Vacation home guests have minimum expectations that have evolved rapidly in the last couple of years. One of the most important of these is always on, high-speed Internet connectivity. The entire family has become tethered to the Internet for entertainment, news, social media, and business. Even if Mom or Dad wants a break from business interruptions, the kids don’t want breaks from their online routines.
Look at the new Levi’s Stadium, just about to open in Santa Clara as the home of the 49ers. It’s got its own app, and great efforts have been made to provide signal strength inside the venue so that no fan has to suffer a moment of being unconnected. A common problem in all professional and collegiate sports is that the couch experience is better than the in-seat experience, and ticket sales are suffering as a result. This is particularly acute in NASCAR; why fight the traffic and the crowds, pay the expense of tickets and concessions, not be able to access Facebook from your smartphone, and suffer other inconveniences when you get a much more enjoyable view of the sport while sitting in front of your big-screen TV in the comfort of your own home? Much is being written in the tech press now about making the offline experience compete with the online experience, not just in spectator sports but also in shopping.
The next extension of this trend in vacation homes will be an expectation of home automation along with the basic connectivity. More and more consumers are installing smart home devices from locks to thermostats, and they’re not looking for a “camping” experience devoid of such conveniences. There’s even a smart-phone connected Crock-Pot being introduced in a few days, and that may not be necessary. But, offering the essentials for comfort, safety, and security will rapidly become a minimum condition for a positive review. It’s a matter not only of the automation in the home itself but also of being able to interact easily with the property manager using the same technology. The guest experience is better when the manager can monitor all the smart devices, schedule access automatically, and get a heads-up on any maintenance issues.
Astute vacation rental property managers are forging ahead to take advantage of this opportunity. There is a flood of new gadgetry in the smart home market, with very little or no cross-compatibility. Managers who offer their clients a common set of standard devices that are easily monitored and controlled from one central dashboard are going to be very efficient. Those who allow individual homeowners to pick and choose from the shiniest new objects will find that those owners will have to tend their own devices and won’t become part of the value added by the management service. Over time, the manager will have a harder and harder time attracting and corralling new clients who have wired themselves with all these nonstandard devices.
Obviously BeHome247 offers a fine solution to this overheated technology stew. Let us help you keep your clients at the table before this stew boils over to your disadvantage.
<Brunswick Stew photo by Joe Loong via Creative Commons license.>