Overview: The Party Squasher is perfect for Airbnb hosts who rent out an entire home on Airbnb. Although the device would also be useful for hosts who rent a private room, it might not be as necessary since someone else is often going to be there to help monitor activity. As of right now I believe the Party Squasher is the best way to monitor your Airbnb rental for potential parties and is extremely affordable. Get 20% off your order by using the discount code AirbnbGuide via the Party Squasher website.
One of the most frequent questions I’m asked as an Airbnb host is, “Aren’t you worried about someone trashing your house?” When Rebecca and I first started renting out our place on Airbnb we were pretty nervous about the safety of our belongings. Unfortunately, about the same time we started hosting, a Canadian couple rented their home on Airbnb and it was used for what police called a “drug-induced orgy” resulting in $75,000 in property damages. Pretty freaky.
Although we’ve been lucky enough to host over 70 guests without major incident, the thought of a guest renting our home for ulterior motives still crosses my mind. What would we do if we returned to our home to find out an Airbnb guest had hosted a huge party, destroying our property and belongings in the process? Would Airbnb reimburse us through their host-provided insurance policy? What if the party-goers were participating in illegal activities in the house? Would we get in trouble with the city or police?
The only two methods that I could think of for monitoring our property was buy a home surveillance system or employ my nosy neighbor to keep watch over the house. I didn’t feel right purchasing a home surveillance system because of the potential breach in privacy that would occur by videoing guests. Asking my neighbor to keep watch over the house didn’t work either, as she took her part-time job a little too seriously and flagged down every Airbnb guest during the check-in process. She wanted to make it known that she was the neighborhood watch… She also asked a guest or two if they would buy her beer. Yikes.
I had come to the conclusion that monitoring my Airbnb rental was pretty much impossible, until I stumbled across the Party Squasher, a device that alerts you of potential parties by tracking the number of cellular devices within a home.
According to the Party Squasher website, the small gadget hooks up to your Internet router and counts mobile devices, even if they aren’t connected to your Wi-Fi network. The Party Squasher will send you an alert via the company’s app if the number of mobile devices detected by the Party Squasher surpasses your threshold. Then you can contact the Airbnb guest directly to inquire why there are so many guests inside your property! That sounds great in theory, but does it work?
I purchased a Party Squasher right away out of sheer curiosity. At a price point of $149, I only had to give up 3 nights of my Airbnb revenue to cover the expense. In my opinion, if the product worked as claimed then it would be well-worth the money spent.
The Party Squasher arrived in the mail approximately 5 days after placing my order online. Prior to receiving the device, I was sent an email from the company with instructions on how to download the app for my Android phone (it is also available for iPhones). You need to download the app to sync the device with your Internet router and to tweak the device settings. Downloading the app was very easy… Simply click the link provided by Party Squasher in their introductory email or search for “Party Squasher” in the play/app store.
The device itself came in a cool little box that doubles as the instruction manual. It tells you the features of the Party Squasher, what’s included, and how to install the device. According to the instructions, all you do is:
- Download the App
- Plug in the device and connect it to your router using the cables provided
- Complete setup and enjoy your protected home!
This process, from start to finish, took approximately 10 minutes.
Physically installing the Party Squasher was easy. The hockey-puck like device is very inconspicuous and goes unnoticed by guests. With this being said, tweaking the actual device settings through the app can be somewhat tricky. This is where I ran into problems.
The house where I installed the Party Squasher is a single-family home that’s nearly 2,500 square feet. It’s in a neighborhood with sizable back-yards and plenty of room between houses. According to the Party Squasher’s Property Size help guide, the box counts devices around it, however the detection range is circular. This means the device should be installed in the middle of the house in order to properly track cellular devices.
Unfortunately for me, my Internet router is installed in the far-corner of the house and would require quite a bit of work to move the box. This caused some issues as I had to enlarge the detection range to reach the far corner of the house, creating a detection circle that was really too large for our property (ultimately picking up my neighbor’s house in the process).
Party Squasher Alert! We estimate 13 devices at this location!
It didn’t take long before the Party Squasher started sending SMS alerts to my phone, notifying me of a potential party. My first reaction was, “What the heck?! Why would there be 12 people at the house right now?” As it turns out, there were only 4 people at the house. As previously mentioned this detection error was due to where I installed the device inside the house. I contacted Party Squasher’s customer support to see if there was anything I could do to tweak the range finder, and although their support team was very friendly in offering advice, re-positioning the device is the only thing that would fix the problem.
I decided to call our Internet provider and have them run a new line to the middle of the property in order to position the Party Squasher in the middle of the house. Although somewhat costly, it would ultimately increase our home’s WiFi range throughout the house and provide guests with more consistent speeds. It also fixed our Party Squasher’s detection issues!
Overall I am very pleased and impressed with the Party Squasher. The device is affordable, quick to install and easily managed through the phone app. The issues that I had with the Party Squasher’s detection range were really my own fault for not understanding how the device works. The only problem that I could foresee users running into with the Party Squasher is picking up erroneous devices in a mult-family complex (apartments or condos). With this being said, you could always alter your device threshold to match the average number of devices that are normally picked up in your unit. So if the Party Squasher normally recognizes 5 units in the device when no one is there you would set your threshold to the number of devices you allow plus 5. I hope that makes sense…
I would highly recommend the Party Squasher to any Airbnb host that rents out an entire home on Airbnb. Although the device would also be useful for hosts who rent a private room, it might not be as necessary since someone else is often going to be there to help monitor activity. As of right now I believe the Party Squasher is the best way to monitor your Airbnb rental for potential parties and is extremely affordable.
Party Squasher is offering a 20% discount to Airbnb Guide readers who purchase a Party Squasher through their website. Simply enter the discount code AirbnbGuide to receive $30 off your order! Click here to visit their website: https://www.partysquasher.com/