Remote keyless entry system for check in

15 Replies

Hi folks. I’m wondering if anyone has any experience / recommendations for a door entry system where a guest can have a key code issued at check in that lasts the duration of their stay and then expires. So it would have some kind of software integration that would create a new key code and issue that code via text or email or a web page to the guest upon check in. And, that code could be entered into the device at the entry door which would unlock the door allowing access to their rental. Hopefully this is a worthy topic! Thanks, Dave

It's not clear right off the bat if you mean a totally hands off system or a system where you tell the lock when the guest will have access.

If you're talking about a lock that will generate its own code right when the guest checks in, communicate that code automatically to the guest, and then revoke that code when they check out; I'm not sure a system like that exists.  Nor am I totally sure how that would work.

If you're talking about a lock where you tell the lock when the guest access date/time should be, and then have it email/text the code with instructions to the guest, I think only ResortLock does that end-to-end INCLUDING email/text to the guest and then revoking the key automatically after the guest stay ends.

If you want everything but the auto-communication to the guest, and in some cases no ability to auto-revoke codes, there are a few.  Schlage, Kwikset and Yale have some, probably one or two others I am forgetting.

But I think the first thing you need to decide is how the lock is going to communicate.  If you don't want to get an automation hub like Wink or Smart Things, ResortLock is probably your only option, they have WiFi locks that don't need the z-wave automation hub in-between your internet connection and the lock.  If you're going to add an automation hub, then you have a few more options like the other manufacturers listed above.

We use Schalage Camelot Touch Locks.  We like that they do not have a raised keypad. Raised keypads tend to stick in the winter in Minnesota.  They can take up to 19 different codes so that can get you through quite a few stays.  There are wireless ones that are out there but we do not want to be solely dependent on our internet working for our guests to be able to get in.

August Smart lock , August smart keypad and AugustConnect. All sold separately.  The connect piece is what allows us to program it from out of state. It links with Airbnb and generates its  own code and will text or email it to guest too. We like it. We choose to program it with guests phone number so they remember it ( less chanc3 if reaching out for it.) we also use to August doorbell cam which is hardwired.

Great info thanks everyone! I was checking out the August products. They look very interesting. I hope this discussion helps others.

Quick question to Nancy regarding the August smart lock. Does the guest have to install the app or have a smart phone to unlock the door? Or is there an alternative with say the keypad to solve the issue?

Use remote locks from Remotelock.com. I switched to these about a month ago and they are perfect. They connect to your Wi-Fi and you can log into the remote lock portal and set codes. You can also put an access schedule on for each code and get notifications sent to your phone or e-mail when someone uses the code.

I recently also installed SmartLock (remotelock.com) on one of my units and I'm happy with it so far.  It connects to your wifi and allows you to fully manage remotely and monitor usage.  I believe it has all the features you are looking for, including integration with AirBNB for a small monthly fee, and even if internet is down, the door codes will work.

Full disclosure though, they had a pretty serious screwup recently that bricked some of their locks.  Hopefully they will prevent this from happening again, and I'm sure this kind of thing can happen to any of these sorts of companies.  https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/8/15/16151798/lockstate-6i-software-update-break-lock

I'll piggyback this conversation.  We do have the locks with codes, but we have never actually used them remotely.  For those of you who do, is there a monthly charge to use the remote access?  Ours has a monthly charge to go that route, so we've just never done it.  I guess I hadn't thought that there might be some brands out there that don't actually require a monthly fee.

This old bag again. 

Just get a digital deadbolt and use the same code for everyone. I have up to 20 guests on any given day I don't have time change codes for every guest that time would be better spent looking for the next property. If I have an issue with a guest (never) or I have to fire a cleaning crew, I'll change all my door codes. Otherwise why bother? 

I'm more interested in getting people IN to my properties than keeping them out. 

@Lucas Carl I agree with you. It seems like new technology comes out and everybody wants to spend money because they can spend money. I do always keep a spare key hidden in a key box with a code in case the digital dead bolt fails or becomes jammed. When you hire a VA they can have all this info and will make your life much simpler. Take care!

Best Regards,
Eric

@Lucas Carl I think the remote set and auto-revoke of codes is just a different approach, not that it's necessarily better than the same code for everyone, but in my case, I prefer the slightly less liability risk of having that ability.

When someone checks out in your case, the code they just used is now valid for the next guest, and the next, or however long you keep that code on the lock and re-use it. 

In the case of the remote set/auto-revoke locks, there is no change that guest can enter the property again with the code I provided them while someone else is staying there.

To me I'd be pretty annoyed if the hotel I was staying at told me any guest that stayed in my room over the last few months and kept their key could access my hotel room any time they liked.  It's just not for me.

I must be pretty old fashioned.  A standard brass key with a locking knob and deadbolt is all I use.  Once someone is inside, the keys are on the kitchen table.  I generally keep my houses locked, but will unlock the door if I know someone will be moving in that day.  My apartments, I leave them unlocked when they are vacant.  It's easier for me when a renter contacts me for me to tell them the address and they go directly there and let themselves in. 

Within 24 hours of them moving in is when rent is collected, usually it's collected the same day.  On any given week, about half of my renters are repeat customers.  They know the routine.  I know their routine.  There are several repeat customers that I've never even met, just texted them on the phone.  They move in. They work weird hours. They tell me the weeks rent is in the microwave or in a book.  I collect and leave a receipt.  They tell me that their gone and the final rent is in the usual place.

I use the erentallock system. You can do exactly what you want to do, make a code that lasts from a certain time/date and expires in the future, and you can do it without any type of connectivity. No bluetooth, no wi-fi, etc. You first setup the lock with a master code and that is used as a hash to generate future codes. You do need to be able to access their web site to generate the codes, but you can do this from anywhere. You don't need to be where the actual door lock is. The web site is a little bit clunky, but it works great and will do the email right from the app. Or, copy/paste the code into whatever you use for notifying guests.

I've been using this system for 5 years and I've continually compared it to the new ones on the market (igloohome, rentinglock, resortlock, lockitron, etc.). I believe erentallock is still the best bang for your buck.

Now if only I could find a lockbox that does the same thing...

I've never heard of a few of these.  Just following for future reference.  Thanks for the info.

@Lucas Carl do not do this: "Just get a digital deadbolt and use the same code for everyone" ... never sacrifice security for convenience. get a lock that has thousands of codes. Manage each guest. It's the same basic price. 

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.