You might not think of vacation rentals and smart homes as two things that go together, but it’s a lucrative and appealing combination.
Today’s renters are looking for the best homes on the market. They don’t want outdated furnishings and technology. They want the best and newest features available.
As we move more and more toward technology, we are starting to see smart technology that is almost a standard part of a Smart Home.
That’s why using smart home technology in your vacation rental property is a smart move that can increase the efficiency and profitability of your business.
At the same time smart home devices give renters flexibility and convenience, and it’s a huge selling point in an oversaturated market.
Whether you’re brand new to smart home technology or somewhat familiar with it, you might be wondering how to get started. There are so many smart products out there, and it can be difficult to select certain devices over others.
That’s why we’ve curated this list of products to take your vacation rental home from great to outstanding. Vacation rentals and smart homes can be one and the same, and it’s easy to get started.
There are a few categories we are going to cover. Here is a quick list:
Smart lighting — The benefits of using smart lights including lights that automatically turn off, resulting in less power used and wasted.
Smart Lighting: http://intelligenthomeblog.com/tech/best-smart-led-bulbs-2017/
LED bulbs paired with a smart home setup will make a great setup: http://intelligenthomeblog.com/tech/lutron-caseta-smart-lighting/
Smart Locks — Smart locks can be used to create a “Vacation Code” whereby you can give to tenants. Removing the need for keys. Also removing the security risk of extra keys floating around.
There’s a list of Smart Locks here: http://intelligenthomeblog.com/tech/top-5-smart-locks/
Smart Cameras — Smart Cameras will allow you to see who is entering and exiting your unit. Did something go missing? Maybe an unauthorized guest took it.
There’s a list of smart cameras here: http://intelligenthomeblog.com/top-product-list/best-smart-camera/
Smart Thermostats — Smart thermostats give you the ability to control the temperature, or even ensure the temperature is off when you are not there.
There’s a list of smart thermostats here: http://intelligenthomeblog.com/tech/best-smart-thermostats/
Smart lighting can be used in rental units to turn off automatically after a certain period of time, or even be turned on and off remotely if set up right.
Saving money in energy costs and ensuring the unit is ready for the next guest.
Lighting is a home automation must-have. The ability to easily trigger lights hands-off is essential for any good smart home.
There are several budget solutions for smart lighting, and there are also some more premium options.
For a more economically priced choice, the Philips Hue lighting system is nearly unparalleled. Priced at $64.99, the system includes the Hue Bridge and two soft white LED bulbs.
The lights connect to the bridge, which in turn works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Assistant.
Once set up, your guests can control the lights with vocal commands. (The specific command will depend on which virtual assistant you’re using.)
If that’s not enough control for your liking, you can choose from several Philips accessories that work with the Hue system.
Or you could take your lighting game to the next level with the Philips motion sensor so your renters can control lights simply by walking into a room.
With so many accessories, you can use the Hue system as the foundation for completely custom lighting, and you won’t have to spend a fortune.
You might also want to consider the Lutron Caseta system.
Like the Philips Hue, the Caseta system is based around a central hub called the Smart Bridge.
One of the best features of the Caseta system is its flexibility. It works with any kind of light bulbs, so you don’t have to purchase special bulbs.
The big benefit here is that you can spend more money on high-end bulbs and use the Lutron system to control them.
If you’re not a fan of how LED bulbs look or if you just want more choices, this approach might be for you.
The Lutron Caseta system also works with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant, so you can choose whichever you prefer.
Additionally, you can ensure the lights are off when the guests are gone to ensure you are not pushing up the electric bill.
The main goal with smart locks is to have a setup that can be easily accessible by many different parties. Instead of having keys all around, you can give a temporary code to the guest, and a more permanent one to your cleaning staff.
Saving time, money for new keys, and the security threat of having possible duplicate keys or keys stolen (and having to replace the lock).
Security is a huge priority for vacation rentals and smart homes alike, so it’s especially crucial for smart vacation properties. You need locks that are durable, reliable, and completely secure.
There are a variety of smart locks available, but Home Alarm Report suggests using ResortLock locks.
These locks aren’t dependent on a smart bridge/hub or WiFi, and you can generate guest codes that deactivate when someone checks out.
The ResortLock RL2000N-S is a fine choice from the company. While it’s a more costly lock at $299, the extra functionalities make the price more competitive.
Another good option is the Schlage Z-Wave smart lock. It’s much more inexpensive at $209, and like the ResortLock, it allows you to create guest codes. However, in many regards it’s much different from the ResortLock, so you should take a look at both.
Smart cameras enable to you to view who is entering and exiting your unit. If something goes missing, for example, you can see possibly who took it out and who went in and out in that timeframe.
Please understand we are not a legal resource and are not sure of the legality of spying on your guests. We are supportive of a camera directly outside the unit to see who comes in and out.
Locks aren’t the only security devices you should be investing in. You’ll want reliable smart cameras that monitor your properties and let you know when something’s up.
Perhaps the most popular smart camera options come from Nest. Their Nest Cam Indoor offers 24/7 live video, two-way audio, and phone and email alerts. (Do your own research on the legality of this, this is in no way legal advice).
The Nest Cam Outdoor has almost identical features, but it’s designed to be attached to the exterior of a property.
Together, the Indoor and Outdoor cameras make up a great camera system, and the devices will work seamlessly with one another.
If you’re after a more premium solution, the Nest Cam IQ has a lot more to offer. It can tell people apart from things, and it can even recognize faces if you purchase a Nest Aware subscription.
If the Nest line doesn’t do it for you, maybe the Netatmo Welcome will. With facial recognition technology, Dropbox integration, and night vision capabilities, the Welcome is a solid option. At around $120, it’s not going to break the bank, either.
Smart thermostats enable you to let guests set the temperature, set if yourself, and ensure that it is not left on after guests leave. It is possible to completely remotely change this.
Your guests should be comfortable when staying at your property, and that means they should be able to change the temperature as they wish.
Both thermostats help you save on energy costs and are super user-friendly, so your guests will have no problem operating them. They’re also aesthetically pleasing and will fit in with your properties’ existing decor.
It’s worth noting that the Nest Learning Thermostat may be overkill. Why? It learns when and how users modify the temperature and then does it automatically. However, if you tend to have many long-term guests, the learning feature is a nice touch.
If you’re considering combining vacation rentals and smart homes, this list will get you started with the fundamentals of smart home technology.
For a fairly modest investment, you’ll be able to draw in more renters who desire the convenience and ease of use that smart devices provide. You’ll be a step ahead of your competition, and your guests will thoroughly enjoy staying at your properties.
Are you going to turn your vacation property into a smart vacation property? Tell us in the comment section below.