Having a smart lock or an Airbnb lockbox is a delightfully simple way to facilitate self check-in.
Lockboxes help you avoid having to wait around until 11 pm for late-night check-ins and prevent guests from feeling anxious about being unable to collect their room key. Plus, lockboxes can be an ultra-affordable option and come in a variety of models to choose from. We’ll walk you through some of the popular offerings in the market so you can decide which best suits your vacation rental business. (We are not affiliated with any lockbox companies)
As for smart locks, they use a combination of high-security hardware and a software app to help you control access to the property remotely.
Let’s explore both lockboxes and smart locks in more detail by looking at three recommended options per check-in system.
What is a smart lock?
A smart lock is a system that combines hardware (the actual locking device) and software that lets you control the lock remotely, via a smartphone, wifi or Bluetooth. Most smart locks work with iOS and Android phones and allow you to:
- control the lock remotely from your smartphone
- monitor who is approaching your property (some will even provide an interface to security companies)
- issue a unique access code which you can send via your mobile phone to the person that you are trying to let in
Integrated smart locks for remote Airbnb check-in
Each of the smart lock providers below connects with eviivo Suite to provide a seamless experience for contactless self-check-in
Headquartered in France, The Keys manufacture smart locks for installation into doors. Their smart door locks connect to eviivo Suite via wifi and generate a new code for each new booking. Because The Keys are fully integrated with eviivo Suite, you can therefore use eviivo Guest Manager to send any door codes safely and automatically to your guests a few days before arrival.
Extremely popular in Europe, the Nuki Smart Lock and Nuki Combo are retrofittable electronic door locks that allow you to send digital access codes to your guests. The Nuki Smart Lock can be installed on the inside of the door within a few minutes and is immediately ready for use. It is also fully integrated with eviivo Suite and can be activated from your smartphone.
Headquartered in Italy, Vikey has revolutionized the hospitality industry by introducing self check-in for hotels, B&Bs and vacation rentals. Vikey is integrated with eviivo Suite. After completing their online check-in, guests receive a “virtual key” which allows them to open the doors of the accommodation directly from their smartphone.
What is an Airbnb lockbox?
A lockbox is essentially a tiny safe. They’re just big enough to house your property keys and maybe a handful of peppermints. You can expect a lockbox body to be approximately 5.5” tall by 3” wide with about 3” of depth (14cm * 8cm * 8cm) and interior space of roughly 3.5” tall by 2.5” wide with 1” of depth (9cm * 6.5cm * 2.5 cm )
An Airbnb lockbox is a reliably secure way to facilitate the handover of physical property keys remotely. This makes it a particularly effective option for Airbnb and other vacation rental properties that accommodate1 booking per night
Type of lockboxes
Lockboxes may seem straightforward, but you’d be surprised to find just how many there are on the market! In fact, there are a wide variety of differences to take into consideration when choosing one.
Keep accessibility in mind for your Airbnb lockbox. Will all guests at all hours be able to easily unlock your lockbox?
- Combination dial locks utilize a spinning dial that goes clockwise and counterclockwise to line up points at an indicator.
- Wheel locks or 4-digit locks have a series of spinning wheels with numbers that line up to the designated code.
- Push button locks have numbers or letters associated with buttons to enter a code. This makes them very easy to use, especially as numbers can be pressed in any order. For example, 1-2-3 could be punched in as 2-1-3.
- Smart locks use an app and/or a keypad to enter a code, which is typically updated remotely.
There are two main types of Airbnb lockbox placements you can choose from:
- Mounted is more secure, since there is no opportunity to use bolt cutters on the shackle. It does require more upfront labor and will need to be permanently affixed to your property.
- Shackled, which has the loop securing a lock in place, most commonly seen around a door handle. It’s easy to find, since it’s affixed to the door it will be used on. It doesn’t present any risk of damage to your property upon setup.
Smart lockboxes and Bluetooth lockboxes are readily available with features such as companion apps and the remote capability to update combinations. Analogue options, on the other hand, solely utilize physical securities such as zinc-alloy walls and combinations.
It comes as no surprise that price increases with additional security features or the convenience of smart technology.
Smart lockboxes are anywhere from about five to six times as expensive as their analogue counterparts, and come with maintenance in battery life or charging. They may still win you over with their increased convenience, as they allow you to set up new codes and monitor access remotely.
Leading Airbnb lockboxes for frictionless self check-in
This is a mounted lockbox with a lettered combination dial lock. It held up strong against brute force attacks with thick zinc-alloy walls and unique sloped sides.
Through their trials with professional locksmiths, they noted that the combination dial lock was much more difficult to pick in comparison to the push button or numbered wheels, but it is more difficult and time consuming to set up its code. If this is a deterrent, Kidde also has a push button option, the Keysafe Permanent, 5-Key, Pushbutton.
With more than 21,000 Amazon reviews and a 4.7 rating, the Master Lock 5400D is worth noting. The 5400EC is the shackled version, but it is also available as a mounted version with the Master Lock 5401D. It has a 4-digit wheel lock with a very affordable price point. With its easy setup and simple to use design, this is a popular choice for a basic Airbnb lockbox.
With this smart lockbox, you can grant access from anywhere. Designed for hassle-free sharing, you can send PIN codes to guests through a variety of communication channels including SMS, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and you can set specific PIN access types. With their smartphone app, you’re able to track activity including the date and times the lockbox is accessed, PIN code logs, and battery status.
- Smart locks and lockboxes are key tools to facilitate self-check-in at your Airbnb or vacation rental property.
- Your lockbox options cover a range of lock mechanisms, placement methods and technologies. Pick an option that meets your needs and those of your target guests.
- eviivo Suite connects to smart lock providers The Keys, Nuki and Vikey to enable a seamless contactless check-in, including the automatic delivery of door access codes to guests.
- Smart locks and smart/Bluetooth lockboxes often function with companion apps and offer the capability to update combinations remotely for added convenience.
The smart lock or lockbox you select is a crucial element of establishing a smooth self check-in process. eviivo Suite integrates with all the smart lock providers discussed above, as well as other self-check in solutions, allowing you to synchronize your access codes for delivery straight to your guest’s inbox or smartphone.
By using eviivo Guest Manager to automatically send your guests smart lock access codes, your lockbox access information, or any other pre-arrival info they need, you ‘unlock’ the smoothest check-in experience possible.
Learn more about your self-check-in options and how you can integrate eviivo Suite with a range of advanced check-in solutions by reading our guide to creating a great contactless guest experience.