Chances are that even if you don’t have keyless entry installed for your vacation rental (yet), you’ve used one of those systems when you’ve gone on vacation. You enjoyed using that keyless entry, but haven’t decided to implement one for yourself yet. We’ll offer a few recommendations for you, but first, let’s start with why you might go keyless.
Pros of Going Keyless
There are actually a lot of reasons to go keyless, not least of which it now becomes actually impossible to lose keys! Here are a few more:
- Scale — As you add properties to your portfolio you won’t have to maintain an ever-expanding group of keys. In fact, you can manage all of them from a website or an app.
- Self Check-in — Guests love the idea of being able to check in when it makes the most sense for them without having to coordinate a meeting with the host. Keyless entry makes this possible for them.
- Safety — no more “key under the mat.” You can assign unique codes for each guest so that no one is ever in possession of a working code when their rental ends.
- Connectivity — all good smart locks have wifi connectivity, but the really great ones also have connectivity to your property management and/or calendar management software, helping you track when guests are coming and going.
But Don’t Forget
As with any new technology, keyless entry isn’t foolproof, so make sure you keep the following two things in mind:
- Have a local locksmith who knows how to service your lock. If you don’t have this resource, you’re putting yourself (and your guests) into a risky situation.
- Have a backup. Even if you have a local locksmith sometimes a solution may not be readily available for a given problem, so it’s good to have a lockbox and traditional keys in place just in case the keyless entry malfunctions or a guest somehow loses access to the code or to the device they were using to open the door.
We defer to locksmiths, people who work at Home Depot and Lowe’s, and other subject matter experts when it comes to locks, but we also hear anecdotes from our clients and from web research and the names and brands that keep coming up are (unsurprisingly) brands that have been in the traditional lock space for a very long time. It’s a good “fit” (that was too easy) for them to get into this developing space.
August smart locks are award-winning and are priced in the $149-$249 range. They use bluetooth technology, allowing your guests to transform their phones into keys.
Kwikset uses the same technology though their devices start at about half the price of the base August model, around $79. But they do have some models that feature keypads as well.
Uses an App or a Keypad
Schlage locks are priced from $159-$249 and also coordinate with smart home systems. You can use the Schlage app or enter an access code on the touchscreen. If you want to get really fancy, you can use the voice-activated feature to unlock the door.
Uses a Keypad
Yale locks feature a backlit keypad as well as seamless integration with the Google Nest home automation system. Prices range from $129-$279.
Uses Fingerprint Scanners
If you really want to get Mission-Impossible-level, you can opt for models from Ultraloq ($139-$499) or Lockly ($199-$749). Both offer fingerprint identification access apart from access code or smartphone access. Lockly also features integration with Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing voice control and syncing with your home automation setup.
Remember that keyless entry isn’t a cure-all. Always be prepared for things to go wrong. But keyless entry is one of those rare upgrades you can make in vacation rental that makes things easier for all stakeholders, you, cleaners, property managers, and most importantly, guests.
This content originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book Newsletter.