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Smart Home Technology


#1

Hi all,

This is my first thread here and I’m hoping you can all share with me your thoughts on smart home tech for your rental properties. I have family members who own holiday homes and we often stay in rental properties when we go away. I have a keen interest in smart home tech and have been considering for some time now to start a business that provides smart home installs for rental properties. Having looked around the forums I can see a lot of people are using smart thermostats and locks to help them manage their properties which is great to see.

Over the last few months I have been researching and working on creating prototype software for managing a rental property which would do some of the following

Integrate with your availability calendar via airbnb to know when guests are arriving
Automatically issue guests with an access code for the duration of their stay which would allow them to access the property via a provided smartlock
Automatically issue maintenance guys with temp access codes
Send automated checkin/checkout sms messages to guests
Monitor the property when it’s vacant for unexpected movement, rise in temperature or water ingress
Monitor energy usage to allow for the potential of pay-as-you-go usage during guests stay
Integration with existing smart tech such as thermostats and lighting - for example enabling your smart thermostat to heat the property an hour before your guests arrive and ensure it’s turned off when they leave

These are just some of the features I’m working on. I’m keen to gather your thoughts on whether or not you’d like a system like this or not? What would be your main reservations in using software to manage your rental property?


#2

I imagine you’ll get very different responses based on whether hosts are on or off-site. I could see an off-site host appreciating more of these features.

I host a suite in my home and use a SmartThings hub with door, leak, and motion sensors, along with a Ring doorbell and keypad lock. My main reservation with integrated software solutions is cost. My homegrown setup is <$600 and has no ongoing maintenance other than $3/mo Ring video storage.

Initially, I expected to automate door codes, but found it’s easier to make this part of our cleaning tasks. I don’t worry about the code not working for an early check-in or late check-out because we simply change the code manually as the last step in the cleaning checklist.

Integrate with your availability calendar via airbnb to know when guests are arriving
Automatically issue guests with an access code for the duration of their stay which would allow them to access the property via a provided smartlock

I don’t particularly care when guests arrive; I care about scheduling cleanings between guests, which sets the rest of the process in motion. Once clean, we set the door code and text the guest we’re ready for them.

Automatically issue maintenance guys with temp access codes.

As an on-site host this hasn’t been an issue.

Send automated checkin/checkout sms messages to guests

Even using “saved responses” in Airbnb messaging, 80-90% of the time I’m modifying the text to tailor it or add additional info. For example, in general guests let themselves in while I’m at work, but some days I’m working from home and will greet them. I’m not keen on sharing my work calendar to automate this. I send different messages about the HVAC system depending on the weather forecast; even with a weather function built in, it won’t take into account my capriciousness on what combo of heat and humidity prompts closing up the house.

Monitor the property when it’s vacant for unexpected movement, rise in temperature or water ingress.

I like this feature and feel well-covered by my current setup.

Monitor energy usage to allow for the potential of pay-as-you-go usage during guests stay

I could see some hosts using this, but it wouldn’t be useful for me/my listing.

Integration with existing smart tech such as thermostats and lighting - for example enabling your smart thermostat to heat the property an hour before your guests arrive and ensure it’s turned off when they leave.

Since I host on-site, the house is usually cooled/ heated for my comfort already. I tried integrating smart bulbs, and found it unreliable and fussy, so abandoned it.


#3

Hi everyone, we know that - smart home technology are increasing day by day for our unique needs! Because this is an essential part in our life with 100% security. Thanks for sharing this great topic.

We know a smart home is a residence that uses internet-connected devices to enable the remote monitoring and management of appliances and systems, such as lighting and heating.

Some SMART home technology devices are : :grinning:

  • Wireless speaker systems
  • Home security & monitoring systems
  • Domestic robots
  • Smoke/CO detectors
  • Lighting
  • Home energy use monitors
  • Smart Door locks
  • Refrigerators
  • Laundry machines
  • Water detectors and more…

For more details you can visit online product reviews websites like wiki, toms guide, etc. What you exactly want to know about home smart technology devices, hope you will find out easily …

Best regards :grinning:


#4

We’ve just recently installed some additional smart home tech to help us save on hydro at our rentals. Some of the new toys include wifi smart plugs on our refrigerators, wifi controlled timers for our hot water heaters, both so we can shut them off on unbooked days. We also built a custom device using an arduino connected to contact sensors on our doors and windows which send an API call to our thermostats to shut off the AC or heat if left open for more than 10 minutes. That one is helping out a LOT. At the moment, our next goal is to try and build (or source something that’s under $100) which can accurately detect cigarette or marijuana smoke, which is a rare but annoying problem we encounter from time to time. There are a few devices out there that claim to do this already but are $300+ which is a bit steep.


#5

There are a lot of hosts here who have expressed a need for something like this. Hopefully they will see this post. I can’t think of who they are, if I could I’d tag them. @sobepuppy ?

I’m onsite but hate to go into the guest room after guests are checked in even if they are out for the day. I bought a smart plug to plug the window AC in but haven’t had a chance to set it up yet. Also, luckily people aren’t turning on the AC and leaving like they have the past two summers.


#6

Any user friendly / app based technology that would enable a host to monitor open windows & there after interact with the AC would be amazing.


#7

Thanks for all your thoughts guys. @K9KarmaCasa & @sobepuppy I could easily add this as a feature of the system I’m developing. Sensors fixed to windows/doors could trigger the AC / Heat to be turned down or off when open and then after a certain period of time be turned back on.


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