Guest blog by: Clair Jones
The vacation rental market is booming, but it can be hard to make your property stand out — especially if there are similar homes for rent nearby. If you’re looking for ways to appeal to modern renters, home automation features that improve the comfort, style, and convenience of your vacation home are sure to give you a leg above the competition. While home automation requires an initial investment, being able to market your property as a “smart home” attracts more renters and allows you to charge more per day.
Here are several affordable home automation boosts that can instantly increase the appeal of your vacation rental in todays’ competitive market.
Home Automation to Boost Comfort and Convenience
Vacation home renters, above all else, are looking to have an enjoyable, worry-free, and comfortable stay in your home. While inspiring décor, quality linens, and a well-maintained, clean home are key, these amenities are likely available at any vacation rental. To set your property apart, consider adding a smart lighting system and thermostat that allow your guests to remain comfortable at the touch of a button no matter where they are in the home.
Smart lighting systems allow your guests to control the lighting in the entire home using a remote, or even their smart phone. Most systems allow for the adjustment of light intensity, direction, pattern, and color, while some advanced systems even allow guests to sync lighting with their favorite music or movie. Integrated lighting systems can also help you make a great first impression by welcoming guests to your home with outdoor or indoor lights that are already illuminated should they arrive after dark.
Another marketable perk of an automated rental is that guests can easily regulate the temperature of the home to their liking; depending on the length of their stay, a smart thermostat will learn their preferences and automatically adjust to them. You can also easily schedule the smart thermostat to ensure your property is warm or cool upon your guests’ arrival, depending on the weather. Most Smart thermostats cost around $200 and are easy to install yourself. As an added bonus, smart thermostats and lighting systems can cut down on energy usage, resulting in a lower gas and electricity bill.
Home Automation to Suite Your Location and Target Customer
To garner the most return on your home automation investment, you must thoughtfully consider which smart home features will appeal to your guests based on the location of your rental and the type of guest you ideally want to attract.
For a big-city property, for example, your goal may be to attract luxury renters who are travelling for business, pleasure, or a special event. Luxury renters enjoy upscale amenities like motorized shades and curtains, smart kitchen appliances, remote-controlled fireplaces, and automated shower preferences for easy adjustment of water pressure and temperature. City renters might also appreciate a high-quality automated sound system, like the Amazon Echo, or a white noise machine to help drown out the hustle and bustle of the city and set the mood.
If your property is outside of town – a cabin, island bungalo, or destination rental, for instance — and offers fewer options for nearby activities, a home theater experience can encourage guests to rent out the property longer or recommend it to friends. When tailoring your home automation investments to your property, also consider the typical weather, humidity level, and temperature of your vacation home. Installing heated flooring in your cabin in the mountains, or a misting system on the patio of your tropical villa is a cherry-on-top bonus that is sure to attract more renters.
Home Automation to Boost Your Property’s Safety and Security
Adding a home security system can increase your property’s security when it is vacant, and also helps guests feel more secure during their stay. Most home security systems easily integrate with an existing home automation hub, taking the guesswork out of setting up home security for guests and making it easy to arm and disarm the system.
Whether you just want to simplify the check-in process by incorporating smart locks that allow guests to gain access to the home without exchanging keys, or want to prevent property crime and theft by allowing guests to engage an alarm system when they are not in the home, there are a wide variety of affordable security solutions available. Along with checking on the status of your system, you can set up alerts that notify you in the event of a fire, carbon monoxide leak, or other serious issues.
By adding smart technology to your vacation property, you can stay ahead of the competition in the vacation rental market, charge a higher rate, and provide an exceptional experience for your guests that will encourage them to return for another stay in the future and recommend the property to friends. Get started with these simple and inexpensive upgrades and increase your home‘s appeal for the 2016 rental season.
Clair Jones is a community safety and home security advocate with SafeWise.com, a site dedicated to helping everyday homeowners compare security systems to find the most affordable, functional, and convenient solution for their home and family. To read more of Clair’s writing and learn about how you can protect your home from intruders, natural disasters, and everyday household safety concerns, visit the SafeWise Blog.