Why Smart Home Automation is a Win/Win/Win

PointCentral shares how smart home tech helps guests, owners, and property managers.

You can hardly watch TV, browse the internet, or walk around a store without seeing smart home technology. Big players like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Home Depot, Lowes, and Staples are manufacturing and mass marketing smart home products faster than you can say “automation.”

But what’s truly bringing smart home automation to the forefront of vacation rental property management is the significant benefits it offers guests, homeowners, and the management company.

The Key Is The First Victim

Guests are used to receiving digital keys at hotels, so when they’re handed a mechanical key, they immediately ask themselves, “Who has a copy of this key? Is my family going to be safe? Why is this management company still using mechanical keys?”

Guests love the security of keyless smart home technology because it gives them the peace of mind knowing their lock code is unique and their family is safer. Recent research1 of 1,000 U.S. renters found that 60% said keyless entry made them more likely to rent a unit. Guests also love the convenience of not having to stop at an office somewhere to pick up or drop off keys because it means they can spend more time having fun.

When it comes to eliminating keys, property managers also see significant benefits. Keys can be one of their biggest operational headaches, especially when they’re forced to drive to a property to open the door for a guest who is locked out. Vacation rental management customers report that operational savings from going keyless are substantial.

Homeowners Are Seeing Green

Homeowners want smart home technology. Research2 shows that 85% of Millennials, 73% of Gen Xers, and 67% of Baby Boomers are likely to add smart home technology to their home. Over 50% of those Millennials, 38% of those Gen Xers, and 28% of those Baby Boomers plan to do so in 2017. These are very compelling statistics that should make every vacation rental manager take a closer look at smart home technology.

In addition to convenience and security, owners are very interested in saving money and going green by taking control of how much energy their homes use. Today’s smart home thermostats allow owners to remotely control temperature, automate high/low settings, and get email or text alerts when temperatures exceed specified thresholds. On average, this can save homeowners 10-15% on their energy bill every month.3

Managers Get Smart

So, what happens when a homeowner installs smart home technology in their rental property? It puts the homeowner in control of the locks, thermostats and other smart home devices. Unfortunately, this means the property manager is not in control and cannot manage the locks and thermostats in the property effectively, which can have a negative impact on the guest experience. There are horror stories of homeowners remotely reducing the air conditioning in their property while a guest was staying there. You can imagine how frustrating this was for the guest and the management company.

These types of issues point to an urgent need for vacation rental managers to implement a smart home automation system in all their properties. While a consumer-grade smart home system controls only a single property, an enterprise-grade system can control access to and temperature of every property under management.

Advanced Automation

Vacation rental managers are also benefiting from the real-time intelligence provided by today’s advanced smart home automation systems. From a centralized online dashboard or mobile device, users can see the real-time occupancy status of every property based on the arrival and departure lock codes entered by the guest. Plus, the checkout code can automatically send an alert to housekeeping, which in turn automatically alerts an inspector after the property is cleaned. In addition to every guest being automatically provided with a unique lock code for their arrival, the temperature in the property can be set to a comfortable level and return to an energy-saving temperature upon departure.

What happens when a guest arrives early? In the old days, they would hang around the office and bother staff until their property was ready. With advanced systems, guests can be automatically notified by email or text if the property is ready ahead of their scheduled arrival time and the lock code is automatically activated early.

 

With all the new technology available today, it’s not often that you see something that offers such extensive benefits for guests, owners and management companies.

This post was written by Bill Schlosser for PointCentral, the vacation rental industry’s largest provider of smart home automation solutions. For more information about smart home automation, visit PointCentral.com.

1 Wakefield Research and Schlage, Dec 2016
2 Scripps Network Interactive, Dec 2016
3 PointCentral, Dec 2016

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