Airbnb has made travelling a lot easier with inexpensive accommodations giving a chance to live with the locals and experience their everyday life.
However, for Airbnb hosts, opening their houses for tourists and visitors brings certain responsibilities with respect to security.
The main issue that arises is giving guests access to their houses. Normally, after giving them a tour of the place, the hosts would hand them the keys to keep safe and use to let themselves in.
There are, however, certain very alarming drawbacks of using keys. To tackle the issue and to manage access, smart lock systems can be used that not only help maximise ease-of-use and security but also save time and money in the long run.
Read on to find out what smart locks are, how they are better than traditional keys, the best ones for Airbnbs in 2021, and how to choose them:
WHAT ARE SMART LOCKS?
Smart locks are keyless electronic or mechanical locks that let you lock and unlock your door wirelessly using either an app on your smartphone or various other authentication methods.
They eliminate the use of traditional keys and, with it, all the drawbacks associated with using them such as the keys being lost, stolen, or copied.
There are different types of smart locks perfect for Airbnbs in the UK, with the most common entry methods including key cards, key fobs, keypads, biometrics, and Bluetooth.
Key cards are portable cards, usually the size of a credit card, that are distributed among the users of the system where each person carries their access card with specific access permissions.
These cards can be inserted into the system, swiped, or scanned using RFID technology to grant access through electrically-locked doors.
RFID is especially convenient since it allows for contactless interaction with the security interface, allowing users to access any area without any hassle or wait.
Keypads and touch screens use unique pin codes or passwords to gain access. They work quite like ATMs where entering the correct pin grants you access into the system.
Modern smart locks have replaced the old keypad buttons with touch screens with panels for a sleeker design and added security.
Smart locks using biometric entry operate like the fingerprint, retina scan, or face detection used on most current smartphones.
The system checks the unique identifiers with an earlier saved version of the data and, if they match, the user’s identity is verified and they are granted access.
Some locks work using Bluetooth technology where you just have to be within a certain range and the locks will detect your smartphone’s Bluetooth ID and open automatically when you approach the door.
BENEFITS OF SMART LOCKS FOR AIRBNB
Smart locks can be fitted to any Airbnb rental and they provide a plethora of benefits to both hosts and guests in terms of security and convenience.
However, when you wish to make the switch from traditional locks to smart ones, make sure you inform your home insurance provider so that any added or reduced risk could be assessed by them.
The biggest advantage of using smart locks for Airbnbs is that they are more secure and configurable than their traditional counterparts.
House keys are among the most commonly misplaced items in the UK with nearly 37% of homeowners admitting to losing at least one set of house keys in their lifetime.
Imagine coming back to your Airbnb rental only to find out you’ve misplaced your key and the embarrassment and inconvenience that would follow.
This would not just put the guest in an uncomfortable position but also cause great inconvenience to the host, possibly resulting in a negative review for the guest.
Since lost keys are a great risk – you can never know if they were simply misplaced or stolen by someone – you have no other option than to either have the locks rekeyed or replaced altogether.
Airbnbs host guests for a limited number of days and it makes sense to provide them with only temporary access.
With smart locks, you can grant your guests specific access permissions and revoke them as soon as their stay is over. This is an ideal solution for Airbnbs where people rent out their properties for a short time.
Instead of waiting for and ensuring that your guests have returned their keys, and getting the locks changed or rekeyed every time they leave, you can simply ‘cancel’ the access codes, barring them from entering your premises without your permission.
With keys, you know that whoever has them has access to your property. With smart locks, you not only control who enters your house but can also know when the system was used.
This great feature gives more control to Airbnb hosts over when exactly the house doors were opened or closed, and by whom.
You can know exactly when your guests leave the house and at what time they return. You can also receive notifications on your phone whenever access is granted or denied.
One of the reasons that smart locks are perfect for Airbnbs is the high level of security that they provide.
They work using modern technology that includes locking hardware, door readers, door controllers, sensors, and software, and are much more difficult to tamper with or break as compared to traditional locks.
To increase the security even more, smart locks also have a multi-factor authentication feature where two or more different types of authentication methods are used to gain access, such as access codes used with biometrics or your smartphone’s Bluetooth.
WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A SMART LOCK
When getting a smart lock for your Airbnb rental, there are a few things that need to be considered so that your property remains secure and protected from unauthorised access. They are:
Different types of smart locks work using different authentication methods and each offers a varying level of convenience and security.
Which one you choose for your property depends on the level of protection and ease-of-use you require. For instance, for a basic level of security, you may opt for a keypad with access codes, whereas if you require a high level of security, it would be best to go for biometric verification or multi-factor authentication.
Although smart locks can be fitted to any type of door, you need to consider your current lock installations to see if they can be retro-fitted or will have to be replaced.
Whatever the case may be, it is always best to consult with a professional locksmith who can guide you on what action to take to ensure maximum security.
Smart home integration
The great thing about smart locks as compared to traditional locks and electronic locks is that, in addition to giving access to guests, you can control the permissions, monitor the usage, and receive real-time notifications when the door is locked or unlocked.
What’s even greater is that they can be integrated with other smart home devices such as Google Assistant or Alexa for a more comprehensive smart experience.
When choosing smart locks, make sure they are compatible with the rest of the smart devices in your home, if you have any.
Alternative means of entry
Just as with any electronic system, smart locks also require proper use and regular maintenance to prolong their life and ensure they remain fault-free.
Smart locks come with multiple ways to access the system and, just to be on the safe side, manual key overrides in case the keyless technology fails.
Having this feature means that should there be an issue with one entry method, you could always rely on the other to open your door.
This can be extremely beneficial in preventing lock-outs and ensuring that your guests have a pleasant and comfortable stay.
BEST SMART LOCKS FOR AIRBNBS 2021
Smart locks for Airbnbs have made managing rental properties easier than ever and the experience more secure for both hosts and guests.
With the ability to assign and revoke access with just a few taps, monitoring the locking and unlocking of the door, along with push notifications and auto-locking, you can rest assured that your property will be safe from unauthorised access.
Here are our top picks of smart locks for Airbnbs in 2021:
YALE CONEXIS L1 SMART LOCK
Yale is a recognised name in the world of locks and has been in the locking industry for over 180 years. With state-of-the-art standard locks that have been protecting homes, businesses, and rental properties over the country, they have a wide range of smart locks suitable for Airbnbs on offer too, including one of our top picks: the Conexis L1 smart lock.
Some of its standout features are:
- Official collaboration with Airbnb providing hosts and guests with the best of smart home security.
- Various authentication methods including a key card, key tag, or access via the smartphone app – Conexis L1 App.
- Full control over your home security by sending virtual keys to guests and deleting or disabling access permissions when their stay is over.
- Full monitoring features with push notifications sent to your phone.
- Built-in tamper alarm, encryption, and incorrect pin code feature.
- Easy to install and compatible with most ‘Lift to Lock’ multi-point locks used in the UK.
- The world’s first smart lock to be BSI approved.
AUGUST SMART LOCK PRO
This smart lock is one of our top choices for Airbnbs due to the great level of security it provides along with a hassle-free and convenient way to grant temporary access to guests.
Some of its standout features are:
- Easy to use and navigate through an app by allowing verified users access into your rental property.
- Easy to install and can be used with existing locks.
- Compatible with various smart home platforms including Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
- Auto-lock and auto-unlock feature where it will automatically lock or unlock when your phone is within a certain distance to the lock.
- Integration with Airbnb’s booking system that gives guests a virtual key for the dates you select.
SCHLAGE SENSE SMART LOCK
Schlage is yet another renowned name in the world of smart locks and this particular model is a great option for people who rent out their homes such as Airbnb hosts.
Some of its standout features are:
- Highly functional and reliable, it gives Airbnb hosts complete control over who accesses the system and when.
- Free Schlage Home app that turns your smartphone into your key.
- Manage access permissions and lock settings from your phone.
- Compatible with a variety of leading home automation systems such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
- Physical override for emergencies is available.
You need to be able to trust the locks you have on your property but you also need to be able to trust whoever installs them.
When installing smart locks on your Airbnb rental property, it is best to contact a professional locksmith to carry out the job for the following reasons:
- Skill, expertise, and experience to work with all kinds of locking mechanisms,
- Risk assessment of your existing locks and security measures,
- Adequate knowledge to recommend tailored solutions for each client,
- Up-to-date with the latest lock technologies and familiarity with quality products,
- A holistic package that includes not just installation but a variety of other services as well,
- Emergency callout services and guaranteed fast responses,
- Specialised tools needed to carry out the job in the least amount of time with no or minimal damage to existing locks, doors, or windows,
- Insurance coverage which means that any damages done to your locks or doors will be covered,
- Clear prices, quotes, and invoices with the cost breakdown according to the labour, material, and time,
- Highest standards due to the professional reputation they have to protect.
CONTACT CALDER SECURITY
We at Calder Security are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA) since 1976 and can work on a wide range of locking mechanisms.
We understand the needs and requirements of Airbnb properties and can offer the perfect solution to make the stay a pleasant and comfortable one for both the host and the guest.
We specialise in wooden, UPVC, and aluminium doors, and are the official suppliers for leading lock brands including Chubb, Yale, Securikey, and Garrison.
Our qualified locksmiths have an in-depth knowledge of all kinds of locks and can often repair them on site.
We can also access locks that have become jammed, including safes, and can respond to your calls quickly which can be very useful if you’ve locked yourself out.
Using our state-of-the-art digital equipment, we can cut virtually any key including cylinder keys, mortice keys, dimple keys, Mul-T-Lock keys, padlock keys, locker keys, and safe keys to a high degree of accuracy without having to send them away to be cut.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 for the best smart locks for Airbnbs in 2021!