We recently sat down with co-founder, Dave Krauss
NoiseAware is a device that can save your permit. 3 strikes in Palm Springs with noise violations and you are OUT! Out as a person , not just your one property that received the strikes but any property you own – you’re done. I actually agree with the strict policy. I love peace and quiet and don’t want to hear neighbor’s parties when I’m trying to sleep or am relaxing! I own NoiseAware and thoroughly endorse the technology and peace of mind it brings me that my guests will be alerted when they go above acceptable sound thresholds.
As the NoiseAware company says – it’s ‘the smoke detector for noise’. Just as you would not want to get choked by smoke, why let guests run afoul of local noise ordinances and jeopardize your Airbnb / Vacation Rental livelihood.
TALKING WITH DAVE KRAUSS
Q: What was your ‘Aha!’ moment to create NoiseAware?
Dave: It was more of an Oh $#!T moment. Somebody had destroyed my reputation & threw a massive party in my building. I only discovered when it was too late which left somewhat of an invisible scar. I was deaf, dumb, & blind to the possibility of the fact I was responsible for disasters of this type. That was my wake up call. The 2nd ‘Aha!’ moment was when I searched for a solution online & found nothing; especially nothing for a reasonable price. There were $3000 decibel meters, used on construction sites, that didn’t even have the capability of notifying me if something was going on. This brought me to recognizing that the smart technology did not exist yet and to solve my problem, I’d have to build one. That’s when I found my savior & co-founder, Andrew. Andrew Schulz is the builder of home technology & I’ve always been a user. So, I knew what I wanted and he knew how to build it.
Q: What struggles did you have to overcome to get the product to the market?
Dave: One of the challenges we faced, that we had to figure out, was a ‘chicken or the egg’ situation. It was questioning how to build something that customers WANT while not knowing what they want because they haven’t actually tried it yet. So it was the art of figuring out how to be useful to somebody before your product can fulfill its promise. So the challenge was to find users or short-term rental managers that were willing to work with us. We had the fortune of partnering with HomeAway very early on which helped out. We were able to work the data to find out how to help people which is the whole base of NoiseAware, to help and be a resolution to people’s problems.
Q: What is a brief history of the company and other founders?
Dave: The infamous party happened December 2014. Andrew & I started working together early 2015, then really created the foundation of the company in Fall of 2015. From there, we acquired our first customer early into 2016.
Q: How do you approach your customers for this unique, problem solving device & service?
Dave: We do more for our customers than just prevent noise issues. We give them the device & in turn; their owners, their partners, their neighbors, & their city government – they benefit as well. That’s the element of not being a one-sided company. We have a relatively straight forward product but there’s a lot of people, a lot of stakeholders, that benefit from it as well. It goes beyond just the guests, owners, & managers.
Q: What kind of questions do you get most from prospects?
Dave: Generally, it’s new technology to the world. So typically, they want to know what it does or how it works and what role do they play in resolving the underlying issue. We’re a tool in the toolbox of every user, every manager, to give them remote-access in a privacy safe way of the environment of a property that they are responsible for. Just explaining that, in a way, you can now actually be aware of what’s going on at your property without violating privacy, having to babysit it, or watch a camera. That’s the #1 ‘Aha!’ moment for our CUSTOMERS. They wonder how they’ve gone without it & end up turning into lifetime users.
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Q: What are some of the biggest lessons learned either before or during customer installation?
Dave: I’ll answer a version of that question. We run our after-hours response center, in which we have certain methods in place so we can respond to their alerts, for after-hours of course. The lessons we’ve learned from that are that the vast majority of all guests are eager to comply with the rules of the home they’re staying in. They just typically need a timely tap on the shoulder, or a hospitable poke if you will, to remind them of where they are AND the sensitivities of the environment where they are. We understand that, if you’re travelling or are with friends, that noise will simply just be a by-product. We’ve been shocked about how compliant and gracious that the travellers have been. They respect that we’re in touch to help them to stay out of trouble!
Q: What was the most rewarding request you have filled, as far as working with a customer?
Dave: The area where we go above and beyond for our customers is when they’re feeling pressure from their city. They face pressure on what they’re doing even when they’re doing everything humanly possible to be a safe & responsible while operating their short-term vacation rental. We’ve helped them communicate that to their cities and their neighbors. We take pride in being defenders of this industry but really promoting/celebrating the responsible folks we engage with and helping protect their properties & their neighbors. It’s really the high pressure legislative conversations where people need us the most – & we show up.
Q: How does one approach the guests and tell them that the noise is being monitored?
Dave: NoiseAware is a healthy reminder when folks are checking in or reading about the listing, that there are sensitivities & systems are in place that measure decibels to keep the peace in that environment. We really work as a preventative deterrent on the first level. I do know there are places & times appropriate for parties but not everywhere – so NoiseAware offers noise-monitoring to those when it’s needed and enables them to find out where & when it’s appropriate.. Disclosing NoiseAware up front, enables people to feel more comfortable as a guest or an owner that the rules of the road are clear!
Q: What basic advice do you have for a new host?
Dave: It’s kind of a ‘stitch in time saves nine’ concept. So, if you think something may go wrong or someone may be confused about a part of their stay, you’re probably right. I think people that use their gut and their intuition, then create plans to mitigate issues before-hand, they’re a lot better off. There’s not a lot of problems that haven’t’ been solved by somebody somewhere – so I think by learning from the body of intelligence and advice that’s out there before-hand is critical before you open up your doors.
Like buying your book – Master of Vacation Rentals!