The 5 Best Airbnb Smart Locks for Your Vacation Rental Property
By Jordan Hollander
Last updated January 24, 2023
4 min read
What’s one of the most effective ways to improve the guest experience at your rental property? It might not be the most stylish decor or sexiest new technology, but installing a high-quality smart lock is one of the keys to success in the short-term rental space. A reliable, user-friendly lock can greatly improve the check-in experience for your guests, and a lock with modern tech features can streamline your operations. It can even help you earn 5-star reviews and boost revenue. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the five best smart locks so you can decide how you will upgrade your guest experience.
Why professional vacation rental managers need mobile key software
Professional vacation rental managers might need mobile key software in addition to basic smart locks because it offers more functionality and convenience for both the manager and the guests. Smart locks, such as those made by Schlage or Kwikset, can be controlled through a smartphone app or with voice commands through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. This allows managers to remotely grant access to guests through unique passcodes or access codes, eliminating the need for physical keys or lockboxes. This can also allow for self-check-in, which is becoming increasingly popular among Airbnb hosts. Additionally, many smart locks have built-in WiFi or can be connected to a WiFi bridge, allowing the lock to be controlled from anywhere with an internet connection. This can give property managers peace of mind, knowing they can grant or revoke access to a rental property from anywhere. A mobile key software can also be integrated with PMS (Property Management System) to automate check-in, check-out and even cleaning schedules. With long battery life, a touchscreen keypad and the ability to lock or unlock the door with a touch of a button, smart locks like the August Wi-Fi Smart lock or the Schlage Encode can be a great addition for the best smart lock for airbnb hosts and property managers.
There is no shortage of smart locks on the market, but all of them are not ideal for short-term rental hosts. By finding a lock that has an automated code setting service, integrates with Airbnb or your property management system, and suits your budget, you can greatly improve your check-in experience at your Airbnb.
What to look for in an Airbnb smart lock?
Before we dive into the top five, it’s important to know the criteria that make a great lock great. What should you look for?
Security: A benchmark for a secure lock is whether it allows you to set unique codes for each guest (and even housekeeping staff or co-hosts). These unique codes will give you and your guests peace of mind.
Remote access: In addition to unique codes, a good smart lock should allow you to set those codes remotely and even lock or unlock the door while you’re not on-property. This feature will make your operations more efficient, since you don’t need to be on-site to reset codes.
User-friendliness: Can even the least tech-savvy guests operate the lock? Think about whether your parents or grandparents could operate it without any assistance. You might host elderly guests, or guests from other countries who face a language barrier, and you don’t want them to struggle to access your property.
PMS integration: If you use a property management system, then you’ll get even more value out of your smart lock if it can integrate with your PMS. Based on reservation activity, codes can reset and even send to guests via email or SMS (all automated!) when these two systems can talk to each other.
August Smart Lock
One of the most popular smart locks for Airbnb properties is the August smart lock. This lock makes keyless entry a breeze, with essential features like remote access, WiFi connectivity, and an auto-lock feature that locks after 30 seconds of inactivity. August’s basic smart lock comes with an optional keypad, otherwise guests can use the August mobile app to unlock the door. The August lock can be installed over your existing deadbolt, so it doesn’t require any complicated construction work, and you, as the host, can see a live feed of all lock activity. But perhaps most compelling for Airbnb hosts is that the August smart lock integrates with Airbnb directly, so you can send virtual keys automatically through the Airbnb platform for the smoothest possible check-in experience.
The entry-level August smart lock starts at $149, and the upgraded Pro version starts at $229.
Yale Assure Smart Lock
Like August locks, Yale smart locks offer a slick integration with Airbnb, so you can automatically set and send codes through the Airbnb platform. But that’s not the only reason to choose a Yale lock; the Assure series is one of the most loved smart locks on the market. This lock can be up and running in just a few minutes, since it uses your existing deadbolt. If you’re concerned about the aesthetics of your smart lock, you’ll be pleased to know the Assure line comes in several colorways, like silver, bronze, and black. You can choose whether guests unlock the lock with a code or by using the Yale mobile app, and the reservation-specific codes expire after checkout. For security purposes, you can also view a full activity log showing lock and unlock activity.
The entry-level Yale Assure lock, with a tactile keypad, starts at $269, and the touchscreen version starts at $289.
This popular smart lock gets rave reviews from Airbnb hosts who like its easy installation, reliable functionality, and good customer service from Schlage. Although this is one of the more expensive smart locks on the market, it’s packed with features that make it worth the price, like extremely long battery life and a forced entry sensor that will trigger an alarm if it detects a possible break-in. Another notable feature is the Schlage app, which has both guest-facing functionality (like the unlock button) and host-facing functionality like real-time alerts when the lock is unlocked. Schlage doesn’t integrate with Airbnb directly, so sending codes automatically is possible with a PMS integration or a third-party like RemoteLock.
The Schlage Encode starts at $289.
igloohome Smart Lock
The first thing you might notice about igloohome’s smart lock is its sleek design, which would fit right in at a luxury hotel. Like other locks on this list, igloohome works well for Airbnb hosts because it can generate a unique code for each guest for utmost security. igloohome is one of Airbnb’s preferred lock partners, so you can automate the code setting and sending process through the Airbnb dashboard. One special feature of igloohome’s locks is that they don’t require a wifi connection. This means these locks are great for hosts in remote locations or for doors or gates that aren’t within WiFi range.
igloohome smart locks start at $199.
Although Kwikset doesn’t integrate directly with Airbnb, the Kwikset Aura can still be an excellent choice for Airbnb hosts who are looking for a lock that’s easy to use and easy on the wallet. Guests can use either a code or the Kwikset app to enter, and the Kwikset app supports multiple Kwikset locks, which is great for hosts who manage multiple Airbnbs. Since there is no direct Airbnb integration, your best bet to automate the sending of codes to guests is to use an intermediary like Operto. Hosts who use the Kwikset Aura say it’s easy to install, and the simple tactile interface is easy for guests to use too.
The Kwikset Aura smart lock starts at $135.