Like many, you may be using your second home as a part-time income generator, too — utilizing Airbnb, VRBO, or another platform to rent out your vacation home to other vacationers.
And maybe you’ve had a great run of good luck, but all it takes is one noisy set of short-term tenants, or one raucous party, for your fellow neighbors to be long-term irritated with you.
Over at the Mother Ship, we’ve written about NoiseAware before. After our Bethany Erickson wrote about neighbors fed up with a property owner who (they said) indiscriminately rented out a home in a residential area to people who liked to, shall we say, party, David Krauss and his business partner, Andrew Schulz, reached out to Candy’s Media to tell us about their product, which they feel is a boon to homeowners taking advantage of the short-term rental market — a noise detector that alerts a host when the noise level is reaching neighbor-irritating levels.
“I started my company, NoiseAware, in Dallas after a single partying Airbnb guest of mine ruined my rep with my neighbors,” Krauss told us in his email introduction. “That was two years ago when there were a few hundred Airbnb listings in Dallas. We’ve been partnered with HomeAway/VRBO for over a year now and are really making a difference in helping reduce the surging ‘neighbor nuisance issues.’”
“We like to call it a smoke detector for noise,” Krauss told Erickson. The device plugs into any electrical outlet, and after a fairly easy setup, begins churning out data for homeowners.
“It’s not my neighbors’ responsibility to be my noise detector,” Krauss said, adding that the NoiseAware device provides a way to monitor noise but still provide privacy to guests.
Krauss said that his search for a way to address potential problems before neighbors were annoyed enough to call police began with a bad experience with a short-term tenant.
“I love the short-term rental market,” he said. “I’m a lifer.”
But that bad experience cost him money (more than $30,000 to be exact), and peace of mind. “I went into this knowing I need to be a great neighbor,” he said. And so he began searching for a way to be a great neighbor, but still take part in the short-term rental market.
“I wanted to be the first to know there was a problem, not the last,” he said.
This week, the company celebrated its growth with a short-term rental meet up at its offices in the Quadrangle building. Among those ready to chat were Eric Moeller is the founder of Cohost Mastery and Homtel.io, Former Airbnb Executive David Owen, Krauss, and more.
They were also celebrating three new West Coast hires, including new head of sales Jay Klein. Also attending were actual users of the NoiseAware device.
Exactly how does the device work? And does it seem intrusive to would-be guests? Not at all, Krauss told Erickson last year.
The NoiseAware device, he said, “turns noise into data in a privacy-centered way.”
Once the device is installed (it can be screwed into the faceplate), it can connect to home Wi-Fi. It can be customized for quiet hours so a property owner can get alerts when decibels reach a certain level in the middle of the night, and property owners can also easily adjust the sensitivity of the device.
If the noise goes above those set thresholds, the owner gets a text.
The most common complaints about renters, Krauss said, center around noise, parking, and trash. Noise is the hardest to respond to for a property owner.
“Noise disappears,” he said. “But it also reduces the quality of life significantly.”
And as sites like Airbnb and HomeAway eliminate the barrier to entry when it comes to the hospitality market, more and more property owners are playing host to paying customers — but often without the supports and expertise a hotelier might have when it comes to customer service.
“We find that both the property owner and the guests appreciate the safeguard,” Krauss said, adding that they encourage customers to tell their guests about the monitoring device.
“We call it a hospitality moment — like the front desk of a hotel,” he said. “Our customers find that one of the best values is being able to show the guest that you are monitoring noise levels.”
“It’s like, ‘We want you to have an awesome stay, but we want to help keep you out of trouble with the neighbors, too.’ ”
“Guests are appreciative that there is a way to let them know discreetly,” he said.
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