As our world becomes more and more technology-focused, it would be great to see which systems or apps you find useful in your hosting. Maybe you use a great smart lock system or a lock box, or you've found an app that helps you stay on top of the tasks you need to do when hosting?
I discovered an app not too long ago that makes it really easy to divide bills between housemates/friends/partners - this might be really useful if you co-host or co-own a listing and you need to divide up your outgoings!
I'm looking forward to hearing what you use and your technology ideas 🙂
I use the Schlage Sense keyless door entry. I added Apple TV and can now access it through the wifi anytime through my iPhone. I give each guest a 4 digit code (usually the last 4 digits of their phone number listed on Airbnb). Then I just delete the code once they leave. I like that I can see when they arrived too. This helps me to reach out to them via a text through the app to make sure everything went well getting in and if they have any questions/concerns. It is really convenient not just for me but for guests who have commented on how great it is.
I also use a Sensi remote thermostat. It also runs through the wifi. So I can turn on AC or heat shortly before/after a guest or my family are due to arrive/depart saving money and the environment. I usually check what temp the guests set it for once maybe twice during their stays. One guest turned the AC down from mid 70s to 60F. My heart skipped a beat thinking how hard the system must have been working and watching my profit go out the door. Several hours later when I checked they had turned on the heat even though it was very hot outside. Eventually they put it back to the original setting. All this within about 12 hours of arriving.
As for tracking my expenses/income I use a simple Excel spreadsheet I created.
I really like the convenience and security these technologies have provided me. I continue to look at others that might also provide benefits. Hope others find this info helpful.
@Kirstie I previously posted that I rely on the traditional paper and pencil. The reason for this was brought home to me this morning. I had previously read posts where someone in the community had said that Airbnb had unblocked dates that the user had previously blocked. I had assumed this was on the app which has always been flaky and I have never used the app for anything other than notifications and checking who's arriving. But today I used the website on my laptop and all the blocked dates for 2017 for both our rooms had been opened up and there was nothing blocked at all for the whole year. For a platform that relies on good technology the one thing that Airbnb is NOT good at is technology. It's always been bad but my experience today shows we cannot trust anything that happens on the Airbnb site.
So I have just had to spend an hour blocking off again the dates when we are on holiday or have booking.com reservations. Fortunately, because we use booking.com as well, we are not on Instant Book, but if we had been Airbnb could have caused us immense problems and embarrassment. I do wonder whether continuing with Airbnb is really worth the stress. So no, I do not use technology to help me host, and if I did it wouldn't be anything issued by Airbnb.
I strongly encourage those who do not use technology to consider using one of these.
Thermostat - Ecobee. It is not just a themostat, it can also tell when someone is at the house. It has a sensor that sense movement in the house and set the desire temperature or according to schedule. When guest is away, sensor will follow the away schedule and vice versa. You can even control that temperature wirelessly from your phone in case you experience some difficult guest that decided to have a summer sweat party in the winter time.
Entry door - Samsung smart door lock - I am not a big fan of using wireless door entry. I am just concern about hacking. Thus, this is perfect for me as i do not want the door entry to be control wirelessly. It has a finger print reader, keypad and RFID card reader for extra security. Most time, a keypad code will be sufficient for my guest. Random access code will be provided to my guest and there is an added feature where they have to enter a random number first before access code. Thus throwing off those who try to figure out the combination from the finger print traces.
Garage door - Chamberlain garage door opener with MyQ. This is also another must have if you want to know if guest didn't close the garage door as it will send alerts to your phone wirelessly. It also will give you info when was the door last open or close for how long.
can you please explain a bit on how your MyQ is being used by your guests? do they have to download the app and you add them as a shared user every time for it to work? or is there even a shorter cut for usage like sending a password as a text message to a number there ?
I have yet to complete my technology upgrade. Still looking for improvement.
1. Ring doorbell - Will be great to have this to ensure who walks into the house and out. It also sensor that sense delivery guys or answer the door when someone ring the bell.
2. Wireless lights - I am still looking in the area how i can control house lights as i noticed a lot of time my guest leave the lights on when they are not in the house and during daytime. Any suggestion will be great.
3. R2D2 or CP03 - Robot to clean the house and translate any language to my guest. 🙂
That sounds like a good Christmas list! I agree that C-3P0 and R2D2 would be a great team to have around the house!
I didn't know you could get special technical doorbells! Would that work in tandem with your smart lock or separately?
There are a couple of good ideas and recommendations in this thread - @Gary-And-Rose0 recommend Insteon lighting for example.
I like the Ring doorbell because it allows me to see if any guests has a problem with the digital lock they will just press the Ring doorbell and I can guide them through or I can also remotely unlock the door for my guests using my remote unlock function for my digital lock. The bad part about Ring is that i need to charge it every month.
I also like wireless control of my lights as I can see which lights are on and the occupancy sensor to see if anyone is still at home.
I have a program that allows automated switching off of the aircon and the lights in the common areas after a period of inactivity.