September 08, 2017

Thanks for the Hospitality

Digital transformation has disrupted the lodging business in a big way. Companies like Airbnb and VRBO provide homeowners with a quick and easy way to gain rental income from their investment properties or their own dwellings when they’re not in use.

But while these companies provide an interface through which renters can locate them and schedule their visits, they leave the rest of the property owners. And managing the frequent comings and goings of visitors, and making sure those renters are using the properties responsibly, can be a whole lot of work.

Roomonitor can help with that.

The companyenables property owners and managers to equip their short-term rental properties with sensors.(Customers can opt to install the sensors, or Roomonitor can do it for them.) And it provides a service through which users can get information from those sensors indicating things like:

• when people are inside a rental unit,

• when they have left a room or exited the building,

• whether doors or windows are open, and

• whether the renters are exceeding a reasonable sound threshold.

Being able to do climate control can help property owners save money. And understanding when things get loud can help property owners avoid conflicts with neighbors.

Customers can use the platform to set alerts and trigger preset actions when certain events happen. That way Roomonitor customers don’t have to constantly monitor the platform.

Prices for the Roomonitor solution vary by the size and type of deployment. But the sound sensors cost around 149 Euros, varying based on volume. And the Roomonitor platform and control capability sells for 7 Euros per unit per month.

Ignacio “Nacho” Suarez, CEO of Roomonitorsays customers that use the company’s solution can realize 50 percent energy savings, see a return on their investment within two to three months, and prevent their short-term rental properties from having to shut down entirely due to neighbor noise complaints.

There are 2,000 rentals in 17 cities in Europe equipped with the company’s solution. These rentals are located primarily in the southern part of Europe.

The short-term rental industry is growing fast, says Suarez. In Barcelona alone, where Roomonitor is based, there are about 60,000 beds in legal short-term rentals, he says.

A July 2016 report by AHV Associates indicates there were 6.1 million vacation rental properties in Europe and the U.S. last year, generating revenue of $85 billion. And it said that in Europe, two thirds of the vacation rental market tends to be for rent by owner and onethird is managed by property managers.

That’s why Roomonitor started out catering to the short-term rental market.

But later this year Roomonitor expects to launch additional Internet of Things solutions aimed at hotels. These larger-scale solutions will allow for hotel room climate control and energy usage. And they will help hotels understand who’s in the hotel at any given time.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

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