Unless you live next door to your Airbnb property or have mastered remote Airbnb management tools and tactics, as bookings grow, it is normal that you might struggle to keep up with your Airbnb check-ins. In-person key handovers are time-consuming and typically very hard to work into a busy property manager’s schedule.
Plus, things don’t always go to plan: guests can miss their flights, get stuck in traffic, or simply lose their way en route to your rental. You end up wasting the best part of a day waiting for your guests to show up and, when they finally do, they’re tired and embarrassed, meaning their post-stay review of your property could suffer.
So, have you ever thought about taking a more hands-off approach?
What can you do to take the stress out of check-ins once and for all, while saving time and making the process more pleasant for you and your guests?
The answer is Airbnb self-checkin which ensures a seamless experience for your guests right from the start.
Do you know what optimizes it? Airbnb Lockboxes!
Self-check-in, as opposed to host-led check-in, means that Airbnb guests can enter your rental without you meeting with them to hand over the keys.
A lockbox is a durable small storage device designed to safely and securely store your rental keys, which requires a safety code to open it.
There are many reasons why you should consider automated check-ins and the installation of a LockBox.
It saves time for both you and your guests. You’ll no longer have to sit around in your rental property waiting for guests to arrive and they won’t need to wait for you in the event that they arrive early.
It lets you take control of your schedule. After installing a Lockbox, you won’t have to adjust your schedule to suit the arrival times of guests. No more excusing yourself from work in the middle of the day or staying up into the night to greet a late arrival.
A smooth, tech-enabled self-check-in process like Lockbox enhances guest experience leading to higher review scores for you and a better ranking on Airbnb - driving up your bookings.
Using a Lockbox will give your guests the confidence that you trust them. By leaving your property in their hands without meeting them in person, you show that you trust your guests and give them the benefit of the doubt, which in turn will inspire your guests to take good care of your rental and prove that they can be trusted.
It makes check-ins less stressful, thereby elevating the guest experience.
Self check-in gives your guests some privacy upon arrival, as guests begin to explore your property for the first time. They will have a more genuine, unrestrained reaction than if the host was looming over them.
It allows flexibility to accept last-minute (if your rental is clean, maybe even same-day) bookings. This will attract business travelers who prefer self check-in, who often don’t have time for a friendly social encounter.
Automated check-ins allow you to minimize or eliminate contact with your guests, which is safer and more hygienic than in-person meet-and-greets.
It is very simple. You can use a lockbox to protect keys or manage the lock for your Airbnb door. Here are some of the dos and donts of providing self check-in.
There are several common lockbox systems with different lock designs:
Push-button lockboxes — a push-button lockbox is regarded as one of the easiest safety boxes to work with. Punch in the correct sequence of numbers into the buttons and it opens immediately.
Dial lockboxes — these lockboxes resemble locker room padlocks, with a revolving dial. Users input a combination of numbers one by one into the dial.
Wheel lockboxes — a wheel-lock Airbnb lockbox consists of several scrolling wheels of numbers from 0 – 9. Users scroll on each wheel to select numbers for a combination that opens the lock (usually a four-digit code).
Electronic and smart lockboxes — electronic or smart lockboxes are attached to a door and open automatically with the correct code, or by sharing access via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The passcode can be changed each time a guest checks out.
Some popular sources for buying an Airbnb lockbox include:
You can also visit a local hardware store to browse their range of lockboxes, and get a recommendation, before purchasing.
Lockboxes predominantly attach to walls and doors. It’s usually easier to install a lockbox on a door, but the more visible it is, the easier a target it will be for pickpockets. Installing your lockbox to a wall takes longer and may need specialized tools to get the job done, but leaves you options for deciding where to place it.
Your box location should be discrete, but still accessible for your guests to find. So think outside the box and opt for a spot that balances “well-hidden” with “easy-to-find”. If you put it in a location that’s difficult to spot, guests might become irritated (especially at night) resulting in a negative review. To avoid this, send your guests detailed, clear instructions for finding your Airbnb lockbox on your property. If you are subletting a property, you might need to ask a landlord for permission to mount an Airbnb lockbox on the wall or door, to avoid any complaints.
Whether your Airbnb is a private household or an apartment, avoid installing your lockbox in an area that’s visible from the road. If you live on a busy street, with lots of traffic and pedestrians, there is less risk of someone trying to access the lockbox. However, you should still aim to keep it hidden from people on the street.
The garden is also a great location to hide your lockbox. It’s become popular for rental owners to hide their lockboxes in props, like under a fake rock or inside a fake hosepipe.
1. Make it weather-resistant
Although your Airbnb lockbox has been designed to last, things like temperature and environment can affect it. It’s best to take precautions to safeguard your lockbox so that it will work optimally. If you live in a country that experiences extreme weather, like heavy rain or snowfall, it could damage or impact your lockbox. Don’t leave your lockbox exposed to harsh weather. Rainfall or freezing temperatures could jam the lockbox. You could consider purchasing a cover for your Airbnb lockbox can help keep it dry, and prevent the keys from sustaining water damage or freezing.
2. Make it secure
A potential issue that hosts might face when using an Airbnb lockbox for self-check-in is the possibility of guests mishandling or damaging the lockbox, if they are not used to working with lockboxes. Pressing incorrect buttons, or typing in the wrong code too many times, could cause the lockbox to jam or shut down. Another problem could be guests not properly closing or securing the box after retrieving the keys. This leaves the box unlocked and exposed to petty criminals who could steal it.
The only way to avoid all this is to leave detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to open and close the lockbox for your guests. Remember communication is key. Another solution is purchasing a smart lockbox that allows you to send back-up codes to guests if the first one doesn’t work. A smart lockbox is also a safer option because it activates and grants access via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It will be very difficult for a stranger to unlock it, as the unique code will only be sent to the guests checking in, and it can be reset after they leave.