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The Reigning Best Thermostat For Airbnb Hosts

Thermostat on the wall

The best thermostat for your Airbnb has the same characteristics of other great appliances. It’s easy to use and hard to break. But lots of thermostats have these two characteristics.

We’ve started using the Nest thermostat because not only is it easy to use and hard to break, but it helps us save on our utility bills, and we can watch and even control it from the comfort of our own home.

The peace of mind of knowing what’s going on in our listings when a guest is there is worth the higher price tag of the Nest. If you don’t need that peace of mind, then I’ll argue that you should go for a low cost thermostat with an easy to use interface.

Does You Thermostat Even Matter?

Yes, and no. Your thermostat must work and it must be adjustable. That’s the bare minimum.

If your listing is located somewhere that has very predictable temperatures, then you’ll require less from your thermostat. I’ve been to a few places that stay above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) year round. If you never need your thermostat to switch between heating and cooling, then you may not even need your guests to have access to the thermostat.

But most places aren’t like that. In my area, it’s not uncommon to need to switch between heat and air conditioning several times over the course of a week. Our guests need to be able to change the temperature.

That means it should be very easy to use. Before upgrading the thermostat in one of our listings, we ran into two primary problems.

Our two thermostat problems

The unit required batteries, and if you’ve read my article about lock boxes, you’d know that I’m not a huge fan of appliances that require batteries.

We had guests on a couple occasions give us a call because the thermostat was low on batteries. It’s never ideal for the batteries to run out when your guests are in the house.

The unit also required a physical switch from heat to air conditioning. If you wanted to turn on the heat, you had to flip a switch on the thermostat.

Some of our guests were used to automatic thermostats and they thought the heating was broken. They didn’t know you had to flip the switch, and so the heating never came on.

The first time it happened, I couldn’t figure out what happened over the phone so I had to drive over there. Not exactly a fiasco, but certainly inconvenient and annoying for me and the guests.

The Nest: Our Preferred (Wireless) Thermostat

  • Super easy to use
  • Temperature can be controlled remotely
  • Helps save on utility bills
  • Looks good

The Nest is the thermostat we use in our Airbnbs. A thermostat must work and it must be easy for your guests to operate. That’s the minimum.

And the nest is exceptionally easy to operate. You can set it to switch between heat and air conditioning automatically, which means your guests won’t have to worry about that.

Another thing I love about the Nest is that you can observe and control it from anywhere. It logs into the home’s wifi and you download an app that connects to the Nest. I can sit at my own home and see what the temperature is set to at any of my Airbnbs. And if I want or need to, I can adjust the thermostat from the comfort of my own home. Pretty nice!

The last important feature of this thermostat is its cost saving abilities. From what I can tell the heating or air conditioning spends a lot more time shut off once we switched to the Nest. However it works, we lowered our utility bills by $20-30 a month.

Emerson NP110 Non-Programmable: Low Cost Option

  • Super easy to operate
  • Can’t miss the hot/cold switch
  • Very affordable
  • Works just as well as any other thermostat

When it comes to thermostats you either go all or nothing. You either control the thing from your couch or you don’t. And you pay top dollar for a remote controlled thermostat.

So if you’re not willing to spend $200 on a thermostat, then you should probably just get a cheap one that’s super easy for your guests to use.

This interface on this Emerson NP110 is as simple and easy to use as it gets. The heat and cool switch is front and center and guests should see it right away if they are adjusting the temperature.

Unfortunately, batteries are required, but at this price that’s what you’re going to get.

The Number One Rule In Airbnbs

Choosing a thermostat is not one of the most important decisions you will make as a host. Beds, mattresses and TVs are all way more important that your thermostat.

But as a host you have to make hundreds of decisions that affect your guests and ultimately your bottom line. So I follow a rule for all those small decisions.

Buy something that gives my guests an amazing experience, or else buy the cheapest thing my guests won’t notice.

If you can add something great to your guest’s stay, then that’s always a good idea, but not everything in your Airbnb can provide a great experience. It’s hard to WOW your guests with shampoo or a hand towel, but you have to buy them all the same.

In those cases I just try to buy things that won’t distract the guests from their experience. Don’t want to buy a fancy toaster? Just buy one that works and is easy to operate. Same goes for your thermostat. If you can’t get something with all the bells and whistles, then just get one that works.

Conclusion

I can say from experience that the Nest thermostat is a high quality product. It’s easy to use, helps you save on utility bills, and you can control it from your couch. But those features come at a price.

If you don’t want to pay for those things, then you should go with a simple and easy to use thermostat that just works.

Happy investing.

Michael

I'm living the path to financial success and sharing everything I learn in this blog. I believe in the power of cash flowing investments, due diligence and time. This is my journey so far.

Before 2016: Just living my life, working full time and trying to get by.

2016: Kate and I start to discuss the possibility of getting into real estate investment. We read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad and listen to the Bigger Pockets Podcast. We find a Realtor and start looking at property. We even make an offer or two, but nothing happens.

2017: Kate and I continue looking for property. We meet with banks and find lenders willing to work with us. In one month (August), we turn our basement into an Airbnb and list it AND we purchase our first long term rental property, which is a triplex. We can't find good tenants for our triplex.

2018: In April, we finally get our first tenant in the triplex, our second in June and get it fully rented in July. Our basement Airbnb makes so much money that in September we decided to buy another property to exclusively rent out on Airbnb. It makes us even more money than the first one!

2019: Kate decides we should put together a mastermind group. So we get in touch with people we know who care about money and start sharing knowledge with each other. Our triplex is profitable, but our two Airbnb properties are making way more money, so we buy another property to put up on Airbnb and VRBO.

2020: Coronavirus hits in March and all the guests booked at our Airbnb properties cancel. We freak out, but after a few weeks everything comes back and we're making money again. Discussion and research from the mastermind group makes me want to investigate online business as an investment strategy. Kate and I started Unbound Investor with plans to purchase a website in 2021.

OK you're all caught up!

I learned everything I know from books, podcasts, conversations with friends and family and of course through real world experience as a cash flow investor. And I'm always pushing to learn more.

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