Short-term rentals can be highly lucrative - especially with the boom in popularity the industry is currently witnessing. According to AirDNA research, property managers are earning up to 66% more revenue than in 2019, with an increase of 23% year-on-year. But this success heavily relies on the processes, technologies and operations short-term rental managers have in place.
Having worked in the smart home space for a considerable amount of time, I’ve seen the proptech industry first innovate, then advance and now take off in earnest. Previously, the inclusion of smart tech in properties was widely seen as a prohibitive expense - a luxury, rather than a requirement. Today, the integration of tech is a cost-effective way to proactively protect and future-proof assets for owners, streamline staffing and operations and best of all, enhance the guest experience - all while providing property managers with key oversights to help save on rising overhead costs.
As I’ve told many property managers over the years, your short-term rentals are only as smart as you are. To reap the benefits of what can be a profitable industry, it’s crucial to understand the role and importance of property technology, and how it can supercharge long-term strategic business goals by saving companies money. With inflation climbing and markets looking uncertain, it’s a sensible time to look inwards and assess where tech can automate, streamline and trim the bottom line.
It’s not just about saving - a small, smart investment gives businesses a competitive edge
Short-term rental guests now want to use tech solutions on vacation as well as at home. In fact, 42% of these guests find smart tech the most-enjoyed property feature during their stay (according to PointCentral’s Property Management Insights Report). Stats like this show that the demand is there for smarter short-term rentals - moreover, it’s a selling point.
As I’ve told many property managers over the years, your short-term rentals are only as smart as you are.
In a similar vein, environmental sustainability is becoming an increasingly important issue for both businesses and their customers. Climate change challenges are a real concern as weather patterns shift and we experience a variety of extremes - needing cooling and heating tech to overcome these. Property managers can manage climate unpredictability better if they invest in innovative tech whilst also appealing to the growing number of guests that actively want to stay in smart, eco-automated properties.
Findings from the Vacationer Sustainable Travel Survey 2022 reveal that over 87% of Americans view sustainability in travel as somewhat or very important - and this directly affects guest expectations. Fortunately, the relationship between technology and sustainability is strong - and both can help short-term rental businesses keep costs down (by becoming more efficient). Here are some of the latest property technologies that can save money for managers as well as boost the guest experience.
Temperature and energy control
Smart thermostats are one of the most simple and affordable upgrades a property manager can make. But don’t underestimate their value. These devices can reduce energy bills by up to 23%, resulting in significant savings from the offset. This is an appealing quick win as we are entering a period of sustained energy price increases.
Devices can track temperature, monitor the health of heating and cooling systems, deliver monthly reports and even alert property managers to potential HVAC issues, helping to prevent costly repair bills due to undetected faults. Having this kind of data allows property managers to better monitor the systems in their properties and take action before any expensive mistakes kick in.
Smart home tech
The world of smart home automation has advanced so much in such a short period of time, putting guests in the driving seat but ensuring property managers have real control over their properties. Now managers can keep track of everything, from energy consumption to who is accessing their properties, remotely from anywhere using a mobile app.
For property managers, automation is now an accepted "must." Keyless entry, fully monitored water systems and HVAC Management are just a few of the features that can be controlled and utilized to save on time, cost, energy and even staffing resources. Better still, property managers can monitor these aspects from anywhere at any time, saving money on traveling to and from properties.
Intelligent proptech solutions
By preventing issues before they happen, short-term rental businesses can conserve energy and head off big, unexpected costs. Take water, for example. Every day in the United States, broken pipes and leaking appliances cause 14,000 water damage emergencies. Property managers can’t expect guests to detect a leak, and similarly, guests can’t expect property owners to be there immediately should a pipe burst.
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Intelligent water management systems use sensors and response systems to monitor water flow into a property, detecting any possible leaks and - one step further - taking action should an issue be detected, such as automatically shutting off the water valve. The same applies to heating systems; intelligent HVAC Management technology can provide early awareness of inefficiencies or risks, saving property managers up to $250 annually per property on repairs, damages and refunds. Anticipating problems in this way makes good business sense, future proofing operations.
A sustainable, efficient future
Keeping up with changing guest expectations is both possible and necessary if short-term rental businesses want to thrive among the rising number of competitors in the industry today. Couple that with adopting some of the property technology solutions listed above and property managers can keep costs in check while running more sustainable, successful rentals that meet the demands of our tech-forward society.
About the author...
Jim Netska director of short-term rental sales at PointCentral