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You Can’t Spy on Your Airbnb Guests… or Can You?
Airbnb is becoming increasingly popular, and it booked over 100 million stays in 2017. With the ease of booking, the affordable cost of staying, and the experience of being immersed into the local environment, Airbnb has become a fierce competitor in the hospitality world.
25% of travelers will stay at least once in an Airbnb, and that number is on the rise. However, there is a darker side to Airbnb that not a lot of people talk about.
As an owner of a short-term rental property, you’re trusting your place to someone you’ve never met. The money comes to the owner upfront, but not knowing the guests means that the property could be left in ruin.
This is an issue that many owners of short-term properties face, and they are looking everywhere in hopes for a solution. Thankfully, a solution may not be as expensive or crazy as
one might think. IoT (Internet of Things) devices are a great way to monitor what is happening within an Airbnb property.
Is spying on Airbnb guests legal?
Airbnb guests have voiced a concern with the privacy of the Airbnb listings they are staying in. Since hotels do not regulate them, guests don’t know whether there have been cameras or other security devices installed.
There are laws in place in the United States for Airbnb regulation. Cameras and other security devices cannot be installed in the private quarters like bathrooms and bedrooms.
However, it is perfectly legal to install cameras in the common areas like living rooms, hallways, and kitchens. Regardless of these laws, no one wants to tiptoe around their Airbnb because they fear the owner is spying on them.
Using IoT devices isn’t the same as installing security cameras - it isn’t spying at all.
After receiving a few too many calls of complaint from their neighbors, owners start to fear for the worst with their rental property. Disrespecting the short-term rental property is unfortunately something that happens far too often, and many owners are fed up with it.
Is there a way to spy on your Airbnb guests without actually spying? It turns out there might be.
How the Devices Work
IoT devices can be used to track certain parameters in the home and alert the owner to unusual activity.
GreenMe’s smart cube tracks things like noise level, air quality, temperature, and humidity levels of the home. It does not record conversations, video, or anything else that would be an invasion of privacy.
What’s smart about this smart device is that it connects the owner of the home to the guests without interference. It also allows the owner to see any discrepancies that may be happening: when a guest reports only two people are staying over but the noise level indicates there are far more, for example.
Not only does this help the owners of Airbnb properties to make sure their property is being respected, but it can also improve the guests’ experience while staying there. It can alert owners to potential problems within the property, like a room heavy with road noise, or the air quality being bad in one area of the home.
These IoT devices can help owners make the property more conducive to the environment of their renters.
Devices like this smart cube are becoming popular in all areas of hospitality and even small property owners can use the service. Using an IoT device can bring your rental that much closer to becoming a “smart home” type of property.
It can be nerve wracking for those staying at your property to feel like they are being watched but staying in a property that is smarter with technology can make your guests feel more at home.
Since it doesn’t invade the privacy of users, a smart device like GreenMe’s cube doesn’t legally need to be mentioned in an Airbnb listing. However, alerting potential guests that the home is equipped with smart features can be beneficial to both guests and owners alike.
Renting out a property for the short-term is never easy, and not knowing how a property will be treated can be a frightening experience. Spying or using cameras within a property is not the answer - but gathering environmental data to help keep your property safe, neighbors happy and guests satisfied is a solution that everyone can live with.