Electronic Airbnb Smart Locks For Your Property

April 06, 2015 |

Electronic Code Locks

Both electronic locks and smart locks have become popular devices within the Airbnb host community. Bypassing physical keys entirely and replacing your deadbolt with an electronic lockbox that opens with a punch-in code or wireless signal may be a bit more pricey than a manual lockbox, but definitely has its benefits. 

In addition to allowing hosts to manage and customize access to their properties, electronic or smart locks prevent potential complications, like lost keys and forgotten passcodes. 

Here’s a quick introduction to both basic and smart electronic locks for your Airbnb property:

Basic Electronic Locks

The installation of an electronic smart lock usually requires nothing more than a screwdriver, although it can take some time (approximately 30 to 45 minutes) to replace your door handle and set up a passcode.

Most models allow you to program multiple user codes, making it easy to create and delete unique codes for your guests.  

Electronic door locks are typically battery powered, with a battery life of around 2-3 years. 

Here are some popular models to consider:

      In fact, Nathan Blecharczyk, the co-founder of Airbnb, uses a Kwikset           electronic lock at his own home!

Airbnb Smart Lock

Airbnb Smart Lock

Smart Locks for Airbnb Property Rentals

Smart lock devices replace the code-based method with an electronic system that unlocks upon  receiving a wireless signal from an authorized smartphone. Smart locks come in different shapes and styles. While some models completely replace the door handle and bolt like a code lock,others are installed just above the handle. What they all have in common is an electronic system that allows you to remotely manage who is authorized to open the door at any given time.

How Smart Are Smart Locks?

Most models allow you to wirelessly grant access to other phones by sending them a digital keycode. hey also permit you to schedule a specific period of time for that  access to last. So for example, if you have a guest coming for exactly one week, you can limit their ability to unlock the door to the duration of their stay. On top of that, smart locks will send you a notification when one of your authorized phones has opened the door, allowing you to keep tabs on who is in your rental at all times.

Keep in mind that a  smart lock can only be attached to one door, so if your property has multiple doors or a locked front gate for instance, know that you would need to buy and manage multiple locks.

What If A Guest’s Phone Dies?

No need to worry.All smart locks can still be opened with a traditional key. Otherwise, you yourself can open the door for your guest from a remote location.

What If The Internet Is Down? 

Smart locks continue to function even without a WiFi connection. Most models can still be opened viaBluetooth, and again all models can be opened with a traditional key.

What If The Power Goes Out?

Smart locks are typically battery operated, so they will keep running during a power outage. Most models not only have sensors that let you know when the batteries need replacing, but will also send you a reminder email about it.

How Secure Are Smart locks?

When a smart lock is communicating with a smartphone (sending digital passcodes or receiving signals), any and all data exchange is protected with 128-bit encryption. This is the same level of security found in online banking, so to intercept and unscramble it would take a government-grade professional hacker. Of course, there are other small electronic vulnerabilities. For example, some people have voiced the concern that the phone in your pocket can automatically unlock your door as you approach the peephole to see who’s outside.. However, more advanced Smart locks detect if a signal is being received from inside instead of outside, and will ignore the inside signals. This scenario can also be avoided with precautionary measures such as simply disabling the auto-unlock option that comes with most models. Bottom line: though smart locks aren’t advertised as being any more secure than a traditional deadbolt, they are certainly no less secure either.

Smart Lock Reviews for Airbnb Property Rentals 

RentingLock v5: $339

A remotely programmable lock for vacation rental properties. Guests can enter the apartment by using generated codes sent by text or email, which  means no more time- consuming check-ins or lost or stolen keys.

RentingLock does not require any WiFi or electricity – all you need is an online dashboard to generate codes and a special option to program and read your own NFC cards for an even more convenient experience, just like in hotels.

Lockitron: $99 (BLE Lock) -$178 (Lockitron Bridge) 

The Lockitron bolt fits over the deadbolt behind your door, making it extra simple to install (only requires around 6 screws!). The lock is opened with a signal from an authorized smartphone and a tap, though it doesn’t offer as many management and scheduling features as some of the other models. However, this model has other features that are beneficial for renters, such as its Key Match feature, which alters the Lockitron cylinder to allow you to keep your existing set of keys. A point to mention is that the turning radius may need to be reprogrammed if your door isn’t a standard Schlage requiring a 90-degree, which can unfortunately have a negative effect on battery life. 

A great thing about Lockitron is that its more advanced model – the Lockitron Bridge – includes both built-in WiFi and remote capability, so you’re not only guaranteed to receive a notification when your door is locked or unlocked but also able to manage entry from anywhere in the world.

Airbnb Smart Lock

Sesame: $149.99

This sleek smart key can be programmed to respond to not only the smartphone(s) to which you link it but also any custom knock on your door or phone. It can be easily installed in any deadbolt with some tape (no tools required). Its [included] batteries last about a year and a half, and will notify you when they need changing. With Sesame, your phone doubles as your keys! 

Airbnb Smart Lock

August: $229

This elegant circular lock is installed by replacing the original deadbolt on the back of your door. August can be managed via iPhone, Android, or online, and offers an unlimited number of digital keys for guests. This model sends notifications when the door is opened, and allows you to manage which days – or even hours – any particular guest is allowed access. August has the ability to detect when a key is close with Bluetooth low energy, and can unlock automatically as you approach.

Airbnb Smart Lock

Kevo Convert: $94.99 – $139.88

This small model replaces the deadbolt on your door and detects the smartphone in your pocket and opens with a simple tap, saving you the hassle of fishing your phone out of your pocket or bag. Kevo’s free app offers all the management capabilities

Smart Locks For Airbnb Property

Airbnb Smart Lock

ResortLock 2000: $299

An established security solution for the rental space, this product does not require an internet connection to manage the property. The algorithmic lock has been pre-programmed with thousands of temporary or permanent codes that can be provided to users. Book a guest stay and email them a code through the portal that manages locks. With ResortLock, there are no monthly fees associated with managing the lock.

RemoteLock: $289 – $549 

With durable, WiFi-enabled locks, RemoteLock allows users to lock and unlock doors remotely, receive alerts when codes are used, issue new temporary codes and bar guests’ access from their smartphone or computer.

eRentalLock: $299 – $369 

There are three types of locks to choose from in three finishes – nickel, bronze and brass. The code generation feature covers both short-term and long-term guests with the choice of a 10 digit access code or a 3-6 digit personalized code, which can be created days or months in advance. Popular features for hosts allow guests to create their own easy-to-remember, time-sensitive codes, along with two back-up keys for emergency override, and give hosts the ability to disable the valid access code, providing them with more control over the property. The weather-resistant battery has a standard 3-year life cycle with an internal clock and is easy to install on almost any door.

Airbnb Smart Lock

Bekey Smart Locks 

This Bluetooth-operated smart lock is the newest solution to key exchanges for short-term rentals based in apartment buildings. Once the host installs the hidden Orange Box component in the apartment complex’s intercom system, guests can unlock both the building and apartment doors through their smartphones or tablets. The device automatically stores the key information, making WiFi is unnecessary. Home-sharing safety is ensured through the app’s ability to delete users’ stored key information after their rental period is over.

Using a Smart Lock

Most smart lock models can’t be found in stores, and have to be ordered online from the model’s website. In most cases, smart locks can be installed in 10-20 minutes, using a screwdriver to remove the keyhole on the back of the door if required. Once the system is up and running, test out a few smartphones to make sure the authorization is working properly. Then, simply add your guests’ numbers to the list of authorized phones. Be sure to also add the  number of a friend or a neighbor so that they can unlock the door in case of emergency.

Teaching Guests How To Use Smart Locks

Not all of your guests are going to be tech-savvy. If you’re going to commit to a smart lock system, you will most likely need to provide instructions detailing how to use a smart lock app. Since most models have an auto-lock feature, your guest will only be responsible for downloading the app, and turning on their Bluetooth when they reach the house.



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