We've gone through the importance of Airbnb for the travel industry before. Especially during the pandemic, they refocused their ambitions on the domestic market and flourished - culminating in their IPO. We've also covered some basic tips & tricks on how to become a more successful Airbnb host. In this article, we'll be talking about hardware improvements for Airbnb hosts. So throw away your Airbnb lockbox and rejuvenate your property!
How to Choose an Alternative for a Lockbox
Remember, nowadays; a door lock is more than just a device to keep out the uninvited: smart locks, touchscreen locks, fingerprint locks, and all offer different options. Metal keys can be copied. Lockboxes can be forced open or picked. The point being, even in terms of security, traditional lockboxes are inferior to modern locks.
Smart Locks are a good choice for Airbnb hosts; they strike a good balance between versatility, range of features, and security. However, it's best to understand the difference between the alternatives before dumping your Airbnb lockbox... So we've gathered a list of viable lockbox alternatives for Airbnb hosts. You be the judge and choose the one that suits you best.
1. Digital Locks
Touchscreen Locks, Keypads, Fingerprint Locks... The headline is, digital keys don't need a physical key to get you through the front door. However, digital locks aren't as vulnerable to the risk of physical key manipulation. Unlike the traditional ones, digital locks cannot be messed with by anyone who knows the basics of locksmithing. Speaking of traditional locks, it's well-known that most of the physical keys we use daily for our doors are patented and made by a certain standard. Digital locks don't necessarily follow this rule. Take a fingerprint lock, for example - these locks basically read the tip of your fingers and use them as the key to your front door. No patents, no standards.
However, it's worth mentioning digital locks are not perfect either. They're called "Digital" locks for a reason. Because they're algorithm-based, and we sure know the mischievous could hack almost anything digital in this world one day. And it's true. The unfortunate truth is - Digital locks can, in fact, be hacked - therefore, it's a big exaggeration if anyone claims digital locks are flawless.
One other thing worth mentioning is: for Airbnbs - if you're going to opt for Digital locks, you're going to have to set up the lock for every single guest. So, for example, if you're using a Digital lock that uses face recognition, you're going to need to set up and - possibly - reset the lock every time a new guest is checking in. A bit time-consuming, but it may be worth it. Your call!
2. Smart Locks
Smart Locks are more complex than digital locks. These locks are not only based on some algorithms to open doors with but also are software-backed and have the potential to utilize almost every part of a stay at your Airbnb. From lock logs to automation, smart locks have them all. However, these types of Locks are more expensive than digital locks due to the range of features they provide.
Smart locks are generally invitation-based, meaning you'll have to be invited by the property owner to generate a key. Most smart locks use your smartphone as the SmartKey to generate access and offer additional methods to open your doors with - PINs, Patterns, Etc. Making smart locks superior in terms of security in comparison to your current Airbnb Lockbox!
One other reason smart locks are superior to other types of locks lies within their utilities. Because smart locks connect to your smartphone, they integrate with all types of other systems. For example, you could grant access to guests, run lock audits, troubleshoot the lock, remotely open the doors, etc. As an Airbnb host, the possibilities are endless in terms of automation and guest experience.
3. Combination Locks
Not really a strong choice for front doors, rather extra insurance for front gates. Combination locks are as old as time, and somehow they're still being used nowadays. Combination locks are probably not that innovative, but since they're mechanical locks. Therefore they have no need for batteries and electricity. They are used for almost any type of gate. It's not of the most creative ideas to apply a combination lock to your gate to ensure some kind of security - but they offer reliability and security for those hosts who are wary of technology.
In conclusion, yes - we believe smart locks are far superior to all other types of traditional and more up-to-date locks. However, consider two points. First of all, it's your property and ultimately your business you're making decisions for. It's really, really important not to overlook financial assets when making your final decision. Make sure you're all set and ready before you book a shipment of locks! Secondly, make sure you know the system and the integrated software so you can use the hardware to its full potential.
Bonus: Portable Locks and Gadgets
In addition to the lock options, Portable Locks and Gadgets improve guest experience by a significant amount. Please take note that these gadgets and locks are not meant to actually replace your existing lockboxes. Rather, these gadgets are meant to increase your guests' convenience level through the roof! You -as a hotelier,- can provide these, as addons for travelers, so not only will you generate more revenue, but also make guests' experience better. I've seen many properties with addons like this myself!