Thanks in part to the rapid growth of rental-listing service Airbnb, many would-be entrepreneurs have taken a leap into the so-called sharing economy. But all of this collective enthusiasm is often dampened by the possibility of somebody taking advantage of the hospitality offered by Airbnb hosts.
We’ve all heard the horror stories: wild parties, stolen valuables, damaged property, etc. A little bit of technology, however, can go a long way to help you feel safer and more secure as an Airbnb host, or even help you take a leap into the sharing economy.
Not all technology is created equal. Some home security gadgets hold a lot of promise, but aren’t really all that effective, or, in some cases, are even legally problematic. Here are 5 cool gadgets that will get the job done, all while abiding by Airbnb’s legal terms and conditions.
Whether you’re out of town visiting family or busy at work, key exchanges for Airbnb hosts can be a major hassle. Keyless entry devices like an August Smart Lock($149.99) give you the freedom to open your Airbnb rental from the palm of your hand on your mobile phone. This type of device avoids the pitfalls of lockbox codes, easily mounts over your deadbolt, and is significantly more affordable than installing a full-blown automated home system.
Verifying identities as an Airbnb host can also be tricky. With smart doorbell systems like Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen), you can get a widescreen, HD visual of who’s at your door from your cell phone or tablet, and you can communicate with them via a two-way intercom. This gives you the ability to visually verify the identity of your guest, with the added capability of viewing from your mobile phone who is coming in and out of your Airbnb rental.
In order to keep your Airbnb investment safe and avoid potential lawsuits, some experts recommend that you disclose the presence of video cameras inside your home, while others suggest you place cameras in off-limits areas where valuables are stored. We recommend the Reolink Argus Pro outdoor motion sensor camera to keep an eye on things outside the house. It can catch 130 degrees of your home in 1080p HD resolution and send it straight to your smartphone. It also includes night vision allowing you to see 33 feet in the dark. Dummy cameras (Amazon) ($5 – $25) are also an option for hosts keeping things on the cheap.
Another innovative and less invasive home alarm solution is Minut, a smart home sound sensor which does not eavesdrop or make sound recordings, but can alert you of decibel spikes using a sleek receiver and mobile app. Using a sound sensor allows you to eliminate the threat of guests holding raucous parties or otherwise disturbing your neighbors while maintaining guest privacy and avoiding any legal gray areas. This sensor can monitor noise, motion, temperature and humidity levels, in addition to having a built in security alarm.
Many Airbnb hosts run up against the legal intricacies of the Airbnb Host Guarantee, which does offer insurance, but doesn’t cover the theft of personal valuables like jewelry or collectables. Tilt sensors offered by security companies like Link Interactivecan keep you posted whenever a surface with valuables on it is disturbed. Keep in mind, that most tilt sensors are made to supplement already existing home monitoring systems. The good news is that Link Interactive’s products can be installed by yourself, which means their home security systems are more customizable, while still offering professional monitoring. Professional monitoring can be helpful in an emergencies like break-ins, but you’ll need to pay a monthly monitoring fee. Our Link Interactive review has more details.
Being an Airbnb host doesn’t have to be a risky proposition. With the help of any number of readily available and affordable gadgets, you can feel safer and more secure while you’re making a little extra cash from your rental investment.
Katherine has had several years of experience developing and executing multichannel marketing campaigns, but actually started her career path in journalism. Though she switched gears, she continues to be driven by the need to deliver information that can be helpful for individuals. As an owner of two rescue dogs, she is most interested in technology and products that allow her to keep a close eye on her pets when she’s away. Learn more