Technological advances are developing so rapidly in today's world that you can hardly implement a new development in your life before the next one comes along. Smart home technology is one of those areas where gadgets and tools are gaining momentum at unprecedented speed. According to one estimate, over 15 million homes already have smart technology, with that number expected to grow 28% by the year 2021.
As a result, smart home technology is an area that vacation rental owners should seriously consider investing in. It's not only a question of keeping up with the Joneses, but adding value and amenities that customers are going to quickly come to expect. Here are five clear reasons why property owners may want to jump on the bandwagon of smart home technology:
Reason 1: Improve Security and Safety For Guests
One of the first developments in smart home technology has been in the area of home safety and security. As a result, this is the area that may be most advanced and most demanded. According to one study, about three-fourths of respondents said that safety and security was the primary reason for their smart home investment.
For a property owner of vacation rentals, you certainly want to ensure that your guests feel safe at your property. However, an added benefit in the vacation rental arena is security during vacancies. In the days of physical keys, which one day soon may become obsolete, keys could be copied, kept or distributed. Today, electronic codes can randomly be reset as frequently as owners choose.
Smoke detectors, water sensors or outdoor motion detectors have all been improved in recent years by smart technology, allowing earlier warning for both guests and property owners when things go amiss.
Reason 2: Streamline Guest Traffic
Smart home technology can serve as an on-site rental assistant. When visitors decide to check-in late or check-out early, you can rely on your smart home technology to help pick up the slack. Access codes can be changed remotely and instantaneously, giving you the tools to help ensure that guests can access your unit whenever they choose to arrive or if they happen to lose the code.
This technology alone also allows you to provide easy access to cleaning and repair services without having to meet those service professionals at your unit or worrying about managing a physical key.
Reason 3: Make Your Guests Feel at Home
In most cases, your customers will be looking for the comfort and conveniences of what they have at home, or better yet, one step above.
As smart home technology becomes more commonplace throughout the country, guests will come to expect certain technology at rental units. In fact, more than 60 percent of renters say that they are more likely to choose a rental with smart home technology already.
Besides electronic key coded locks, indoor technology such as smart thermostats and smart lighting systems can add to the comfort of a guest's stay. By adjusting temperature before they arrive, you can welcome them with these small touches that may make a world of difference.
Reason 4: Reduce Your Costs and Be Green
As a property owner, the more money you can save without sacrificing quality of service levels, the more profit you make. Currently, almost 50% of a home's energy bill is related to heating and cooling. Smart thermostats alone can reduce that monthly bill by 10 percent to 15 percent.
Heating and cooling control can be an area of wasted energy for property owners. Most people who are on vacation just want to be comfortable so they might leave a unit extra cold or extra warm without consideration to the cost. With smart technology, you can control upper and lower limits as well as monitor temperatures remotely with text alerts.
By replacing lights with LED bulbs and technology like motion detectors that turn bathroom lights on and off automatically, you can save additional energy. Smart plugs also allow you to regulate the use of your appliances to save more money.
All of the smart technology can be monitored remotely, allowing you to ensure that everything is turned off upon check-out. And all of this energy-saving effort is good for the environment.
Reason 5: Add Value with Smart Technology Amenities
Watch all of these smart technology developments begin appearing on booking sites' amenity lists. Making these investments can not only save you money, time and convenience as a property manager, but they can make your unit more attractive to potential guests.
By having these amenities available, you can check off more offerings on all those booking site lists, which will improve your rankings in a wider number of potential guest searches. The more searches your property appears in, the more likely you are to get bookings, and the fewer vacancies you will experience.
Smart home technologies will also allow you to move up in the luxury category, allowing you to bump up your rental rate as well. Millennial renters say they are willing to pay 20 percent more for units with smart home technology. This means that investing in this technology will easily pay for itself over a short period of time.
When it's time to improve your rental property, be sure that smart technology is at the top of your list. Guests will come to expect certain older technology and may be impressed with newer developments. Most of these investments are designed to save you time and money as well as improve efficiency for you and quality of life for your guests.