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- [Top Pick for Vacation Rentals]
- Things to Consider for Buying a Smart Lock for Airbnb, Vrbo, or any Vacation Rentals
The use of smart locks for vacation rentals like Airbnb, Vrbo, and HomeAway has seen a substantial increase in numbers. They make the rentals easy to manage, secure, and give upmarket tech feel.
In a recent survey, the hosts of the rental properties felt that the smart home technology provides an edge and unique value to guests as compared to other properties.
We checked with a few property managers in New York and they responded in affirmation on the rise of smart lock usage in rental homes.
No one wants to manage physical keys now.
They provide home access at the touch of the button without physically meeting. Does it promote social distancing? yes it does
We tested out the latest smart locks and listed our favorite picks for vacation rentals.
Important note: We have stayed away from listing keyless smart locks that cannot be operated remotely. They may cost you half the cost but the inability to assign or delete access code remotely defeats its big advantage.
[Top Pick for Vacation Rentals]
August Wifi Smart Lock ( 4th Generation )
4th generation Wifi smart lock was launched in April 2020 by August. It works without any wi-fi bridges or hubs and connects directly to the home wifi. August has reduced the size making it aesthetically more attractive.
We connected it to two networks to test its compatibility.
It connected to 2.4Ghz wifi within seconds but it took a little more time to connect with the 5Ghz network.
After the connection, it worked like a charm. If you share the same SSID for two networks, try turning off the 5GHz and then connect the lock. Once connected, switch on the 5Ghz network.
It easily attaches to an existing deadbolt and you can continue to use a door lock with a key as well as a keyless door entry.
Auto-unlock is a handy feature. It has auto-lock capability and the door auto-locks when the guest arrives. The door sense feature allows you to know the lock status of the door in the phone app.
It is fully compatible with voice commands using Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa.
Battery life has improved from previous generations and will last easily for 9-12months. It is available in two color trim.
Kwikset SmartCode 914 with SmartKey Security and Z-Wave Plus
One of the hottest sellers in the Kwikset SmartCode 9xx series. The SmartCode 914 works on Z-Wave Plus. It uses Z-Wave 500 chipset and is responsible for providing extending wireless range.
A perfect smart lock for bigger rental homes.
It has 30 user pin codes that are enough for any Airbnb or vacation rental property. Assign the access code and delete it once the guest checks out.
Keyless door entry through the back-lit keypad comes in handy for low-light situations and the guests will appreciate it. It also features an auto-door lock after 30 seconds.
The SmartCode 914 features key entry as well and the smart key is a useful feature of all Kwikset locks. With the help of the smart key, you can re-key an old Kwikset key into a new key for this lock.
Kwikset SmartCode 914 is easy to install and one screwdriver is all it takes. It has a latch with an adjustable backset that works on standard doors (2-3/8 to 2-3/4 inches).
It can be operated through voice control with Alexa but will need a compatible (Z-Wave Plus) hub. Make a note here on the protocol it uses, hence it will not work with existing devices on other protocols like ZigBee.
Yale Assure Lock SL – Key-Free Door with Touchscreen for Airbnb or Vrbo
- Lose your keys, for good: Unlock your door using your entry code on the...
- Auto-Lock for peace of mind: You didn’t forget to lock the door, your...
- Easy to install on any door: Not so handy, Not a problem. Yale Assure locks...
- Stop hiding keys: Sharing codes is the new hide-a-key. Give unique codes to...
Yale Assure SL impressed us with a few notable factors.
One of them is the combo options it provides from an aesthetic point of view.
You can buy a standalone lock or combine it with Ridgefield handle, Valdosta, Jamestown handles, Navis or Norwood.
We reviewed the SL model with a touchscreen and keyless door entry. There are two more options such as a touchscreen with a key and a keypad with a key.
We also recommend a keypad with a key as it tends to bring more touch satisfaction and confidence to guests as per our small survey with property managers.
It provides 25 unique access codes sufficient for your Airbnb or Vrbo property. It is a weather-resistant (not water-proof) lock with an option to enable auto-relock.
The touchscreen with cover is of high quality and won’t wear out easily. It has a backup battery option below the touchscreen in case you run out of battery. Voice assistance for setup guidance on the menu can be helpful for a few readers.
It is one of the sleekest smart locks we have tested. It has one-touch locking that can be activated with three-finger tapping on the digital keypad.
Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt
- Smart Lock with Built-in Wi-Fi allows you to lock/unlock from anywhere - no...
- WORKS WITH ALEXA: Check the status of your lock and lock/unlock your door....
- Fingerprint-resistant, capacitive touchscreen with easy one-touch locking....
- Built-in alarm technology senses potential security breaches at the lock,...
Before we begin a point of note for readers, we have a detailed review of the Schlage Encode Wifi lock that is priced around $200 and is neck to neck with the one by August.
Schlage’s wide range of products has less expensive options, but with a price difference of $20, they are not as convenient as an upgraded Encode with better features.
The Encode is available in two aesthetics: Camelot and Century. It is a second option if you are looking for a Wifi lock with inbuilt Wifi. It does not require any additional hub to connect and use all the smart features.
The Encode has a built-in alarm in case of any attempt to a security breach. It is easy to install and uses snap ‘n’ stay technology. The technology helps you to install keeping both your hands free during the installation.
You can create 100 custom codes with time-based access for guests. It works with Alexa, Keys by Amazon, Ring, etc. It has a low battery warning so that you can change your old batteries on time.
Igloohome Smart Electronic Bluetooth Deadbolt 2S – Airbnb Preferred Partner
- Unlock via time sensitive PIN codes or bluetooth keys that you can create...
- This smart lock works with innovative technology involving encryption and...
- Igloohome integrates seamlessly with Airbnb allowing hosts to synchronize...
- The Igloohome Deadbolt 2S (Metal Grey) can last up to 9 months with 4 x AA...
Igloohome has partnered with Airbnb to provide smart home devices that have direct access to Airbnb APIs. This innovative collaboration help in encrypting and synchronizing the data. Hence the smart lock can work without the internet in offline mode.
The Airbnb API integration also helps in synchronizing the Airbnb listing calendar with access codes generated automatically and sent to guests free of cost. Please note that these functions are also available through third-party apps at a monthly fee.
The Igloohome deadbolt has an above-average battery life and usually lasts around 6-7 months. The status of the battery is available in the app so that you can replace the batteries on time.
The recommended door width for Igloohome Deadbolt 2S is 1-3/8″-2-3/8″. It has an auto-relock security feature and an emergency battery backup connectivity option in case of an emergency.
The door can be unlocked by guests via Access/PIN code, Bluetooth key, or a physical key.
Things to Consider for Buying a Smart Lock for Airbnb, Vrbo, or any Vacation Rentals
Integration with Airbnb
As more and more guests prefer locks with remote access. It is essential to understand the kind of compatibility they provide when it comes to remote features. The rental property listing providers like Airbnb have made their API accessible for enhanced utility.
Many third-party companies have joined hands with Airbnb to develop customized apps to support direct lock access within the app. These services come at an additional cost. Keyless door locks save the hassles of key management if you are handling many vacation rental properties.
They provide time-based guest access codes. This is one feature that makes them in the rental property market a super success. The host and guests should be able to access the home with the touch of a button shared through the phone app or keypad/touchscreen. Avoid buying a one with keyless entry without remote access code management.
Whenever there is a power outage, they work on the battery. Depending on the daily usage of the door, the battery could last anywhere from 6-9 months. Most of them are advertised to last for 1 year but under ideal usage. The locks we listed above for vacation rentals are good on battery life.
There are a variety of smart locks available now. The design varies from deadbolts to handles/levers. Although most of them cater to standard doors when it comes to thickness but make sure you re-check and pick up the right size. Do check the additional cost required for fitting it on your door to match your door standards.
Bluetooth or Wifi
They connect remotely to your smart phone through Bluetooth or Wifi. A Bluetooth smart lock consumes less battery whereas with wifi it requires more battery power.
Wifi is an option to connect via Z-Wave Plus or ZigBee protocols.
They both have their pros and cons but we recommend buying the wi-fi smart lock.
These are internet-enabled locks when connected to a compatible hub. The host can access and manage it remotely anywhere in the world. Few models like August Wifi and Schlage Encode work without a wi-fi bridge.