What’s more important for you, privacy or a good deal? This question is quite relevant these days since the popularity of services such as Airbnb has skyrocketed. On one hand, apartment hosts seek security measures because guests might not only damage the property and leave a huge mess after themselves but could even refuse to pay compensation, too. But on the other hand, guests are disgusted by the idea of someone hiding a camera in the room to secretly film them, even if it is for security purposes. The only solution to diffuse the situation is to install non-intrusive alarms and sensors while at the same time being sure to inform people about their presence.
Surveillance Cameras and Privacy Concerns
If you intend to be an Airbnb host, then setting up a home security system is one of the smartest ideas you could have. You never know what kind of careless person might arrive at your doorstep, someone who could forget to lock the entrance or invite suspicious visitors inside who turn out to be crooks. Such an upgrade also makes the rental property more attractive in the eyes of privacy-conscious travelers because high-level security puts the guest’s mind at ease.
As for those who stay at the Airbnb property, all forms of surveillance are strictly forbidden. Those who are found guilty are removed from the Airbnb community and are lumbered with the fees charged by the local law enforcement.
Recommended Smart Security Devices
When it comes to tightening the security of your Airbnb place, it’s better to choose a custom package of alarms, sensors and devices that fit your needs rather than picking a standard kit.
Smart Locks and Doorbells
Installing a smart lock adds an extra layer of security to your home. The most important feature is that it’ll allow visitors to open the door remotely with a smartphone app or by waving a key fob in front of the sensor. Airbnb hosts might also appreciate the ability to create custom user profiles for the guests, which not only helps in identifying the visitors but also prevents them from sharing the entrance code with anyone else.
Fires can occur frequently in buildings and apartments that are rented out temporarily because people aren’t familiar with the new kitchen equipment. For this reason a smoke detector is vital unless you want to see your property in flames. And don’t forget that if the smoke detector is part of a home security network it can be connected directly to the homeowner, so it will alert both the monitoring team and the property owner, giving you more time to react. Airbnb itself promotes the idea of installing smoke and CO detectors to safekeep the guests’ safety and encourages hosts to display the fact on their description.
An intelligent thermostat is not a necessity but its exotic enough to be a selling point for any potential visitors, especially if the property is located in a country with extreme weather. The smart thermostat is capable of learning the user’s favorite settings and adjusts the temperature accordingly. They are also handy tools for saving on the bills because the eco-friendly option prevents energy waste.
Even though hidden cameras are out of question, it’s still possible to put standard surveillance cameras to good use. Outdoor cameras fitted with night vision are necessary in cities where the crime rates are high, while guests would surely appreciate a feature like motion-activated lights, especially if the door is equipped with a peephole or a doorbell camera as well. But don’t forget: while you do have the right to install an indoor surveillance system, Airbnb requires hosts to inform their guests before booking the place.
Window and Door Sensors
Entrance sensors are less intrusive than a camera but they can effectively prevent a break-in or pick up signs of an unwanted visitor. The small devices don’t count as surveillance equipment so they can be freely placed on a door or window. After the system is armed, moving the object they are attached to will trigger an alarm and a notification will be sent to your smartphone.
Security Systems for Airbnb Properties
Airbnb hosts should be on the lookout while browsing the offers of home security companies because small nuances in the equipment lineup will make a huge difference. Generally, it’s better to prioritize companies who focus on home automation, smartphone support and are compatible with voice-command devices.
SimpliSafe alarms sport an ergonomic, almost art-like design meaning that their presence won’t rub your guests the wrong way. There are five different packages that cater to homeowners of all sizes of home, but the company offers the chance to tailor the order to your needs. The smart sensors are programmed to send reminders whenever a window is left open for too long. The motion detector is pet sensitive, too, a feature that many Airbnb guests with small dogs or cats might welcome. The system can be armed and disarmed from the touch-to-wake keypad or the company’s dedicated smartphone app, but while the innovative smart alarms are SimpliSafe’s strength it does lack home automation functionality and voice control integration.
Blink Home Security believes in a camera-centric future, which is a double-edged sword for Airbnb hosts. On the plus side, the company’s famous video doorbell can be installed without the guest’s consent since it is not used for surveillance. The device streams HD footage of anyone that approaches the door on the receiver’s smartphone, but the video is stored on a cloud server if you wish to review it later on. But Blink isn’t just about cameras; it has also expanded its business with a full-fledged home security system that is Amazon Echo compatible. On the downside, though, Blink doesn’t have any environmental sensors or home automation solutions.
If versatile alarm selection and smart home control is what you’re after, then Protect America has the strongest selection among these three. The heart of the alarm section is an LED touchscreen that is also compatible with Amazon Echo’s voice control module. The wireless sensors and alarms are all connected to a smartphone app, which details the notification history in a neat manner. Protect America has a limited range of environmental detectors too, and the smoke detector must be purchased separately. However, home automation is what gives the company a true edge, since it offers Z-Wave smart locks for the entrance and the garage door plus numerous smart bulbs and appliance controllers.
Smart Home Controls
Home automation devices like schedulable lighting or voice-controlled entertainment systems won’t increase the safety of the property but they will lend a luxurious vibe to your Airbnb home. If you wish to boost your income by catering to tech-savvy guests, then consider fitting your rooms with numerous smart devices. Intelligent lighting that is remotely controlled from a smartphone is a must have because it will help you save on the energy bill, while door locks that are capable of recognizing the occupants via fingerprints, facial features or smartphone inputs are also very useful additions.
Clever homeowners should think about opting for different environmental sensors so that they receive a notification if the guests leave the sink running or burn something in the kitchen. And let’s not forget about voice-controlled assistants such as Amazon Echo’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri or the Google Assistant. People will flock to your home just to make the most of the service and experience the luxury of being able to switch between TV channels or adjust the thermostat without lifting a finger.
Other Security Solutions and Gadgets
As a last piece of advice, think about alternative home defense solutions to elevate the level of protection of your home for an affordable price. For example, having a peephole camera system built into the door ensures that the guests won’t open the door to strangers. Installing multiple locks is also a good idea in theory, though most people won’t lock each of them individually because they don’t care too much about a rented home.
Instead, be sure to purchase safety equipment that could prevent a disaster from erupting. Place a fire blanket or fire extinguishing spray in the kitchen so people will know what to use if their dinner catches fire. It’s worth giving some thought to displaying an in-home first aid kit, too, otherwise your guests might sue you if they hurt themselves while staying in the building.