As you travel down the road of being an Airbnb host, you’ll find a variety of products that claim to simplify the hosting experience. As I near my 1 year anniversary of being an Airbnb Superhost, I’m sharing the list of products that have helped me become a more efficient and stress-free host.
You know how easy it is to misplace your house key, right? Then imagine how simple it is for your guests to misplace the key to your rental home while they’re out and about exploring the city. Even with the best of intentions, we’ve all lost a key at some point. Installing a coded lock on your front door eliminates pain points related to lost keys and the subsequent shelling out of money for a locksmith to re-core your doors.
Why You Need Them
- Eliminates the use of a key which guests often lose.
- Provides an extra layer of security by not having a lost key floating around.
- Easy for your guests to remember
- Removes guest responsibility of keeping track of a key.
The Schlage Connect BE469NX is the #2 top selling deadbolt on Amazon for a reason. If you’re renting out an entire property (as opposed to a single room), you should seriously consider purchasing a coded lock.
My favorite feature of this lock is the ability to lock/unlock your front door from your smartphone. Let’s say you have a guest checking-in to your property on a day you’re out of town. Instead of hiding the key under a doormat which is a safety risk, you can program a specific code that is only valid for the length of the guest’s stay. On check-out day, the code will auto delete. How cool is that?! You can even make the code something memorable like the guest’s phone number so they won’t forget.
The Schlage Camelot Keypad has fewer features (no remote unlocking, no touchscreen, and no overly sophisticated programming options), but it’s core features check off some of the important boxes on an Airbnb host’s checklist.
If you just want to get rid of the key exchange and are fine with adding/deleting codes manually, this is a great option for you as well.
At half the price of option 1 and an easy installation, this makes for a great choice.
Programmable WiFi Thermostats
With all the fun plans and activities on their mind, it’s no secret that guests are not concerned about shutting the lights off when they leave a room or turning up the A/C before they head out for the day. Haven’t we all stayed in hotels where we’ve left lights on after we’ve left for the day or kept the A/C pumping at the lowest possible setting? I know I’ve been guilty of doing this in the past.
It’s not that guests have ill intentions, it’s just not something on their mind while they’re in vacation mode. There have been multiple occasions where I’ve returned home after a guest checked out and found the heat blasting even though it wasn’t cold outside. After seeing a 30% increase in my utility bills, I decided to purchase a WiFi programmable thermostat.
Why You Need One:
- Reduces unnecessary energy consumption, resulting in lower heating/cooling bills.
- Adjusts temperature remotely so you can turn on the heating/cooling shortly before a guest arrives.
- Remotely adjust temperature after guests check-out to save energy.
The Nest Learning Thermostat – You’ve probably heard of the Nest thermostat. For the past year or two, it’s been getting quite the buzz in the media, and for good reason. If you’re looking to minimize utility expenses while hosting on Airbnb, this is my #1 recommendation.
What I like about Nest: Nest gives you the ability to set upper and lower temperature limits so that guests don’t consume an excessive amount of energy, in turn, saving you $$. The WiFi connectivity lets you adjust temperatures remotely from the app so you can turn off/on heating or cooling shortly before the guest arrives or after the guest has checked out. No need to drive over to make the adjustment! Nest also automatically turns itself down when guests leave for their daily activities by using a built-in sensor.
The Honeywell Wifi 7 Day programmable thermostat may not have all the bells and whistles like the Nest, but it’s still capable of saving you some moolah on your monthly utility bills. This thermostat also connects via wifi to give you the ability to make temperature adjustments remotely. And while it doesn’t give you the option to set upper and lower temperature limits, you can use the app the periodically check in and monitor the temp.
It wasn’t until I’d been hosting for 6 months when I realized the benefits of a luggage rack. Not only does it show extra consideration from the host (which the guests will remember), but it’s also a practical solution to help keep the room in tip top shape.
Why You Need One:
- Reduces the chances of guests leaning their luggage against the wall (and creating scuff marks!)
- Reduces the chances of guests putting their luggage on the bedding.
- Especially helpful to older guests who have a harder time leaning over their suitcase on the floor.
- A thoughtful consideration that guests appreciate.
I purchased the Casual Home Luggage rack for both of my bedrooms and it looks much more expensive than it actually costs. I opted not to put the rack in the walk-in closet because I’ve found that most short term guests don’t use the closet anyway. Instead, I place it close to the entrance of the room so they can see the rack, which encourages them to use it.
Household Essentials Simple and effective.
Toilet Paper Holder & Storage
Toilet paper isn’t cheap, ya’ll. I’m not talking about the thin 1 ply toilet paper that feels like sandpaper and makes you wonder if you need stitches. Nope, I’m talking about the high quality, soft 2 ply goodness that we’ve grown to expect. While I keep toilet paper on reserve in my supply closet, I like to limit excessive use of toilet paper by keeping a set supply in each bathroom in a toilet paper holder and storage. After placing these in my bathrooms, I’ve found that guests use less toilet paper when they see how much is available in the storage bin for their stay.
Why You Need One:
- Dresses up the bathroom.
- Guests don’t have to search for toilet paper under the sink or elsewhere when they finish a roll.
- Decreases overconsumption of toilet paper.
Something like this holder and storage would work perfectly. If you’re looking for something more cost effective, Ross and TJ Maxx/Marshall’s also have great selections that are relatively inexpensive.
WiFi Video Doorbell
Video doorbells are a great tool to add to your hosting toolbox because they provide an extra layer of security. They’re also helpful to understand what’s happening in front of your house. If you have a guest who needs to check-in while you’re away, they can ring the doorbell and chat with you remotely. You can provide them with the door code as well at this time. (I like to provide codes via e-mail a few days prior to their arrival, but do whatever process works best for you.)
Why You Need One:
- An extra layer of security while you’re away. If someone rings your doorbell, you can view who is standing at your door and use the voice feature.
- View the front of the house to see how many cars are parked outside. (ie: Ensure there are no large group gatherings)
- Communicate with guests remotely when they check-in.
Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell
After hearing rave reviews about Ring from several of my friends, I finally bought the Ring Video Doorbell and I love it. It’s a great option not only for Airbnb hosting, but general purposes as well.
Ring also has a cloud storage option for your videos.
Zmodo Greet WiFi Video Doorbell – Zmodo is significantly cheaper than Ring, but still has quite a few features that makes this a great candidate.
Zmodo does not offer cloud storage, but comes with 8 GB built-in storage.
Check out this post by Wirelessdoorbellreview.com for a complete comparison of Ring vs Zmodo.
Hosting doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Not only can you use these products to save yourself money in the long-run, these purchases are also tax deductible when used for your business. Win-win!
If you’re currently a host, let me know some of your “go to” products that help make hosting easier.