Industry Insights Partnerships

Guesty Partner Sharebox Shares 5 Problems With Using Traditional Lock-Boxes for Your Short-Term Rentals

October 16, 2019 |
Problems with traditional lock-boxes

Guesty and our partners are here to simplify your short-term rental management operations and ensure you please your guests every step of the way, starting with check-in.

With so many options out there to help you grant your guests access to your properties, including in-person greetings, lock-boxes and automated solutions, it can be difficult to decide which to implement into your business.

Read on to see what our partners at Sharebox have to say about the different methods property managers use to offer guests entry to their listings and why they’d be wise to think twice before going with any old lock-box. 


The most important moment of a guest’s stay is the big welcome, the first impression they get of your property and your business. 

Some hosts try to make guests feel at home by greeting them in person, but with all of the other responsibilities you have as a property manager, along with occasional hiccups like flight delays and heavy traffic, being there to meet your guests isn’t always feasible. Also, people don’t often have a lot of interest in meeting strangers, especially when they’re fresh off a plane or road trip. Most guests would be more than happy to let themselves into your properties without having to make small talk.

Instead of letting this worry you, ensure you have a system in place to fine-tune your check-in/check-out process and make things easier for you and your guests. There are many options out there that’ll accomplish this, but there are also some you should steer clear of. 

While many hosts have turned to lock-boxes to facilitate easy key exchanges with their guests, this solution presents a lot of issues.

Here are 5 problems with using traditional lock-boxes for your short-term rentals: 

1) They’re not always easy to find

Since hosts will want to place lock-boxes in somewhat discreet locations for security purposes, guests may not be able to find them right away. Though with some instruction, you may be able to guide your guests to your lock boxes, searching for the keys to their accommodations is a frustrating way to start their vacation that may make them feel they’re not in professional hands.

2) They may be concerning to neighbors

A lot of the world is still coming around to the idea of home sharing, especially those who live in the same building as a vacation rental apartment. The presence of a lock-box tells them you aren’t monitoring who comes in and out of your apartment and that might not be a great way to put their minds at ease. 

3) They can be tricky to operate

Ever try to line up numbers on a lock-box several times before you can successfully open it? With so many different kinds of lock-boxes on the market, all using different mechanisms, it can be tricky to figure out how to work each one. Plus, with time, they may get rusty and difficult to use. The last thing you want to do to kick off your guests’ vacation is put them to work. 

4) They aren’t the most secure option

If you aren’t regularly changing the codes to your lock-boxes, which can be time-consuming and a nuisance, you run the risk of your guests sharing the code with others or even returning to your property on their own without your consent. Even if you do change them, codes are breakable and people with enough time, patience and expertise can figure out how to break into your properties. 

5) They leave room for human error

Since the process of retrieving and returning keys is manual, it is entirely possible that your guests will simply forget to leave them in the lock-box when they check-out of your property. That means your cleaners may show up and not be able to access the apartment and you may have to replace your keys several times a year, which can add up as an unnecessary expense. 

Alternatives Await

Given the rising concerns around using lock-boxes, you might want to consider some clever alternatives. Something as simple as changing the way you secure your property and enable guest access can simplify your check-in processes tenfold. 

The option of utilizing a network of shops to store keys for guests is gaining a bit more attention with vacation rental property managers. This solution uses sophisticated software to partner up hosts with local shops, which serve as safe, convenient places for key exchanges, and eliminates all of the challenges presented by traditional lock-boxes, so you can get the peace of mind you need to turn your attention to your other business needs. 


Sharebox facilitates automatic entry for your guests with app-controlled storage cabinets in convenient locations throughout the city. You can rent a box near your property, assign a recipient and track the retrieval of they key, all from your mobile device. 

The service is currently available in several countries across Europe, including England, France, Spain and Sweden. Visit their website to learn more. 

There’s More Where That Came From

Sharebox is just one of the many management tools available in Guesty’s rapidly expanding Marketplace. Check it out to see how you could be saving time, enhancing your guests’ experience and streamlining every aspect of your property management business.

Ready to let Guesty transform your business?