A while ago, two university graduates thought of a simple method of making a bit of extra money. A large conference was passing through San Francisco and hotels were booking up fast. They laid few air mattresses on the floor of their apartment and created a simple website for conference delegates looking to avoid extortionate hotel prices. The website’s name? ‘Air Bed & Breakfast’.
Fast forward a decade and Airbnb has transformed the hospitality industry. Now millions of people around the globe are venturing and transforming their homes into successful business ventures.
While these are rather interesting, and potentially lucrative times, many possible hosts have reservations about the security implications of letting their property out.
Keys are a frustration at the best of times. The average person spends around 60 hours each year searching for their keys. We forget them, we lose them, we leave them in the door. So, entrusting your property keys to a stranger is a big question.
There are also logistical implications with the check-in process. If you stay in a hotel, you book your reservation, you show up there with some ID and a means to pay and you are given a key or a card to your room. Either if it’s a cheap motel or a five-star resort, the check-in process is pretty much always the same and everyone is accustomed with the process. But this process is not the same for Air BNBs.
The most common question asked is, ‘How do I get the keys?’. Handing over keys can be a real annoyance, often being a hassle for everyone.
Introducing Smart Locks
Smart locks are the perfect solution for self-let properties. Smart locks are electronic locks, which unlike smart locks do not have a keyhole and thus do not require a key. Instead they internet with the outside world using wifi or bluetooth. Many smart locks can be locked and unlocked using the manufacturer dedicated app and this is where smart locks offer superior convenience.
One feature of some Smart Locks is that it allows you to generate and send codes for a specific date, time and duration. This means that once the guests reservation expires, the code expires as well and can no longer have access to the property.
Codes are simply sent either by email or SMS or any other messaging app, removing annoying visits to the property for the owner to hand the keys. These codes are generated using the admin portal or mobile app, available on both iOS and Android, making ‘handing over the keys’ obsolete.
Many Airbnb hosts still live in the to be rented property and rent it out only when they’re away or simply let out a single room. For landlords concerned about their personal possessions smart locks offer a great way to secure your properties internal security. Unlike traditional locks smart locks cannot be picked or bumped and offer a better level of security when compared to the average lock.
There are many uses for this technology. For example, a holiday property may have a swimming pool or sauna. By installing these sorts of locks, landlords can generate additional revenue by charging for access to these facilities. Once payment has been done, a code can be sent to the guest, granting access for a specified amount of time.
Smart Locks while more expensive do offer a better level of security for both your internal and external security requirements but the real value is in the smart locks convenience when compared to a traditional lock.
This Bog was written by Callan Wells-Raynes, a manager at ITCC Locksmiths in London.