A woman manages her smart lock from her phone

Automated self-check-in was already preferred by travelers. And now the Covid-19 pandemic has solidified its place in short-term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO. A smart lock’s contactless  self-check-in experience brings countless benefits to hosts and guests alike. 

This blog post serves as your guide to why you want to install a smart lock, how to easily automate setting codes, and sending them to your guests with Host Tools, and which Airbnb smart lock we recommend.

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for Airbnb and Vrbo hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on both channels. Start your free trial today!

Why invest in Airbnb keyless entry?

It’s a stormy night and your guest’s flight has been delayed for hours. It’s now 10:00 PM and you’re ready to go to sleep – but you can’t! You have to stay awake to hand off the keys to your Airbnb. You’re wasting time, and your guest is certainly already frustrated from travel delays. Coordinating a meetup for a key exchange is the last thing either of you wants to deal with right now.

This is the exact moment you wish you had installed a smart lock for your Airbnb. A smart lock allows for a complete, contactless, and safe Airbnb self-check-in

As a short-term rental host, providing an Airbnb keyless entry will save you the time and hassle you spend coordinating key drop-offs with guests. If time is money – you don’t want to spend it waiting on the porch for arrivals!

Host sitting on porch while waiting for a guest

Installing a smart lock is also another way to keep your short-term rental safe. It's rare, but there is always the risk of a dishonest guest returning to steal things. With a unique entry code, you fully remove that risk. You don’t need to worry about guests copying keys and coming back, because you can easily and automatically give guests a unique code that expires upon check-out. Your guests will also sleep soundly knowing that their entry code is unique to their phone number, and no other guests could have copied a key.

From a guest’s perspective, it’s also great to not have to worry about losing keys on vacation. Nobody wants to admit to losing a key and paying a fine. Keep out the negative memories, and use keyless entry. 

Lastly, weary travelers may not want to meet up with a host after a long flight. Providing them with a smart lock code will allow for a casual and speedy check-in process to get them relaxing the minute they arrive.

Integrate Airbnb Smart Lock with Host Tools for seamless Automation

One of the many benefits of Host Tools is that we integrate with smart locks to fully automate the self check-in process.  Our platform integrates with reliable and easy-to-use August locks, and any smart lock that uses RBOY’s Rental Lock Automator (RLA). 

Here is a quick rundown on how to set your smart locks on autopilot:

Connect your Smart Lock to Host Tools:

We’ve made connecting your August lock quick and easy. Below is a rundown of how to get your smart lock up and running:

Connect your smart lock account:

1. Click on your profile photo in the upper right-hand corner of your browser.

2. Select “Settings” from the drop-down.

3. Scroll down to “Smart Locks”.

4. Click on “Link Account”

5. Follow the prompts from the August account, and hit “Add Account”.

 Follow the prompts from the August account, and hit “Add Account”.

Link your smart lock to your listing: 

1. Navigate to the “Settings” tab under your profile photo.

2. Choose the listing you want to integrate your lock with and select the “Settings” button next to the listing.

3. Under the “Smart Lock” drop-down, select the August lock you wish to connect to your listing.

4. Save and you’re all set!

Under the “Smart Lock” drop-down, select the August lock you wish to connect your Airbnb to.

If you’re using an RBOY RLA, follow these steps: 

1. Navigate to the “Settings” tab under your profile photo.

2. Choose the listing you want to integrate your lock with and select the “Settings” button next to the listing.

3. Select “Export Calendar”.

4. Copy the iCal link that appears, and click “Save”.

5. Enter that iCal link in RLA from your SmartThings mobile app.

A person entering a code on a smart lock

Guest Codes & Communication

Host Tools manages your smart lock, from setting codes and making them active only during a guest’s stay, to sending instructions and codes to your guests.

Host Tools automatically generates a unique code for each guest using the last four digits of their phone number. This provides security to both you and your guests knowing that no past code can be used during their stay. You can easily communicate the guest’s code by including it in the automated messages Host Tools sends on your behalf. 

How to automate your guest’s code by creating a message rule:

1. Click “Messenging” at the top of your Host Tools dashboard.

2. Select the listing or listing group you would like to create a message for. Click “Add Rule”.

3. Select the “Check-In Rule” from the Templates drop-down

4. Modify your check-in message, and click where you want your guest’s lock code to appear in the message.

5. Select “Insert Tags...” at the bottom of the “Message” square, and choose “Guest’s Lock Code”.

6. The “Guest’s Lock Code” tag will then appear within the message.

7. Don’t forget to save!

The “Guest’s Lock Code” tag will then appear within the message.

Each guest’s code will only work after a guest’s check-in and until their check-out. If you have an early guest arrival or late departure you can manually edit the time the lock code will work from within the August app. However, the new time must be within twelve hours of the original check-in or check-out period.

Our Favorite Smart Lock

There are lots of Smart Locks out there so it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect one. 

Our favorite is the August Yale Keypad lock. This lock is extremely reliable, easy to use, and integrates perfectly with Host Tools. This lock is a step above the rest because it can save guest codes with check-in and check-out times. This means that if the power goes out,  or if your property loses internet, guests can still enter your rental. Additionally, you can program the smart lock to automatically lock the door when closed so you don’t have to worry about guests forgetting to lock up. The lock will also notify your phone when the battery is running low. Shop our favorite smart lock here.

Review

Investing in a smart lock will save you time and energy, allow for flexibility, and ensure that your guests feel safe and secure during their visit. Here is a recap of the benefits of a smart lock:

For Hosts

For Guests

Save time, no coordinating key drop-off

Contactless self-check-in for the weary traveler

Automate delivery and creation of passcodes to guest

Security in knowing your smart lock code is unique to you

Ability to update or revoke password access to your property

No keys to manage

The smart lock can be programmed to automatically lock the door when closed


Host Tools easily integrates with our favorite lock on the market, the August Yale Keypad Deadbolt, any other August locks, or any lock that uses a SmartThings Hub.

Self-check-in is a growing trend that shows no sign of stopping. Migrating your short-term rental to a smart lock will save you time as you expand to multiple properties. Even if you plan on only having one property, you never have to worry about coordinating your schedule with your guests or adjusting to travel delays for a key pick-up. Host Tools will make connecting your August smart lock to your properties easy, and you’ll be automating your passcode communications from day one. Save yourself time and money by joining the smart lock user community today!

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for Airbnb and Vrbo hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on both channels. Start your free trial today!

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