Smart Home Monitoring For Your Airbnb – A Complete Guide Pt 2

Smart Home Devices For monitoring and managing Your Airbnb – A Complete Guide Pt 2

Smart Home Monitoring For Your Airbnb – A Complete Guide Pt 2

This is the Second article in a series on Creating Smart Vacation Rental Homes. If you missed the first part, you can read it here.

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 second article covers external cameras, door and window security, thermostats, smart lighting, and, last but not least, noise monitoring.

Quick Links

Smart security cameras
Must read camera information
Windows and doors

Smart thermostats
Smart lighting
Noise monitoring

Smart Home Monitoring For Your Airbnb
External security cameras

More and more short-term rental hosts and managers are using external cameras to monitor the security of their properties. This is especially true for those that host remotely. There are added benefits, such as detecting if guests are sneaking in more people than they have paid for or if they have arrived with a four-legged friend when you clearly state that you don’t accept pets.

The footage from these cameras can help prove claims with the resolution centers of Airbnb, Booking (.com), or VRBO.

Things to consider

Look for cameras with motion detectors, as you don’t want cameras recording 24/7. You will need good cloud storage and simple access to recordings via your phone, and the cameras you choose should have excellent night vision.

Whether you go for wired or battery cameras is a personal choice. Wired cameras are fit and forget, but the initial installation takes longer and will require an electrician, so they come at a higher installation cost. Battery versions are easier to install, and any half-decent DIYer can manage the task, but you will need to swap out batteries occasionally.

Again, as with video doorbells, you will need to disclose in your listing that you have cameras on site. See details here

In this video, Tim Hubbard from gives great insight into the what’s and wherefores of installing cameras around your property.

The best smart security cameras 2023

According to PC Magazine, the best external cameras for 2023 are as follows…

Best overall pick

Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera – Around $160 each or 3 for $380

  • Completely wireless and easy to install
  • 2K HDR video
  • Color night vision
  • Works with Alexa, Google, Apple HomeKit, and IFTTT
  • Lots of third-party integrations
  • Built-in siren
  • No hub required

Here’s a full review of these cameras so that you can weigh up the pros and cons

Most Versatile

Wyze Cam V3 Pro – Around $55 each

  • Affordable
  • Local and cloud storage options
  • Sharp 2K video
  • Built-in spotlight and siren
  • Intelligent alerts
  • Motion tracking
  • Supports lots of third-party devices

Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT but not with Apple HomeKit

Here’s a video review to help you decide if these cameras are for you

Best for 4k recordings

Lorex 4K Spotlight Indoor/Outdoor Wi-Fi 6 Security Camera – Around $180 each

Even though these cameras are described as indoor/outdoor cameras, obviously, you can’t use any cameras indoors in a vacation/holiday rental.

  • Sharp 4K video
  • Color night vision
  • Uses local storage
  • Offers voice control
  • Intelligent motion alerts
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi 6

These cameras work with Google Home and Alexa but not with Apple HomeKit or IFTTT.

Here’s a review for these cameras

Best Apple HomeKit cameras

According to, these are the best Apple-compatible cameras on the market

EufyCam 2C Pro Wireless Home Security Camera – Around $150

  • 2k
  • Wireless
  • Floodlight
  • Subscription free
  • 6-month battery life

Here’s a review on these cameras

Eve Outdoor Cam – Around $250

  • Dimmable floodlight
  • HD live video streaming
  • Wide 157° field of view. 

Here’s a review on these cameras

Important note

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.
  • The 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 Monitoring For Your Airbnb
Windows and doors

If you have ever laid awake at night wondering if the latest group of guests to checkout had locked up correctly, you may consider fitting some intelligent door and window sensors.

These also come into their own when it comes to those that open a window and then crank the air-com to the max.

These devices are relevantly inexpensive, starting from as little as $5 each. They are super simple to install as they have adhesive backs, and they are wireless.

Before buying, check the ecosystem they run on and base station (see below) prices.

There are too many brands to mention, but here is a good video to give you an understanding of what’s what with these devices.

Here’s a brief introduction to base stations

Smart Home Monitoring For Your Airbnb
Smart thermostats

As you can see from some of the other smart devices we have looked at in this article, you can spend quite a bit of money turning your existing short-term rental into a bells-and-whistles smart home – But some smart devices will pay for themselves over time.

Welcome to the world of smart thermostats.

One of hosts’ and managers’ pet peeves is guests that turn up the heating or cooling controls. This, combined with leaving windows and doors open, can quickly become expensive.

Now, by installing smart thermostats, you can take control of your heating or air-conditioning.

When linked to smart locks or noise monitors, these thermostats can adjust the heating or cooling when the guests are out.

Some devices even have a placebo setting. Guests can only lower the temperature to, say, 23 Celsius even though the remote beeps and says they can go to 16 Celsius. You set how high they can warm the room and how low they can cool it too. They will never know you have them on limits.


Under ‘normal’ use, these thermostats are programmed to learn the behavior of the occupants of a home. This is great for domestic use, but as hosts and managers, we have a constant stream of ever-changing occupants. The temperature that one group of guests likes will be different from the temperature that another group is comfortable with.

With this in mind, you may want to look for control features over learning features.

Best smart thermostats that work with Google and Alexa

Here are’s top smart thermostats for 2023

Editors Choice

Google Nest thermostat – Around $105

This Energy Star-certified thermostat can automatically turn the temperature down when guests leave your rental to save you money instead of leaving it running. In the app, you can set up an energy-efficient schedule for it to run on, adjust the current temperature from anywhere, and receive maintenance reminders and HVAC monitoring alerts. Plus, the built-in Savings Finder feature offers suggestions to tweak your schedule to make it even more efficient.

This thermostat also works with Alexa

  • Brand: Google Nest
  • Integrations: Google, Alexa
  • C-Wire Required: No
  • Sensor Support: Sold separately
  • Heat Pump Compatible: Yes, via adapter

Premium pick

Google Nest Learning Thermostat – Around $205

Although it will take a little while to learn your home’s heating and cooling habits, you won’t need to bother with manual programming once it does. The built-in Nest Sense feature uses the sensors — for temperature, light, and activity — and its software algorithms to ensure it’s properly heating or cooling your home, even if you mount it near a window.

This thermostat also works with Alexa.

  • Integrations: Google, Alexa
  • C-Wire Required: No
  • Sensor Support: Sold separately
  • Heat Pump Compatible: Yes

Here’s a review of this thermostat

Not sure which Nest thermostat to buy?

Here they are in a side-by-side comparison.

Best value

Wyze Programmable Smart WiFi Thermostat – Around $80

You can control this thermostat from its interface or the mobile app. The thermostat supports 7-day scheduling, including schedules for Home, Sleep, and Away each day for easy control over the temperature in your home. The automatic home/away detection feature can turn the thermostat off when guests leave to save energy. It’ll even track your usage and provide you with insights to help reduce wasted energy (and possibly even lower your bill).

This thermostat also works with Alexa.

  • Integrations: Google, Alexa
  • C-Wire Required: Yes
  • Sensor Support: Sold separately
  • Heat Pump Compatible: Yes

Here’s a review and installation guide

Best smart thermostats that work with Apple HomeKit

Best overall

Ecobee Smart Thermostat – Around $250

This thermostat also works with Google, Alexa, SmartThings, and IFTTT as well.

  • Dual band Wi-Fi – ho hub
  • 24V C-wire or included adapter
  • Includes detached smart sensor
  • Alexa and Siri built-in
  • 3-year warranty
  • The remote smart sensor included
  • Energy star certified

Here’s a review of these thermostats

Best Value

Honeywell T9 – Around $165

  • Dual band Wi-Fi – no hub
  • 24V with C-wire only
  • Room sensors available
  • Energy star certified
  • Power adapter included
  • ✘ Limited smart features
  • ✘ Only comes in white

Here’s a review of this thermostat

Creating A Smart Vacation Rental Home:
Smart Lighting

We won’t go into too much detail about smart lighting as there are so many options we would be here all week.

We will mention that if you fit smart lighting throughout your home, you could pair them with your smart thermostats. If all of your lights are turned off after dark, then your guests are either out or have gone to bed, so your smart thermostat could adjust your heating or cooling accordingly.

Saying that, your noise detectors, if you have them, would be a better option for this functionality.

Smart Home Monitoring For Your Airbnb
Monitoring and controlling noise at your property

One of the major headaches of running a short-term rental is the noise caused by guests. There is nothing worse than noisy neighbors, and when we are running a business, we don’t want to upset our neighbors when guests are playing loud music, shouting around the pool, or worse still, having a party.

One in 20 STR nights experiences an excessive-noise issue. One in 200 STR nights results in a major noise violation.

Fortunately, technology can help monitor and control this situation so we can stop loud guest behavior when it starts.

Most of our homes sit within a community, and we don’t want to get on the wrong side of those that live close to our rentals. This can result in complaints, fines, and possibly the closure of our business.

Even if your property is in a rural location, you can still benefit from noise management systems. If guests decide to have a party, you will be alerted as soon as noise levels go above the norm.

There are three main providers of smart noise detector systems and they are somewhat similar in hardware and functionality.

These systems consist of monitoring devices paired with a subscription service. When noise levels reach preset decibel levels, you will be alerted by either app alerts, SMS, or a phone call.

Smart Home Monitoring For Your Airbnb:

NoiseAware has been around since 2015, and they offer both indoor and outdoor noise monitoring and management. In most cases, one indoor device will be sufficient if placed in one of your larger rooms.

You can visit the website here.

At present, NoiseAware has two pricing plans.

The first is $15 a month for each rental, billed at $180 for the year. This plan is for hosts managing 1 – 9 properties. There is an additional cost of $99 if you want to add an outside monitor.

Here’s what you get

  • Indoor Wi-Fi-connected sensor included
  • Outdoor sensor additional $99 purchase
  • Custom noise thresholds and quiet hours
  • Instant actionable alerts
  • Historical data
  • Daily reporting digest of 24-hour noise incidents
  • AutoResolve automated guest messaging (see integrations)
  • Optional crowd control elevated-occupancy detection

The second option is for property managers with more than ten properties in their portfolios. This is a price-on-application model, so just get in touch with them.

Here’s what you get

  • Customized portfolio configuration
  • Onboarding, training, and dedicated support
  • Professional installation available (add-on)
  • AutoResolve automated guest messaging integration support
  • Dedicated account manager

Noise Aware also comes with CrowdControl. CrowdControl detects the number of wireless signals on your property.

CrowdControl doesn’t count the exact number of guests at your property. Instead, it lets you know when your rental is likely vacant, occupied at a typical level, or over-occupied. CrowdControl is currently available for single-family homes only.

Here’s an example of what you’ll see in your dashboard

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This video walks you through how the NoiseAware devices work and how to install them.

Smart Home Monitoring For Your Airbnb:

Starting in 2014, Minut was the first smart noise monitoring company in the market.

Minut’s offering is pretty similar to that of NoiseAware. They have indoor and outdoor sensors, and they monitor and report in quite similar ways. You can visit their website here.

Their sensors are weatherproof, so you can place them inside or out. If you want to cover both areas, just buy an additional sensor for $100.

They offer three pricing plans, Standard, Pro, and Enterprise.

Standard Plan

The standard plan comes in at $10 a month, billed at $120 yearly. For this, you get the following…

  • Get a sensor for $50 (save $50)
  • All core features:  noise, occupancy and environment monitoring, security alarm, outdoor mode & more
  • Automated guest communication
  • Unlimited data history
  • 5 team members

The pro plan is $15 a month, billed at $180 yearly. For this, you get the following…

  • Get a sensor for FREE (save $100)
  • All of Standard
  • Integrations: PMS, smart lock, climate control & more
  • Zapier automation
  • API Access
  • 20 team members

The enterprise package is for larger operations, and the price is on application.

  • All of Pro
  • Enterprise SLAs
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Rollout and integration support
  • 20+ team members

This video walks you through how the Minut devices work and how to install them.

Smart Home Monitoring For Your Airbnb:

RoomMonitor also offers smart noise control solutions for short-term rentals.

You get a real-time noise monitoring device to prevent noise pollution, damage, and neighbor complaints. Services are similar to the other two providers. You can see full details on their website here.

Overall, costs are somewhat less than NoiseAware and Minut

RoomMonitor sensors are $45 each

Their standard subscription costs $9.90 a month or $118 for a yearly package.

  • Real-time Monitoring
  • Notification alerts
  • Email Alerts
  • Disconnection Alert
  • Phone Call Alerts, SMS Alerts
  • Unlimited data history
  • Monitor multiple homes.

Their premium package costs $11.90 a month or $142.80 a year

  • All of the standard plan
  • Automated guest communication
  • PMS integrations
  • API Access.

Read Part One

In part one of our Smart Home Devices For Your Airbnb – A Complete Guide, we look at the basics, ecosystems, smart locks, and video doorbells
You can read it here

Read Part Three

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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