June 29, 2020
Darren King

Guest Room Entertainment for Vacation Rentals

We have innovated for hotels, and now we have innovated for vacation rentals too.


Maximising the Potential of Vacation Rentals

It was March this year when I first wrote about the concept of ‘cutting the cord’. You can read my thoughts here on why now is the time to ditch those expensive cable TV packages. In that article I focussed exclusively on TV channel subscriptions in hotel rooms, as that’s the first place my mind would go to on this subject. This time though, I’m going to focus on vacation rentals. For those unclear on what I mean by vacation rentals, these are private residences let as short term, often through platforms such as AirBnB or VRBO. Now, I have decided it is time to let you know how ROOMNET have redressed the balance. As a trusted partner to the hospitality industry, these challenging times are what makes us our most innovative. We have innovated for hotels, and now we have innovated for vacation rentals too. I’d like to tell you a little more about how and importantly, why.

The recovery is on throughout the world. While we are not in a post COVID19 world we are certainly in a place where we are learning to live alongside COVID19. This ‘new normal’, as many people term it, presents a number of challenges for hotels across the globe. Opinion amongst industry experts suggests it is likely that the bounce back will be faster in vacation rentals such as AirBnB. This of course means that business travellers and holidaymakers could begin to choose vacation rentals over their favourite hotels. Some of them for the first time ever. Why will people choose vacation rentals over hotels though? It comes down to that favourite term of the COVID19 era, social distancing. I would assume now that everyone is familiar with the concept of social distancing, and as you can imagine, social distancing can be very hard to implement in a hotel. While vacation rentals do have some challenges, they are usually not as closely located as hotel rooms.

The Power of AirBnB

Platforms such as AirBnB have the ability to force a 1-day handover between guests. With vacation rentals being the preferred platform for those guests who are long stayers, the impact of a room laying fallow for over 24 hours is much less than that of a hotel room, which traditionally has a much higher turnover rate. As such, allowing the room to remain empty for 24+ hours between weekly or monthly occupiers is less harmful to the bottom line than the same scenario applied to 1-night guests. It also would be cynical of me to suggest that AirBnB can force this 24 hour empty period because it has less of a hit on their bottom line than a hotel… Just a thought! Of course, the aim of the 24-hour gap is both for stricter cleaning regimes, which may require a period of ventilation afterwards, and also providing a period where any surfaces remain untouched. The advantage here is any traces of virus present on them will be less likely to survive. The downside for owners of the apartments, condominiums and unique stays through vacation rental platforms is the increased cleaning costs. These increased cleaning costs, along with the loss of a small amount of revenue from the fallow periods, will leave them searching for other areas where costs can be reduced. Maybe I have an answer, but first, let’s look at how it’s done now.

Guest Room Entertainment in Vacation Rentals

When it comes to Guest Room Entertainment in Vacation rentals, the offering has always been quite home like. While this can seem familiar to guests, there are 3 main issues I’d like to touch on.
Security – There are three common ways that owners provide access to On Demand services such as Netflix or Disney +. Firstly, owners create and pay for an account at their property allowing all guests to use it. I’ve stayed in properties and seen this with my own eyes, see point 2 for why this is a terrible idea. Secondly you can allow a guest to login to a Smart TV app, but with no centralised management this means that the guest is completely reliant on the rental owners security practices, but also actually logging out of their account before they leave. Finally, you could use a Chromecast, but then the previous guest may (just for kicks) chose to alter the Chromecast home page and add their favourite picture (perhaps indecent) or just mess up the settings for fun, rendering it useless for the next guest!

Licensing – You may notice that if you dig into the licensing agreements, often known as a EULA, you will see that creating an account for a property, for multiple users to access is completely in violation of that agreement. I wouldn’t fancy trying to argue my case with one of these companies, would you?

Costs – The costs of providing access to app’s via the latest Smart TV’s or Set Top Boxes, a channel package (especially in North America, Canada and The Caribbean) plus all the accessories can be very costly. This high cost solution does provide a home like experience, however this still lacks the centralised management, monitoring or support associated with enterprise products.

How to Provide Netflix, Disney+ (and everything else!) in Vacation Rentals

As many of you know, our focus here at ROOMNET is our 4K Apple TV solution. This Guest Room Entertainment solution already brings the familiarity of Apple TV into the Hotel space. Well now we’ve brought it to Vacation Rentals too! Living with COVID19 brings increased costs and re-programmed guests. Guests with high expectations, based on hotel experiences and increased costs for delivering the highest hygiene standards. We can’t help you with cleaning, but we can lower your entertainment costs as well as help you stay legal, at least from a content perspective anyway. ROOMNET’s Managed Apple TV for Vacation Rentals maybe the answer. With centralised management, the ability to automate the clear down of passwords and downloads, plus access to all the apps and games a guest could ever need, ROOMNET is ready to help you bring the hotel-like experience to your vacation rental. More importantly…no more TV channel subscriptions to pay for!

Is Your Vacation Rental Ready for Guest Room Entertainment

If you are ready to save money and give that hotel-like entertainment experience to your guests as the new wave of travel begins, you can put ROOMNET to the test right away. Through our convenient webstore you can equip all of your properties with the latest in entertainment and content, for a simple low monthly payment. What are you waiting for? Head to the store now: I want Apple TV in my Vacation Rental! *Right now this solution is only available in the USA. Interested in bringing the ROOMNET experience to a vacation rental outside the USA? Get in touch using the button below!

A Hospitality technology blog by ROOMNET. Every week we cover topics such as IPTV, Apple TV, content casting, Mirroring, OTT apps, smart devices and of course content. We aim to give you all the information you need on giving your guest the ultimate experience through innovative technology.

About the Author

Darren King
Co-founder & Chief Mischief Maker Not one to shy away from a challenge, Darren has built the ROOMNET brand and business through a relentless drive to always look for the better way, by putting the guest experience at the front of everything he does. Now Darren is sharing his thoughts, week in week out, on how ROOMNET are disrupting the Hospitality technology space, showing you how to bring the ultimate guest experience to your hotel, Apartment or shared space through technology.

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