Jon’s Tech Stack


This is a little off topic for our site but I thought it might be useful information to someone new.  I have put together a list of some of the things we have automated in our own STR.  Just as integration between a website and a business can streamline your sales process, automation in your STR can make remote management much more efficient and convenient.  Thare are multiple products and services that can accomplish many of these things – but these are the ones we are using.


We decided to go with OwnerRez for our management software.  We looked at a few – none are perfect.  At the time, OR was seen as very powerful – with a poor interface.  I figured I could work with that.  The price is reasonable, I could set it all up by myself and didn’t have to pay a setup charge to someone else, so I jumped in.  I am glad I did.  I’m not going to do a big sales pitch here – you can get that on the OR site, but some things I really like are

The fact that even with only 1 property, you can list on a good number of platforms – the program takes you through each one and guides you through the signup process and then listing the property.

  • You make 1 update, it goes out to all the platforms – big timesaver
  • Synch calendars across platforms
  • I use it to automatically set my door codes for my wifi doorlocks – I never think about having to code them for each visitor
  • Very easy to make a direct booking site and have it integrate just like another platform

What a great way to set your pricing.  This pricing is dynamic – changes with availability and demand.  Pricelabs integrates easily with Owner Rez to push out pricing in real time.  I, personally, would have no idea where to set my pricing so this is a great tool for me.  I can control all that I need to and I let it do it’s thing.

Our deadbolts are the Schlage Encode.  There are a few different options with Shlage – there are also some other options such as Yale and some cheaper models.  The wifi door locks are great – we went with this option because it could easily integrate with various software packages – our management software can automatically program it and deprogram it after a guest leaves.  I can control the time it sets the code and turns off that code.  Very powerful

I selected the Ecobee thermostat for my climate control system.  For one, I have used this product before adn I know it will do what I want – but also, it can come with a special wiring harness to make it easy to connect to older furnaces and systems that may not have the right number of wires for the thermostat.  Some units require wiring that your house may not have available.

I can control the hvac in the home completely remotely with this device

We keep talking about wifi connected devices and staying connected, we decided to add this mesh system to our home – it provides powerful internet connections on each floor of the house.  It was easy to set up, it is easy for the guests to connect to (we include a QR code for this in our welcome manual) and it provides an easy way to keep an eye on your network.  I’m sure there are other systems that will do this as well, I was able to get these ones on Amazon for a good price.  We have it set up so that the guests can simply scan a QR code and they will connect to the wifi system.  Very convenient.


The TV selection was pretty easy to narrow down.  While this does not really help as far as home automation goes, it’s a great piece of technology.  Roku TV’s in particular offer a few things that hosts will love.  First, the TV comes loaded with streaming apps – others are easily added.  It does contain some free chanels as well so you can see if there is anythign on.  The nicest feature of these TV’s is what is called “guest mode”.  So when your guest arrives and turns on the TV, they are prompted to enter their checkout date – at which point the TV will erase all of the guests settings and passwords

Doorbell cameras – A necessity for sure.  It lets you answer the doorbell from anywhere, and, of course, it takes video.  I decided to go with Mubview cameras from Amazon.  Are there other ones?  Sure.  But see, I don’t want a monthly fee for this because I don’t like monthly fees for stuff that shouldn’t need it.  These units let me view live over wifi, they can accept an SD card which stores video until it is full (then loops) AND they include free storage for the last 7 days of recordings at no extra charge, so there is some built – in redundancy.  And all with no monthly fee.  Are they perfect?  No.  I feel like they drain the batteries a bit faster than they should (my house is not set up to have a wired doorbell solution), but overall, I am happy with these and what they can do.

I also have a seperate, solar powered camera on my garage from the same company.


Check it out, a wifi controlled switch for your outdoor water tap.  Maybe not everyone needs one of these, but we just had some new sod put down in the backyard and needed to be able to water it for a bit each day.  This is working out very well.  The unit actually runs via Bluetooth and the little adapter that comes with it interfaces with your wifi.  Ended up being very handy.