With upwards of six million property listings spread across 81,000 cities worldwide, Airbnb and similar short-stay rental platforms have revolutionised holiday accommodation; an Airbnb is rented every two seconds, and the company is valued at a staggering $38 billion.
Short-stay rentals offer property owners the opportunity to monetise spare rooms or unused properties as “hosts”. Hosting has the potential to be a lucrative venture, with hosts earning a reported monthly average revenue of $924.
Many hosts on the platform have praised Airbnb for its ease of use, accessibility, and customer support, while plenty others have criticised the company for gaps in the protections and insurance policy offered by the company.
While the majority of Airbnb rental transactions appear to run relatively smoothly, the host forum section of the Airbnb website, as well as subreddits on the subject, and third-party websites like the aptly-named Airbnb Hell are home to a slew of nightmarish tales of neighbour complaints, property damages, and hen-dos and stag parties gone awry.
By far, the most common headache associated with hosting short-stay rentals is maintaining peace with surrounding neighbours, as those on holiday are understandably in a slightly more jovial state of mind than the family with young children next door. Of all the properties removed from Airbnb, 85% are due to a neighbour complaint, usually concerning noise.
While many of these complaints are founded, false noise complaints are increasingly common, with disgruntled neighbours reporting loud parties in an attempt to curtail further rentals. In these cases, the matter can quickly devolve into a he-said-she-said level squabble, becoming a question of your word vs. theirs. With no data or evidence to back up the host’s claims, a simple noise complaint can quickly devolve.
This is where a smart home device can prove invaluable to hosts, as noise monitoring data can be used to definitively establish the precise decibel-level of sounds within the property at all times, even allowing hosts to monitor whether noises are more in line with a loud conversation or a 50 person party. Moreover, a smart home device can alert hosts in real-time when sound levels within the property surpass a customisable threshold, allowing property owners to intervene before complaints arise.
“Noise is one of the biggest issues around all cities that Airbnb is facing, a lot of times neighbours choose to say that the issue came from us when in fact it comes from elsewhere. Your device can help in proving that it’s not true or can help prevent noise behaviour from guests”. Prague For You
For hosts renting a single room within their property, a device with motion-detection capabilities can help ensure that visitors are not entering private or otherwise restricted areas of the home. This allows hosts to safeguard personal belongings, and ensure that areas of the home remain private without invading guest’s privacy with intrusive cameras. Motion detection can also provide verification that guests are checking in and out of the property at the agreed-upon time, as well as providing a source of confirmation for cleaning and maintenance services.
The business of welcoming even the most well-vetted of strangers into your home will never be without some inherent risk, however, the addition of a smart device into your property can significantly reduce the risk of damage or guest-related mischief. Adding a smart security device may also help to distinguish your property to potential short-stay guests. In a survey aimed at determining what tourists look for in vacation accommodation, 60% of respondents who reported a preference for traditional hotels cited security as the primary factor influencing their decision. However, the same survey found that 51% of travellers who prefer Airbnb style accommodation reported privacy as a primary factor influencing their decision. With this in mind, security equipment should be selected carefully with guests desire for privacy in mind.