If you haven’t considered upgrading your vacation rental home’s security, then now is the right time to do some serious thinking.
The best vacation rental home shouldn’t only make its guests comfortable and at ease; it should also make them feel safe. Without a good security plan, there’s a good chance you will not only lose potential guests, but that you’ll also put your property at risk.
To prevent those things from happening, use this list of security options for vacation rental homes. As it covers both basic and advanced options, you won’t have a hard time finding one that will fit your needs.
The essentials: Have the basic security measures.
1. Know your neighbors.
We may sound like an old, broken record, but your neighbors are essential when it comes to your vacation home safety. If you’re not using a local property manager that is constantly checking on the property, you’ll have to rely on your neighbors to tell you if someone is meddling on your property when it’s supposed to be empty. Inform them of your rental schedule, and let them know that it’s okay to call the police or local authorities in case of an emergency.
2. Don’t leave your curtains up when your rental home is empty.
For single family homes, leaving your curtains up when nobody is home can essentially be an invitation for burglars. Aside from giving intruders a clear view of what’s in stall for them inside, it can also give them a chance to survey the best ways to move around the house.
If you want natural light inside your home, leave the curtains on your second floor open. If the property is occupied, ask your guests to do the same at night.
3. Orient your guests.
Although guests pay for their stay in your property, they are still bound to follow your rules. Provide them with clear security instructions, such as locking the doors at all times. When explaining, however, make sure not to overdo it. You don’t want to cause your guests unnecessary panic or worry.
For the more advanced: Invest in these security essentials.
4. Replace traditional locks with deadbolts.
As they are extremely vulnerable to lock picking and strong force, traditional locks may no longer be effective in keeping burglars out of your home. For added security, invest in deadbolt locks instead. They are installed deeper into your door frame to provide extra resistance in case someone strikes it.
5. Add motion-activated lights.
Because burglars tend to be suspicious of a single light that’s constantly turned on, try installing motion-activated lights. Aside from startling possible intruders, these lights can create the impression that someone is home. They can even help alert your neighbors if someone is wandering on your lawn.
6. Install smart lights in your vacation home.
Smart lights near the front and back doors will help improve the visibility in these areas. You can also program your lights to turn on and off during specific hours to help you save on your electricity bill. Set the lights to mimic your natural lighting pattern, so when an intruder decides to enter, it’ll appear as if someone is at home.
For the security experts: Upgrade your security game.
7. Add an alarm system.
Having a security system for your property can dramatically decrease your chances of falling victim to burglary. Because robbers tend to steer away from homes that would risk their identities, they’d often rather move on to a less risky target.
Although an alarm system can help keep your home safe, your guests may not always see it the same way. Go out of your way to let them know that the extra security is for their own good and not an intrusion of their privacy.
Even with the best home security, guests may still feel uncomfortable walking around the house knowing that someone could be watching them. While concealing cameras and other security devices is one way to address this concern, there are laws that prohibit such actions.
Visible security devices may likewise trigger the impression that your home or neighborhood isn’t safe enough. Communicate with your guests to inform them of the security devices in your home, and give them an honest overview of your neighborhood’s safety.
Before deciding on what security system is right for your home, do a home security systems comparison first.
This will help you understand the pros and cons of each system type while giving you a better idea of ways to ensure safely without sacrificing your guests’ privacy.
8. Consider getting a surveillance camera.
To avoid making guests uncomfortable, most vacation rental homeowners install security cameras outdoors. This provides home protection without compromising guest privacy. Because most surveillance cameras today can be controlled remotely, you can conveniently adjust your camera setting depending on your needs.
If adding a real camera is out of the equation, try setting up decoy cameras instead. Most people won’t be able to easily tell the difference between a real and fake camera—especially if it’s perched high on your wall.
When setting decoy cameras, place them in areas where they can easily be noticed.
9. Invest in a smart lock.
Smart locks are great addition to any vacation rental home. Because this type of lock provides keyless entry, you’ll be able to monitor who goes in your home and when.
It’s also convenient to have since you can elect to give guests permanent or temporary access. Once your guests’ stay in your property is up, easily remove their access to your home.
With so many security options that work well with vacation rental homes, make your guests feel safe by properly orienting them (and the people taking care of your property) with your security measures. While security devices work well in preventing intrusions, awareness is still one of your best weapons.