With Party Squasher in a rental unit, property managers, homeowners and hosts know right away if an occupant is throwing a rager. It’s a new Smart Home device and in-use by several top-tier vacation rental brands.
SUNNYVALE, CA – February 23 – With all the earnings that come with short-term rental services like Airbnb, there’s always a caveat: a single unauthorized party could cost thousands in damages, and you might not know about it for days or even weeks. Such parties make headlines all the time with damage tolls as high as $50,000, $75,000 or worse in a single night.
But Panasonic Venture Capital backed BlueFox.io has the solution and is already working with major vacation rental brands. That solution is Party Squasher, a small, discrete device that counts the number of people in a property by the signals coming from their mobile devices. If the number goes higher than what the owner wants (like, say, 12) it sends a text to let them know that occupancy is too high.
But the most value comes when an owner doesn’t get a text from Party Squasher – they rest easy knowing that their property is safe. If they want, they can use the app to get trend information to see roughly when people come and go. With Spring Break on the way and the industry growing all the time, Party Squasher keeps both liability and stress low in a fast-growing and often controversial industry. This data can also show concerned community groups that businesses are doing everything possible to keep the neighborhood peace – e.g. no parties happening, despite the bad rap in the press.
To set it up, an owner simply plugs the box into the home’s existing Wi-Fi router and downloads the app. They then set the detection range based on the property size, and set how many mobile devices have to enter the house before they’re alerted. Party Squasher will then see smartphones within that range, even if they’re not connected to the home Wi-Fi network. Multiple properties can be managed from the single Party Squasher app.
“With the release of our external API, property management companies can now track tens, hundreds or even thousands of homes at once and be alerted if there’s an issue at any given property,” says Amanda Mills, the co-founder of Party Squasher. “The device’s estimations will let you know when there’s a crowd, but have enough wiggle room to avoid invading privacy.”
Party Squasher may also serve to protect the industry as a whole. Many cities are hearing proposals to shut down short-term rentals in their districts, often citing noise and other nuisance complaints. Hermosa Beach, California, for instance, now imposes a misdemeanor on anyone who leases property for fewer than 30 days. By giving owners a way to police their properties when renters get out of hand, it can improve the situation before City regulators have to step in. Short-term rentals is a fast-growing market (growing from $100B today to $170B by 2019*). Party Squasher is one of many IoT / smart home tools designed to help the sharing economy grow by making surveillance options more accessible for home owners.
Party Squasher launched in September 2016 and was debuted at VRMA’s National Convention, Airbnb Open and the HomeAway Summit. It costs $149 which includes the first year of subscription. The Wi-Fi based technology is ideal in detached homes where the owner or manager doesn’t live on premise to look after the house. Party Squasher will be an exhibitor at VRMA Eastern Conference in Savannah, Georgia at the end of March. For more information, visit partysquasher.com.
BlueFox.io’s patented technology allows actionable real-time counting of mobile phones for use in brick and mortar retail, short-term rental properties and other environments. By relying on ambient Wi-Fi activity instead of beacons and/or Bluetooth, BlueFox.io solutions work on nearly every phone. This method allows brands and retailers to increase their revenue by better capturing traffic and engaging visitors. It also protects rental properties from unwanted partygoers, all in a real-time and privacy-friendly way.
* Research & Market, 2016
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