There are challenges in renting out your apartment to other individuals. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself dealing with some guests that can be a little noisy, and this is where the problems start, especially if your property is surrounded by residential homes that observe specific hours of silence. If you live next door to the rented property, you can remind your guest to keep it down a bit, but that can be awkward. The solution? A technology that automates your guest management. Here is Minut.
Minut is one of the few party-prevention devices suggested by Airbnb. It is nothing larger than your palm and can work wired or wireless (rechargeable battery lasts up to 12 months). It is easy to install and can be placed on walls and ceilings, and it will send you notifications if someone tries to tamper with it. It has a small size, but it is packed with features inspired by the first-hand experience of its creators.
“I was talking with one of the first employees at Airbnb, when they were at Y Combinator. Even in the very early days, they had an issue: When people are renting out their apartments they have a monitoring need. There was no other option but to put up cameras, and that was turning into a big problem for Airbnb,” said Nils Mattisson, co-founder and CEO of Minut “Years later, that idea came back to me. Having been at Apple and having worked with a lot of technologies that were ahead of the times, in terms of combining machine learning and privacy. I first saw how these two came together and how we would be able to solve this problem and balance monitoring and privacy in a good way. So that was the original seed and where we’ve come back to now, almost 10 years later.”
The idea behind Minut is to help owners of holiday homes, service apartments, Airbnb, rental properties, or short-term rentals to monitor their places without posing any issues in the privacy of the guest. It has no cameras and does not record conversations nor store any personal data.
“The sensor is about the size of the palm of your hand. It’s an IoT device — it’s got a small computer in there and a bunch of different sensors,” explained Mattisson. “Instead of streaming the data to the cloud, we built a solution where analysis is happening on the sensor. And that enables you to use it in cases where you need to respect the privacy of people. That has enabled us to target the short-term rental sector. If you’re renting out your flat, you want to make sure that you get it back in the same way. The value we provide to the host and to the guest is really that we provide monitoring. When we see there are problems with over-occupancy or things that could disturb neighbors, we contact the guests. In over 90% of cases, that means the problem goes away.”
Minut works by notifying the property owners of vital information to help them manage the place easily. It starts with Minut’s ability to inform you of the noise level within the space. When a certain level is reached, you’ll be notified, and you can decide what actions to take. You can also set up the level and how long the noise should be before you receive the message. In addition, it will also inform you if there is an accumulating mass of unreported people through the number of mobile devices on the property.
In case the system is triggered by the noise, Minut will send a message to you and the guests. If there are no changes in the level of noise or activity after 10 minutes, the system of Minut will send the second alert. If it is still ignored, Minut will give you the option for its “Responders” (you can manually send one even before the system does it). The Responder feature is an optional addition to the Minut plan and is only available in certain areas like the UK. Here, the company will send vetted and trained experts who will handle the issue for you in a “friendly” manner, as described by Minut. This is ideal if you have the property far from your residential home or if you are always away from your home.
In relation to that, Minut is also fashioned to allow contactless check-ins and check-outs of guests. You can schedule the messages you want to send to your guests, such as your greetings and even the passcode to your door (which needs to be connected to your smart lock’s system). Even more, you can integrate it with your PMS for automatic sync booking information. And when you’re away, and you know no one is renting the property, it will keep an eye for any motion, window breaking attempts and fire alarms. Using the device, you can also get monitoring features for temperature and humidity levels and mold formations.
The device is now available and comes with a subscription fee based on the plans selected by the customers.