Posted On

8 Must-Have Smart Devices for Every HomeAway Owner

As a fellow Austin-based company, we’re avid fans of HomeAway. With 1.2 million listings across 190 countries, it’s possible to plan a vacation to just about anywhere through this home rental platform.

Not only is it a great site for travelers, but it’s an exceptional way to earn extra income from your home, vacation property, yacht or even a 727 airplane treehouse (Yeah That’s Right!). Simply list the property on HomeAway and begin booking stays.

While the allure of making money from your second home sounds appealing, it inevitably arouses a few concerns – starting with trusting strangers in your home away from home.

With travelers constantly coming and going, how can you make sure the renters are taking care of your property, staying neighborly and are also being taken care of while they are there.

If you live right next door to your short term rental property, this might not be an issue. However, if you live across the country (or in another country altogether), keeping an eye on your property can easily become challenging, time consuming, and expensive.

Fortunately, as the smart home is no longer a thing of the future, there are a variety of devices that can help you keep your assets secure, the neighbors happy and help you provide better service – all from your smartphone.

8 Must-Have Smart Devices for HomeAway Owners

By implementing the following smart devices in your HomeAway rental property, you can stay neighborly, connected and protected – without having to be in the area yourself.

It works like this…

1. Install wireless closure sensors everywhere

Closure sensors allow you to know when any door, gate, or closet is opened in the house, garage, or yard. We are all familiar with using closure sensors to implement a security system and detect intrusions, but when used more liberally across all doors, windows, and closets, closure sensors are able paint a picture of what is going on in your property. This allows you to ensure that off-limit areas remain closed or that lights automatically turn on when closet doors are opened.

By using closure sensors, such as these from Linear or this combo package from GoControl, you are able to tell dynamic stories using the WigWag Smart Home App’s news feed – tracking what happens in different parts of the property throughout the day.

Do the neighbors complain about noise when the unit is rented? By adding additional sensors and evaluating the data sent to your app, you could potentially confirm or deny the level of activity occurring throughout the house. Having that feed data could really help your case if you run into a problem with your HOA or worse – your city council.

By maximizing the use of door and window sensors, you can know when your tenants arrive, when they’re at home, and whether or not they’re up all night. They can serve as a very powerful tool in being proactive at keeping your short-term tenants, neighbors and HOA happy.

Wireless Z-Wave door or window sensor, internal magnetic switch contact and magnet, external normally closed contact input, tamper switch, powered by CD123A lithium battery.

2. Install wireless motion sensors

Install wireless motion detectors such as these GoControl Motion Sensors in all the major rooms and hallways inside, but don’t stop there. Add outdoor motion sensors in the driveway and yard. The motion sensors are a nice compliment to the closure sensors. The addition of these sensors will help to give you better coverage for protecting your property.

Wireless Z-Wave passive infrared motion detector, 120 degree detection angle, heat rise temperature alert, LED activity indicator, tamper switch, supports up to five Z-Wave associations.Per the E Mail I received, the item is in the home automation products category. The item is a motion detector.

Furthermore, these sensors can make for an even more dynamic and enjoyable stay for your renters! Set lights, speakers, and other elements of the home to activate/deactivate based on when people enter or exit a room – creating a truly smart experience for your guests.

3. Use a video doorbell to keep an eye on the front door

Using a motion activated video doorbell like Ring gives you the ability to communicate with anyone at the front door remotely using an app. See who’s at the front door and communicate with them directly – making it clear that you see them.

Ring Video Doorbell allows you to see and speak with visitors from anywhere, using your smartphone. It works like caller ID for your front door. Ring provides simple, affordable security for your home.

This will give you the ability to see your renters or people you hire to service your property. Also, since most break-ins occur when a home is believed to be empty, the Ring doorbell can allow your rental to appear occupied even when it is not.

4. Let the right people in with a smart lock

Smart locks are essential for any home rental. With a smart lock like the Schlage deadbolt lock, not only can you let people in remotely but you can also provide them with a temporary key code to get in on their own.

Rather than meeting up with your guests to let them into the home, simply email or text them a key code ahead of time. Using a compatible home automation system such as WigWag can greatly enhance the smart locks capabilities. By creating rules you can establish the length of their stay, so the code works during their time in your home but becomes inactive when the checkout time arrives.

Z-wave technology connects to your home automation system and lets you lock or unlock your door remotely via the web or smartphone.

5. Provide additional security and convenience with smart bulbs

Did your front porch sensor just detect someone entering the premise? You can program smart lighting such as these indoor and outdoor smart bulbs from Philips Hue to light up when someone enters the property at night. This can serve to welcome an expected renter or to scare away an intruder.

A starter pack includes three bulbs that simply screw into your existing lamps and a bridge that you plug into your home Wi-Fi router.

These lights can be programmed to operate automatically indoors or out, so guests unfamiliar with the property can safely explore without fumbling for light switches.

6. Turn on/off dumb devices with a smart outlet

Whether you’re looking to keep an intruder at bay with noise from a radio or to keep children safe by ensuring that particular devices are kept off, using Aeotec’s smart outlets are a great way to control anything in your home that isn’t already a smart device.

Instantly add Z-Wave control to any plug-in device, monitor its energy consumption, and simultaneously charge a USB device with the Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave Plus Smart Switch 6 (Gen5).

So, how does it work? Simply plug the device you want to control into the smart outlet, then plug the smart outlet into the electrical plug. Now you have the ability to turn it on and off by simply deciding when power should flow through the outlet. This gives you control over a wide range of devices that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

7. Monitor the outside of your home with wireless security cameras

Because you certainly don’t want to intrude on the privacy of your HomeAway travelers, having security cameras inside the home probably isn’t a good idea. Meanwhile, if you're using a smart doorbell, your front door and porch are already covered.

But, for the rest of your front yard, driveway, and sides and back of your home, installing a few outdoor security cameras such as these Arlo HD and waterproof cameras can give you greater visibility into what is going on – knowing that you’ll catch anything that might happen on your property. This can help you avoid big surprises such as an unscheduled South by Southwest party or wedding at your property.

Arlo Smart Home Security Cameras are the world’s ONLY 100% wire-free, HD, Indoor/Outdoor video cameras for home monitoring. Motion activated cameras initiate automatic recording and alert you via email or app notifications. Free apps enable remote monitoring from anywhere and with the built-in night vision you’ll even see in dark.

8. Bring it all together with the WigWag Relay

The WigWag Relay connects all of your smart devices so they can work together as a system. Use the Relay to combine the sensor data from all of your closure and motion sensors to trigger notifications, rules, and to monitor the activity in your rental.

In this activity Feed, available in the WigWag Smart Home application, you can see exactly when your renters arrived and that they were able to get inside.

Control and monitor your entire smart home through the WigWag Smart Home Mobile App Feed.

The activity Feed below shows a renter has left for the day. This Feed includes useful information to help with scheduling cleanings, repairs and other tasks relating to check-outs.

Control and monitor your entire smart home through the WigWag Smart Home Mobile App Feed.

You can even add additional sensors to detect vibration and the level of noise, which could come in handy if you have neighbors complaining about late night noise.

By using the activity Feed in the WigWag Smart Home App, you can closely monitor and observe everything that’s going on in the house – ensuring a safe experience for both your guests and your property.

Another advantage of using a home automation controller such as the WigWag Relay is the convenience of having one app that controls and monitors all of your smart devices. But this is really just the beginning- using the WigWag Rule Builder, you can create rules to automate just about anything.

Make your experience as a HomeAway owner pleasant and profitable

Implementing smart devices in your HomeAway rental offers a variety of benefits. From the benefits of security, to asset monitoring and control, to energy savings, or simply wowing your guests with automation, there are countless benefits to updating your home away from home with smart devices.

Use smart technology to let your home take care of itself, and spend more time on the activities that matter most to you.

Comments from WigWag Talk