1 Oct 2021
If you’re an Airbnb host, you want the check-in process to be as smooth as possible for your guests, but the first challenge is how to let your guests in the front door. There are lots of different ways to grant your guests access to your property, so what are the best locks for Airbnb hosts?
If you’re renting out a unit or apartment on Airbnb or other short-term vacation rental sites, sometimes your options for placing a key safe can be limited. Many hosts for these properties leave the keys in a letterbox with a combination lock, giving their guests the code when they check-in.
But MLAA members are increasingly reporting instances of thieves using mobile phone cameras stuck into letterbox slots to find these keys. The average letterbox is unfortunately only of light-duty construction and is relatively easy to break open.
Key safes or lockboxes are built much tougher, are easy to install and offer a better option if you have somewhere on the property to secure them. However, there are also rising cases of these being forced open as today’s thieves know exactly what’s inside.
Then there’s the ever-present potential that an unscrupulous guest will run your keys down to the local key cutter to make copies.
Traditional keys – while a great security solution for a normal residence – clearly aren’t the best option for Airbnb hosts. A traditional key will always present a risk unless it is only in the possession of the property owner.
Thankfully, there are some great alternative security solutions for Airbnb hosts.
Restricted key systems for Airbnb hosts
A restricted key system is the simplest upgrade from a set of traditional keys. These are extremely common for commercial users, and while they’re not often found in residential settings, they’re a good option for short-term accommodation.
Restricted key systems use special key blanks that are not available on the open market, but only to reputable locksmiths. Each restricted key system is unique and is only able to be copied by the locksmith that created it or with their authorisation. The local hardware store can’t duplicate these keys.
Restricted keys can also offer customisable access, meaning different keys grant different levels of access. For example, an Airbnb host with multiple properties could have a ‘master’ key that unlocks all of them, but guests are given a key that opens only the door locks at the property they’re staying at.
Master Locksmiths offer restricted keying services and are police checked reputable security consultants you can trust.
Electronic access systems for Airbnb hosts
There is an ever-increasing selection of electronic access systems available on the market. These range from straightforward keypad systems to internet and Bluetooth enabled smart locks that can integrate with your home automation system up to high-end systems designed for large commercial users.
A high-quality electronic access system is arguably the best smart lock for Airbnb hosts. These locking systems can allow hosts to issue guests with fixed-term access to lock and unlock the door, either via a digital key sent to their phone or an access code that expires at the end of their stay.
There are even some home security systems that integrate directly into apps like Airbnb, HomeAway, Vrbo or FlipKey. Another advantage is that many electronic access control systems have an audit feature, so it is easy to know who accessed which door at what time. Other features available include touchscreen keypads, remote access functionality and auto-locking capability.
Electronic access systems are a bit more expensive and not every locksmith installs them, but the payoff is no risk of keys being lost, stolen or copied, and most of all, peace of mind.
To find out more about the best security systems for Airbnb hosts, talk to your local Master Locksmith.