Top 7 Automation Solutions for Effective Vacation Rental Management

04/06/2019

Embracing new technology is an integral part of vacation rental management. As a host, you can streamline your workload by implementing automation, allowing you to communicate with guests, keep track of your bookings and schedule cleaning/maintenance for your rental more efficiently. It helps ease the load, so rather than spending all your time on the day-to-day tasks associated with hosting you are able to work on growing your business.  

Automation can improve the guest experience too, you can upgrade guests comfort level by regulating and monitoring environmental factors such as heating, lighting, and noise. Add to this the fact that automation can be beneficial to you personally e.g. by reducing energy bills and improving security, and you start to see why these solutions are considered to be an essential element in effective vacation rental management. Let’s check out 7 automation solutions that could prove useful:

Go for Self-Check-In

Vacation rental management entails making sure your guests can check in and out easily. And because It’s not always possible to be at your vacation rental property in person, smart locks can provide an efficient, remote access solution for guests.

Smart locks eliminate the need for keys. You don’t have to worry about leaving a key under the mat (never a wise move in this day and age). Nor do you have to pay a locksmith a fortune, or drive across the city yourself at 3 am to let your locked-out guests back in if they have one too many tequilas and lose the key!  

Smart locks also enable you to monitor access to your property, so you can keep an eye on the arrival and departure of your guests. You are in control of your smart lock, so you can program it with a unique code and set a start/end period for guests access. This helps to reduce the problem of guests checking in too early or checking-out too late and prevents unauthorized people from gaining access to your pad.

Set the Temperature

Successful vacation rental management involves meeting the needs of your guests and ensuring they enjoy a comfortable stay. Smart thermostats regulate the temperature of your rental – ensuring your guests don’t get too chilly or overly hot. You can pre-set the temperature in advance, so if it’s a cold winter’s night you can set the heating to come on prior to your guest’s arrival (on the entry they will find a cosy, welcoming property). You can automate temperature easily via a tablet or smartphone, and it’s a great way of reducing energy costs.

Regulate Lighting  

Smart light devices are a useful tool for vacation rental management. Smart lights can be dimmed (no dimmer switch required), and some can be set to change colour, or even play a melody. There are even very smart lights capable of adjusting brightness levels depending on the time of day - creating a pleasant atmosphere for your guests.

Automating lighting improves your green credentials and saves you money too. You don’t have to worry about wasting energy and cash if guests forget to switch off lights when they leave, because they will automatically turn off when the guest leaves the property. Smart lights also help you out with home security, so if your rental is going to be unoccupied for a certain period of time you can simply set the lights to go on and off as you wish to deter intruders by giving the impression someone is home, a bit like Kevin McAllister’s solo Christmas party in Home Alone!

Use Vacation Rental Management Software

There’s so much to do when you are trying to establish and run a successful vacation rental property business, especially if you have more than one property to think about. That’s why professional hosts turn to automation to take the pain out of things.

Vacation rental management software, such as iGMS, allows you to keep track of bookings and properties in real-time. Save time and energy by automating repetitive tasks, and use the time you’ve gained back to focus on marketing your Airbnb rental and growing your business.

iGMS offers a whole host of features for busy hosts, for instance, you can:

  • Manage multiple Airbnb/Vrbo/HomeAway accounts from a single dashboard
  • Automate guest communication
  • Sync calendars across multiple vacation rental platforms
  • Organize cleaning and maintenance for your properties

Worried about the cost of vacation rental management software? Almost all vendors (including iGMS) have a free trial so that you can test all the features for yourself. iGMS also offers a free plan for up to 4 properties.

Monitor Noise

Unfortunately, vacation rental management isn’t always straightforward. Guests throwing loud, boisterous parties must be close to the top of the list of nightmare scenarios for hosts. There’s the risk of damage to property and it’s a great way to alienate your neighbours. Noise sensors allow you to keep an eye (or in this case an ear) on proceedings at your pad.

Technology is constantly evolving, and you can now get indoor and outdoor noise sensors which allow you to monitor overall noise level. The concept is simple, if the noise level remains increased for a set period of time you will be notified. Top of the range noise detectors can even distinguish specific noises such as the beep of a smoke alarm or the sound of glass shattering (never a good sign)!

If you’re considering investing in noise sensors, we suggest you shop around – expect to pay for a  subscription to the monitoring service so you can listen in, as well as for the monitor itself.

Mount Security Sensors

Protecting your property and guests is an integral part of vacation rental management. As a host, it goes without saying you must tell prospective guests about any surveillance device on your premises. You can install cameras as a security measure, but do check regulations in your area, and tell guests you have them.

Entry sensors are a great idea, fit them to windows and doors, so if a guest forgets to close up properly when they leave, you will know about it sooner rather than later. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are also wise. They are not listed as a compulsory by Airbnb but installing them can reduce insurance premiums – and could be the difference between life and death!

Create a Digital Welcome Book

A welcome book is essential, but instead of a traditional paper book, how about going digital? The digital welcome book is mobile, up to date and full of useful tips to enhance the guest experience.

Get a gold star for your vacation property management by providing all the information your guest could wish for straight to their phone or tablet. Guests can access it prior to arrival and it’s handy when they are out and about looking for info on a local attraction or public transport. The digital welcome book can act as their own personal tour guide, showcasing your property and the local area.

Automate Your Way to First-Class Vacation Rental Management

There are many ways to maximize vacation rental bookings, including listing your property on the best vacation rental platforms and promoting your property well. Get to grips with vacation property management and you will be well on your way to running a successful vacation rental property business.

About The Author

This article was written by Inna Shevchenko, director of marketing at AirGMS

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