Best Party Squasher Alternatives to Protect Your Vacation Rentals
See the 10 key features for STR property protection & the 3 best devices, including an all-in-one noise and occupancy monitor with smoke detection.
October 23, 2023
As a property manager, you need visibility across your growing portfolio of short-term rental (STR) properties. But to make sure you’re choosing the right tool, you need to ask yourself what home protection features are most important to you, how they will affect your day-to-day experience as a property manager, and whether they will help you continue to grow your business.
You’ll want a plug-and-play solution you can trust, but a smart tool that adds to your manual tasks isn’t a viable option if you’re aiming to take on more properties.
In this article, we:
Explain how Party Squasher works
Recommend 10 features to look for in a solution
Discuss three Party Squasher alternatives—including an all-in-one device with multiple monitoring and detection solutions plus automated guest messaging
Break down how to compare choices to ensure you make the right decision
What is Party Squasher?
Party Squasher is a vacation rental occupancy monitor that works by detecting the number of mobile devices present at your STR property.
The Party Squasher device connects directly to your internet router and carries out checks every 20 seconds. This means you can track the number of mobile phones at your property and monitor if that number suddenly increases, which would be a strong indicator of a party beginning to take place.
With Party Squasher Pro, you can view this mobile tracking data across your entire portfolio within the web dashboard, which you can customize to organize units by location, party risk, or local contact.
For each unit, you can set a predetermined threshold of acceptable mobile devices. As soon as that threshold is exceeded, or if the Party Squasher sensor is disconnected, you receive an automated alert by SMS or email to inform you of the situation.
Then, you can decide on what course of action to take, whether that’s a message to your guest, a phone call, or contacting a local contact to give you an update and keep their eye on the situation.
Party Squasher Pro also allows you to view event history from the last seven days, which tells when and where mobile numbers exceeded thresholds across your portfolio. You can also track trends from the last 24 hours, which gives you a helpful idea of what the normal number of mobile devices is for a given stay.
Party Squasher Pro features
Privacy-friendly mobile device counter
Automated SMS and email alerts
iOS and Android mobile app
SafePro program, which gives customers special deals with partners, including insurance and guest screening partners
Party Squasher is an effective way to track the number of people on your STR property, helping you to prevent large gatherings—but it’s not a complete solution to vacation rental protection.
Next, we look at why you may be considering alternative ways to protect your properties.
Why consider Party Squasher alternatives?
You’re likely exploring your vacation rental protection options for one or more of the following reasons:
You recently hosted guests that caused a disturbance or property damage.
You experience downtime with your device which makes it hard to track information in real-time.
You want a more robust solution that solves several potential risks, including noise monitoring and smoking prevention.
You want a hands-off solution that also automates the guest communication process.
If you manage a large number of units, you may find that some properties are more susceptible to certain kinds of risk than others. And especially if you’re scaling your operations, you’ll need a solution that doesn’t increase your workload every time you add a new property to your portfolio.
With this in mind, we give you some recommendations on what to look for in a home protection system, below.
What features do you need in a vacation rental protection device?
Whatever solutions you implement to protect your STR properties, you need them to guarantee guest privacy, give you visibility over your entire portfolio, and be scalable so you can grow your business without having more manual tasks to tackle.
As well as the characteristics above, here are 10 features you should look out for:
Cigarette smoke detection
Automated guest messaging
Weatherproof outdoor monitoring
Window break protection
Smart home integrations
Alternatives to Party Squasher’s occupancy monitoring solution
In the short-term rental industry, property protection is business protection. Plus, if you can demonstrate that you have a complete solution in place to ensure the safety of their property, you can more easily gain the trust of new homeowners.
We explore your best options below.
Minut: Complete vacation rental vigilance and safety
Minut is an all-in-one short-term rental protection system. It comes with solutions for not just noise and occupancy monitoring, but also cigarette smoke detection, motion detection, mold detection, window breakage detection, and even automated and scheduled guest messaging.
The Swedish tech company’s easy-to-install devices also act as a security alarm, temperature and humidity monitor, and motion-activated nightlight. What Minut provides, therefore, is a huge spectrum of features to improve home safety and the guest experience, so you can get the benefits of multiple management solutions in a single standalone device.
“Adding these extra measures to keep my apartment safe and secure gives me a lot of peace of mind.” Laura, homeowner
As with Party Squasher Pro, Minut is designed specifically for STR property managers, so it’s easy to view real-time monitoring across your complete portfolio. However, Minut is also a scalable solution that helps you cut down on your manual tasks.
For example, you can use Minut to automate guest messaging when an issue arises, as well as schedule messages to provide guests with timely insights throughout their stay—including information about directions, parking, property access, and WiFi access.
Also, Minut offers Assist services, where a specially trained team contacts guests on your behalf or visits them in person to deal with any issues. As well as saving you time and stress, this ensures no one on your team is ever placed in a confrontational situation that could put their safety at risk.
With these combined solutions, you can not only provide a smooth stay for guests, but also protect your properties, reduce your workload, and give your homeowners full confidence in your service standards.
“Partnering with Minut has also allowed us to share with prospective property partners that Kasa is committed to Safety.” The Kasa team
NoiseAware provides noise and occupancy monitoring. As with Minut, its sensors are unobtrusive and privacy-safe, though the indoor devices require wired installation since they’re not battery-operated.
The NoiseAware system includes a feature called AutoResolve, which automates guest outreach when an issue is detected. You can also directly message guests from the dashboard, as well as use the dashboard to review historical data.
NoiseAware’s latest feature is CrowdControl, which, much like Party Squasher, uses the number of wireless signals on your property to tell you if it’s over-occupied. Note, though, that this feature is currently only available for single-family homes rather than, for example, units within apartment blocks.
Privacy-safe noise monitoring
CrowdControl (wireless signal detection and monitoring)
AutoResolve (automated guest communication)
Weatherproof, battery-operated outdoor devices
Roomonitor is a privacy-safe vacation rental noise monitor. It comes with a property manager dashboard that sends you an automatic alert when your customized noise threshold has been exceeded for a set period of time.
As with Minut, it’s a plug-and-play system that’s easy to install and quick to get set up. Roomonitor lets you review historical data so you can see reports from any time period since you installed the device.
Also like Minut, Roomonitor offers Alarm Assistant, which deploys a knowledgeable team to take care of guest outreach with messages, calls, and in-person management. With this 24/7 system in place, even if a problem arises in the middle of the night, it can be addressed without you having to be disturbed.
Privacy-safe noise monitoring
Alarm by SMS and/or call
Alarm Assistant (trained team for guest management)
Time Machine (complete access to historical reports)
Airbnb and PMS integrations
How to choose the right crowd monitoring alternative to Party Squasher
Whichever STR protection solution you opt for, it needs to be reliable and privacy-safe. With these two key characteristics accounted for, you should compare your options by functionality and decide which features will be most practical as you protect your properties, homeowners, and business.
Other key considerations to bear in mind include:
Scalability: A scalable solution will minimize manual tasks. It may also consolidate a number of tools, like noise monitoring, cigarette detection, and guest communication, in one device.
Guest experience: Compare which options help you enhance the guest experience so you can continue to provide five-star stays with every booking.
Homeowner buy-in: Decide which device and platform will impress prospective homeowners most and give them peace of mind.
Protect your portfolio and host with confidence
The short-term rental business carries inherent risks that can disrupt your client relationships, create stress, and lead to significant costs and headaches. But with the right solution, you can gain peace of mind while managing a growing portfolio of properties without having to worry about these concerns.
Plus, the same vacation rental technology solutions that protect your homes can also be a powerful selling point as you scale your operations and bring on more clients. With Minut’s standalone device, you gain visibility over all your units, protecting them from parties, continued loud noise, smoking, and forced entry.
It also offers additional insights into your properties with sensors for temperature, humidity, and mold. As well as this, Minut automates your guest communications, so you can continue to grow your business without increasing your workload.
Whatever tool you choose, whether it’s Minut or another device referenced in this piece, you should implement a solution that allows you to host with confidence, ensuring you’re never in the dark about the status and well-being of your vacation homes.
Frequently asked questions about Party Squasher alternatives
What is a party detector?
A party detector is a noise monitoring or occupancy monitoring device that tells you if an increasing number of people are gathering at your property. In the case of Minut, the device includes multiple property protection solutions, including noise monitoring, cigarette smoke detection, motion detection, and window break detection.
What is the difference between Party Squasher and Minut?
Party Squasher monitors occupancy by counting the number of mobile devices on your property every 20 seconds. Minut is also an occupancy monitor for vacation rental properties, but it includes a range of other solutions, like noise monitoring, smoke detection, automated messaging, and dedicated team assistance.
How does Minut reduce the property manager’s workload?
Minut consolidates multiple tools in one standalone device, so you can protect your units from large unauthorized groups of people, continued noise, cigarette smoke, and break-ins. It also automates key property management tasks with scheduled templated messages and guest outreach when there’s a problem.