Smart Home Devices For Your Airbnb – A Complete Guide

Smart Home Devices For Your Airbnb - A Complete Guide

Smart Home Devices For Your Airbnb – A Complete Guide

This is the first article in a series on Creating Smart Vacation Rental Homes.

Smart devices cover a whole host of areas. Some smart devices can save you time and some will save you money. Other smart devices can bring you peace of mind, and some add to the guest experience. 

This first article covers all the basics, from smart home 101 to ecosystems, as this is one of the most confusing areas when starting to create a smart home.

Then we’ll dive into two types of devices that are the most popular with hosts. Smart locks and video doorbells.

There are also a couple of ideas that will benefit your guests and make changeovers easier and quicker. We also asked 1,000’s of short-term rental hosts for their preferred devices so that you can make smarter choices when automating your own rentals.

Quick Links

Introduction 101 to smart home devices for vacation rentals
Benefits of incorporating smart home devices
Smart home devices for convenience and comfort

Choosing the best ecosystem for your smart choices
Smart locks
Video doorbells
Must read notes on video doorbells

Introduction to smart home devices for vacation rentals

Are you a smart host looking to upgrade your vacation rental property with cutting-edge technology? Look no further than smart home devices! These innovative devices have revolutionized how we live, work, and play, and now they can transform your vacation rental into a smart, connected space that will delight guests and boost your bottom line.

Smart home devices are a broad category of gadgets that use internet connectivity and artificial intelligence to automate and optimize various aspects of your home. From smart thermostats that learn your temperature preferences to smart locks that let you remotely control access, these devices offer a wide range of benefits for hosts and guests.

Some other popular examples of smart devices include smart locks smart lighting, smart speakers, smart cameras, and smart appliances.

Some other popular examples of smart devices include smart locks smart lighting, smart speakers, smart cameras, and smart appliances.

By installing smart home devices in your vacation rental, you can offer guests a seamless, high-tech experience that will make their stay more enjoyable and memorable. For example, smart thermostats can adjust the temperature based on guest occupancy and weather patterns, while smart lighting can create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere that enhances relaxation and sleep. Additionally, smart locks can streamline check-in and check-out processes, while smart cameras can provide added security and peace of mind for hosts and guests.

If you are new to the world of smart homes and devices, it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to the terminology, systems, and different choices/brands available.

In order to help you, we have watched hours of videos and selected the best and easiest to understand for each category of device.

This video, although long, offers the best introduction to smart devices, what they can do, how they work, and how to build the best smart home for your needs.

Benefits of incorporating smart home devices

But the benefits of smart hosting aren’t just limited to guest comfort and convenience. Smart home devices can also help hosts save time, money, and energy by automating routine tasks and reducing waste.

For instance, a smart thermostat can optimize energy usage and reduce utility costs, while a smart lock can save time on arrival and departure procedures. Integrated cameras can help monitor guest numbers and people sneaking pets into the property.

Moreover, smart devices can provide valuable data insights hosts can use to improve their business operations and enhance guest satisfaction.

Smart home devices for convenience and comfort

Let’s start in the cheap seats. Often, the little things set one property apart or make a four-star review into a five-star review.
Sometimes it’s the little things that make our lives easier.

Charging points where they are needed

Think, for a moment, about the guest and the things that they need to do on a daily basis.

All guests have smartphones, and they need charging daily (nightly in reality). Hotels have this covered by having USB charging sockets next to the bed. Now there are bedside lamps with built-in USB ports and power sockets, so you don’t even need to call an electrician.

These aren’t smart devices, but they are a smart addition to the property.

Guests don’t need to crawl around at floor level looking for sockets or move bedside tables to plug in their chargers.

We found these on Amazon, and they are only $33 each, so they aren’t going to break the bank.

Smartphone chargers for your holiday let

There are many different styles available to suit your style, decor, and budget. 

Smart Home Devices For Your Airbnb

Robot vacuums

Robot vacuums for your holiday rental

Okay, these aren’t necessarily smart devices either, but for some vacation/holiday rental operations, these can be worth their weight in gold.

If you are the chief cleaner and bottlewasher and handle changeovers personally, a Roomba or similar model can be a real timesaver. Once the guests leave, strip the beds in the first bedroom and set the robot to work while you start work in another room. It’s like having an assistant cleaner doing one of your most tedious jobs. Once it’s finished in one room, just move it to another.

You can get models with a built-in mop that are ideal if you have laminate, vinyl, or hardwood flooring.

An app can control some models, and some even empty themselves.

Here are five of the best models available in 2023 (including links to prices)

Choosing the best ecosystem for your smart choices

Even though you may be planning to add smart devices to your home, you should be aware that not all devices are smart enough to connect to each other. The whole idea of introducing smart devices to your home is to make your life, and in this case, running your short-term rental business, more efficient.

You don’t want to end up with 10 different apps on your phone, and you certainly don’t want to find yourself being frustrated when it comes to devices not wanting to play together,

Time spent looking into connectivity and ease of setup before spending your hard-earned cash is time well spent.



Saying that… late last year, we saw the introduction of Matter.
It’s a connectivity standard for smart home and Internet of Things devices, which aims to improve their compatibility and security. The standard is royalty-free, though developers and manufacturers incur certification costs.

If you are just starting your journey into turning your short-term rental into a smart home, make sure the devices you purchase have the Matter logo on the box. This will save you a lot of pain as you set up your network of devices.

Here’s a good overview of how Matter will improve smart device compatibility.

Creating A Smart Vacation Rental Home

You can choose from several ecosystems, and I will add some videos below that will help you select the best one for you.

The bottom line is that you will almost certainly get the best out of a system if you pair it to your existing smartphone. Android users should look at the Google Home range of devices, and Apple iPhone users will be best off with the Apple HomeKit.

There are other options like Amazon’s Alexa, and if you are already au fait with Alexa, that may be an option worth looking into. Samsung also has a Smart Things ecosystem.

Choosing the right ecosystem

Choosing the right ecosystem

Choosing the right ecosystem




Smart home devices for security and safety

Smart home devices for security and safety

Security and safety are one of the biggest reasons that holiday homeowners, hosts, and managers start with smart home systems.

Let’s look at some of the main smart systems for rental properties, smart locks, camera systems, doorbells, and noise control.

Smart Home Devices For Your Airbnb
Smart locks

Smart locks - Smart Home Devices For Your Airbnb

In the early 2000s, I managed 30 properties in a fly-to destination. I lost count of the times that flights were delayed, and I would have to hang around late into the night to hand over keys to arriving guests.

So I bought 30 key safes and emailed guests the safe’s location and the code to open it.

Time and technology have moved forward, and we can now fit smart locks to our properties to save time and logistical issues.

Smart locks

A smart lock is possibly one of the most important parts of a smart vacation rental home. In addition to allowing you to easily unlock and lock your door, a smart lock also monitors who enters and leaves your house when you’re not around. Especially if it’s paired with a smart doorbell.

You can assign special access privileges to guests, cleaners, or maintenance staff. The most advanced options work with voice commands and support third-party smart home devices and services. Some will even let you know if the door has been left unlocked or ajar.

It doesn’t stop there either; you can link your smart lock to other smart devices. For instance, they can turn the lights on and if as people come and go.

In this video, Annette and Sarah explain some reasons to fit smart locks to your STRs.

If you ask ten hosts or managers which smart locks they use and would recommend, you will probably get ten different answers.

Because so many brands and models offer slightly different pros and cons, it’s impossible to recommend any particular one. In fact, Alex Teo compares 50 smart locks in one video!

Instead of going down that rabbit hole and adding layers of confusion, we have asked hosts to tell us what they use and added some videos where hosts and managers discuss their choices. We’ve also added links to some articles that list the best smart locks of 2023. put together a great Top 5 Smart Locks for Airbnb and Vacation Rental Properties article. You can see the summary below or read the whole article here.

The 5 best smart locks for Airbnb and vacation rentals include:

Here’s some feedback and smart combinations that some hosts mentioned

Karen has rentals in Florida and Mexico. Here’s what she said

I use Yale locks with Vera Hub. Ring camera, Nest learning thermostat that goes into Eco mode when they are out and of course the OwnerRez interface.

Here are some Yale smart lock options

Schlage and Eufy compared

Gerard shared his setup below,

Schalge FE599 paired with MIOS or VERA z wave hubs/Schlage Encode connected to wifi/NoiseAware/Blink Doorbells and cameras outside only/Honeywell wifi thermostat/Lodix as my PM and RemoteLock as my lock code manager.

Some owners that we spoke to highly rated their Schlage smart locks. This video compares the Schlage locks to the new kid on the block – The Eufy. There are also some good all round smart lock tips from the Airbnb host in this video.

eRental locks

Sherene said that she uses eRental locks

I love my eRental locks that auto generate from my OwnerRez software. No subscription, no Wi-Fi needed!

(I could even retrofit my older Schledge keypad locks with their chip!)

Smart Home Devices For Your Airbnb
Doorbells with video cameras

Smart Doorbells with video cameras for your vacation rental

Seeing who’s coming and going at your property can be super useful. For instance, your guests could be sneaking in extra people or having a party, and you can deal with a situation before it develops into a problem.

There are some things to bear in mind when buying a smart doorbell/camera. What network does it run on? Is it wired or battery-operated? What is the resolution of the camera? Do you have to sign up for a subscription for cloud storage? What is the night vision like?

Here is a good video primer covering the basics and some recommendations

Below is a list of the most popular models and their compatibility with various networks.

Those that work with Google Assistant and Andriod phones

Nest – Around $90 – $180 depending on the model (wired and battery options)
Arlo – From $80 (Built-in siren to ward off intruders)
Eufy – Around $65 – $200 depending on the model (built-in video storage)
Eziviz – From $60 (wired) (three color faceplates included)
Maximus – Around $170 (wired) (dual cameras eliminate blindspots)
RemoBell – Around $99 (wired) (affordable)

Those that work with Apple HomeKit and iPhone

Logitech Circle View – From $200 (wired) (Face Recognition)
Wemo – Around $220 (tall 178-degree vertical field of view)
Netatmo – From $310 (wired) (Local SD storage)
Arlo Essential – From $80 ( wired) (Arlo Smart Hub required)
Google NestAround $90 – $180 depending on the model (Starling Home Hub required)

Those that work with Amazon and Alexa

Ring – Video Doorbell 3 Plus – From $110 (wired or battery) (requires subscription)
Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen) – From $55 (No infrared night vision)
Arlo – Around $80 (wired) (Need subscription to access recordings)
Nest – Around $150 (battery) (you need to install an Alexa Skill for it to work)
Eufy – Around $150 (wired) (wireless chime included)

Smart Home Devices For Your Airbnb – A Complete Guide

Important note

The big listing sites require that you indicate the presence of all security cameras or other recording devices in or around a property – even if they’re not turned on or hooked up.

Airbnb (Full details and rules here)

  1. Go to Listings and click or tap on the listing you want to edit
  2. In Listing details, scroll down to Things guests should know and click or tap Edit
  3. Under Safety Devices, check the box for Security cameras/audio recording devices
  4. Click or tap Edit and describe each device, its location, and if it will be off or on (you’ll also be asked to confirm some details about your listing)

Booking (.com) (Full details and rules here)

To indicate the presence of security devices on the Extranet: 

  1. Click the Property tab.
  2. Choose Facilities & Services.
  3. Scroll down to the Safety & Security section and indicate the presence of any CCTV devices.

VRBO (Full details and rules here)

Surveillance devices, including security cameras and smart doorbells (which may record audio), are permitted if they follow these rules:

  • Surveillance devices should only be used for security purposes.
  • Location and coverage of devices must be disclosed on the property description page (see Edit your property listing for step-by-step instructions). It’s not enough to include a photo of the device.
  • Outdoor cameras covering pools and hot tubs need to be disclosed on the property details page and in a reasonably discoverable location, such as a “guest instructions” binder, a notice on the wall of a high-traffic common space, or a placard next to the entry point itself. The disclosure must specify that the pool/hot tub is within the coverage area of the device.
  • Areas where guests have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as the bathroom or bedroom, should not be under surveillance.
  • Reasonable measures should be taken to limit access to surveillance data.
  • Surveillance data should be deleted when no longer needed.

Smart Home Devices For Your Airbnb – A Complete Guide

Read Part Two

Smart Home Monitoring For Your Airbnb

In part two of our Smart Home Devices For Your Airbnb – A Complete Guide, we will look at security cameras, doors and window sensors, climate control, and noise monitoring.

You can read it here

Read Part Three

Smart Wifi

In part three, we look at the only smart device that can bring in more direct bookings and make you money.
You can read it here

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