Owning a property for rent is a sound investment many prefer, but it also comes with specific responsibilities like vacation rental safety. Even if your property is far from where you are currently, it does not mean that you cannot always monitor it remotely to make sure it is secure.
There are various measures you can perform to guarantee the safety of your property even when it is not in current use. Here are some of them.
- Update the alarms
- Maintain a lived-in look
- Plumbing is a key in rental vacation safety
- Weather-proof your property
- Secure your door locks
- Use smart home technology
- Utilize an owner’s closet
- Hire your property manager
- Have a list of contractors you trust
- Use a rental management software
- Organize a lockdown plan
- Register for vacation home police checks
- Final Thoughts
Update the alarms
Home security has become more advanced in recent years, but nothing beats the tried and tested alarms explicitly manufactured for house use. For instance, fire, burglary, and carbon monoxide alarms all serve different functions but ultimately work together to ensure vacation rental safety. These systems are not only lifesavers but can help you protect your property from extensive damage.
However, these alarms will also run out of battery or experience malfunction at some point, which is why it is essential to have everything checked regularly. Make sure to replace batteries to prevent the alarm from switching to a low-battery beep mode. The sound will likely be annoying to hear for your guests and could lead them to leave a bad review.
Maintain a lived-in look
Some off-peak days will see your vacation rental empty for days (or even weeks). However, no one must know that the property is unoccupied in the meantime. A key strategythat vacation homeowners use is to maintain a lived-in appearance throughout the year. Hiring a trusted cleaning service or housekeeper can be one of the best ways to achieve the look.
Keeping the property clean even without occupants is a must, especially if you get bookings on short notice. Hiring a housekeeping service is a necessary investment for property owners because it will help bring your vacation rental to life.
Plumbing is a key in rental vacation safety
If your property is situated in zones where temperatures drop to extreme levels, then it is essential to ensure plumbing upkeep or risk the dangers of frozen pipes. Water that freezes inside hoses and pipes increases the plumbing system pressure, which will eventually affect the pressure along with other areas. It could lead to burst pipes that damage the entire property’s water system.
There are many ways to secure the plumbing of your vacation home. One of the simplest yet often overlooked ways is to disconnect the garden hose and drain it completely before the cold season comes around. Keep your drainage systems and pipes unblocked to ensure that water pressure always remains at an average level.
Weather-proof your property
Weather changes periodically, but there is always a pattern where you can base home upgrades to combat heavy downpours, thunderstorms, or even snow. For example, if your vacation rental is in a hurricane-prone area, having heavy-duty doors and using hurricane window film or shutters installed to be able to stand up to strong winds is good practice both for your business and for your guests. Storm-ready garage doors are also an excellent option for homes that are in places with inclement weather.
Insulation is another measure for winter-proofing your vacation home, making sure that your guests will stay warm even during the coldest of days. Having your property ready for any weather situation is crucial so that guests will feel safe and keep coming back.
Secure your door locks
If you are having your second home rented for vacationers, switching locks after every guest’s stay will help up your security. Traditional keys can easily be duplicated and open the same locks if you do not make a habit of replacing occasionally. It poses the danger of future burglaries, especially if you get guests that use this tactic as a modus operandi.
You can consider getting a keypad lock for your doors, which you can change number combinations after every booking. A smart lock can do wonders in managing your vacation rental safety because it is not easy to crack down codes, and you can change the code remotely for each booking. You can also have a wireless video doorbell installed to help you monitor or answer the front door remotely through your computer or phone.
Use smart home technology
Speaking of investing in security, upgrading to smart home technology is another viable option that will help you worry less about your long-distance vacation rental. In today’s landscape, there are so many new technologies such as security cameras, smart thermostats and lighting, and infrared motion sensors. There is a long list of automation systems you can apply to your vacation rental to make it more secure.
However, make sure to inform the guests before accommodating them at your property because some people can be protective of their privacy. If you use listing platforms like Rental Trader, make sure to include this information to avoid complications later on—they have to know that some areas in the house are monitored, but also assure them that it is for their safety and no other reason.
Utilize an owner’s closet
While everything in your property is considered valuable since you invested in them, it is ideal to have a secure closet that holds items you do not want vacationing tenants to use. You can also use a separate cabinet or drawer for appliances that are available for use but should be stored when there are no guests. This way, you protect your sundries from unnecessary damage due to extreme weather or stolen in cases of break-ins.
Additionally, never store valuable heirlooms or jewelry in the owner’s closet for that matter. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your property.
Hire your property manager
Having a trustworthy contact to look after your property and do checks regularly can guarantee your vacation rental safety. They specialize in keeping your rental in excellent condition for the next guest. A local team can ensure that your property is safe from burglary, fire, and other unprecedented incidents that can happen at any time.
Not only do property management teams do drive-by and site visits, but they also know which areas can be improved to earn additional income from your rental business. With their expertise, they know what works in the market, ensuring that you get the most out of your vacation home.
Have a list of contractors you trust
For long-distance vacation properties, you need to create your network of quality contractors whom you can call anytime should there be a need for repairs or upgrades. You can organize your local maintenance team consisting of an electrician, plumber, gardener, or handyman that you can depend on to work on your house even if you cannot physically be there. If you invest in a home warranty for rental property, then they might cover some repair services but it is always better to have your own contractors.
You can make arrangements early on, informing them that you do not live nearby but would like them to be a point of contact if the need arises. They will be capable of responding to a situation quickly because they are already within the area where your rental is.
Use a rental management software
Managing a long-distance property used to be a considerable challenge, but today’s technologies make it a lot more accessible. Automation lets you keep your rental business under control straight from your PC or phone. Even if you cannot physically be there, the software will help keep things organized for you.
Rental management software can help you maintain operations while also ensuring that you get your booking calendar systematized.
Organize a lockdown plan
It is essential to have a contingency plan for any untoward incident that could happen. You cannot be too prepared when it comes to your vacation rental safety. A lockdown plan will help you secure your property and ensure that you can respond to catastrophes quickly. No one wants to think about it, but that does not mean you should not plan for extreme circumstances.
Having a lockdown plan helps you maintain business activities and reduce adverse effects on your operations. It will also ensure that you can calmly respond to the incident and be guided on the decisions that should be taken for a specific situation.
Register for vacation home police checks
Coordinate with the local police near your vacation rental in setting up regular checks on your perimeter. While this procedure is usually offered to homeowners who leave for vacation, it could also work for your vacation rental, but there are different terms for every locale. It is ideal to discuss the details with the local station.
These police checks ensure that your property is safe since they quickly recognize any unusual behavior or incident in your area.
If you are new to remote management of your vacation home, it is going to be a challenge, but there are so many methods you can use to secure your investment effectively. It is not mandatory to give your physical presence when welcoming guests but placing security measures will keep them at-ease in your vacation home.
If you have already listed your vacation properties on Rental Trader, you can reach out to us to know when it is the right time to schedule upgrades to improve your property’s security. Please fill up the web form on our contact page so we can get back to you in no time!