Gadgets to Manage Your Rental Remotely

This guest post is by Beth Stockwell at the Home Away Community.

texting   Though some owners and property managers live reasonably close to their vacation rentals, there are many that live a long drive, or even a flight, away. Rest assured that in today’s technologically advanced world, there are so many gadgets that can help you manage everything from the comfort of your primary home! From programmable lights to keyless entry, you can kick back while still collecting mailbox money from your vacation rental. Some of our favorite gadgets include:

1. Keyless entry
Lockitron is an example of one company that has created keyless entry via phone. You can grant or revoke access immediately, and the system lets you know when battery is low. You can also set it to alert you whenever the door has been unlocked.

2. Programmable sprinkler system
Say goodbye to yellow, parched garden beds and lawns! There’s no need to monitor your yard when you set up a programmable sprinkler system. If you live in a wet area, you can select a system that automatically turns off if it rains.

3. Remote thermostat by Nest
This nifty thermostat learns the temps you like, turns itself down when you're away, and has remote control through Wi-Fi. Teach it well and Nest can lower your heating and cooling bills up to 20%. With Auto-Away™, Nest automatically turns to an energy-efficient Away temperature when you’re gone. This Nest exclusive works in 90% of homes, even if it’s in a spot you don’t pass on your way out the door.

4. Security cameras
Set up security cameras that feed to your computer or phone to monitor your home, garbage cans, or yard. If your guests are uncomfortable with cameras in the home, just allow them to unplug them in when they arrive, and replug them in before they leave.

5. Programmable lights
Even neighbors won’t know when your rental is empty or occupied with programmable outdoor and indoor lights. You can choose between motion sensors or time-based light systems.

Do you have other tips and tricks for managing your rental remotely? Share your thoughts with other owners and property managers by starting a new discussion on Community.
Community was created to cater to vacation rental owners and managers from around the globe who are interested in sharing valuable information, exchanging experiences, and bonding with others who share the same questions about the vacation rental industry. We encourage you to explore the site, complete with forums and discussion groups enabling you to seek advice, get answers, and optimize your vacation rental business.

Gabriel Avalos

This post is really useful! in Spain is hardest to find this gadgets, USA is the paradise for them…however, about the keys we have a funny method, sometimes we need to leave the keys with the bar/restaurant manager.
Many thanks for your help!

    Heather Bayer

    Thanks for your comment Gabriel. There are so many ways of making a property accessible – we find with our vacation rental agency that the higher the price of the rental, the more relaxed our owners seem to be. We have a budget property where the owner has a lock box with a key to access another lock box which gives up the key to the property, and a high-end villa where the owner leaves the key in the BBQ! I love the idea of having remote access to an entry system, but we don’t have a cell phone signal at our own place so it wouldn’t work

Steve Young

Managing inquiries and doing bookings can sometimes be a problem when away from our properties. However we use a program called “logmein” to access our home computer and can do all our transactions directly from there. It’s a great little program and very useful too.

    Heather Bayer

    Hi Steve

    That’s a great tip. We use logmein too when we are away from the office to manage our rental management business. It is a very useful tool. Here’s the link for anyone interested in taking a look.

Michelle Howe

We go one step further with the keyless entry. Not only is the lock controlled remotely by our computer, but each guest has a unique pin code for the entry lock that is only good during their stay. Our cleaning service has their own code too.

I also discovered a way to get electronic signatures on my contracts by using the free services of I simply load up the contract to the website, electronically sign the document, then the website sends an email to my guest asking them to sign the contract. Both parties can download a PDF of the contract for their records. It’s super easy to use.


We use Kwikset Motorized WiFI locks with the Mi Casa Verde Lite to access the codes form the web or the iPhone. We also use Filtrete Radio Thermostats which are WiFI enabled for $99 from Home Depot and no monthly fee. They work great. Programmable and accessible form your iPhone or Droid or computer.


Wow this is cool one I love it. Thanks for this information now I can maximize other way in this business. I also want to share something, I just finished reading ” “Profits In Real Estate Rentals by Evelina Mannarino” and it gave me lots if ideas on how to get started in real estate.

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