How a Webcam in Vacation Rental Properties Boosts Guest Engagement
Vacation rental properties have become increasingly popular in recent years as an alternative to traditional hotels. These properties offer unique and personalized experiences for travelers looking for a home away from home. With the advancement of technology, vacation rental owners and property managers are constantly seeking innovative ways to enhance guest engagement and satisfaction. One such method is the installation of a webcam in the property. In this article, we will explore how easy it was for Pike Bay Lodge to install a webcam and elevate the overall vacation rental experience.
A timelapse video from Pike Bay Lodge on Vermilion Lake in Northern Minnesota
What you will need
A Web Camera
Here you need to make sure you buy the right product. The webcam MUST support FTP. FTP just means File Transfer Protocol, fancy speak for it can upload images to a server on the internet. In this case, Pike Bay went with the Reolink RLC-511WA and sells for around $130. This particular camera can connect over wired ethernet or wirelessly (WiFi) to your local router. It sports a nice mobile phone app allowing you to configure it with ease from anywhere on the internet. Setup was a breeze.
Notice the FTP Option in the Settings?
This is where we get set the location we want to upload images. The camera is set to upload an image every 5 minutes to our FTP server.
So, Where Does This FTP Server Come From?
Glad you asked. Pike Bay decided to go with an online solution called Webcam.io. Webcam.io is $5 a month for the timelapse video you see above. Sign up for an account, then on their Dashboard, you’ll need to create a new Webcam and select the FTP upload option. As you can see in the following image, you need to give it some information, then it will email details you need to connect your webcam to their services.
FTP Server vital details
To connect your webcam to Webcam.io, you will need the following details.
- FTP server or also called HOST: ftp.webcam.io
Using these details, you can configure your webcam to connect over FTP to Webcam.io.
All set, now what?
Well, now you have to put it on your website. Webcam.io has a section for Widgets / Embed, click on this link in the Dashboard and it will give you a piece of HTML code. If you have a web developer, you can give them this block of code where you want your webcam to appear.
If all went right, you’ll now have a timelapse video of your beautiful property featured on your website. Guests will appreciate being able to experience your vacation rental from anywhere on the internet. You’ll be surprised how many of your guests will comment about getting excited to come to your resort because of the videos they saw on your website.
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