1. Understanding Amazon Echo & Alexa
Amazon Echo connects to Alexa (the “brain” of the whole system), which has various features and can tell you the news, weather, provide any kind of information and play music from Spotify, iTunes and much more. It can even get you an Uber or pizza from Dominoes! With the Alexa app, you can effortlessly control and manage your Amazon device. To activate the Amazon Echo, you only need to say “Alexa”, and it will be functioning.
Ps. If you’re looking for a slightly more affordable option to Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Dot offers almost the same functionalities 😉
2. Amazon Echo for Property Instructions
There’s a great free concierge app for Amazon Echo, that can you set up for your own needs. It’s an online platform called the Vacation Rental Virtual Concierge. You set it up to save information about your property and the area. Start by connecting it:
- You need to own an Amazon Echo, or Echo Dot.
- Set up a separate account for your vacation rental property, and follow the usual instructions to get it online.
- Get connected with the Alexa App with the account you created for your VR.
- You will have to go to the skills, and search for Vacation Rental. Enable it, and sign in.
- Go to the Owner portal to set up your customized instructions.
In case you want more information, here you can find more detailed instructions.
When you’ve connected Alexa with the Virtual Concierge platform, it can give instructions to your guests how to connect to the wifi in the house, the check-in and out info, how to use the TV and sound system, how to control the thermostat and lighting, instructions on how to use the kitchen appliances, and much more. Your guests can activate the Alexa by saying; “Alexa, use the concierge service” (get this sign by Vacation Rental Virtual Concierge!).
3. Amazon Echo for Local Area Guide
>Via the Virtual Concierge platform
You could also use Amazon Echo as a “tour guide” for your local area. Again the free the Virtual Concierge platform can be set up to give all the tips you have for your guests.
Explain to your guests how to use it and then print out a list of these questions that the guests can make use of.
- Recommendations on restaurants
- Best local shops and cafés
- Where is the closest hospital
- Instructions on how to get to town or the airport
- Customized tips and local attractions
- Where is the closest car rental
The list goes on and on, can be customized to your guests needs and based on your vacation rentals location. In case your guests are not that technology savvy, no worries, just always keep a manual guide in a cupboard. Although, most likely your guests won’t be needing it as Amazon Echo is easy and most of all fun to use!
>Via the Expedia app for Amazon Echo
Expedia launched in 2016 its Travel Update skill on Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, which provides your guests with travel updates like flight status, car rental reservations and much more. All you have to say is; “Alexa Launch Expedia”, and ask your inquiries.
Are you advertising your vacation rentals on Expedia? Try out our Channel Manager to make your life easier!
Downloading the Expedia app for Amazon Echo is free of cost, and can bring many fun moments to your guests. Unfortunately at the moment it’s available only in the US, but hopefully it will be launched in Europe and the rest of the world soon.
4. Amazon Echo for controlling IOT devices
Companies are continuously launching partnerships with Amazon (Amazing!) Echo. There are many devices which work with Amazon Echo, but here are the ones that would make sense for your vacation rental guests to have:
If you could manage your thermostats from far away, it could save you hundreds in utility costs. AND you wouldn’t have to worry about your guests leaving the heating on, so you can now save yourself from that stress! You can remote control Amazon Echo via the Amazon App.
Compatible devices for Amazon Echo include:
Want to dim the lights by command? Shut them or light them? Yes, that’s also possible with Amazon Echo. This lightning company is available for Amazon Echo and Echo Dot;
Don’t worry, this is not the only company for the lightning, you can use many other light bulbs for example by Philips, GE, and Cree LED.
Rently Keyless offers a system in your vacation rental, which enables you to have keyless check-ins and outs. It can also be used to control the thermostat, monitor all access by a motion sensorz, and thus for you to have total control. It’s a cloud-based SaaS platform, which you can access from any mobile device or browser.
Rently has recently announced an integration with Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, offering vacation rental owners a smart home solution in one device. You can now control Rently Keyless Tri-Band hub with voice-command through Amazon Echo and Echo Dot! For the easiest solution, get the Rently Smart home kit 😉
Want to be able to open your garage door through Amazon Echo? Wet your lawn by voice-command? Also more than possible with Amazon Echo! For more information, read this list of devices.