Are you using technology to help you automate some parts of hosting on Airbnb? Can you share your experiences, best practices? What works and what doesn't?
I'm all ears! ;-)
What is Home Automation?
I am in the states and see great potential for AUTOMATING Airbnb's.
I own a company that installs home automation products. Airbnb's lend thmselves to automation prerfectly, because they really make your home stand out and they can be setup and customized for much less money than a larger home.
We use AMAZON ECHO (AVAILABLE IN EUROPE SOON I HOPE) as the center of our sysytem, because it does not require GUESTS to use any software or have access to any of the HOSTS accounts. They simply use their voice to control the house. We can even program the system to call your guests with reminders and welcome messages. It's all very George Jetson.
I am working with a client and will hopefully have a beautiful Los Angeles loft up and running in October. I will certainly share photos of the project when it is complete.
@Robert Looking forward to your follow up post. I just started getting into automation, and trying to figure out what the best Smart hub would be for me set up.
I have a Nest Thermostat, and a Nest Outdoor cam mounted on my front door. These are a great start. I also have a Schlage keypad deadbolt I picked up on amazon.
I have a pool and spa on the property that I would like to be able to monitor, automate, and make available to the guests a little easily to change settings and such. I've heard that there are ways one can actually automate the valves with actuators, turn the spa heater on etc remotely. It would be great to get notified if the spa heater was on for too long using something like IFTTT, get notifications, and be able to set it to turn off after a certain amount of time etc.
It would also be nice to have a lock that was smarter, so I could get notified if the door was unlocked, locked etc, use IFTTT etc to turn on certain lights etc, be able to automate the the access key generation for guests, but still be able to override it remotely since I don't live in the city where my AirBnb is located.
I've done some research, and don't like the idea of the August lock for example, since I've heard of reliability issues with it.
I've also looked into the remotelock from lockstate and have heard of reliability issues with that as well, needing repairs etc.
I'm wondering if you have any recommendations, and may be some products you don’t suggest because you’ve had too many issues with them.
You are on the right track. I'd check out AMAZON for Z-WAVE locks. They are the most reliable.
I'd also only use IFTT as a last resort. Not always reliable and slow. SAMSUNG SMARTHINGS HUBS run about $100 (I can get you a deal) and connect over a hundred WIFI, Z-WAVE and ZIGBEE devices. USING an Amazon ECHO also adds VOICE control that works flawlwssly with SMARTTHINGS hub.
As far as the heater and valves, those are available as well. Check out Z-WAVE alliance for compatible products.
Keep in mind that these are a bit more difficult to install and may not be compatible to all HUBS.
This company is doing some inersting things as well:
Good luck, I'd love to see some photos or video of what you get working.
@Damir We just installed the Schlage electronic lock but don't have it connected to a hub. We program the key code to be the last four digits of the guest phone mobile. We've only had two guest since the lock went in but they haven't commented on it. It was super easy to install and it took only 20 minutes for me to get it done. I like the "expiring code" you can give a guest and let's face it, it's really darn cool.
The next upgrade is the Ecobee4 thermostat. The Ecobee comes with thermal sensors, which is interesting. I approach information collection as vital but I also want the ability to take action.
What im looking for is something like the "Keen vent". This vent can be preset to open and close on a fixed schedule but it's not "smart". I would like the Ecobee4 to talk to the vents in a room that is unoccupied and close those room vents. That would direct the AC to only occupied rooms when the sensor detects your thermal image. That would be a true game changer. I would also like to see "smart window shutters". They would open and close according to programmers conditions and would connect to wifi so in the event that the sensor trips because of rain fall or a hurricane warning is announced, the shutters would automatically close with a weather alert or by remote. So if a tornado is coming...or even a "Sharknado", you could close the shutters and be storm tight. I'd also like to see a wifi door Matt that would detect every time someone steps on the Matt and records and sends notifications. Then if there was a big party with people going in and out, the foot traffic would be detected. Make the Matt larger than usual, so it fills a space and is unavoidable. That is all for now, I'll need a full engineering report with mock ups on the above discussed items with project dates...lol,,,great topic. "Kirk out...."
Sounds fantastic. Lovely to read that you’re a total techie! Keep us in the loop on your home automation.
Could you explain us your complete setup?
I'm going to use IFTTT for triggers on the hue lights. I'm not sold on a hub yet but github peaks my interest. My first automated series is going to be garage door opens upon my approach with a series of lights coming on. Seems simple enough...ll
Definitely a good starting point. And with this you’re miles ahead of the greater part of hosts, home owners in general. I do use some applets from IFTTT. Aside this I have schedules and scenes, activities set up with my Harmony Elite. It works with my Nest 3rd gen, LIFX smart lighting , my entire home entertainment system, etc.
I am really looking forward to the second phase of home Automation. But it’s closer than I’d expected.
hi, did anyone find an integrated solution?
Meaning being able to be hands off in terms of receiving guests and doing this remotely through a smartlock, 2 way audio camera etc?
Is there a company that does this or anyone has tried doing this by themselves?
We use Lockstate 7i. It is great because it is integrated with AirBnb and a customized welcome letter is sent out (by Lockstate) to your guests with a 4 digit code, and a check-in and check-out time window that the lock will function. Very easy and is automatic.
We were previously using the August Lock but it was a pain because guests had to install the app and many did not like that. This was much easier!
Here are my research notes:
If you want video capabilities, RING can be integrated with this lock, I think.
How to UNPAIR August Lock:
We have switched from August lock to the Lockstate 7i and want to unpair August from our Airbnb account. Our guests are now receiving 2 messages. 1 from August (which I do not want anymore) and one from Lockstate. How do I get rid of the August pairing?
We have multiple units that we manage and each unit has different requirements in terms of Lock type. We wanted to invest in open home automation and did not want to get holded by one provider.
We found one company VirtualKEY (www.virtualkey.co) that is hardware neutral and works with Samsung Smarthings, Nexia, Vera and any Zwave lock like Yale, Schlage, RemoteLocks.
I like that there was a real person on the phone helping me setup everything. So far its has allow to expand into more properties.