Any time a guest is at your vacation rental’s door, it’s possible they’re feeling exhausted from a long day of travel — and guaranteed they’re hoping a stay in your home will feel both easy and safe.
One of the first tests to meeting that expectation: do you have the best door lock for your vacation rental? One that is both convenient and secure?
Something as simple as a keyless lock or rental lock box can either put that guest at ease or frustrate them before they’re even inside. And for you, this moment can impact how positive or negative their review of your property might be.
That’s why it’s important you know how to navigate the keyless entry landscape. From why it’s essential to your vacation rental business to all the considerations you should make before selecting a product, here’s how to narrow down the options and give your guests a safe and simple vacation rental check-in.
There are three big reasons to consider making the switch from old-school key handoffs to keyless locks and entry systems.
When vacationers reach their getaway home, they want to travel the path of least resistance. Guaranteeing a seamless entry process — one where they can simply punch in a code and get through the door — helps them feel at ease more quickly.
It also means you (or your on-site Guest Contact) don’t have to coordinate a physical key hand-off. This limits unnecessary interaction and offers flexibility on check-in time. These elements of convenience and respect for privacy boost guest satisfaction, and can help you guarantee five-star reviews (not to mention avoid bad ones).
Not only will you no longer need to coordinate and meet with your guests before every stay, but you’ll also eliminate needing to meet up with maintenance staff and cleaning crews. With keyless locks in place, all guests and personnel can enter your property before, during, and after bookings without you having to constantly worry about the logistics.
Keyless entry technology allows you to program codes from afar and gives you the ability to track every single entry on your smartphone. It’s a simple way to stay in the loop on who comes and goes, and can quickly raise the red flag if you see someone’s gone in when it isn’t expected.
These systems also reduce the likelihood that keys will get lost, and minimize fear of intruders picking the lock. And if you were to be confronted with unauthorized individuals trying to gain access to your home, changing a key code is a lot faster (and less expensive) than changing a lock.
To keep the guest experience front and center when implementing a keyless entry system, homeowners should:
Some keyless locks have combination dials rather than keypads, but those can increase the risk of human error when attempting to enter a code. Touchscreen and code punch models keep this possibility low, and they often light up when in use to make it easier for a guest to successfully open the door at night.
This comes down to guest satisfaction. If vacationers need to download an app they’ll only use to enter your property, it adds an inconvenient step. Guests should feel like you’ve taken all unnecessary tasks off their plates, so they can get to the fun and relaxation faster.
Keyless entry systems are hugely beneficial, but they aren’t foolproof. There’s always a chance you’ll run into technological difficulties upon guest arrival, which is why our Guest Experience team recommends having a lock box as a backup. You should also let guests know about the backup plan prior to their arrival to prevent any last-minute messages or frustrated late-night phone calls.
While many entry systems glow when used, it’s still important to provide ample lighting so guests don’t struggle to see what they’re doing. Have on-site service teams check the lightbulbs of your front door fixture between each guest stay as part of their cleaning and maintenance to-dos, and put the backup lock box in a well-lit area.
Along with the best practices for creating a five-star guest experience, here are a few additional considerations for zeroing in on your smart lock of choice.
Many keyless entry systems on the market allow you to program unique code combinations for a variety of authorized users — housekeeping, inspectors, maintenance providers — to be sure the right people are entering at the right times. (You can also input emergency backup codes in case users have trouble gaining access.)
Where your home is located could have an impact on the functionality of your system. The salt air at a beachfront property, for example, may interfere with some keypad technologies, while extreme cold can freeze code punch buttons or cause touchscreens to glitch. And if your vacation rental is located in a remote area with spottier connection, you may want to reconsider Bluetooth-powered models. Before making any shopping selections, our Partner Development team recommends checking in with the vendor to raise any location-based concerns.
There are some very fancy security systems out there that can cost thousands of dollars, but that high cost doesn’t necessarily equate to an increased security benefit. While it’s important to do ample research to understand the ins and outs of every option, you can rest easy knowing that a more modest investment can be just as effective in securing your vacation rental and guest satisfaction — rather than making a huge dent in your income for the year.
A lot of homeowners purchase locks from national companies online, but don’t actually have technicians in the area who could service the lock if something goes wrong. Make sure local locksmiths have the ability to fix your smartlock of choice in the event that it breaks or glitches. Otherwise, you could be looking at a much more costly — or frustratingly delayed! — solution.
Here at Evolve, our mission is to continue providing you with all the tips and tricks possible to make vacation rental easy for everyone. That’s why we’ve created our Vacation Rental Success Guide, a downloadable resource packed with intel and instruction that helps you turn expert insights into action.
From details around keyless entry to tips for flawless guest communication, our guide has everything you need to champion hospitality, outshine your competitors, and boost your vacation rental’s performance. Sign up below and you’ll be one step closer to having the best money-making vacation rental in town.