Nightly Rentals and Technology
Technology is an important amenity to include in your nightly rental. It's an investment that helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace. In this day in age there are various categories such as bare minimum technology, items that earn you a five star rental, and automation items that ultimately save you time and money or provide an added level of security for your property. I'll talk through the three categories and provide you some links to some of my favorite products.
Bare Minimum Technology
The bare minimum is the category of technology that you would expect in a 3-star hotel. Guests expect that these items are at the house for them to use.
High Speed Wireless- This is a must in this day and age. It comes standard in many hotels or is available for purchase. It's becoming more important to make sure you do not have a data limit. Your guest may plan to work remote on video chat by day and stream their favorite shows at night. You don't want the internet service provider intentionally slowing the guest's speed because of high data usage. Or even worse, all of your internet speed gets used during one guest's stay and the next guest is punished with a slower speed. Shop around for internet and upgrade the speed. Your guests expect it!
TVs with a Cable Subscription- All hotel rooms have a TV. Guests expect a small cable package with local and national news and sports. You can choose to go with the local cable company, a satellite provider, or even a streaming service such as YouTubeTV. A YouTubeTV subscription allows six devices to watch at the same time; you may be able to leverage one account across multiple properties that are in the same TV market.
Technology to Make Your Rental Stand Out
Smart TVs or Streaming Devices- Most guests use services such as Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+ and want access to their shows while on vacation.
TV Streaming Subscription Services or Special Sports Packages- This is something that your guests do not expect but it's a pleasant surprise. Whether there is a big game they get to watch or a movie on a subscription service they don't normally subscribe to, they are sure to appreciate your level of amenities.
Computer Docking Station and Monitor- Many people can work remote and plan to do so during their stay. Whether they simply plan to log in to check emails before golf or work a full remote day, they are sure to appreciate a set-up that helps them be more productive. You are sure to spoil them with a large monitor or even two. I recommend a monitor, USB docking station, Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and an ethernet cable.
Gaming System- If you have a second living area, this is a great amenity to give parents a moment of adult time. Whether you provide the newest system and games on the market or old favorites, your guests will appreciate the unexpected amenity.
Charging Station- I like to include a charging station or extension cords that allows for both USB charging and a standard 110 plug on each night stand. This is not only convenient for guests to charge their electronics but it ensures they don't move your furniture to access the outlet.
Small Kitchen Electric Appliances- Think of the things you use in your kitchen every day. Guests expect the bare minimum in a kitchen of pots, pans, and a set of dishes. Spoil them with luxuries they use in their own kitchen. Some of my favorite to include are a Keurig Coffee Maker, Ninja Blender, an InstantPot, an electric hot water kettle, an electric hand mixer, and a waffle iron.
Technology to Make Your Life Easier
Key Pad Entry into Garage- Make it easy on your guests so when they arrive they can automatically put their car in the garage to unload. This is also easier for you, so you don't have to remember a second remote when you visit.
Wifi-enabled Key Pad Door Lock- This is a MUST for owners and property managers. When you buy a wifi-enabled key pad door lock you can control access to the house remotely. These locks allow you to lock or unlock the door from your phone, create and disable up to 100 codes, and send you notifications when specific codes are used. Whether guests are there or not, you always have piece of mind that your asset is secure. Not to mention that it's super convenient that your guests don't have to keep up with a key during their stay.
Nest Thermostat- I love having a smart thermostat so I can set the house to eco temperatures when guests are not there. Then I can cool or heat the house a couple hours before they arrive. It ultimately saves in heating and cooling costs. I do include a blurb in my welcome letter letting the guest know that I will not change the temperature during their stay and in return I expect they leave the thermostats connected to the wifi. You are welcome to include minimum and maximum temperature, but be clear about it in your welcome book. I've seen it once where a guest set the A/C to 56 degrees; I cringed all weekend and it took real self control to leave it alone.