Does a smart lock help in a short-term rental?
If you don’t have time to read the whole text but want to know whether smart locks help with short-term rentals, the answer is a simple yes! Especially a smart lock combined with a smart keypad. If you want to know all the features of such a combination and how much it will help run your vacation rental, we recommend you keep reading.
It’s nighttime, 11 pm, it’s raining and cold – the perfect time to go to bed. But no – your guest’s flight is delayed for several hours. You have to stay awake to hand off the keys to your apartment. It is, after all, a waste of time! Coordinating a meetup for key exchange is the last thing either of you wants to deal with right now.
This is the moment when you wish you had installed a smart lock on your apartment front door. The smart lock allows your guests to self-check-in – quickly, easily, and without any interaction with another person. As a short-term rental host, owner, or administrator, providing a keyless entry will save you the time and hassle you spend coordinating key drop-offs with guests.
“Where can I get the keys to my apartment” – is the most frequently asked question after booking and the first hurdle to overcome. Modern short-term rental properties are moving away from using traditional keys and opting for the benefits of smart locks – particularly a keyless entry system. Anyone who’s run a short-term rental for any period knows that having only physical keys to your place can be a real source of stress – they can be lost, stolen, copied, or locked inside the room. These types of situations cause many problems.
Sure, you can hide your keys under a doormat or maybe leave them in a bar nearby. But really, does anyone think these are reasonable solutions? The same is true of key lock boxes. Their condition often leaves much to be desired, they are fallible and difficult to use, and if they are ripped out of the wall, open, or can be seen from the street – they pose a huge security risk.
Problems at check-in will likely leave a guest feeling frustrated and annoyed even before getting to the rental property. This creates a negative first impression and ensures that the stay doesn’t start as guests envisioned.
The problems caused by traditional keys can be listed for a long time, but we have good news – installing a smart lock will eliminate them all. Introducing a keyless entry system means you can stop using keys and allow easy and quick access for guests even when you’re not around – without boxes, special apps, or involving other people.
How does it work?
The smart lock is a small device mounted on the existing door lock inside your property. It allows, among other things, to automatically close and open the front door and check the lock’s status – from anywhere – using an mobile application installed on a smartphone.
That’s right, on a smartphone. But what if someone doesn’t have a smartphone? Or doesn’t want to install another app – using roaming mobile data or having memory overfilled with travel photos. These small but significant situations can create a bad experience for the potential customers right at the start of their stay.
This is where the smart keypad comes in. It allows the door to be opened by code. It sounds simple, but it offers so many possibilities, especially if you provide vacation rental.
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A smart keypad is a small device installed close to the smart lock outside your front door. The installation itself is extremely simple and takes minutes – the surface of the back of the device is pre-covered with adhesive tape. If you want more security, the smart keypad has screw holes so you can screw it to the wall.
Keypad connects to the smart lock via a secure Bluetooth connection. All data is stored in the smart lock, so the keypad cannot be hacked. The keypad doesn’t work without a smart lock and is reasonably priced, so theft is not a big risk. Three stick batteries power the device, and you can also use rechargeable ones. These give enough power for at least six months of use.
“Digital keys” are easier to share.
Another hypothetical situation that could happen – you are going on holiday with a bunch of friends. You rent a flat equipped with a classic lock. However, plans get crossed, and not everyone wants to go to the high mountains or sunbathe on the beach but would rather stay at home or explore other places. What about the keys? Who takes them? You have to make arrangements even to get back to your place!
If you have a smart keypad, your guests will never have this problem. The entrance to your property provides a unique code generated for the period of your guests’ stay. This allows them to share access to the apartment, even if they have different things to do. A digital key can be passed on in a much easier way than its physical counterpart.
Is it better than a traditional lock?
Code instead of keys may be a much more secure solution. After all, keys can be lost, or someone can steal them. That’s a lot of trouble. You have to change the lock cylinders and get new keys. It is probably better to invest in a smart lock with a keypad instead of another traditional lock.
With a unique entry code, this danger can be completely eliminated. You don’t need to worry about guests copying, taking away, and returning with keys because you can quickly and automatically give visitors a unique code that expires upon check-out.
If a traditional key in a lockbox guarantees access to an apartment, this means that over time more and more people become aware of the code to access the property. You can usually change the access code, but it still requires a commute and is not intuitive. Smart locks make it much easier to change the code. This is generally done simply and quickly via an app on your phone or in a desktop access portal. Every reservation can use a unique access code too.
A smart lock that allows you to check access logs is worth the investment as it provides a complete list of who and when has come and left your property. This will give you peace of mind and ensure that nothing unexpected is happening.
All data is stored on a smart lock connected to the keypad, so it is impossible to hack the device. Each time an incorrect PIN is entered, the incident will be available in the logs and visible to the owner and administrator. If the PIN entry is successful, the lock event: “Opened” will be visible along with the PIN name set to control who opened the front door.
Automation of the property management process.
Okay, but what if you don’t want to spend too much time dealing with the issues related to your vacation rental? You can’t go around answering phone calls from potential clients or writing back dozens of emails a day.
The entire rental process can be automated in a very simple way. By using this service, rental issues almost take care of themselves and require minimal involvement. Access codes are sent to customers automatically – upon confirmation of check-in. They are only active for the duration of the rental period. When the rental ends, the access codes expire and are no longer allowed to enter the facility. Automating the property management process is a way to increase convenience but also rental profits.
What if I don’t use booking portals like Booking.com, Airbnb, VRBO, etc.?
Not everyone uses booking portals. Some people prefer to reach customers through other channels. In such cases, a smart lock with a keypad set will also be a great convenience. You can generate codes using the smart lock application. Guests do not need to create accounts or login into the application – you can pass the “digital keys” in a text or on the phone.
Smart locks save your time…
Time is priceless. We can spend it working, playing, relaxing with family, exercising, or… handling keys to a rental property.
One of the most time-consuming parts of managing a short-term rental property is exchanging keys between reservations. You or a contracted property manager would have to meet the customer upon check-out to collect the key and then meet the next guests – probably with a cleaning service in between. This can easily be solved by providing a key box, but this is not the most secure solution. Such lockers can also be very problematic to use and still require the need for physical keys.
The smart lock ensures keyless operation of the rented apartment – all the activities related to check-in and check-out of guests can be performed via an easy-to-use application. You no longer have to greet guests in person and hand over the keys – everything can be done remotely. No more key exchange.
Installing a tedee smart lock in the door of a rental apartment often takes less time than the single key handover procedure. Not sure if the tedee smart lock will fit your door? You will find all the information you need here. Or would you like to use an adapter? Then it would be best if you read this article.
…and your money.
Saving money and maximizing profits is a big part of running a business – including vacation rental. The purchase of a smart lock is a one-time expense – you do not have to pay for monthly subscriptions. Remote control of the rented apartment allows you to save on fuel for the car or costs related to travel by public transport.
If you hire staff, an administrator, or an agency to handle and rent your flats – you don’t have to anymore. You can arrange everything yourself, remotely, from anywhere in the world. You save on delivering keys, and you have complete control – after all, you do it all by yourself.
Keyless entry into a rented apartment also increases the offer’s attractiveness, contributing to higher profits. It is a modern solution that helps manage short-term rentals and provides convenience and flexibility for guests – highly valued features.
Connectivity with smart home devices is also an essential feature of a smart lock, which affects savings. For example, you can set it to switch off lights and other electronic devices when nobody’s in the flat, not to waste electricity or heating energy. Integration with Google Home or Amazon Alexa means you can also give voice commands, which is also pretty cool and impresses guests.
The smart keypad is easy and intuitive to use.
You’re probably wondering right now if all your guests will be able to handle the keypad – after all, not everyone is technically advanced, and older people also use rentals. We believe so! The device is used like an intercom or a telephone, and everyone uses this type of thing. A unique code must be input on the keypad to gain access to the apartment.
It’s good if this type of equipment has additional features to make it easier to use, such as a backlit keypad (so you can check in at night without any problems), button sounds, or a two-color LED to let you know if the correct access code has been entered.
Typing in a code is also often easier for guests than dealing with a creaky old door lock. The same thing applies to key boxes – their condition usually leaves much to be desired, and they are not intuitive to use.
Owners can also leave keys hidden in various places, such as under a flowerpot. But what if there are several such pots near the door? You have to look for them, and a person looking for keys in this way attracts attention.
How to use a smart lock in a vacation rental?
We can say without a doubt that keyless access to your short-term rental property with a smart lock will work in any situation – no matter if you rent one large house with a fenced yard, block flats, or even holiday cottages. It’s a universal solution that means you don’t even have to replace your existing lock and keys – an adapter can be used, and there’s no need to interfere with the existing structure at all.
If you’re wondering whether to replace the cylinder or install an adapter, here, you can find a comparison of both methods.
Using a keypad is a great way to attract large organized groups, such as school trips, if you’re running a bigger, multi-room property. Carers will undoubtedly appreciate using pre-saved access codes instead of multiple sets of keys for each door.
The smart keypad is installed outdoors and potentially exposed to the vagaries of the weather. However, you don’t have to worry that the device will stop working because it has been flooded. The keypad is made of high-quality materials and is additionally sealed with resin.
Convenience and flexibility.
Installing a smart lock provides unprecedented convenience – you can access your rental apartment from anywhere in the world and at any time – without any interaction – using an easy-to-use app.
You are no longer at risk of being late for an appointment or waiting for hours for late customers. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to go to a meeting to hand over the keys at all – all the activities related to renting an apartment can be done from your home. Your clients will be able to access the apartment using a code or an app.
Smart locks are usually very easy to use – to open the door, you need to use a dedicated app or enter the code on a dedicated keypad. Even less tech-savvy users can handle it. It is also convenient for guests.
The event log allows you to monitor the progress of your tenancy, e.g., whether the guest has already checked in to the apartment or whether the door has been closed after check-out (auto-lock function is ideal in such situations).
It also makes it easy to manage maintenance issues. You always know when the cleaning service has finished its work, so you can estimate how much such a service should cost.
A dedicated app provides access to all the smart locks you own. From there, you can monitor the rental process and open and close the door for your guests. Everything is in one place, presented in a simple way, so you don’t have to wonder if your business is doing well.
No personal contact – the perfect solution in times of a pandemic.
Keyless entry means that you no longer need to make personal contact to hand over the key. This will be particularly appreciated by those worried about contracting an infection, especially during the flu season.