From booking platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com to itinerary planning apps like TripIt, there's an increasing amount of people utilising a spectrum of tech tools to ease the burden of organising a vacation.
On that note, it's not surprising that travelers are expecting their vacation accommodation to add tech solutions into the mix.
At igloohome, we've helped many vacation rental hosts improve their guests' experience and streamline the access process with our smart locks and lockboxes. This time, we've compiled a list of gadgets that'll make hosting a breeze. Check out some of our 'must-have's to make your duties easier!
1. Voice assistants (Smart speaker)
Here's a small addition to delight your guests! They can easily ask for nearby attractions, weather conditions and much more without lifting a finger. Some voice assistants come with features that are god-sent for hosts such as providing the property's WiFi network and password.
Additionally, if you've hooked up other smart home gadgets such as lights, locks and thermostats, the voice assistant can allow your guest to control them with just voice commands.
Our recommendation: Amazon Alexa (Echo)
We love Amazon's Alexa. Having the highest device compatibility, Alexa can connect with over 7,000 brands of devices! That's a lot of options for you to pick from when choosing smart home devices to automate your rental property. On top of that, Alexa is highly capable in answering general questions and performing tasks with its conversational abilities that's way above the competition.
Similarly, the Echo speaker comes out tops with comparable sound quality with its predecessors. It also only costs half as much!
2. Smart lighting
This one's more for your benefit as a host than for the guests. We're sure you've encountered guests who've forgotten to turn the lights off before leaving, but smart lighting is here to save the day!
Smart lights can be controlled remotely via an app, allowing you to switch the off if you've noticed that they've been left on. You can also schedule them to turn on or off automatically at set timings or under specific conditions. Not only will this increase efficiency, lower consumption levels and help you save on electricity bills, some of these lights can also change colours for an added fun feature for your guests.
Our recommendation: Philips Hue
Perhaps the most well-known smart light bulb, the Philips Hue possess all the benefits listed above and is especially simple to set up and start using.
These lights can be dimmed (even possessing a nightlight feature) and controlled remotely via the Hue application. They output 800 lumens - meaning one bulb is probably enough for small to medium sized rooms. Additional plus, they're relatively smaller than other smart lights, so they'll be able to fit in most places your average bulb would, making the replacement process that much easier.
Compatible with several smart speakers - Google Home, Apple Homekit and Alexa - your guests will have the option to control the lights via voice commands. These bulbs also support both Bluetooth and Zigbee, so you can use them without the smart hub (Hue Bridge Hub) included in your starter kit if you wish to.
3. Smart locks
Tired of waking up at ungodly hours to handover keys to your guests? Constantly worried that your guests will lose the keys or worse, make copies of them? If your answer is yes, a smart lock is your solution.
With a smart lock, you'll let your guest enter your property without the hassle.
As a rental host, a smart lock offers numerous benefits when it comes to security. Think unique access codes for different guests, time-sensitive entries, activity logs and more! You won't worry about duplicate keys, or having guests show up after checking out. Additionally, your door automatically re-locks once it's closed, preventing instances of guests forgetting to lock up behind them.
Guests will also appreciate being able to check-in and check-out whenever they please. There's no need for physical key handovers, facilitating smoother arrival and departure processes.
Our recommendation: The igloohome Smart Deadbolt 2S Metal Grey
Not to toot our own horn but the Smart Deadbolt is a great addition to any door. Aside from the sleek and stylish exterior, the lock lets you enter via PIN codes or Bluetooth keys so there's no need to worry about managing physical keys!
It also works offline, which makes it great for cabins in the woods or mountainous areas where WiFi may be spotty. But that doesn't mean you'll need to be near the lock to grant access. The app lets you generate PIN codes from anywhere in the world, so your guest will always have a way to enter the property.
The best part? All igloohome products lets you synchronise your Airbnb listing calendars to the locks. That means automatic creation of PIN codes for guests, making it fuss-free when it comes to access management.
It's also bang for your buck with the myriad of smart features that guarantee optimisation of convenience at an affordable price.
4. Robot vacuum cleaners
Don't we all dread cleaning up? But here's a gadget to make life easier: robot vacuum cleaners. This nifty little assistant is a great addition to help out with the chores. Change bed linens, tidy up the living room and go about doing the laundry while the vacuum takes care of your floors!
Our recommendation: iRobot Roomba 960
Credit: Dick smith NZ
If you don't mind spending a bit of money, we suggest getting the IRobot Roomba 960. Possessing a mix of advanced features, this little robot comes with a built in camera for better navigation, voice assistant compatibility as well as Map visualizations of where iRobot has cleaned.
It's got great navigation capabilities with an ability to handle all types of flooring with minimum noise - we approve!
Final tip: Making it guest-friendly
There's simply no point in decking your rental home with fancy gadgets if guests don't know how to operate them. The most important tip of it all is to choose devices that even the not-so tech savvy ones can appreciate too!
From adding little how-to cards near the gadgets or having a page about them in the welcome binder, these little details make the process as intuitive as possible so that guests won't avoid your cool devices altogether.
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