If you own a vacation rental or an Airbnb property you know the hassle and inconvenience of giving access to your guests. If you’re still providing a physical key to your guests you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to unauthorized access or worse – burglary or vandalism. So what do you? You look for the best locks for an Airbnb.
A real “key” problem
We all know how easy it is to get a physical key duplicated and if you’re not on the property every day a recent guest or their associates could have access and you wouldn’t even know it. Unless you have a high security deadbolt that prevents unauthorized duplication or have a locksmith come out to rekey the locks after every guest checks out, you should consider a smart lock that you can control remotely.
Smart lock convenience
The best smart lock for vacation rentals can be operated remotely by the owner. Sometimes your rental property is hundreds or thousands of miles away and you just don’t have the time to meet every guest to hand over a key. Accessing your Airbnb door lock remotely will allow you to be anywhere and give a guest their own personal code for access. Once their stay is over, the code can be deleted, preventing their unauthorized access after their stay.
Many Airbnb hosts have fallen for the LockState Remotelock. It seems like it would work for the purpose, in fact it is advertised for remote management.
But they have terrible customer support and the lock is prone to falling apart, not working, hard to program, and requires a subscription for remote access. And it does not have an ANSI grade and without it there is no way to determine the lock’s durability or reliability. I would not recommend this lock.
Best Smart Locks for Airbnb
This is a package composed of Samsung SmartThings hub and Yale B1L ZWave Lock. This is the best lock and combination hub on the list and is specifically packaged to be used with Airbnb. AirLocking is the company that provides and supports the software to make the calendar, code and guest notifications seamless.
Calendar, email and text messaging integrates with your Airbnb listings. There is not a keyway for this lock so in event that the batteries run out it can be jumpstarted with a 9 volt battery on the contacts allowing entry. Then you replace the batteries. But the app will let you know when it’s time to change the batteries, so you should have plenty of warning.
- Your guests are automatically sent door codes through email and text
- You can customize messages sent to you guests.
- The code sent to guests can be set up with timers to go inactive after check out
- Set additional codes remotely for cleaning crew access
- All features work with Airbnb, Lodgable, Guestly and Lodgify
- Requires a $4.99 monthly subscription. Add $2.99 per additional lock.
- SmartThings needs to be connected with a network cable to the router
- Only the calendar feature works with VRBO, HomeAway, Booking.com and Flipkey
- Hub cannot be registered with Samsung and AirLocking at the same time. Airlocking won’t support it if so.
Schlage Z-Wave Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt
The second one on the list of best locks for Airbnb is the Schlage Connect deadbolt. The Schlage name is well known in the residential lock market for their quality and customer service. This is a Grade 1 lock, the highest grade possible, so it is durable and can stand up to the weather.
Can be programmed or operated from anywhere with the Z-Wave home automation system and Samsung SmartThings hub. Uses 4 AA batteries that will warn you when they get low. Comes with a backup key if the batteries are out.
- Paired with Samsung SmartThings codes can be programmed or deleted from anywhere
- Codes can be sent by SMS with the SmartThings hub – no need for guests to have an app
- Can track when it was locked or unlocked manually
- Can lock or unlock remotely
- Codes and access times are not sent automatically to guests
- Will not work with WiFi. Z-Wave and SmartThings hub is needed
August Smart Lock Pro + Connect
I recently published a review of this lock. The August Smart Lock gets a lot of favorable reviews. August Lock Company was one of the first companies to focus strictly on smart lock technology. They made such a good name for themselves in the industry that Yale Lock Company acquired them in 2017.
Owners of Airbnb and other rentals like the remote locking and unlocking feature of smart locks. You can lock the door remotely but how do you know the door is completely shut? You get this lock. It comes with a sensor that you can attach to the frame that will not engage the lock if the door is not shut completely.
- DoorSense, only from August, allows you to know when the door is shut
- Can operate with Bluetooth, Zwave or HomeKit with the additonal Connect module
- Needs the Connect module for WiFi access
Kwikset Kevo 2nd generation with Kevo Plus hub
Kwikset is another big player in the residential lock market. The Kevo lock can be managed remotely with the Kevo Plus accessory. eKeys can be given to your guests that will allow them to use Bluetooth on their smartphone for access.
The eKeys can be set with day and time limits. This is a Grade 2 lock, not as good as Grade 1, but still a pretty durable lock.
This Kwikset deadbolt also has SmartKey Technology. It’s that little notch next to the keyway. This allows you to rekey the lock yourself and not have to call in a locksmith.
- Can send your guests Bluetooth eKeys remotely
- Has a keyway in case batteries run out
- SmartKey technology
- Proximity sensor knows when you’re inside the property so the Bluetooth won’t allow access from outside
- Touch to open with a Bluetooth enabled smartphone near
- Remote access only with the additonal Kevo Plus hub
- Kwikset customer service is poor
- Owners have reported the app and lock operation is buggy requiring them to replace the lock
The ResortLock is the most expensive on this list at $399. It is advertised as specifically for vacation rentals. It generates its own codes randomly that you can set times for.
Once guests check out the random code is deleted forever. You can also issue codes for one-time use for cleaners or maintenance.
- Randomly generates codes, taking that chore out of your hands
- You specify the times and days and the software tells you the code
- No monthly subscription for the service
- Renter can easily change code to something they’ll remember (code issued by software is 10-11 digits long)
- Software allows you to access log of when door was opened
- WiFi is not needed
- Integrates with Airbnb Host Assist to generate codes
- Code issued by software is 10-11 digits long. Difficult to remember
- Eventually the numbers on keypad will rub off and become unreadable
- Code must be manually sent to renter
The best lock for Airbnb, or vacation rentals period, is the AirLocking package. It has the best reviews, the Yale lock is a very reliable lock and the Airlocking software almost makes the rental process automated. The only thing you need to worry about is getting renters and paying the $4.99 monthly subscription. That doesn’t seem like much when compared to everything it does for you.
Any questions or comments or any experience with these or other locks you use for your rental, let me know in the comments below.