Managing Your Vacation Rental Technology and Internet of Things

Technological Advances for Your Home

Written by Elizabeth Weedon
5/5 - (7 votes)

Updated August 2023

Whether you have a rustic cottage or a modern, beachfront estate, providing some technological amenities can improve your guests’ experience in your home. They also enable you to manage your rental remotely, enhance its security, and improve the overall experience of your home as well.

Here are some ideas for you to consider:

Security/Alarm/Surveillance System

Installing a modern security system offers both you and your guests protection and peace of mind. Your home is protected whenever it is empty (especially in the off season). Or while it’s rented, you can keep an eye on things to make sure your guests are complying with your maximum guest and parking requirements. There are even noise level monitors like NoiseAware so that you are notified electronically before getting a call from the local police or your neighbors. And your guests can enjoy the security while they’re staying in your home. Hard-wired security systems are fairly expensive and hard to install in existing structures. A wireless enabled device that you or a handyman can install may be preferable.

Keep in mind that there are laws about placement of cameras inside and around a home, so we strongly advise you understand state laws and regulations regarding video and audio recording. Also, be sure to notify your guests prior to their arrival about any cameras or recording security devices that you use at the property. This information should also be disclosed in your lease agreements. Anyone renting a vacation home has certain expectations of privacy that must be respected. We have heard about contentious situations in which guests were not adequately informed prior to their arrival and were quite upset to learn about them after their arrival.

Keyless Door Locks

Leaving a key under the door mat is a thing of the past, as is mailing keys to your guests. More and more owners are installing keyless door locks. There are several kinds, but the most common one is a door lock that opens with a pin code. The pin code can be easily changed so that each rental party will have their own code. You could have a separate one for your turnover cleaning staff or maintenance person and they can be remotely operated from your cell phone.

Additional features allow for you to be notified when the keypad is used. This can be useful for knowing when turnover staff and new guests arrive and depart. If cleaners don’t arrive on time, you would know early enough to take quick action. If cleaners finish early, you could notify guests immediately that they may now enter (it’s a nice perk to provide early check-in.) Also, your guests do not have to share a key amongst them, making it easier for individuals to come and go freely while they’re at your home.

Smart Thermostats

Set your heat and AC on a thermostat remotely controlled from your cell phone. This allows your guests to arrive at a home that’s comfortably climate controlled. Not only do they allow you to control the temperature in between guests, but you can also be alerted to power outages or internet connectivity issues.

Minut Noise Monitoring

Read our post, Do you have a Minut? Learn about a handy product that provides party/noise detection and has a motion sensor, temperature monitor, and humidity sensor.

Strong Internet/WiFI

Regardless of whether your guests are enjoying a relaxed vacation in your home or working remotely, they want and need to be connected. High-speed internet is a must for virtual conferencing, gaming, and video streaming.

Streaming Services

Just offering cable TV may not be enough these days. If you provide smart TVs or other streaming devices, your guests can even access their own accounts to stream what they like.

To use a streaming service, you need either a Smart TV or a streaming device that connects to a standard TV. Smart TVs have the ability to connect to the internet and provide access to streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. A streaming device such as Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Google Chromecast, etc., provides access to those same Apps options as well. Streaming devices are relatively inexpensive, making it easy to provide streaming services without having to upgrade your TV.

Once you have a Smart TV, you may consider cutting the cord with your cable service in an effort to save money. Streaming services such as Hulu, YouTube TV, or DirecTV Stream provide live news, sports, and local channels. Pricing is typically less expensive than cable, but the gap is narrowing, and ultimately your savings depends on your current package and terms and how many applications you ultimately decide to subscribe to.

Over the passage of time, many of these technologies have become mainstream and are fairly affordable. With minimal effort and expense, you can more easily monitor and manage your rental while significantly improving your guests’ experience in your home.

About the author

Elizabeth Weedon

Elizabeth Weedon - Although I’ve worked for since 2008, I’ve been a loyal homeowner on the site since early 1998, just a few months after the website was launched by the Talmadges. I grew up summering on the Vineyard and managed my family's rental home there since the mid-1980’s. I’m passionately devoted to the Vineyard – and to WeNeedaVacation, which I credit with enabling me to hold onto the special property that has been in our family for nearly a century. An enthusiastic member of the WNAV Homeowner Support Team, I endeavor to keep my finger on the pulse of the Cape and Islands vacation rental industry so that I can provide homeowners advice about how to ensure their booking success with us. With owner Joan Talmadge, I am also responsible for editing and writing much of the text on our website, our monthly newsletters, and Homeowner Blog posts.