Tech Stack – Automation and Juggling All the Pieces
July 12, 2022
What can we automate to become more efficient and have greater peace of mind?
What is your homeowners’ biggest concern next to income? It’s likely peace of mind, and it may sometimes trump income. We know that no one can control the weather and the issues it brings, but there are ways to reduce worry when it comes to other concerns like vacant properties or renting to guests that may have gatherings or do things that require time and money to resolve. Adding home automation to your toolbox will instill homeowners’ confidence that their property is secure. If something happens, they know you’ll be notified and quickly triage it before it becomes a large-scale issue. Adding automation can free up some time your staff spent checking units to allow for more custom tasks. You may even have fewer upset community members as noise/party houses, parking, and other concerns associated with exceeded occupancies can be quickly addressed. Automated technologies such as those below provide a bird’s eye view of your properties from one central location.
Property Safety and Security
- Smart Locks– Assign access for staff, vendors, homeowners, and most importantly, guest self-check-in.
- We can vouch for this one! TruPlace uses these all the time for our appointments!
- Eliminate concerns about duplicate or lost keys and rekeying. Everyone in the party just needs the code to get in, resulting in fewer instances of homes left insecure.
- Mobile Keys– Provide access for all in the party via smart devices. Little ones don’t need to remember codes!
- Security System– Arm for vacant properties to detect motion and open doors/windows/garage.
- Noise and Occupancy Monitoring– Check for warning signs of a party without breaking any privacy laws with triggered notifications of excessive occupancy based on local device counts and sound levels.
- Water Detection and Flood Protection– Monitor for frozen pipes and resulting leaks and, if needed, automatically shut off the main water valves. Place detection units near hot-water heaters, washers, sinks, dishwashers, sumps, and bathrooms.
- Fire Detection and Air Quality– Monitor and detect smoke, marijuana, CO2, high humidity, and mold presence to reduce possible health concerns and the need for possible remediation.
- Energy Savings– Control lighting and thermostats when the property is vacant
Internet/ Voice/ Entertainment
“More than half (57%) of surveyed travelers are choosing to bring their work on vacation this year.”Bluetent
In addition to the increased need for quality internet for guests choosing to work remotely, consider those traveling with the “younger” generations. This article I read recently describes things perfectly “the first question my teenagers ask me about a hotel is not: is there a swimming pool? How is the beach? What are the catering options? NO, it’s always the same: Does it have good WiFi? My children connect to the Internet immediately after putting down their suitcases. And lately, they have started to be picky about the connection. .., my eldest, will log into his speed test program to check the connection. Anything less than 10 megabits per second download gives me dirty looks. When I tell them I was lucky when my hotel room had a phone, the response is eye rolls. C. Elliott, Washington Post
“Property Managers save precious time and money! No more fielding phone calls about lost passwords or sending out your maintenance crew over poor connectivity issues.”Silicon Travel
Unless you have a tech-heavy team devoted to supporting your office systems and all your properties, you may want to consider turning over your guest internet worries to some of our industry partners. Think of the time savings you’ll have not having to troubleshoot guests unable to access wifi services and other internet issues. There are many options for setting up, supporting, monitoring and regularly updating property networks. In addition to Wi-Fi services, companies may also provide IP-based voice, streaming entertainment solutions, and features from other groupings, such as branded welcome apps, occupancy monitoring, and text/email marketing services.
How do I make sure everything runs smoothly?
“Streamlining internal communication and monitoring progress in real-time eliminates 75% of internal questions.”Breezeway
The ultimate juggling act–guests, homeowners, staff, properties, vendors, community, supplies, equipment, weather etc.! If the balls of the juggling act are not regularly staying in the air, it might be time to consider software to help you out. You’ll be able to communicate easily and see the real-time status of your properties, where and what everyone is doing, and where you are falling behind and need to send help. When one part of a project is complete, the system notifies you to assign the next task or, with the help of rules, auto-assigns it to available resources. In addition to organizing the chaos a little better, you will likely find benefits such as reduced guest complaints, better reviews, increased repeat bookings, and more informed and happier owners’ potentially increasing referrals.
“Vacation rental maintenance and housekeeping is not only a huge operational overhead, it also takes a lot of time to manage. With so many tasks to take care of and plenty that can go wrong, it’s no wonder property managers turn to vacation rental maintenance tools to ease their workload.”VRTech
The software in this grouping utilizes combinations of many of the following features to help make it feel like fewer balls are being juggled in the air simultaneously or at least make the process of tossing them up seem easier.
- Organization/Monitoring– Everyone uses the same system so you can communicate effectively to aid property readiness and smoother guest check-in.
- Guest Readiness– Put task checklists, instructions, and example photos in place to ensure resources complete work correctly the first time. Provide note sections and reporting for issues encountered in areas outside of a resource’s skillset or time allotment. Coordinate vendor appointment status and linen/rental equipment delivery.
- Owner Communication– Real-time property work-order tracking, owner statements, and historical review for help in predicting and making update/replacement recommendations
- Recurring Maintenance–
- Pre-schedule preventative maintenance for all property systems for a value add for your homeowners, reduce property downtime and calls from guests for items not working. Store manuals, safety info, and guides on frequently occurring issues, making it easy for staff to locate and fix problems– plumbing, security systems, electronics, appliances, smoke detectors, heating/air conditioning, hot tubs, pools, grills, jacuzzi, chimneys/fireplaces
- Auto schedule frequently recurring property care such as yard and garden maintenance, HVAC filters, pool/hot tub service, etc.
- Supplies and Inventory– Know when supplies are running low and need to be reordered and when inventory needs replacement.
- Extras!– Integrate with your current in-office systems (where available) such as availability, project planning, time tracking, and invoicing