Airbnb guests can be demanding so and so's, but connected home tech is here to help if you're kitting out your apartment or house to get it ready for renting. Smart home devices can save you time, money and hassle when it comes to encouraging bookings, interacting with guests, managing cleaners and making sure you get those good reviews at the end of the trip.
The type of tech you choose will depend on how often you rent out your property via Airbnb, what kind of house/flat you have, your budget and how much you're charging guests. With that in mind, we've put together some suggestions for smart home tech to enhance your Airbnb.
Smart lock: August Smart Lock Pro
The first item on your list should probably be a smart lock. A connected lock like the August Smart Lock Pro means you can lock and unlock your door from the house or remotely day to day.
More helpfully, for these purposes, you can use the August smartphone app to send out temporary mobile app keys to both Airbnb guests and cleaners so they can let themselves in. They just need to register in the August app too – and August has actually partnered with both Airbnb and HomeAway to make it straightforward. Access expires automatically at the end of each booking plus you can manually revoke access at any time. So not only will you not have any issues with guests losing keys, you don't need to be there to check them out – though you should probably greet them and make sure they get the whole smart lock thing when they arrive.
If you decide to add a voice assistant ecosystem into the mix, August also works with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. There's also a physical key lock as backup.
Smart doorbell: Ring 2
Not so essential but you might also want to add something like the very popular Ring 2 smart doorbell into the mix. This allows you to speak to your guests via the doorbell's two way audio, and check up on who exactly is being let in to your flat or house via the 1080p camera with 160 degree field of view.
Alternatively, if you go for the August smart lock, you could add in the August Doorbell Cam, which has two-way audio and a built-in floodlight, to complete the setup.
Smart lights: Philips Hue
Smart lights are a nice extra for guests during their stay. They can set their own mood and make the place feel homely for a weekend or a week – but connected bulbs could actually help way before that too.
Set up some Philips Hue bulbs in lamps around the living room, choose some classy colours and get snapping enticing pics for your Airbnb profile. It means your listing will stand out amongst similar properties and show that they're getting a modern home for their money. If you don't want to jump in fully and just want a cheaper option, try Ikea's budget Trådfri range instead, and if you really want to make an impact, install a set of attention grabbing Nanoleaf Light Panels.
Smart security camera: Arlo Pro 2
We wouldn't recommend putting smart security cameras inside the house, no matter how much you're tempted, as your guests won't be best pleased. But if you're anxious about the safety of a property that you're not living in much or at all, you could plump for our top security camera pick, the Arlo Pro 2, and install it outside. That price gets you two cameras and a hub.
Read this: Arlo Pro 2 vs Nest Cam IQ
It's completely wireless and weatherproof too, to a IP65 rating, with 1080p recording, night vision, two-way audio and motion and audio alerts. You can't scrub back though the past 24 hours as the rival Nest Cam offers, but you do get access to recorded clips that have been triggered by the Arlo's sensors and free seven day storage.
Smart speaker: Amazon Echo Dot
You might want to go the whole hog and let your guests control a multi-room Sonos system with a voice assistant, but we'd suggest starting small and affordable with an Alexa powered Amazon Echo Dot. You can hook it up to other smart home kit like Philips Hue bulbs and also use the audio jack to plug it into existing speakers for a simple, voice controlled music setup.
Leave instructions for guests on how to use the mute button or power it off if they're not keen on using a smart speaker during their stay. And don't stick it in the bedroom. Alexa doesn't have a guest mode yet but in your Household Profiles, you can create a new user so guests don't muck up your streaming service algorithms. The similar Google Home Mini, which doesn't have that crucial audio out, does offer a proper Google Assistant guest mode.
Smart TV: Roku Streaming Stick+
There's no need to upgrade to a smart TV for your Airbnb flat – just pick up a smart streaming stick and plug it into the back of your set. We'd recommend Roku's Streaming Stick+ as it has the big three services of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Google's on demand Play Movies + TV plus a whole bunch of other apps like YouTube, Hulu, HBO and Showtime – no iTunes though.
The Streaming Stick+ has a few more benefits too, namely its dual-band Wi-Fi antenna in the cable which can get increase streaming speeds by up to four times for less buffering. Plus there's 4K and HDR10 streaming too – only the best for your guests. Just remember not to leave your own personal accounts signed in.