Owners are often given advice on how to optimize their property for bookings, but one of the most important factors, security, is rarely discussed. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to increase the safety of your guests and your property.
1. Be Cautious with Photos
When creating a listing you’ll want to display professional photos to attract guests, but be careful about including pictures that show your address. Potential guests need to know many things about your property before booking, but the address isn’t one of them. They can see how amazing your home is without knowing the house number.
2. Never Say the Property Is Empty
Unfortunately, putting a “For Rent” sign outside your property can sometimes attract the wrong people. It’s best to advertise online, especially on trusted listing sites.
3. Keep Some Lights On
Experienced owners and caretakers always make sure to leave a few interior and exterior lights on in between bookings. Increasingly owners are opting for smart home controls that allow them to switch the lights off and on remotely. For your home's exterior, motion sensor lights are an effective and inexpensive option.
4. Keep the Yard Tidy Having a great landscaper is a great way to not only ensure that you get more bookings, but that your property is safe as well. The lawn should be mowed regularly, snow should be shoveled from driveways and sidewalks, and flyers and mail should be removed regularly to give the appearance of a home that’s lived in full-time.
5. Invest in a Great Lock
Never hide a spare key under a potted plant, doormat, windowsill, or rock. This is the first place an intruder will look. Invest in a lock box with a code that you can change regularly. Increasingly, owners are forgoing traditional locks for smart locks because they increase security and make it easier for guests to access the property. No matter which lock you choose, it’s important to reiterate to guests and your caretaker that all doors and windows should be locked after leaving.
6. Install an Alarm System
One of the most effective ways of keeping your property and guests safe is having an alarm system installed. Not only will this deter intruders, but it will give your guests a peace of mind as well.
7. Provide Emergency Contact Information
Even if your guests never have a security issue, providing local emergency numbers is always appreciated. A flyer or magnet on the fridge with contact info for the local fire department, police department, and poison control can be extremely useful if an emergency comes up.