Essential Guide to Setting Up Smart Locks for your Airbnb
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Every Airbnb should utilize smart locks. With smart locks, you can create personalized codes for each of your guests, receive alerts when people are entering your home, and avoid guests duplicating or losing your keys. These features make your property more secure, providing a safer experience for your guests.
Using a smart lock can be overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be - just follow these tips based on our experience using smart locks at our Airbnbs. These tips are simple, and adding a smart lock will save you lots of time in the long run and while also protecting your home.
1. Choosing the right lock
Pick a smart lock that you can use remotely.
Configuring and monitoring your lock remotely allows you to make changes from anywhere, saving you time by avoiding extra trips to the property.
How can you tell when a lock can be used remotely? Make sure the lock has “Z-Wave” or “Zigbee” and avoid programmable keypads.
Is this the only entrance to your house? Pick a smart lock with a backup key option.
If the power is out at your property, your smart lock won’t work. By using a lock with a key override, you can make sure your guests can still enter your house in this situation.
Keep a lock box and a copy of the key nearby for emergency situations. You can lock this on the property or keep it with a trusted neighbor.
Our recommendation: Yale Smart Lock
Our favorite smart lock for Airbnbs is the Yale smart lock - it can be used remotely, and they have an option both with and without the backup key option.
2. Choosing the right app
Smart locks usually come with their own app, but usually this isn’t enough.
With these apps, you can manually rotate the codes and send them out to your guests, but that’s time-consuming and you might forget to rotate the codes between guests.
Our recommendation: Neome App
We recommend using a separate app, like Neome. Neome will sync with your Airbnb and Vrbo calendar and automatically rotate the codes and send them to your guests for you.
3. Setting up the lock
Once you decide on the lock and app you want to use, setup and installation will vary depending on your solution. Most locks are fairly straightforward to install, but you could also hire Geek Squad to come out for an installation if you’d like.
If you’re using Neome, the lock shipped to you will work with your Neome account out of the box and sync with your Airbnb and Vrbo calendar. If you’re using another application, the setup will vary.
4. Deciding when to rotate the door codes
Don't set and delete guest codes exactly at check-in/check-out times.
Sometimes your guest could arrive a bit early. Or, if you disable the code right at check-out, you might lock your guest out while they’re leaving.
Our recommendation: 1-4 hour grace period
This means you would enable the code up to 4 hours before check-in and disable it up to 4 hours after check-out. We also recommend informing your guest that there’s a strict window for their personalized code. This prevents miscommunication and deters the guest from overstaying.
You should also set static, non-changing codes for yourself and your house cleaners; this is a basic feature you can find in any app.
5. Creating a backup plan
The last thing you want is to lock out your guest. In the event of a power outage, internet problems, or dead batteries, we recommend a backup plan.
Make sure your lock app has the ability to support backup codes.
Backup codes are preset to the lock and can be sent to your guest if the lock is offline. Neome has the ability to pre-program backup codes that are automatically sent to the guest if the lock is offline.
As mentioned above, a lock with a backup key option can also help prevent locking out your guest in these situations.
6. Managing lock batteries
Make sure you monitor the lock’s battery level!
Replace the batteries when they fall below 60%.
If the battery level falls too low, most locks disable wireless communication in order to conserve energy for locking and unlocking the door - meaning that you won't be able to program the lock. Neome notifies you if the battery falls below 60%, then you or your cleaners can simply replace the batteries.
We recommend using high quality batteries
Most locks use AA batteries, and most locks can last over 6 months on one set of good batteries, but this also depends on how often the lock is used.
Interested in learning more about Neome? Click here to learn more about how Neome can automate the management of your Airbnb.