Occupancy-based Automation of Rental Property
Renting out holiday property often involves deploying staff. However, contemporary home automation solutions enable landlords to respond flexibly to fluctuating demand using the Internet of Things (IoT) to automate rental property management, thereby significantly lowering running costs. Smart technology automatically controlling heating, air conditioning, access and cleaning needs based on property occupancy saves energy and staff costs. We take a look at what’s available and what’s involved.
Automated Heating and Air-conditioning in Rental Property
Temperatures being too high or too low upon arrival doesn’t go down well with people renting holiday accommodation. On the other hand, heating or air con being turned to eleven when the property is vacant doesn’t make sense either. Up to now, the majority of landlords used to send someone over to turn down thermostats manually, however, and this being the digital age, that’s no longer necessary.
This is where IoT-enabled devices come in that allow you to convert your rental property into a smart home. Using smart thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) with built-in electric motors and a radio chip means you can change heating settings over the interwebs from wherever you are. Let technology take care of things so you don’t have to, by interconnecting the TRV operating software and your property management system.
This results in automated room temperature regulation inside rental property based on occupancy. If the property is vacant, the software turns down TRVs or air conditioner whereas the algorithms make sure the premises are comfily warm, or cool, shortly before new tenants arrive.
Moreover, you don’t need to rely on smart TRVs only to make sure everything is as it should be: fitting an extra set of sensors allows you to keep an eye on the actual temperatures. These days, most thermostats already feature intrinsic temperature sensors. However, if you want to install additional sensors in key positions, there is a range of unobtrusive and totally affordable products available on the market. The Conrad Connect Professional dashboard enables viewing both current and historical data at any time. And if you specify upper and lower temperature limits, you can get notified whenever something goes haywire.
System requirements: if you rent out property, Conrad Connect Professional allows you to automate smart room climate control using commonly available technology. You can choose between smart TRVs supplied by Devolo, Gigaset, Homematic IP, Honeywell, Innogy, Netatmo, Sensibo and Tado. Don’t worry if you operate tech from different brands – Conrad Connect Professional works with all of them. Just use Google Calendar to connect the tech to your property rental management system or a CRM such as Salesforce.
Whether you come up with your own set-up, or opt for one of our ready-to-use heating control automation routines is totally up to you. Simply import the template into your Conrad Connect account, tweak it to meet your needs if necessary, and you are all set and IoT- ready.
Smart Locks – Handing Over Virtual Keys
If your holiday rental property features smart locks you or your staff don’t need to turn up at the premises to hand over a physical key to holiday makers. Makes renters being stuck in traffic and, thus, not being able to give you an ETA which requires you to stay close and be on call a thing of the past.
You are using a smart lock with a built-in electric motor instead to remotely unlock the front door. Holiday makers receive the access code via text or email, and are able to enter the premises using a smartphone app. After your renters have checked out on the last day, you just invalidate the code.
Landlords combining smart locks and Wi-Fi-based CCTV are boosting property security, too. Automated motion detecting allows you to respond instantly whenever someone is sneaking around the premises during periods the property is vacant.
System requirements: Conrad Connect Professional ready-to-use automation routines enable easy and hassle-free handing over of virtual keys. Import this project into your account, to remotely monitor and control access to rental property advertised on Airbnb. Goes without saying that the routine also supports other holiday rental websites. The template involves an IP camera that notifies you whenever there is movement on the doorstep, allowing you to use live camera footage to check whether it’s indeed the holiday makers that have booked the property. If so, simply forward the smart lock access code.
Camera brand and lock manufacturer specified in the template are optional. Swap them with products that YOU want to use. The automation routine supports cameras by Netatmo, Ring, Somfy and Spotcam. When it comes to smart lock suppliers, choose from Nuki or Tapkey devices. If your rental property is part of an apartment block, why not use a Nello door opener to “smarten up” you door intercom?
Smart Buttons for Room Service and Employee Attendance Logging
All rental property needs to be cleaned before accommodating newly arrived holiday makers. In this context, speeding up turnovers is key, and even more so during peak season. And this is precisely where smart switches and buttons come in.
Smart buttons are wireless switches that allow the assignment of user-defined functions. For instance, smart buttons can not only be used to activate household appliance, they also send push-notifications - which is exactly what you want in the current scenario. Whether this involves texting, WhatsApp or email is up to you. You also decide on the text content of the message. These days, many smart switches are dual or multifunction buttons, with short press, long press and holding the button down being used to trigger different responses.
Means upon leaving the premises, holiday makers just need to press the button to tell the cleaners to spring into action. Moreover, smart buttons enable cleaning staff to notify property management of their presence at the accommodation, and of the property being ready for new arrivals after they completed their task.
This helps you optimise staff deployment and reduce holiday maker waiting times. At the same time, smart buttons also allow you to automatically log employee attendance which simplifies quality management at the premises.
choose from a wide selection of wireless smart switches or buttons. Our platform supports battery-powered products by Disruptive Technologies, Mobile Alerts (Technoline) and MyStrom. If you prefer their wired wall mounted and mains-supplied counterparts, smart switches by Dio, Homematic IP, Innogy, Kopp, Trust and Tuya all come with Conrad Connect compatibility.
When it comes to IoT-based automation, using one of our ready-to-use routines helps you get your project off the ground in no time. This project involves a MyStrom wireless smart button triggering a push message, whilst this one allows you to use any type of actuator to fire off a text message.
How Dorint Hotels Boosts Energy Efficiency, Customer Services and Safety
How property management benefits from the Internet of Things is illustrated by the example of a hospitality business. Dorint Hotels recently started automating building services of their all in all 63 properties across Europe. The chain’s Potsdam-based Dorint Sansoucci is the first establishment utilising Conrad Connect Professional to optimise multiple aspects of running a hotel.
“For instance, we use a Call Service button to improve guest services. The buttons use Conrad Connect routines to instantly forward the message to the team member in charge,” says Torsten Keppler who heads the IT department at Dorint. The individual message content per button is assigned as required. The whole process is quick and pretty straightforward, no technical knowledge necessary. The buttons and their respective functions are managed via an easy-to-use browser-based dashboard.
Moreover, Dorint Sansoucci Potsdam are using another dashboard on the same web-based platform to automatically monitor the room temperature across the hotel’s IT server facilities. Whereas temperatures exceeding a certain level can cause hardware malfunction, indiscriminate blanket cooling would lead to spiralling utility bills. “Implementing Conrad Connect’s automated temperature and safety routines means saving energy by being able to reduce the overall server cooling time by almost twenty percent,” explains Keppler.
When it comes to security, Dorint has opted for smart solutions also centred around Conrad Connect. “Allows us to keep an eye on who has access to the premises, and to respond quickly in the event of someone trying to force entry into sensitive areas,” adds Dorint’s Head of IT.
If Dorint Hotels can do it so can you. Check out our smart home solutions that help you make your property management more efficient. Also, why not try out Conrad Connect Professional for 30 days, free of charge?