According to a market report from Redfin, demand for vacation homes increased 87% in January 2022 compared to pre-COVID levels. Compare this with the demand for primary residences over the same period — up only 42%. This presents an excellent opportunity for integrators to sell smart locks.
There are many reasons why the popularity of vacation properties is on the rise. Owning a vacation home can be a source of rental property income. A vacation home can also serve as a regular and easy destination for weekend getaways or extended stays for the owners, their family, and fortunate friends.
Also, during these pandemic times, with more people working from home, more people are looking for an alternate workspace in a relaxing location. In fact, during stressful times in general, people often seek out a place to get away from it all — and buying a vacation property can fit the bill.
One thing this vacation property should not be is a source of additional stress. That kind of defeats the purpose. This is where smart lock dealers can enter the equation. Securing that vacation property with connected smart locks is a great way to help owners leave stress behind.
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A Vacation From Keys
Now more than ever, when convenience and concerns about physical contact are top of mind, hands-free handoff may be very appealing to property owners and their renters.
With a connected smart lock in place and remote locking and unlocking controlled through a smartphone, property owners no longer have to take the time to come to the property to physically give someone a key.
Nor do they have to put a key in a storage locker, hide a key in a shrub, or use a fake key-hiding rock. They can open the door remotely, from anywhere, as well as give their renters a personal user code to enter the home.
But the benefits of being keyless for both the owner and renter don’t stop there:
- Fear of losing keys and having to constantly swap out hardware can be a thing of the past.
- If there is frequent resident turnover, owners don’t have to ever make new keys.
- Management companies, often used by homeowners to find renters, hire and work with service people, and oversee the property, can be given their own user code or access to the smart lock app.
- If and when repairs are needed, the service people can be given their own time-sensitive user codes. Neither the owner nor the resident has to be at home to let the contractor inside.
- Keeping the property clean is extremely important these days. A 2020 report by Breezeway Property Care found that “66% of professional managers think cleanliness and safety are the most important considerations at booking, beating out location and price.” Giving cleaning service pros their own time-sensitive user code is an easy and secure way to ensure that the property stays pristine, and every property stay meets renters’ standards.
Enjoying the Information Trail
Perhaps just as important as convenience is the peace of mind rental property owners get by knowing who is coming from and going to their property, and when.
The information provided by the smart lock to their phones and tablets lets them monitor lock usage and status. No matter how far from their property they may be, owners will have an information trail of all the activity around their door lock.
Tracking and reporting for a given week, or for end-of-the-year purposes are important jobs made a lot easier with all the relevant information at the owner’s fingertips.
A Smarter Destination
As stated earlier, the vacation rental market is highly competitive, especially for the most desired destinations. Standing out on the Airbnb website, VRBO or one of the many other vacation getaway listing resources is challenging and essential.
In combination with any one of the dozens of home automation hubs, smart locks can become a central part of a complete home automation system — one that can give rental property owners a competitive advantage over other property options in a given area.
The smart lock can even bring control of the home’s automation system directly to the front door. So renters not only have the convenience and security of a smart lock but can potentially control the home’s entire smart-device ecosystem — including lighting, heating, cooling, A/V, smart doorbells, cameras, and more — through the lock and home automation hub. This can be an enticing benefit to potential renters.
Of course, the owner of the smart vacation property also has the advantage of being able to control the lock and all the other devices remotely from their smart device.
In so doing, they can set up scenarios for guests when they arrive, including welcoming lights on, shades closed or raised, and thermostat adjusted to an ideal temperature. And when guests leave, the owners can make sure the house is locked and secure, all the smart devices are set to lower utility costs and, if desired, make it appear as if the home is occupied.
An Ideal Smart Lock for Every Home
Most homeowners want products, including smart locks, that suit their style and complement their existing décor. Fortunately, many of today’s smart locks are offered in a range of finishes and styles. For example, Kwikset offers some sleek, capacitive touchscreen locks with defined illumination that not only offer the convenience of one-touch locking but also deliver enhanced aesthetics.
There are also smart locks to suit every budget, as well as smart lock conversion kits for vacation homeowners who want to quickly and easily transform an existing mechanical lock into a smart lock and keep the outer décor. This is certain to please homeowners who don’t want to change the look of their current hardware.
Smart Locks Work Hard for Dealers
By understanding and communicating the benefits of smart locks to owners of vacation properties, smart lock dealers can open the door to a lot more home automation businesses, even from existing customers.
Smart locks are not only an essential element of a vacation home’s security system, but as pointed out, they can be a centerpiece of an entire home automation system and lead to myriad connected device sales. And more connected device sales can mean more revenue for smart lock dealers, less stress, and maybe some well-deserved vacation time!