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The Smart Home market in the US is expected to expand at an annual rate of nearly 10%, culminating in an estimated market volume of $55 billion by 2028. As we increasingly incorporate technology into our homes to enhance our everyday lives, it is natural for guests to expect the same level of modernity when booking a vacation rental.

The ability to meet guest expectations can be the difference between an individual choosing your vacation rental over a competitor’s. The focus is no longer solely on the physical space, but the overall experience – particularly the convenience of it. A ‘smart home’ today goes far beyond a voice-controlled virtual assistant. A true ‘smart home’ incorporates a carefully selected suite of smart technologies that seamlessly integrate together.

Still need more convincing, or additional reasons to invest?

Here are three compelling reasons why prioritizing a connected property should be at the top of your list.

Protect your property

Keys are slowly becoming obsolete. Why? They are prone to being lost, stolen or duplicated, posing concerns for both guests and the vacation rental managers. For guests, a physical key offers little assurance that no one else can access the property during their stay. For managers, there is a risk of theft and damage to the property.

A more secure alternative is to invest in a smart property access control system. A keyless smart lock works by providing guests with a unique code that will expire after they check out. This ensures peace of mind regarding safety. The same applies for housekeeping staff and anyone who carries out property inspections. They will only have access to the rental when necessary, with the manager being notified upon their arrival and departure.

Motion sensors and outdoor cameras are also a worthwhile investment as they can detect and alert a vacation rental manager to any suspicious activity. These tools can also confirm the number of guests staying at a property.

Smart smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are another option for property managers looking for real-time alerts. Regardless of their location, managers will receive a notification if CO is detected in any of their rentals. This can help prevent serious incidents, safeguard the property, and ensure guests’ safety — potentially making a life-saving difference.

Save money

While smart technology requires an initial investment, its integration into your vacation rental can yield significant long-term cost savings. Energy-efficient smart thermostats, automated lighting systems, and intelligent climate control enable managers to optimize energy usage.

With a smart thermostat, property managers can save between 10% and 23% on heating and cooling costs. This technology can be further enhanced with door and window contact sensors, which will automatically shut off the air conditioning (AC) until it detects the door or window is closed.

Moreover, smart vacation rental technology can monitor energy usage and send alerts for potential problems before they escalate into expensive repairs. Two potential issues could be that the unit is unable to reach the set point of the thermostat, or it’s taking too long to do so.

Water leakage is another concern. A small, undetected leak can be costly over time, potentially causing damage to the property and neighboring properties. It is estimated that a constantly running toilet may waste around 200 gallons of water per day, which could cost an additional $70 a month.

Intelligent water management can help property managers stay one step ahead by detecting extremely small amounts of water and automatically sending a notification when there’s a problem. They can even be linked to an automatic valve for immediate shut off of the water.

Maximize rental income

Four in five (84%) short-term rental property guests believe tech-enabled amenities such as smart home devices are important, with 69% rating them as highly important. Furthermore, they’re willing to pay more for these amenities, boosting a vacation rental manager’s occupancy rates and overall profitability. Satisfied guests are also likely to spread the word (to their friends and family, or by leaving a review), and return to the property due to their enjoyed experience.

With automation in place, turnover days can be optimized, expediting processes for housekeeping and inspection personnel to prepare the property for the next guests. Property managers can take full advantage of these streamlined operations by offering guests an early check-in for a small premium. If accepted, guests simply need the smart lock code, and everything is set in place for them to enjoy their home away from home.

Want to find out more about vacation rental technology? Read our whitepaper on automated technology and vacation rental management.