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Level Up Your Short-Term Rental Property with These 7 Must-Have Safety Essentials

Closeup of a woman's finger entering password code on the smart digital touch screen keypad entry door lock in front of the room. Self Check-in, Airbnb, Modern security, Keyless, Temporary codes.

Host responsibly – ensuring the safety of your guests is your top priority as the host of a short-term rental property. 

By: Brad Greiner, CEO of Open Air Homes and OpenAiRE Brokerage

October 7, 2022

Take a look at the tried-and-true safety products and services we recommend when setting up your home. Whether you self-manage or work with a property management team, these are the home safety essentials we at Open Air Homes swear by. 

1. Keyless Entry

Investing in a tamper-free smart lock and doing away with outdated lockboxes is one of the best decisions we’ve made at Open Air Homes. Smart locks not only provide guests with secure and reliable entry, they also give hosts peace of mind. Always knowing who comes and goes and having the ability to give codes to people you trust are just some of the incredible benefits of smartlocks. 

The Best Smart Locks for Your Rental Property

Our top two preferences for homeowners are the Yale Lock with Nest Connect or the Schlage Connect. They come in a lot of colors and styles, to choose one that works with the hardware on your current door. August Smart Lock + Wifi Bridge comes in third for us, but is also an option that we have used and works well.

Check out more benefits of smart locks for rental properties below:
  • Extra security of having a new code for every new guest
  • If you’re unable to meet a last-minute booking directly at check-in time, you can easily provide the guest with the code via text or email
  • Say you receive an email from your booking platform that lets you know a guest’s payment didn’t go through. If you had a lock box, you may have had an unpaid guest in your home, whereas with a smart lock connected to the internet, you can change the code quickly until you receive payment
  • Cleaners can have a separate custom code and you can check to make sure they arrive at the scheduled time. You can have alternative codes for vendors, property managers, or anyone else you may need to let into the home
  • Let’s say your guest can’t figure out the lock. You can remotely unlock the door to save them the hassle of getting a hotel for the night due to an inability to gain entry to the home

Related: The Best Bedding for Your Short-Term Rental Property

2. Smoke Alarm and CO2 Detector 

You’re actually required by law to have a fire alarm and CO2 detectors in your home. Having the best technology on the market ensures that you never have to worry about requirements and regulations in your area. 

The Best Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Detector for Your Rental Property

We are only going to make one recommendation because we think it’s the best on the market. The Google Nest Protect is our top choice for an all-in-one smoke and carbon monoxide detector. We recommend it emphatically to all of our homeowner partners.

We strongly recommend wiring your fire and CO2 detectors instead of buying battery-powered devices. While battery-powered devices are cheaper up front, you’ll need to regularly send handymen to your rental property to replace the batteries – oftentimes in the middle of a guest’s stay.

3. Smart Thermostat

It’s not unusual for guests to forget to turn off the heat or AC when departing. While it’s an easy mistake to make, energy costs quickly add up. Avoid a pricy bill by investing in a thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature directly from your phone.

The Best Smart Thermostat for Your Vacation Rental Property

Open Air Homes Recommends the Nest Thermostat. This programmable device takes one week to learn the habits of residents and builds a dynamic, customizable schedule. 

Smart thermostats are also handy when a guest is set to check in on a hot day. Adjust the temperature before arrival, directly from your phone.

Related: The Best Showerhead for Your Short-Term Rental Property

4. Fire Extinguisher

Did you know that you should have at least two fire extinguishers in your home? Avoid devastating property damage, or worse, with our guide on the best fire extinguishers to have in your short-term rental.

The Best Fire Extinguishers for Your Rental Property

  • For smaller homes and apartments, the Stay Safe 5-in-1 fire extinguisher provides complete home protection for just under $30. 

Host tip: Some cities have varying requirements for fire extinguishers in short term rentals, so check your local regulations to ensure you get the right size. 

Related: Choosing High-End Kitchen Essentials for Your Luxury Rental Property

5. First Aid Kit

It’s always a good idea to have a first-aid kit on hand for any accidental injury or illness. Make sure your guests feel as comfortable as possible by providing them with first-aid essentials during their stay.

We equip our homes with the Be Smart Get Prepared first-aid kit. Coming in at just under $9, this 110-piece kit is a small investment to make for a big sense of security.

6. Pool Safety Essentials

The Best Pool Fence for Your Rental Property 

We believe that the most reliable pool safety option is a gate around the entire pool. We use the Vingli Pool Fence

Host tip: We recommend working with a handyman to get your pool gate installed, as you want to ensure it is installed properly. 

The Best Pool Net for Your Rental Property

If you aren’t a fan of gates, a pool safety net is another great option. This typically works better for smaller pools. We have used the WaterWarden Inground Pool Safety Net. 

The Best Pool Alarm for Your Rental Property 

Your third option for pool safety would be an alarm. We have used the Poolguard Inground, but also have used the Pool Patrol

Host tip: High wind can trigger the alarm, and the alarm is loud. You may have to run to the house when vacant to turn off the alarm if you forget to uninstall it.

Related: How to Choose the Best Coffee Amenities for Your Short-Term Rental

7. Minut Noise Device

Lastly, to ensure your neighborhood is safe, we recommend the Minut Noise Device. While there are plenty of others on the market, we’ve found Minut to be the best. 

The device alerts guests when the noise gets too high; it also allows you to set designated time frames, or “quiet hours.” 

Companies like Minut are working out the kinks with noise detection devices. While they’re still in their infancy towards working reliably, we have used them. We believe that once these devices work more reliably, they’ll be crucial to short-term rental properties to preserve the integrity of communities.

Your neighbors will love your commitment to maintaining the quiet and calm atmosphere of your neighborhood.

Safety Starts with Being a Good Neighbor

The short-term rental industry often gets a bad reputation, and for good reason. Homeowners and hosts are responsible for rewriting the narrative, so short-term rental guests can easily coexist next door to local residents.

Short-term rentals serve a valuable purpose, as tourism is a critical economic driver in every key city worldwide. However, it’s also true that homeowners are fed up with living next door to party houses. 

Be a Great Host by Establishing a Good Neighbor Pledge

If you are a host, we highly suggest you copy our Good Neighbor Pledge and include a version of your own for your guests during the booking process. We also send out a welcome letter to all adjacent neighbors before the first rental of any new property.

Additionally, they receive access to our centralized texting service so that they can report anything in the neighborhood that needs immediate attention. These two things, combined with disabling instant booking for all of our homes, have allowed us to build much more positive relationships with all of the neighbors and have even led to several referrals.  

The future of this industry is in all of our hands. It starts with the safety of our guests, and extends to the safety of our neighborhoods! 

Interested in more actionable tips on how to level up your short-term rental?

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