When the concept of a network of smart devices first came up in 1982, it was merely a dream. Today, there are over 8.4 billion connected devices across the globe and that number is estimated to reach 30 billion by 2020. The idea behind the Internet of things is automation and convenience, and a smart lock is the epitome of that.
Coordinating guest access for check-in and check-out and at the same time improving the security of your property, especially when you reside offsite, isn’t a walk in the park.
- You can’t always be around to help guests check-in. Neither can you always be around to monitor your guests’ goings and comings.
- Should you decide to leave your keys under the doormat or flower pot, the security of your property becomes miserably compromised.
- Lockboxes might seem safe, but a determined burglar can find and easily compromise it.
- Key collection services like KeyNest actually work, except that they add an extra step your guests have to take to check in and out. No guest would appreciate such inconvenience.
Smart locks, on the other hand, simply eliminate all the hiccups above, including the hassles that come with key loss. They are the king of automation and convenience when it come to automated access. And they have helped many Airbnb hosts and vacation rental owners working with us manage and monitor access to their properties.
There are, of course, many smart lock options out there. Some work excellently, some are buggy, some lack the needed features, while some others are just too inferiorly built to guarantee the sort of security every vacation rental home needs.
Whichever smart lock you decide to go for, ensure it can help you effectively do the following:
- Schedule access to your property remotely.
- Provide guests with temporary access codes to your property when they book. A typically access code can be anything from a random number generated by the system to the last last five digits of your a guest’s phone number.
- Limit the validity of each guest’s access code to the duration of their stay.
- Remotely unlock and lock your door. This feature comes in handy in the event of a guest lockout.
- View who accessed your property. For instance, the system can notify you when a guest unlocks or locks your door.
- Monitor how frequently guests use the front door.
- Assign cleaners and service people codes that only work at the specific time period they are supposed to be on your property.
- Adjust access timeframe for each lock code. For instance, should a guest decide to extend or shorten their stay, you can adjust the access period associated with their lock code.
- It can be integrated with Airbnb, other booking channels, and even channel management software like Beds24 to help you automate and manage guest access. Basically, when a guest books, the system automatically generates a temporary access code for the guest.
That’s not all. Don’t choose a smart lock just yet, as there are other things you need to consider.
- The first is how the smart lock works
Some so-called smart locks allow you to configure access codes manually on the lock. This can be very inconveniencing. The true smart locks, on the other hand, work over WiFi, and data (like generated lock codes and access logs) is streamed between the control server and the lock itself so that hosts can remotely configure and manage access to their properties.
- The second is power management
Certainly, you have already figured that smart devices are powered by batteries, and WiFi is notorious for draining batteries. Since the last thing any host wants is a lock with a dead battery, which basically means that even guests with an access code can’t get in, you want to first check how the lock you want to buy manages power.
RemoteLock, for instance, requires four double AA (1.5V) batteries and conserves battery life by only connecting to the network at intervals to import and export data. You can even shorten or lengthen this interval. That way, you remain fully in charge of power management.
- What happens if WiFi goes down?
That would be a disaster, wouldn’t it? So be sure to choose a smart lock that stores access codes directly on the lock. That way, should your WiFi go down, the lock will still be functional and your guests can still use their access codes.
We have tested a good number of smart locks in the past. So far, the one that meets all the specifications mentioned above is RemoteLock. And that’s what we always recommend to hosts and owners working with us at Helot.
Learn more about RemoteLock here.