Airbnb has become what Yelp is to restaurant reviews and Uber is to hitching a ride. It is now the term used for finding a vacation rental property. The massive rise of Airbnb has led millions of property owners to realize you can make a pretty penny with your rental property listing. It makes sense that Airbnb hosts are as eager as ever to rent out their homes to interested parties, but what many hosts don’t realize is how dangerous and costly using Airbnb can be without the right security in place. In order to avoid being another statistic tied to Airbnb horror stories, it is important to know what you should and shouldn’t be using to protect your property.
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Automation is the Key
The basics of home automation revolve around four different components: lighting, heating/cooling, door locks and security cameras. These innovations are currently changing the way that Airbnb hosts can handle their security measures. Not only is this growing technology beneficial for hosts, but also users. One such innovation (and the first thing your guests will be greeted by) is automated keyless entry. This technology allows you to completely control how guests can get into your property from your smart phone. Are you still relying on one of those old lockboxes? Or even worse, do you meet up with your guests to exchange keys? These methods are unreliable, time consuming and outdated. “I recently stayed in Austin, TX and my Airbnb host was not prepared for any schedule changes,” says Airbnb user Josh Patterson. “My family arrived to the rental early and we were forced to wait in blisteringly hot temperatures, in the middle of nowhere and without a way to get in. It felt very antiquated.” Keyless entry also goes hand-in-hand with smart doorbell systems. These sophisticated doorbells allow you to get a notification to your smart phone, tablet, or computer when someone is outside the door. You can also get a live feed of who is attempting to get into your property through HD video. This enables you to confirm your guests are who they say they are and pre-emptively squash any security concerns.
One of the hot button issues in the Airbnb community is the use of security cameras inside properties. This grey area can prove difficult to navigate from a legal and ethical stand point. Do you outfit your home with cameras to monitor guests? If so, are you legally obligated to divulge that detail? Privacy laws actually differ from state to state, so it is important to know what your state does and doesn’t allow when it comes to hidden camera filming. However, even if you can legally have cameras in your property (without disclosing it), should you? Thankfully there have been specific security products that have been designed with the Airbnb user in mind. One company in particular, BrickHouse security, tailor made a security system that features no cameras, but still offers an abundance of features aimed to protect your home. So if cameras are off the table, what are other solutions that provide peace of mind for Airbnb hosts?
The Sensor Savior
Sensors could be the best addition you can make to your rental property. These discreet and inexpensive devices aim to pick up on any disturbances in the home. Concerned your guests might light up a cigarette? Sensors can pick up the smell and send a notification right to your smart phone. Any Airbnb host can probably agree that parties are completely unwelcomed. New sensor technology can even alert you when the decibels increase. This is also a very valuable piece of tech for when you aren’t renting out your property. Sensors can pick up sounds caused by broken windows or smashed doors. An alternative to more expensive and robust security systems. Another type of sensor that is geared towards frequent Airbnb hosts are tilt sensors. They can be used to place on surfaces that hold your valuable possessions. For example: do you want a guest fiddling with your expensive jewelry? Probably not. This device also hooks up to your smart phone to alert you of any disturbance in the area in which it’s set. By adopting these security methods and embracing these products, you are ensuring that you can keep riding the Airbnb wave. Airbnb hosts, what are your security secrets for your property?
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Featured photo by Sarah