Get started

Airbnb self check-in: How to help your guests help themselves

Why Self Check-In?

 Picture this.

After counting down the days for what feels like an eternity, you’re officially on vacation! Your plane (finally) landed, you reunited with your baggage, survived customs, and now…you’re already exhausted. Ready to put your stuff and yourself down, and close the door to the outside world behind you for just a little while? There’s only one more thing standing in the way: getting through that door.

Airbnb Self Check-In

What will it entail? It really depends on which type of traveler we’re talking about. Those looking for some extra service will most likely sign up for a hotel, while others looking for more quiet solitude will opt for a home-away-from-home type rental. Property managers and homeowners, pay attention: this means your people aren’t itching for extra human interactions. And an Airbnb self check-in is just what the vacation doctor ordered.

The reasons that self check-in is taking over the tourism industry as one of the top property management solutions are obvious:

Guesty For Hosts

No lock-picking.

No arranged meetings, schedule conflicts, or awkward small talk.

Not to mention, some of the new security technology on the market is downright cool.

But how is self check-in even possible? These days, there are many ways for travelers to let themselves in that are revolutionizing privacy, security, and the travel experience.

Here’s everything you need to know about preparing an Airbnb self check-in process.

Airbnb Self Check-In

Short-Term Rental Lockboxes & Key Safes

Attaching a lockbox or key safe to your door handle or wall allows someone to let themselves into the property by obtaining nothing more than a code ahead of time. When installing one, pay careful attention to the following:

Placement of your Airbnb lockbox

A good lockbox takes a lot of loud effort to break into, and for burglars without locksmith experience, it’s not any easier than breaking down the door. Lockboxes are already pretty secure: a sturdy lockbox can usually withstand about 45 minutes of banging with a hammer. Your placement strategy is nonetheless very important to reduce any potential risk.

  • If you have an apartment or other building complex, keep the lockbox inside the building or beyond the first gate or door so that it isn’t accessible from the street.
  • Similarly, if you have a house, keep your lockbox out of sight from the main road. Some places you can set it up include the side of the house, the backyard fence, or the garden. (Be careful not to make your guests feel like THEY are breaking into the property.)

Securing your Airbnb lockbox

Lockboxes can either be attached to a wall with screws, or hung by a metal loop around a secure surface such as a door or railing. Although both are very secure, screws in a wall are thought to be targeted less.
IMPORTANT: Change the lock code after each guest leaves, to guarantee full privacy for your next guests.

Airbnb lockbox sizes

Lockboxes come in a variety of strengths, sizes, and dial formats, such as:

  • Push-button locks: Allow you to set a combination you can punch in any order.
    Airbnb Self Check-In
  • Wheel models: This model has four scrolling wheels with numbers or letters to form a combination.

  • Dial models: Similar to a classic high school locker padlock, with one rotating dial for entering a combination.

Locksmiths stand by dial models as the hardest to break into, but the type of building, landscaping, and local environment should all factor into which features are the most important respective to your property. Find the right balance between strength and ease-of-use when selecting your lockbox.

Virtual Keys for Your Short-Term Rental

What could be better than getting to a door that requires no material object to open except a secret code or private scan? There’s no doubt technology will continue to evolve beyond this, but it’s honestly hard to see how with tools already so convenient.

For any property manager or homeowner acquiring additional properties and expanding their business, any time they can save is priceless. Leading this trend are the brands VirtualKey and SlickSpaces, whose products go beyond simply being a key in the door, offering temperature regulations, automated staff alerts, and more.

Here at Guesty, our smart lock integrations access information relevant for each guest through our platform and property managers have a variety of smart lock technology to choose from, offering all kinds of beneficial features including:

  • completely removing keys from the equation
  • automatically sending uniquely generated codes for each guest, ensuring maximum privacy
  • detecting vacancy and scheduling maintenance accordingly

These services will save you substantial time and money, making smart locks an investment that pays back tenfold in the long run. When signing up for a property management software, look for one which has incorporated smart lock technology.


A post shared by Dog & Bone (@dogandbonecases) on May 26, 2017 at 2:58pm PDT

There! Wasn’t that easy?

Proper installation and preparation make Airbnb self check-ins incredibly convenient, simplifying many aspects of your guest’s arrival by allowing for more privacy, a more flexible schedule, and as a bonus, less work for you!

With reliable guest communication services, the practice of a face-to-face meeting with guests has transformed from being a need into a mere formality. And with even more free time to focus on scaling your business, be sure to check out these helpful tools for improving vacation property management.

Prev The key to providing the best guest experience
Next The biggest communication challenges in short-term property management
Latest posts
Guesty acquires Rentals United, expanding market leadership
Everything you need to know about digital guest guidebooks – including how to create your own
Improve guest loyalty with rewards 

Sign up for our monthly newsletter