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Airbnb Self-Check-In: How It Works and How to Set It Up

Airbnb Self-Check-In: How It Works and How to Set It Up

As a Host, having your guests enter your Airbnb property without you might cause some anxiety, or even a nervous twitch and a raised eyebrow, if you've never done that before. However, research indicates that more and more guests are choosing accommodations that offer a self-check-in option as they move toward remote and contactless functionality in a post-pandemic era.

What is Airbnb Self Check-In and How does it work?

Hosts who use the self-check-in feature can provide great hospitality even if they’re not present on arrival to meet and greet them.

Choosing Airbnb self-check-in offers a convenient way for guests to gain access to your property. Following the guest’s designated check-in time, they can easily access the following facilities:

  • A key lockbox
  • A smart lock / Keypad
  • A key or access via the building staff, such as a concierge or front desk agent, who must be available 24/7 to do so.

What are the benefits of using Airbnb self-check-in?

What are the benefits of using Airbnb self-check-in?

Self-check-ins on Airbnb are a good idea for many reasons.

1. It's a Huge Time Saver!

In the event that guests arrive early on your rental property, they won't need to wait for you. Additionally, you won't be stuck in your rental property waiting for them to arrive, either. This is a huge timesaver for both you and your guests.

2. Allows you to Maintain an Effective Daily Schedule.

As a host using self-check-in, you won't have to adjust your schedule to accommodate guest arrival times. Waiting around all day or staying up all night to greet a late arrival will be a thing of the past.

3. It Helps Improve the Guest Experience

A seamless self-check-in process enhances the guest experience by providing a great first impression. You'll receive better ratings and ultimately get higher rankings on Airbnb - driving up your bookings.

4. It Simplifies the Check-in Process

When you switch to self-check-in, you can be more flexible with arrival times. Guests don’t need to worry about holding you up if they’re late and vice versa.

5. It Ensures Compliance with Health and Safety Guidelines

In comparison with in-person check-ins, automated check-ins allow you to minimize or eliminate all contact with your guests, which is safer and more hygienic, especially in a post-pandemic era.

Checking in through contactless technology complies with industry safety and health standards, protecting you and your guests.

6. You are able to Accept Last-minute Bookings

Furthermore, last-minute bookings can also be accepted with the advantage that they can be more flexible by automated check-in. As long as your rental is clean and turnover can be completed on the same day, this gives you the benefit of being able to accommodate guests at short notice and gives last-minute travelers an advantage. So, it's a win-win situation.

7. You can Attract Bleisure Travelers

Next to other amenities such as high-speed Wi-Fi and laptop-friendly workspaces, Self-check-in is preferred by business travelers as well as digital nomads who do not have the time for friendly social interactions. Their schedules change frequently and automatic check-in is highly desirable since there is no need to worry if there is a flight delay or a business meeting time brought forward or anything of the sort to prevent them from arriving on time.

Giving your guests the benefit of the doubt by leaving your property in their hands without first meeting them in person demonstrates that you trust them. You'd be surprised how much good, this will bring, and how much trust your guests gain from it! The improved guest experience will lead to more positive reviews, which will ultimately lead to more bookings.

By implementing self-check-in you will be able to make more money in the long run, ensuring your business remains profitable.

Here’s how to set up the Airbnb Self Check-in for your property

Here’s how to set up the Airbnb Self Check-in for your property

Prior to their arrival, guests should know what to expect from the self-check-in process. Your listing on Airbnb can be set up to support self-check-in. As long as you have this check-in option enabled, your guests will receive a message automatically three days before check-in with the detailed check-in instructions.

You can make self-check-in part of your listing by following these few simple steps:

__Step 1 : __

Go to Your listings on the Airbnb.com website and select your listing.

__Step 2 : __

Click on Edit that is next to Info for Guests.

Here’s how to set up the Airbnb Self Check-in for your property

Step 3 :

Click on the Arrival details that are below Guest Manual

Here’s how to set up the Airbnb Self Check-in for your property

__Step 4 : __

Pick how guests will ‌access your listing.

Here’s how to set up the Airbnb Self Check-in for your property

Step 5 :

Complete the Check-in instructions by filling in clear concise details on how to complete the Check-in process at your premises. (See below for more information on this!)

Is there a way to automate the check-in process without causing a glitch?

You can automate your check-in process once you've decided self-check-in is the way to go for guests and yourself. Here's how.

1. Add Self Check-in Option to your Listing

Accordingly, set up a self-check-in to your Airbnb listing. This is an effective way to inform your guests that you've implemented a contactless check-in at your rental property.

Due to Airbnb only sending information 3 days prior to check-ins, this is not the best, as it is plenty of time for messages to get lost in guests' inboxes. Our recommendation is to send your guests a separate check-in message the day before or on the morning of arrival, so they have the information ready when they need it.

It makes perfect sense to time your automated check-in messages to reach their inbox on the day of arrival. They will appreciate the convenience of receiving all the necessary information at the exact right time to make their travels so much easier.

2. Sending Guests - Automated Check-in Messages

This is an important step. The reason for this is that your listing is now self-check-in and you won't be there to meet your guests. Make sure your guests know what to do when they arrive at your rental by including check-in instructions in your Airbnb message. Your guests must be able to enter your property with minimal to no hassle!

An automated check-in message can speak volumes on your behalf and serves to reassure your guests and facilitate easy check-in. Here are some quick pointers to consider:

  • To better explain the process, send photos and videos along with detailed check-in instructions.

  • Include other important information like your property's address, parking information, and Wi-Fi password.

  • If guests have questions, make sure they know how to contact you.

Pro Tip: Also make a list of your contact details and leave it at the entrance, that way, if anyone needs to contact you to get some information, they know you are just a phone call away.

To help you draft your message, we have compiled a collection of Airbnb message templates.

3. Have a House-Manual Handy

A well-written house manual can be a great way to save you time since you won't be there to take guests around the property and show them around. The house manual will help your guests find the answers to all their questions, rather than having to call you all the time.

Add your House manual to your listing that way when guests confirm their reservation, Airbnb will send your house manual to them. As a rule of thumb, we recommend either printing out your house manual and leaving a physical copy of it at the property, or enclosing it in your Airbnb welcome message. Your guests will be able to find it a lot easier that way.

4. A Warm Welcome

When your guests walk through the doors of your property, make them feel special by providing a welcome basket. This could vary from being a bottle of Champagne, some expensive chocolates or simply a seasonal fruit basket with a personalized welcome note.

The seemingly inconsequential details of your presentation play a large role in creating a positive first impression, resulting in grand reviews later on! Guests will enjoy checking in through contactless technology, as well as being pleasantly surprised with a warm welcome. Adding to your score!

5. Send a Quick Follow-up Message to your Guests

Send a follow-up message to your guests the morning after check-in. As a result, you're checking in to ensure that things are going smoothly, your guests are satisfied,‌ and they have everything they need.

As much as this highlights your professionalism as an attentive host, it might also give you some assurance if you are someone who needs to ensure everything is in order.

What Tools can you use for Airbnb Self Check-in?

Now that we have outlined the process, let's move on to the last step - Tools!


To eliminate the need for in-person check-ins, Lockboxes, which are usually opened using a keypad or dial, are the easiest and cheapest method.

Smart Locks

If Smart locks are an excellent choice if you want a secure, convenient solution that does not require physical keys. Smart locks can be added to your existing lock or replaced with the one you already have. To open them, guests need a passcode, which you create and send to each new guest on arrival (a different code for each guest is generated).

These keyless entry devices, therefore let you automate check-ins in a safe and convenient manner, saving you time and money. By automating the smart lock access, you can also improve guest communication.

Important Takeaways

The Airbnb self-check-in feature is gaining traction with guests as well as hosts. Besides being convenient, it's a huge timesaver. Your guests will not complain as long as you provide them with clear, concise, and self-explanatory instructions during the check-in process. You should always strive to ensure that your guests are fully informed of the check-in process, so there are no uncertainties. This will be the key to your success.

By following the steps and advice we suggest, you will have a smooth check-in process in place in no time!

How can Hostaway Help?

At Hostaway we offer state-of-the-art technology with our Property Management System. The platform provides solutions to all your short-term rental needs. With Hostaway, you can automate every repetitive action in the vacation rental business.

For contactless entry, you can integrate with all major smartlock providers in the vacation rental industry through our open API. The smart lock provider of your choice will generate a code that's entered into the reservation on Hostaway, and the code will only be sent out automatically when you want it if you want it. What's more, triggers, automation, and workflows are all available in one convenient place with our automation tools. The automated messages option can be used to send messages via email, text, or WhatsApp. These solutions can be tailored to a unique location, certain amenities, and individual properties.

We are here to show you how Hostaway's dynamic solutions can fit your property management business. Schedule a demo call at your convenience to receive valuable insights about how the solution can work best for your business!

Ready to find out how Hostaway can transform your business?

Hostaway is proud to support thousands of Property Managers and Airbnb Hosts Around the world. We take pride in being Top Ranked in Vacation Rental Software Review Sites: Capterra, G2, Software Advice, Trust Pilot, to name just a few! Check out our reviews and read the Hostaway Case Studies from real successful and growing Short-Term Rental Managers!