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5 tips for (Airbnb) hosts when choosing a smart lock for their rental property
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5 tips for (Airbnb) hosts when choosing a smart lock for their rental property

Get Inspired 30.07.2021 | Marion Zelzer

Smart locks will make everyday life as a short rental host easier. As a matter of course, there are certain things to consider when buying an electronic door lock. Here we have compiled five considerations you should think of when buying a smart lock for your short rental property.

Tip 1: Your existing cylinder does not necessarily have to be replaced

Your existing cylinder does not necessarily have to be replaced

One of the biggest differences between various smart locks is the retrofittability. If a smart lock is not retrofittable, a replacement of the locking cylinder is mandatory. But there are also smart locks, which do not necessarily require a cylinder change. One of the most versatile electronic door locks is the Nuki Smart Lock. It fits the most common cylinders in Europe and is mounted on top of the existing cylinder on the inside of your door.

This also means that you can still use your old key if needed.So if people in your environment do not want to use the smart lock, they can still use their key like before. The most important point here is certainly compatibility. Not every retrofittable electronic door lock might fit your locking cylinder. Make sure to clarify this first before purchasing a smart lock.

Tip 2: Make your smart lock web-enabled

Make your Smart Lock web-enabled_Nuki Smart Lock

You can navigate your smart door lock from everywhere, if it is web-enabled. It does not matter whether your guests arrived early and you are stuck in traffic. You can simply open the door for your guests remotely. This is also really useful if you rent out holiday accommodations in different cities or even other countries. An electronic door lock with remote access has advantages for both guests and hosts.

Several smart lock companies offer a bridge as an addition to make your smart door lock web-enabled. And when in Bluetooth range you can still use these local functions as well.

Tip 3: Check which security measures the smart lock is based on

Check which security measures the smart lock offers

In general you should choose a smart lock that has been tested and certified as secure. Nevertheless, it is worth taking a closer look at the security functions, and not only at certifications like from AV-TEST. Because not all smart locks have the same security standards. It is recommended to only buy a smart lock that works via end-to-end encryption (also used for online banking).

And there are security mechanisms designed to give you full control and overview of your property.An important aspect, when it comes to the sense of security, are access logs. With this feature you can check who opened and locked the door at which time. With a door sensor you can moreover see whether your door is really closed, or if it has been locked while open. Furthermore, most retrofittable smart locks are not visible from the outside. So nobody can tell from the outside if you have an electronic door lock or not. And if you really want to be on the safe side, check whether you can book any additional services (locksmith insurance etc.), in order to be prepared for all eventualities.

Tip 4: Make sure that the smart lock can be integrated into channel management systems and property automation systems.

Make sure that the smart lock can be integrated into channel management systems and property automation systems.

The more apartments you rent out, the more complex the administration becomes. Besides, you will have to offer your accommodation on more than one platform. If you live further away from your accommodation, it can get really complicated to keep everything running. Of course, you can hire external partners for all these tasks. Or you can save your increase in turnover and rely on automation.

Channel management systems like Smoobu or Guesty are very helpful tools if you offer your accommodation on several booking portals. As soon as you rent out several apartments, a property automation system like Operto is a real gamechanger. This all-in-one solution provides you with a central platform for all your accommodation needs. You can use these platforms to manage guest entries, property monitoring (e.g. noise levels), smart thermostats, digital access solutions, and much more – all in one centralised place and all automated by once connected to your reservations. However, this only works smoothly if you choose a smart lock provider that is compatible with these systems. Especially if you plan to rent out more units in the future, you should consider this aspect now.

Tip 5: Consider which add-ons the smart lock offers

Consider which customisable access options the smart lock has

Each accommodation and every guest has different requirements. So it is practical if you can offer different opening options for your digital door lock. This also makes it easy for those who do not want to use an app. We know from many interviews with hosts that downloading an additional app can be a barrier for guests. Therefore, keypads that operate the smart lock by entering a code on the outside are ideal for short-term rentals.

With individual codes, your guests can easily gain access to the rented accommodation. And you always know who had access because of the different codes. Some smart lock companies work directly with Airbnb. This has numerous advantages. For example, codes can be sent for the according booking time automatically.

Therefore, look for a smart lock that suits your individual needs as a host.
Keep these 5 questions in mind:

  • Is your locking cylinder compatible?
  • Do you need remote access to the smart lock?
  • What security measures does the smart lock offer?
  • Which automation system is the smart lock compatible with?
  • Are there add-ons for the smart lock that fit your accommodation perfectly?

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