Keyless entry for Air B&B rentals

19 Replies

Hello, trying to get an idea on keyless entry people are using to manage their vacation rental properties. I’m looking for something I can control remotely that also has a temporary passcode features that I can provide to guests. I’ve been into a few and I’m considering the August Pro smart lock. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thank you!

I use Schlage z-wave locks that are also integrated with my security system through alarm.com. It is not the cheapest solution but it gives the guests peace of mind that there is a monitored security system and it is pretty easy to manage the codes. 

Doesn't that lock require YOU to let them in and out every time?  I don't think that has a keypad for entry....?

@Mark Futalan

There’s several options out there from Schlage locks which can be paired with the Lowe’s Smart Hub solution Iris, it’s cost effective and can be paired with an entire smart home solution. I’ve had my issues with August and for the price point it’s not as great for scale. There’s the Kwickset Premis locks that are also up there in price and allow you to connect to an Apple TV or Apple Home Hub to change codes lock and unlock doors etc.

I think prior to shopping for locks making a list of wants that you need the locks to do like remote access, changeable codes, lock logs, staff access, etc. and go from there. Hope this helps.

Happy Hosting

Hi yes the August does have a keypad feature but I believe it has to be purchased separately. I’ll look into the Schlage. The most important feature for me is having the ability to change entry codes remotely for different guests that check in.

@Mark Futalan I also use Schlage wireless deadbolts and door locks with Z-Wave and Nexia bridge setup.  They can be a little bit complicated to set completely up but once it's up and ready they are pretty much bulletproof.  I like to use the manual deadbolt option (meaning guests enter the code and have to turn deadbolt) as the battery last much longer with that setup.  However, with the automatic deadbolt, you can remotely lock the house if you have a guest forget to lock up. 

I have automated pre-stay emails and the code is always just the last 4 digits of the phone number on file and it's only active during their booking.  Has worked great for me for over 3 years now. 

Cheers!

We use August Smartlock and August keypad. We set the code but it will  assign a random one if you don’t want to. We set it to their list five digits in their Airbnb listed phone number so they remember it (and avoid asking you for it). 

Think ahead and consider the extent of your technologies you’ll want to integrate. We also use nest thermostats and outdoor cam to monitor. They aren’t the same but sometimes that’s a good thing.

Hi Nancy, thanks for the feedback! Yes I was also looking at integrating the nest thermostat and maybe the Ring Floodlight cameras. Definitely interested in hearing about everyone’s else’s security integration. Thanks for everyone’s feedback I’ll look into it all and see what Best fits my needs

I use Lockstate. They can be managed remotely and they integrate with you HA and Air BnB reservations.  They are ok as long as your WiFi is reliable. Their tech support has been atrocious. We are buying 4 more units. We will be trying August locks on those. I have heard from other owners they are great. 

I use erentallock.com, which is a Schlage lock with some extra code. This is the only one I've found that is NOT dependent on Wi-Fi. Instead, you can generate a code online that will work between certain times, based on the original setup of your lock. No need to connect to the lock itself, or for it to be 'online', the info in the cloud and on the lock are the same. It's brilliant. If only they made a lockbox... for that, I think I'm going to try Igloo Home lockboxes very soon.

I'd look at Igloo locks. The are pricey but they have a strong partnership with Airbnb and look to become the leader of the Airbnb lock market. I just got my hands on one this week and it's pretty sleek. They have a smart lock and a smart lockbox option if you dont want to replace a standard lock.

https://www.igloohome.co/

I also use the Schlage locks and have been pretty happy with them. As a backup, each of my properties also has a lockbox installed in a non-obvious location. In the mountains, Internet connectivity is not guaranteed. If that happens at a bad time, we can instruct the renter on getting the key from the lockbox.

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We use Lockstate (Remote Lock).  It is wifi-accessible and easy to add/edit/remove passcodes from laptop browser or phone app.  Batteries (4 AA) have to be changed every few months though - but the website will report to you percent of battery remaining so you can monitor it.  We also have keys in a lockbox nearby just in case.  The setup was a little bit confusing, but since set up, it has been easy to use and we are happy with it.

It depends on the type of property you have, and how your operation is setup. If you are required to meet your guest prior to check in, I think any lock would work. But if your operation doesn't require you meeting your guest, then key-less entry is a good investment. These locks are usually pricey so you can justify the investment if it is really going to save you time to deliver key each time.

We also use the Lockstate locks like @Caroline C.   The interface is really easy to add guests and the codes automatically expire.

Wifi Locks were also a big selling point for us.  We have great blanket wifi using mesh network points which makes it easy to add and update the locks without any intervention from us.  The ZWave stuff was...hit or miss and you have to have an automation hub near each lock or daisy chain some ZWave transmitter devices.  Wasn't worth the hassle.

We still use some automation but not for locks.

Only downside to Lockstate is they can be fussy when entering codes.  Slow and deliberate is the way to go with that keypad, something renters learn by the second or third try entering their code and then no problems after that.

Hi, @Mark Futalan I have used both Schlage and August and must say Lockstate currently beats all products on the market and is the first smart wifi lock or product for that matter, that got officially promoted and supported by Airbnb and the channel management solution Beds24.

I use Lockstate in all our rentals in Germany, Tuscany, and the USA. They work so well, that I became an exclusive distributor for many European countries to spread the good news ;-) So feel free to send me a PM if you need to outfit your European dwellings.

There are quite a few threads on this exact same topic (AirBnB, WiFi smartlocks, and all the brands) all over Bigger Pockets.

Just a reminder that I speak here not to tout a company's toys but as a passionate traveler and host with a knack for tech that actually works and makes our lives easier. The reason I became a European distributor of this product after searching long, wide and far. This doesn't mean I will not praise where praise is due. That said...

One of the many reasons I chose Lockstate is that it has redundant solutions:

  1. Real physical key (if all fails)
  2. Keypad (stand-alone solution)
  3. Remote App (not really a good idea - anywhere)

Together these provide 100% guarantee that I don't have to drive down to my Tuscan villa in the middle of the night to open the door for guest I can't make happy anymore :-(

The real physical key solution allows me to provide guests the keys in a nearby lockbox when all else fails. This way I never need to worry.

The battery-powered keypad is absolutely vital should wifi, internet or apps fail. And as we all know, they do from time to time.

The App is great but too many things can go wrong (no signal, lost the phone, forgot to download the app, don't know how to use the app, kids using codes and phones, Bluetooth what?) and at the end of the day, we need to be able to use common sense in getting into a door.

  • Yes, you will need a WiFi set up to control the lock at your location and a very cheap subscription if you want to control the locks remotely -  but you don't have to.
  • Beware of shiny, good "Apple" design looking products made of cheap and light plastics, especially when it comes to longevity and the heavy mechanics needed to withstand millions of physical movements and human force. 
  • Also, remember the water- and weatherproof factor.
  • The "on top of door deadbolt" solutions are NOT preferable over the inside lock solution. They are easy to destroy or dismantle. You get what you pay for.

In terms of surveillance and privacy keep in mind that none of us like to be watched by our host or Big Brother 24/7/365 - because they can and they do. It's becoming one of the biggest challenges in this century. 

In Europe, where 440 million people live and travel, it's illegal to install or operate audio or video surveillance devices when hosting your own dwelling or observing the public (YOU). You can't even have a camera facing the street (like at the main front door for example) without a special exemption (which you won't get) since it infringes on people's privacy.

It's hard to say where the smart lock journey is going but the company that stays flexible and evolves to create the most compatible (door- and lock-types), easy to install, maintain and use solution, will be around in years to come. Lockstate is partnering with competition and other related business in this space to stay ahead of the game. Because eager China and hungry India are not just catching up, they're kicking our complacent American/European butts ;-)

@Mark Futalan I manage an airbnb investment property from out of state. I use the Schlage BE365 keyless lock and have my housekeeper/property manager change the codes. I choose not to go with the remote wifi worried technical issues would be troublesome if there was a disconnect, but I'm always having technical difficulties!  I have a back up key in a lockbox if any issues were to arise from the keypad. Been running for almost a year and so far so good.

We also use the Schlage z-wave locks

They are great

with 13 units We as owner have 1 code for us

Cleaner has their own code 

and then each unit is set up with a separate code.

We can see on record when cleaner arrives and then leaves. Which is helpful. Normal checkin for guest is 3pm

but if cleaner is finished at say 11:30 am then we let guest know they can checkin early. I nice little perk for guest and the reviews we get show it.

We also use Nest Cameras for exterior of property only.

Your property is your investment, so you want it secured and know whats going on.

Schlage Z Wave. We use it with the Smartthings hub and it's great. Pretty easy to set up and works great. I can add different codes for each guest, monitor if the door has been locked or left unlocked after checkout and if it has been left unlocked, I can lock it remotely. It's really very easy. Not the cheapest solution, but a good working one. I'm so happy we invested in these.

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