The High Price of Being a Technologically Smart Cottage

It’s almost crunch time now. 4 weekends left for us until the rental season starts.

This year, a major hiccup has occurred at the cottage. Our satellite TV has suddenly failed. And the only way for us to get the TV back is to switch to a different carrier.

Too mch drama just trying to get an installation guy to even have a look and try to resolve it. Maybe move the satellite a few degrees to the left? Or whatever! Nothing.

No one is willing to extend our existing pole on the roof to possibly get a signal. It went to a point where we got accused of endangering a technician’s life just by asking. Really???

Damn those trees! I mean don’t get me wrong, I love trees and nature in general. That’s why we have a waterfront cottage for crying out loud. But in this day and age of technology obsessed individuals, including us at some extent, these trees are our major hurdle. They can’t seem to stop growing every year.


Selecting an appropriate provider

We have been told that Bell Canada is the only company that can offer seamless services for all our technology needs. Satellite TV, internet, smartphone and even video home monitoring.

So we finally did the switch. Very excited to finally restoring the most important “Smart” feature we have at our cottage. We decided to upgrade and hook up 2 more boxes so each bedroom will have a TV. Smart Move!

Technician arrived with great enthusiasm only to be let down by our gorgeous trees! And his verdict is expected. We need to cut some branches. At least from 30 feet high!

So much for installing the dish in our deck as claimed by the “endangered” tech guy. And it was a quick day for him. But at least he had some good news.

The satellite dish can be installed on our bunkie’s roof. With that 30 feet of tree branches gone, it should work like a charm! Next weekend will be the ultimate test. In the meantime, my hubby has taken down some reachable branches and has quickly contacted our local go to handyman for help tomorrow.


Is it worth all the effort?

Back in the days, maybe 10 years ago, listing your cottage for rent without the included “technical” amenities (meaning TV’s, WiFi and even DVD player) is the norm. It will get rented in a heartbeat if you have a good waterfront property and a fairly decent sized vacation rental.

The main amenities are the outdoors! And people are craving for a cheaper option of enjoying it and at the same time the peace and quiet time that goes with it.

They are outside all day that having no TV, no cellphone and no WiFi is not an issue nor is it expected. Those days are over!


The Demand for Technology

Fast forward to today, it is very hard to be competitive in this vacation rental market if your vacation property does not even have the bare minimum of all this so called “Smart” technology. Let’s just say if you have no satellite TV at the cottage, no one will even bother. People look at your amenities list first, then your photos when looking for a vacation rental property online.

I admit that’s what I do myself. So I try to give my potential renters everything I expect to get for myself for the price I pay. I want to be competitive. I want them to enjoy every single minute of their stay at the cottage.

I take pride of the work we have done to our property that a single complaint about not having a satellite TV can ruin it all. And I am not kidding. We did got a phone call from a distressed renter a couple years ago, as the channels they wanted is not in our TV guide. Yes it is that important for them. I may not get it then but I do now.

The photo above is the brilliant way my husband came up with so we can get at least some non-HD channels last weekend. He tilted the tower a little to the left and secured it to our deck with a rope! 🙂 It was a success. The sports channel was restored! Game on!


Be on demand now

If you are like me, I don’t care much about tv. I hate commercials. Can’t stand it. But I am an internet junkie. I read online. From news to games and the occasional Netflix binge watching.

I cannot do all that at our cottage. We have no internet hooked up yet. This year is the year we wanted to change that. Our cellular data is still okay for the amount of online activities we do.

Our property is advertised as having a very good cellular reception. It seems to still be getting awesome returns. We are still booked every single summer season for the last 5 years.

The question is for how long? We are afraid that next year could be a different story. We find competitors advertising their property as having unlimited internet. Wow!

So again, how much are you willing to pay more to be a complete “smart” cottage? The cost for unlimited internet in cottage country is massive. Should you charge more to offset the cost?

It sure is attractive for millennial renters with younger kids that can play videos on a play station or what not isn’t it? But should we take the plunge? It is still up for debate. My take is, when you check in to a hotel, not a lot of them have it for free, so why should we bother?

But what about you guys? Will you still rent a vacation property even if it has no internet or WiFi? Is it going to be a deal breaker? What about TVs and DVDs? Game boards anyone? We have lots of them though! Even the 80’s game board. We have them. Would you trade them for your tech needs?

I would love to hear your opinion on this. It is a very interesting topic indeed.

Drop me a line, it is much appreciated!


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