resource your valuable time into bettering your business, all while knowing your rental’s turnover process is running smoothly and your property is secure. A short while later, you received a notification triggered by the team leaving the property, which confirms the rental has been cleaned.
Standard short-term rental: You notify your in-house inspection team that the rental is ready for their services at 12:30pm. They have their own set of keys, so you’ve now completed your on-site duties and returned to other business needs.
Smart short-term rental: The inspection team received the same notification that cleaning was complete. They use their unique access code to enter the rental at 10:50am and complete their task. You’re notified when the team leaves the property at 11:30am. Thanks to the previous guest checking out early and property automation streamlining your operations, you’re now able to offer the next guest the opportunity to check in early for a small fee.
Standard short-term rental: Your guests arrive at 4pm. The property’s cleanliness isn’t up to their expectations because a bathroom has been accidentally missed during housekeeping and the amenities haven’t been restocked correctly. This leaves a bad impression during check-in as the inspection team also failed to assess the property before arrival. You don’t find out until the guest checks out and leaves a bad review, having had a disappointing guest experience. It’s now too late for you to resolve the issue.
Smart short-term rental: Your guest is thrilled they’re able to check in early. They receive a notification with their unique access code and a message to confirm the rental is ready. At 1pm they check in with keyless access to a fully cleaned and inspected rental. After their stay, they leave a five-star review having had a top guest experience, and go on to talk about the quality service of your company when they catch up with friends and family. With little effort needed from you, you’ve now gained a loyal customer, extra revenue from the early check-in fee, and great feedback which can be spread through word-of-mouth marketing.
Coming back to the original question – is smart home technology worth the investment for short-term rental property managers? If you look at all the benefits: streamlined team operations, quality assurance, security and safety, remote property management, and improved guest experience, the answer is very simple: yes.
Automated tech solutions like Community Access for smooth keyless entry for teams and guests, and smart thermostats for cost-saving adjustments, mean property managers can let their short-term rentals run themselves and instead focus on bringing in more business.