Thousands of guests stayed in short-term rentals during the South by Southwest conference. Despite a couple of unfortunate incidents that occurred across the city, the overwhelming majority of stays went smoothly for both guests and owners.
TurnKey Vacation Rentals, the largest vacation rental property manager in Austin, enjoyed over 1,000 room nights during the 10-day conference with no significant problems — largely because most vacation rental guests are responsible and respectful but also due to the proactive steps TurnKey takes to protect homes from damage and to be good neighbors.
TurnKey uses proprietary hardware, software, and processes along with highly trained local staff and licensed security services to help prevent and quickly resolve issues that arise during high profile events to decrease the likelihood of incidents like those chronicled by the Austin American Statesman.
Guest identification and screening
TurnKey confirms the identity of our guests prior to confirming a booking. Proprietary practices help successfully screen out people seeking to commit fraud, claim to be someone else, or who are under the age of 25. During SXSW, TurnKey experienced a spike in failed verifications, which resulted in more than a dozen cancelled reservations. Other property managers rely on phone screenings or in-person meetings. However those practices are less likely to catch someone with an intention to throw a party.
Highly-trained local staff
TurnKey has well trained local staff in all markets that know the homes and the local vacation rental market. TurnKey’s local teams are able to prevent and respond to potential issues before neighbors complain or damage occurs.
TurnKey regularly uses private, contracted security to monitor homes for parties or city ordinance violations. For high profile events such as SXSW, TurnKey increases private security presence to patrol homes at no additional cost to the homeowners or guests. TurnKey’s homes were monitored from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. during both SXSW weekends.
Social media monitoring
Many “unofficial” parties during SXSW that attract noise and unneighborly behavior are promoted on social media. TurnKey’s Austin team monitored social media channels to determine the locations of parties and cancelled numerous bookings by known party organizers who ignored TurnKey’s policy explicitly stating “no parties.”
TurnKey uses sophisticated noise monitors in each home to monitor the decibel level and get alerted when they exceed TurnKey’s pre-set levels. In addition to a limit on extremely loud noise generated by a party at any time, TurnKey follows the city ordinance mandating no unreasonable noise after 10:30 p.m.
Ring Doorbell technology
TurnKey uses Ring Doorbell technology at its homes to detect movement at the front door. This sends an alert to TurnKey’s Austin team to investigate the number of guests in a home, making sure our properties stay within the City of Austin’s occupancy limit of 10.
Unique door codes
TurnKey uses digital locks that are safe and reliable. Each stay generates a new code for every guest, housekeeper or vendor visit, which enables us to better control access to the home.
TurnKey takes the security of the homes it manages seriously. Identifying potential bad actors and having processes in place to prevent and proactively handle risky guests is what it takes to be a good short-term rental neighbor and a responsible property management company.