Home Automation as a way to provide new and better experiences for Airbnb hosts

in
Milan, Italy
Level 2
1,679 Views

Hi there! I am an User Experience Designer based in Milan and I am doing a research for a project about the connection between smart homes and AirBnb. I have some questions for you guys, and I would appreciate if you share your opinions with me! You can answer just in few words!

 

FOR THE OWNERS: 

1- Have you ever thought to integrate smart home automation systems?

2- What are the first services or products that you would like to purchase for your smart home?

3- If you already have a smart home, does people have trouble to handle with the technology? — 4- Do you think that a better understanding of your guest’s behavior can help to set your smart home devices accordingly to their needs?

5- Can you tell me something about your good/bad experiences as a Airbnb owner related to smart homes/smart devices?

 

FOR THE GUESTS: 

1- Would you spend a few minutes on Airbnb to tell about habits and domestic activities related to your Airbnb stay?

2- Have you ever thought to book a smart home that offers you experiences for special occasions? For example, a relaxing chromotherapy, a virtual tour in the history of the place, an horror house for halloween! Sounds good to you?

3- Can you tell me something about your good/bad experiences as a Airbnb guest’ related to smart homes/smart devices?

 

can’t wait to hear from you!

 

Thanks

 

Alessia

9 Replies

Re: Home Automation as a way to provide new and better experiences for Airbnb hosts

in
Kirkland, WA
Level 7

I've set up a simple hub to re-set my electronic door code, which is very helpful because even if a guest checks out and forgets to lock the door, I can lock it remotely from my cell phone or unlock it if there was any problem unlocking it. So far it has been really easy for the guests to use and is really great because you don't have to worry about losing keys or a key falling into the wrong hands since you can change the code at any time.

 

 

 

Re: Home Automation as a way to provide new and better experiences for Airbnb hosts

in
Milan, Italy
Level 2

Thank you Yvonne! 

Can you tell me just what brand did you choose for your hub and for your electronic door lock, and why did you prefered them?

 

Re: Home Automation as a way to provide new and better experiences for Airbnb hosts

in
Traverse City, MI
Level 10

Hi Alessia,

Interesting question! I'm an owner/host, so here's my perspective:

 

1- Have you ever thought to integrate smart home automation systems?

Yes! I already have some smart devices.

 

2- What are the first services or products that you would like to purchase for your smart home?

Keyless smart-lock was the first.

Then a motion/temp sensor in the guest space - it lets me know if people were there (helpful when people check in while I'm at work - "Yay! they got in okay!") and the presence/temp combo works with the Nest thermostat I already had to keep the place comfy while guests are home.

Third were some door open/close sensors so I'd know if people were getting into my off-limit personal areas or if windows were open while the AC was running.

Next I installed a camera in the shared hallway so I could check-in guests remotely (and could use as evidence if somebody was up to no good).

Lastly I bought a leak sensor for the bathroom, so if the sink or shower overflow, I'll know before it causes serious damage.

 

3- If you already have a smart home, does people have trouble to handle with the technology? 

I've purposely left the guests out of interacting with the technology - mainly because they'd need to download apps and I'd have to share login info - seems like a lot of work for a 2-3 night stay! Notifications come to me and then I communicate with my guests (Hey, it looks like it's getting warm up there! Let me know if you'd like to close up the house and turn on the AC.) I've thought about setting up a tablet upstairs where people could adjust things on their own, but there are other ways I could spend that $ that would have more positive/direct impact on guests. And less tech means fewer ways things can fail and frustrate/dissatisfy a guest. The money I've spent up to this point has mostly been to reduce my concerns over security & safety as a single female host.

 

4- Do you think that a better understanding of your guest’s behavior can help to set your smart home devices accordingly to their needs?

 Not sure how to answer this one

 

5- Can you tell me something about your good/bad experiences as a Airbnb owner related to smart homes/smart devices?

Everyone loves the keyless entry - since I host groups of 4, it lets people come and go without coordinating on who has the key- and I don't have to worry about lost ones. Most don't comment on it, but it's nice that the door sensor kicks on the nightlight in the hall, so late-night bar-goers can find their way up the stairs.

 

No bad experiences to speak of.

The camera I use (Netatmo Welcome) sometimes goes offline for an hour or so, which makes it unreliable for real security! This is my main concern with most home automation - it's still early and a single protocol hasn't emerged (Zigbee, Z-wave, etc) - the systems can be unreliable and there's no guarantee they won't be obsolete if the market takes a different course like VHS/Betamax.

 

Also, some guests get concerned about privacy - is the wi-fi repeater on the wall a camera? Is the motion monitor a camera? I have to label and explain anything that's unfamiliar and that makes me wary of adding more devices.

Re: Home Automation as a way to provide new and better experiences for Airbnb hosts

in
Milan, Italy
Level 2

Thank you indeed Allison! 

You gave me some very good insights!

 

 

 

Re: Home Automation as a way to provide new and better experiences for Airbnb hosts

in
Milan, Italy
Level 2

What if and integrated feature of Airbnb would work as a SmartHome personal service?

I mean, the system would ask directly to your guests what are their needs and their parameters of confort and would set thermostats, lights and windows remotely, according to their habits?

 

 

Re: Home Automation as a way to provide new and better experiences for Airbnb hosts

in
New York, NY
Level 10

See below for my responses - feel free to direct message me if you want ot to skype or whatever. Good luck!!

 

FOR THE OWNERS: 

1- Have you ever thought to integrate smart home automation systems?

 

YES - I have Smarththings Hub with door/windows sensors, a motion detector, and leak detectors for my HW Heater/HVAC, Kitchen. I also have an older WIFI themostate that does not integrate with the Smartthings. I do use an electronic lock but use the algorythic based lockstate RL2000 since I can't depend on WiFi and while the other sensors are NICE providing controlled, secure acccess to guests is an absolute requirements. 

  

2- What are the first services or products that you would like to purchase for your smart home?

 

See above - the leak detectors are the #1 priority for me as my insurace will only cover water damage if reported within 7 days and there can be long gaps between guests.  The second priority was the WIFI themostate to allow restrict temperature range and ensure heat/ac is not left on when unit is empty.  The third was the electronic lock to aleviate the invonvenicne and security risk of keys.  Unless you live near enough to manaully reprogram or provide keys as backup the algorythmic type locks that don't require internet are key!  

 

I think something like a RING doorbell mounted inside the unit in say the entrace hall to make it easy for guest to reach out with questions would be a great idea.

 

The door and window sensors were more just nice to have for me

 

I don't bother with sceanes, automatic lights but may eventually invest is smart switches and outlets that I can force off remotely but teh guests can toggle on/off a they desire.  My expience is the smat switch is much more robust that the smart bulb as long as you don't need to change colors of lights. 

 

3- If you already have a smart home, does people have trouble to handle with the technology?

 

The only technology that the guests interact with is the lock and the thermostat.  about 1/50 guests have issues.   Note, I did originally hava a NEST but my guests had problems wiht the "gadget" as the paradigm was so different from standard thermostat and my HVAC company didn't have much experiene and had trouble with it.  I eventually downgraded to the honeywell wifi unit. 

 

4- Do you think that a better understanding of your guest’s behavior can help to set your smart home devices accordingly to their needs?

 

Probably, but mostly I'm doint smart home automation for ME not them, ensure security, save money and provide peace of mind as an absentee landlord. 

 

5- Can you tell me something about your good/bad experiences as a Airbnb owner related to smart homes/smart devices?

 

As above I save Money!!.. Installing my logarithmic lock was one o the single best things I have done to make the management of my renting my condo easier in the last 10 years.  It has not only saved me about 2 hours per booking, it has allowed me to take last minute reservations significantly increasing my occupancy rates and the income I earn.

 

As hinted above my HVAC contractor had trouble with the NEST and kept blaming it for issues. 

 

 

FOR THE GUESTS: 

 

1- Would you spend a few minutes on Airbnb to tell about habits and domestic activities related to your Airbnb stay?

 

I am a guest too 🙂  -- The keyless entry systems are a life saver espeically when on vacation, can go to pool without needing to make sure we avhe a key.  Don't need to share 2 keys between 6 people etc...

 

 

 

2- Have you ever thought to book a smart home that offers you experiences for special occasions? For example, a relaxing chromotherapy, a virtual tour in the history of the place, an horror house for halloween! Sounds good to you?

 

I'm not sure I want to have lights going off automatically other than those perhaps on the entry way but those can be simple light sensor for safety.   I am tyring to get away on vaction and simpler is probably better, training Alexa to understand my habbits sounds more intrusive than helpful 

 

3- Can you tell me something about your good/bad experiences as a Airbnb guest’ related to smart homes/smart devices?

 

What happesn when WIFI fails or Ineternet goes out.. These tend to be very suspect in manypopular tourist areas 🙂

 

Andrew - see community help guides for many great FAQ

Re: Home Automation as a way to provide new and better experiences for Airbnb hosts

in
Milan, Italy
Level 2

Hi Andrew! 

Thank you so much for your answers. Your contribute is precious!

I ask you the same question as Allison now.. 

 

What if and integrated feature of Airbnb would work as a SmartHome personal service?

I mean, the system would ask directly to your guests what are their needs and their parameters of confort and it would set thermostats, lights and windows remotely, according to their habits? 

Re: Home Automation as a way to provide new and better experiences for Airbnb hosts

in
New York, NY
Level 10

Re: Home Automation as a way to provide new and better experiences for Airbnb hosts

in
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Level 2

@Tanto0 Hi, Five years have passed and there have been more developments in the smart home, how is your research progressing? I've been working on a smart Airbnb experience lately, and I look forward to talking to you!

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