by Pass The Keys | Host Tips | 12 Sep 2016

Smart Airbnb Key Exchange

A growing market of short-letting has triggered a need for new essentials for Airbnb hosts, which can make letting your property more convenient and secure for both the host and tenant.

This post is dedicated to the key exchange issue which brings Airbnb hosts unnecessary inconvenience such as:

  • Waiting for delayed guests for key exchange
  • Risking hiding keys in the garden or under a door mat
  • Hassling neighbours and friends by asking them to hand over keys to guests
  • Worrying about the possibility of guests making a copy of the original keys

Have you ever found yourself in one of these cases? If so, or if you simply want to forget about the hassle of key exchange for ever, we’d strongly suggest reading this article to the end.

Tight schedules and frequent travelling cause a lot of stress in terms of proper organisation effective time management. Saving time on completing tasks that don’t require your physical presence and mental effort would be a great initiative for the busy lifestyle; using smart locks can be a great solution for homeowners that want to use their time for more important things in life like family, work and leisure, rather than waiting for guests for hours to pass the keys. It can be a great convenience for Airbnb guests as well as it eliminates the need for strict travel time expectations.

Excited about getting one for yourself?

There are two types of digital door locks - Smart Locks and Electronic Locks. Let’s learn their features, sort out the differences, and explore how they work.

From our research experience, we have come up with four best Smart Locks for Airbnb hosting, and you can explore them in more detail below.

Smart Locks for Airbnb hosting
SMART LOCKS

Smart Locksare an aspect of smart and secure home automation. They provide both convenience and high security in getting access to your home.

INSTALLATION

Smart locks have a simple design of round, square or rectangular shape. They are normally installed over an existing lock element on the inner side of the door. There is no need for the original key lock replacement, and no drilling is required. Your smart lock will not be visible to people from the outside.

BATTERY

Smart locks work on 4AA batteries which have an approximate lifespan of 1-3 years.

WIFI

Most smart locks have a wifi “bridge” installed - WiFi allows the owner to control access to the door entrance remotely, with the help of mobile App. All you need to do is, from your phone, open the application, and use the platform to manage the locking system remotely. No need to be present at home, or for traditional keys; just a tap on your phone, and the work is done!

However, not all smart locks have the wifi bridge - if it is not integrated to the smart key lock, you would not be able to manage access to your home remotely.

BLUETOOTH

A Bluetooth option within a smart lock also helps to get access to the home without traditional keys and the mobile App with an internet connection. The module is usually installed inside the device. If your wifi is turned off for battery saving purposes (which is a good idea if you want the lock to last longer without a battery change), or because of technical issues, you can always unlock the door via Bluetooth using a key fob, key card, wristlet, or a keypad.

Z-WAVE

Some locks have aZ-wave module integrated- a third party controller for remote access(WiFi alternative); the module helps to manage access to the door entry via your computer, tablet or smartphone.

MOBILE APP

Smart Locks are easy to use. You can continue using traditional metal keys, but with a few taps of your phone, you can easily unlock your door anytime, and from anywhere. Smart locks work with any iPhone or Android compatible phones, which means they are compatible with about 82% of mobile phones worldwide. Before setting up the lock on your door, you need to download and install your product’s corresponding mobile application in order to let the device start by connecting its program to your phone. Following installation, you will own primary control over your door’s locking system.

THE RE-KEY TECHNOLOGY

Smart locks’ mobile App features the re-key technology; you can re-key your lock to a temporary key (e-key) for your guest, and re-key it back to the permanent key upon your return. The re-key technology allows you to manage who and when can have access to your home.

THE MOBILE APP is used for:

  • Initial setup
  • Give guests temporary access with a re-key technology
  • Let people in for specific dates and time
  • Lock and unlock anytime and from anywhere
  • Re-lock automatically
  • View history of lock activity
  • Receive instant notifications of activity with your device
AVAILABILITY

Most locks can be obtained by ordering directly from the company website or via Amazon, ebay and other providers.

From our research experience, we have come up with four best Electronic Locks for Airbnb hosting; you can explore them in more detail below.

Electronic Locks for Airbnb hosting
ELECTRONIC LOCKS

Electronic locks come with one or more means of entry, which include a keypad, RFID, Bluetooth, or biometric fingerprint.

Electronic locks use keypads with a pin code for entry; and its newer models come with touch-screen panels instead of buttons, and offer special security features to help prevent burglars ascertaining the code. It enables you to enter the property with just a few simple touches of a button and lock the door with one button press

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) locks use a key fob or card for home access. You do not have to take out the key fob from your pocket with RFID technology. The door unlocks automatically.

Bluetooth-enabled locks operate in a similar way, sensing your smartphone’s Bluetooth ID and opening when you approach. In case your battery dies or you lose your key fob or cell phone, you can still open the door in a traditional way with your mechanical keys.

Biometric entry uses fingerprint identification to open the lock. You have probably used this feature on your smartphone or laptop. All you need to do is to program your fingerprint or those you want to give access to your home. Once the data is inputted, the system will know this is an acceptable person to unlock for.

With Electronic Locks, you can issue temporary codes for your guests. They can enter your home with a personalised access code, and the door can be locked with the touch of a button. 10-30 Master codes can be given to your family, friends and neighbours. You can create and delete user codes, disable all user codes. They also feature auto-locking when your door is locked after 30 seconds.

With the Z-wave module, you can manage access to the door entry via your smartphone, computer, or tablet, and it works with other smart home devices.

THE Z-Wave module is used to

  • Lock and unlock your door remotely
  • Issue new codes or delete codes from your computer or phone
  • Set schedules for when people can enter
  • Get notifications via SMS/email, such as who enters the home and when
HOW SECURE ARE THE LOCKS?

Using the smart and electronic lock’s mobile app is highly secure; getting notifications, sending digital codes and all other data exchange is protected with 128-bit encryption, which is equivalent to the security level of a bank.

CONCLUSION

Lost your keys? Forgot them at home? Or just want to let people into your home without you physically being there as the Airbnb host?

With a variety of affordable, smart electronic locks on the market, it is no longer a problem as your e-keys cannot be lost, stolen or copied. You can safely and securely exchange keys with your Airbnb guests when you want, and do so right from your phone. With so many digital locks in the market, choosing one for yourself is not an easy task; it all depends on the features you want to see in your lock, and the price you are willing to pay for it.

Whether you are already an Airbnb host who needs some help, or if you are interested in exploring short-letting for the first time, give us a call on 020 3695 9275 or get a Free Assessment and speak with one of our experts to discuss our hassle-free Airbnb services.