Property Management Blog

Top 5 tech things to manage your Airbnb in Indianapolis

Michael Taylor - Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Top 5 tech things to manage your Airbnb in Indianapolis

Hey, guys. Mike Taylor, broker Owner, Red Door Property Management. Today I wanted to talk about short term rentals and specifically technology. What kind of technology do you need to employ to successfully manage a short term rental? So there's a ton of technology out there in the short term rental space. Today I'm going to go over the top five that you need to use, absolutely have to have in order to successfully manage a short term rental. 

Number one

Number one, you have to have a smart lock. No matter what you do, you absolutely have to have a smart lock. Messy, with keys getting lost or put in somebody's pocket? Absolutely not. They cannot function without a smart lock. The one that we like to use is called the Schlage Encode. And that's just we have found the easiest to use. We don't have any problems with it. It's easy to install, it's easy to program. It just works. It just does people get it. It's simple and it just works. Also, it works with our software. So it does work with other different software and things like that. So the Schlage on code encode is the one that we have found that works the best. But whichever one you decide to use, you have to have a smart lock. We like ones that you can operate on your phone if you need to. Again, it incorporates our software where we dynamically create a code for that specific guest for that specific time. It starts at their check in, it ends at their checkout. So that way you're not just giving out one code and having it for the same people over and over and over again. So whether you use the Schlage code or not, find one that you can do those kinds of features with, but absolutely have to have a smart lock. 

Number two

Number two is cameras. You got to have cameras. Also, I'll lump in here doorbell with that because that's an easy and cheap way to add another camera to the front of your house. On ours. We do a doorbell, and then we typically depend on the house. But typically a typical setup is we'll do one in the front of the house, usually in the driveway somewhere in the front, and then one on the back. Looking at the back door or the back patio, kind of where you think people might be hanging out. Now, depending on the size of your home, you may need more than that, you may need less than that, just depending on where you are. But you want to be able to see who's coming and going from your house. If people are gathering, if there's noise, you need to be able to check on it. So you have to have cameras. The ones that we like are the Arlo, which is the brand that we like for various reasons, but we use the Arlo Ultra. It is their most expensive one. But we like it because it records in, it stores in, so we can pull up 4K images or videos for up to 30 days. So that's why we like the Arlo Ultra. They do make a pro and I think an essential. Both of those are fine, they're just not as good of video quality. But you do need to make sure that you add with that because those are wireless cameras, they're WIFI cameras. You need to make sure that you add a charging device. So what we have found is on the back of the homes, it doesn't typically get as much movement and so a solar panel will work just fine. If you install the Arlo with a solar panel, it's always charged. You never have to worry about the battery running out in the front. What we have found is there's so many people walking by so many cars that the solar panel just can't keep up.And so we will plug those in, we'll find a way to plug those in. So if it's in a driveway, sometimes we'll plug it into an outlet in the garage or hopefully there's an outlet on the outside of the home. That's typically what we will do is we'll plug it in. Arla has, I think, a 25 foot connector cable that we use for that situation quite a bit. But don't just try to stick it up there without some sort of charge. Inevitably, right when you need it, the battery is going to be dead. So find a way to charge your cameras on the outside of your house so you don't have to constantly be recharging them because it's just not really realistic.

Number three

Number three WIFI. You have to have WIFI, of course, but you have to have fast WIFI. People expect it nowadays. People work from home, they video from home, everybody's on YouTube. You have to have WIFI. The fastest that you can get is what I recommend. It's not all that expensive. Anytime we can, we get gigabit Internet only ones that we have available, we get the fastest that we can possibly get. And when you're setting up your Airbnb, if you go into your Airbnb app, when you're at home, there's a thing where you can test your speed and then it will post your speed on your listing. So it's actually one of the most requested items on the Airbnb list of people looking for the in demand.

Number four

So the number four thing after the WIFI is a noise monitor. This is maybe not as obvious as the other ones. We put noise monitors in all of our houses. And what it is, it's just a little device. You kind of stick it on the wall. It looks like a little smoke detector and it's just a listening device and it just alerts you if the home has been above so many decibels for so many minutes. You can program it on your phone, but think it's like anything over 80 decibels for 20 minutes. Then you get an alert and then so you can contact them and say, hey, you're being loud. Keep it down. It will alert you. If there's too many people in the home, the new ones that are coming out, they'll detect how many cellphones are in the area. They actually were starting to detect if there's smoking or Vaping in the home. So that's the next generation that's coming out might even be out already. The brand that we use is, I think it's Minut. Minut, I'm not sure how you say it. M-I-N-U-T. So that's the brand that we like. It's a really good monitor and we put them in all of our houses, it has helped us and saved us preventing parties. So definitely protect your house with a noise monitor. There's two or three or four of them out there, but MINUT is the one that we decide to go with. 

Number five

And the fifth one that you may not think about but is software. You can manage your home just through the Airbnb app, but if you want to list it on a couple of different platforms, it can get a little bit cumbersome managing the other calendars or making sure that they're syncing up for a little additional cost extra per month. You could put all that into a software and then add a bunch of different features that the software can do above and beyond the Airbnb. So you could do automated responses. It's an inbox, like just an email inbox. Again, you could do the automations. Depending on the software that you choose, you can generate dynamic codes to go in there. You will manage all of your marketing there. So just adds a whole lot more to the ability above and beyond what Airbnb can do. So our recommendation is to get a piece of software to manage your Airbnb.

Number six

And I'm going to give you two extras for free. I know I said five, but I have so many. This one is really mostly for you just to save money. A smart thermostat something that can be controlled over WIFI. So we use Eco bees who we like, but really any of them will work. Just something that when somebody checks out, you can make sure that they didn't have their heat cranks to 80 because that can lead to extremely high heat bill or obviously AC bill in the summer. So control it remotely. That way you don't have to run over there and turn it up or turn it down. You can always know what the temperature is after somebody leaves.

Number seven

And then last one is a Roku or a Smart TV or Roku TV, that's actually our favorite, is a Roku TV because it has the Smart TV plus it has the Roku remote. People, you would be shocked at how confused people get over remotes. But one thing that I do know is that everybody knows how to use a Roku remote. They're super simple. They're super straightforward. Everybody's had one. Everybody's used one.So that's why we recommend the Roku remote, whether it's a Roku itself or Roku TV. But people do expect to have some way to get streaming. Now, you don't have to do a Netflix account. You can if you want. It's a nice feature, but you don't have to do it. Just give them the ability to log into their own Netflix account.

So those are the top five seven tech items to have for managing your Airbnb close.