NoiseAware started as a personal, horriffic Airbnb nightmare. One weekend I had guests who threw a “mini-Coachella” party. I was the unwitting host and ashamed neighbor when I found out two days after the guests departed they earned 14 noise complaints, a police report and cost me $30,000 in fines. I was woefully unaware, even though I was two miles away. My inability to be aware of the noise issue led to that “necessity is the mother of invention” moment. By a stroke of luck, I met my co-founder: a brilliant electrical engineer named Andrew Schultz and the brains of the operation. He built systems for the U.S. military, so building a smoke detector for noise was child’s play.
We realize when noise nuisance issues get into the legislative arena they are a threat to the viability of this entire short-term rental industry. NoiseAware helps Homeaway solve one of their biggest problems and they gave us a hand up — not a handout — by saying, “Hey, we want to help you guys succeed because it helps us.” We’re also backed by former HomeAway COO Tom Hale.
As an early-stage startup, you have to be solving a real problem otherwise there’s no point. We came at our business from a personal and very real problem. When police are called to a short-term rental property, it is a burden on municipal services. Responding to noise complaints is not critical. In today’s short-term rental industry, you have a unique dynamic where activity that happens on the internet is difficult to regulate, monitor, and then enforce. The real people behind this industry — such as myself, an entrepreneur who is also a manager of eight short-term rental properties in Dallas — are knocking on city hall doors all over the country offering our help. A city working on how to create reasonable, enforceable and compliance-oriented legislation should seek the help of these newfound industry experts. I think we can bring best practices and speed up the learning curve. Personally I’m seeing cities actually reach out to me, so that’s a great turn of events. In cities all over the country — Nashville, Charleston, San Diego and Coachella Valley — I’ve been meeting with city council members. The most interesting part of my job is that we can actually make a diference in city hall as a young company.
We are hell bent on solving the noise nuisance issue in short-term and vacation rentals. As a team of 10 people, each of us at NoiseAware care deeply about the sustainability and future of short-term rentals and also our customers who are responsible, good actors providing amazing experiences and accommodations. There are other folks who are giving short-term and vacation rentals a black eye. We are looking forward to deepening our partnerships with the platforms and cities going forward to bring technology to bear that has proven that it can solve the noise nuisance issue. We’ve started an advocacy arm called Rent Responsibly to educate lawmakers and celebrate the wonderful things in the short-term rental community. We want to carry the flag of the responsible, neighborly renter, host and owner. It’s important for the sustainability of our industry that everyone gets on board because if you’re not part of the solution, you’re likely part of the problem.
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