Security tips for your vacation home
A vacation home in a popular destination such as Orlando is an excellent way to earn some extra monthly income. If you’re a vacation rental property owner, there are several things you need to consider to make it a highly profitable business. Protecting your valuable investment should be a primal consideration. You want to have peace of mind knowing that your guests are comfortable and safe. You also don’t want your vacation property to be a liability to you or to your vacation rental management company. It beats logic to keep worrying about break-ins, burglary and fire outbreaks. Right? The question then is, how do you protect your vacation home? How can you use the advances in technology to protect your home and give your guest a superb experience? Keep these tips in mind to prevent trespassing, vandalism, fire, or even burglary at your Orlando vacation property. 1. Install a Smart Home Security System & Surveillance Cameras The best way to protect your Orlando vacation home is to install a monitored security surveillance system. It will help you, and your guests, sleep peacefully at night. Consider installing a smart home security system that allows remote video surveillance and control via a smartphone app. This will allow you or your property management company to check on your property in real-time. From anywhere, anytime! This capability is especially important if your vacation property is not within your driving distance. A smart home security system arms or disarms the system directly from your phone. It obviates the need to share your security code with multiple parties. You can disarm it remotely when you have renters and arm it at the end of their stay. Typically, a vacation home surveillance system will allow you to: • Monitor your property remotely anytime. • Motion notification updates in case of a trespass between in-stays. • 2-way audio to wade off intruders verbally. • Night vision that will monitor and alert you or your vacation management company in case of intrusion. • Smart motion-activated cameras to document any vandalism or intruders. • Security sensors on first level windows and doors (possible entry points) will alert your property management company of possible forced entry. Incorporating latest technology in your home security will, certainly, earn you points on online listing websites such as Airbnb and HomeAway.com. By adding a “Smart Home Technologies” header, your vacation rental home can attract up to 60% of online renters who prefer vacation homes with smart home features. 2. Try smart locks Smart locks are a necessity in any vacation home. Smart locks will completely remove the need for a key. Consider this, a vacation home in Orlando will possibly be having several guests weekly. Imagine having to give the vacation home keys to every guest. There is a huge possibility of the keys falling into the wrong hands, or even worse, someone duplicating them. With smart locks, all you need is a keypad and an app on your smartphone. You can generate unique codes for every guest. A smart lock will allow you to lock your house anytime, monitor who comes into your home or give timed access to your guests that expires at the end of their stay. Smart locks coupled with other automated check-in systems will make it super-easy for guests to access your Orlando vacation home without the need to check-in with your vacation home management company. Make sure that all doors are locked every time guest leave the house. 3. Install Smart smoke detectors. While a smoke detector will not keep off intruders from your vacation home, it is an important component that will ensure you have some peace of mind. You can sleep easy knowing that in case of a fire, your smoke detectors will automatically send an alert to the vacation management company or emergency services. Such alert would reduce major losses on your vacation property by drastically reducing the response time. You can minimize fire risks by: • Hiring a professional to inspect your chimneys, heating systems, and fuel-burning appliances. • Testing carbon dioxide and smoke detectors and alarms. Be sure to replace the batteries. • Have your property management company unplug electronics and appliances between stay-ins. 4. Lock up your valuables If you often use your vacation home between in-stays, it’s likely that you have a few valuables there. From jewelry to a fully stocked liquor cabinet that you don’t want your guests to go through. To avoid possible loss of your items, consider having them under lock and key. You can invest in a good lock that has sensors. The sensors can alert you or your vacation management company in case someone gets into something they shouldn’t be. You could also lock up your valuables in waterproof, fireproofs safes. 5. Maintain a Lived-in facade A seemingly empty home will invite trouble from miles away. Burglars will often look for exterior cues as a tip-off for break-ins. Here are a few ways to throw-off possible intrusions if your vacation rental property will be laying empty for a while: • Maintain your yard: Trim the grass and keep the yard neat and tidy. You can hire a property management company to do regular yard maintenance. • Keep lawn equipment, tools, ladders, and other valuable items locked away in a shed, basement or garage. • Don’t leave your car outside your vacation property to collect dust. • Open curtains on your first floor just enough to give an impression that someone is home. • Avoid signage in front of your house that screams empty or looking for renters. • Use timed lights: A dark house is an easy target for burglary. Install timed lights that will go on/off automatically at timed intervals. You can also install a smart lighting system that can allow you control your lights from your phone between in-stays. Consult with your vacation home management property on what option is best for your property. • If you’re listing your house online for renting, avoid giving front views of your house from across the street that gives too much. Pictures with house numbers can be used by burglars to locate your empty house, and possibly lead to break-ins. 6. Know your neighbors Good neighbors are the best security system. If you have a rental property in Orlando, take time to know your neighbors. However old-fashioned it looks, neighbors will be the real deterrent to break-ins. Good neighbors will be your eyes and ears on the ground. Invite them over for a barbecue or stop by with a batch of cookies. Additionally, you can find someone you trust to keep an eye on your property between in-stays. Leave them with your contact – or that of your property management company – in case they ever need to reach you. If you don’t have neighbors, consider hiring a vacation property management company to look after your vacation home. In Orlando, you can also join the Neighborhood Watch (NW), an organized group of citizens that is devoted to preventing vandalism within the area. 7. Keep your guests safe Give your guests the tools to keep them safe. This will allow them to have a great experience at your Orlando rental property, without second-guessing if their valuables and property are safe and secure. Some of the measures you can take include: • Invest in a good safe. This will give your guests some peace of mind by letting them store their valuables such as cash and passports safely. Having a safe for your guests is also a great selling point and would possibly get some return bookings and referrals. • Provide them with emergency contact information. This could be your number, that of local authorities, fire department, or that of your property management company. 8. Orientate your guests Be sure to inform your guests about some of the security measures installed on your vacation property in Orlando. This can include letting them know about your surveillance system, smoke detectors, prohibited areas, among others. Encourage them to keep windows and doors locked, close blinds when away, and store valuables out of sight. Make sure you don’t overdo it, otherwise you’d be causing your them unnecessary worry and panic. Take the Next Smart Step When it comes to vacation rental property, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Taking the above precautions will help make sure everything runs smoothly. Taking appropriate security measures will protect your investments. Having some of these security and safety measures in place will also give your guests a relaxing, safe, home-away experience. Remember, great experiences lead to a satisfied guest who will leave good ratings, increase return bookings and referrals. Ultimately, this will increase your profitability and reduce the chances of filing expensive insurance claims. If you own a vacation property in Orlando, we can help you figure the best security measures for your vacation rental property. We are a vacation property management company based in Orlando. Talk to us today or book a consultation. It’s absolutely free!