28 Oct 2019
If you’re a vacation rental home host, chances are you’ve been concerned about the safety of your home. Of course, while guests are there, but also when the house is empty. You’ve spent a lot of time perfecting your property—from the furniture to the marketing, and you don’t want anything to harm your home. To help keep your property safe and secure, we’ve listed a few different tips on how to protect your vacation rental home, below. From keeping guests safe during their stay, to protecting the home when it’s empty, we’ve got what you need to keep your property in top form.
When the House is Empty
Don’t List the Exact Address
One of the most important tips we can give you on how to protect your vacation rental home, deals with your online presence. When you’re advertising your property online, you must make sure that the exact location is not online. You don’t want to provide the specific address or even show the exact location. If you do, you run the risk of a thief targeting and finding your property easier.
Turn on Some Lights
When no one is home, whether a guest is booked and just not around, or you’re in between bookings, make sure that some lights are left turned on. If a guest is only gone for a short time during the day, that’s fine, but make sure they know to keep a few lights turned on if they’ll be gone most of the night. In between guests’ stays, make sure you take the time to leave lights on in the home. If you’re not around your properties, you can set up the lights in your home on a timer and have a few switched on in the evening. You can also try motion sensor lights, as they give troublemakers fewer places to hide.
Talk to Neighbors
This may be difficult if you have a property that’s located a bit further from neighbors, but it’s important to do nonetheless. Having an extra pair of eyes looking out for your property can do a lot for keeping the home safe. An outdoor camera is essential for those homes away from neighbors but befriending a neighbor you can trust is another great security measure to take. Ask them to let you know if they see anyone suspicious, and make sure that they have your contact information if anything out of the ordinary occurs.
Invest in Secure Locks
Another important security measure you need to take with your home comes from the different locks that you use. Most vacation rentals use smart locks and various automated check-in systems, making it easier for them to get in and out of the home without having to meet the homeowners. If you have smart lock systems for your property, make sure to double check that doors and windows are locked when guests leave. Especially for those properties that don’t have smart lock systems, you’ll want to make sure to double check that all windows and doors are closed securely and locked tightly every time the property is alone.
Keep the Yard Clean
You probably do this for your own home when you go on vacation, so make sure to do it for your rental property as well. Keeping the yard maintained is one of those things that can make thieves know that this home is lived in. When you don’t keep your property cleaned and maintained, you run the risk of people thinking they can break in. Regularly mow the grass, water flowers, shovel the snow—whatever you need to do to keep the house looking presentable. This also means that mail and papers need to be picked up often as well—you want the house to look lived in. Reach out to neighbors if you don’t have time to get to the property yourself.
Install an Alarm System
Just like it’s important to have smart locking systems, you also need to ensure that you have a working alarm system as well. Make sure to use it! A lot of new rental owners make the mistake of not utilizing their alarm system because of the hassle it can be to guests. But trust us, it’s better that the home is safe than to run the risk of someone easily breaking in and you not being aware of it. These alarm systems are great for when the home is empty, or even when the guests are there—it adds an extra sense of security while they’re in a new place. You don’t want a negative review that people felt unsafe in your property!
Don’t Say It’s Empty
Our final tip on how to protect your vacation rental home when it’s empty is by making sure you never say that the home is empty. Whether this is online, or in front of the home with a “vacancy” or “for rent” sign, you don’t want to give people the thought that your property is empty and ready to be broken into. Even online, you don’t have to say that property is empty while waiting for guests—if there’s no one in the home at the time, make it look as though the property is booked and unavailable, rather than empty.
When the House is Occupied
Set Policies Upfront
When you’re protecting your property while there are guests inside, you need to make sure that you state the home’s policies upfront. This means that anything regarding the furniture, locking doors, quiet hours, and other safety measures are mentioned right away. When you have these policies available right from the get-go, you weed out those people who may have taken advantage of your property.
Offer a Safe for Guests
This is important both for guest safety, and for the home’s as well. If you offer a safe for guests to use, then you eliminate the chances of them putting their valuables out for show in front of a window. Guests will also appreciate the fact that you took the time to make sure their own valuables would be kept safe in the home.
Provide Contact Information
Finally, in the most basic sense, make sure that you provide contact information right off the bat. This ensures that if something goes awry with the guests, that they are able to contact you right away. It’s better to know that something broke or someone broke in, right away rather than when the police call to let you know what happened or when you get to the property when the guest leaves. Providing contact information for different services is also a great way to keep the property safe.
If you took the time to perfect your vacation rental home, and want help keeping it safe and secure, reach out to Exceptional Stays. A property management company of Telluride and around the world, we know how to keep your property secure and provide your guests with a stay they’ll always remember. Contact us now!