Self check-in with smart locks

Answered!
Chris17565
Level 2
Abuja, Nigeria

Self check-in with smart locks

Due to some experience, I have decided to close my calendars until I am back in the country when I'll be able to install smart locks and enable guests to check in by themselves with PIN code sent to them upon booking confirmation. My intention is to have the security people at the gate escort or show my guests to my apartment while the guest have the PIN code to unlock by themselves. I already have IP cctv cameras in place and I also intend to use paid cleaners to whom I'll give a one-time access code and I watch them as they clean and lay the beds and do any other sundry tasks. Upon their exit, the door is locked and the PIN code would no more work. Also, the access code for guests would work for the duration of the guest's stay, which I'll be setting in the TTLock app.

 

Another thing that came to mind is how do you prevent the probability of a guest with "fast fingers" from making away with stuff, or sabotage/vandalism of any sort when there's no one to check them out? Please, note that this is not a wild thought as, anything could and does happen in the part of the world where my listings exist.

 

I am hoping to learn from others who have been managing their listings remotely. Any thought and ideas would be hugely appreciated, please.

 

Regards,

Chris

1 Best Answer
Kia272
Level 10
Takoma Park, MD

@Chris17565 I honestly think you'd do well to have a local co-host. Even if you set up the "perfect" system for you to be able to host remotely, what happens if something happens? Someone local needs to be around to handle issues that may arise. I think it *may* also help to keep guests on good behavior if they know that there's somebody local, and they've also seen a person- in person- associated with your property. For example, instead of having the security people show guests in, perhaps a co-host could do it. They could also check after your cleaning people, who may not be doing the *best* job, as your cleanliness rating has already taken a hit. 

 

Now, about your cameras.....ultimately, they'll get you shut down. It's against AirBnB policy to have interior cameras. Even though you've "disclosed" them, the minute a guest complains, your listing will be suspended, and the guest will likely get a refund. By the way, disclosing them down in the section under "Safety and property" doesn't cut it. Guests don't read, period. 

 

If you choose to keep the cameras, you need to put that out front and center in your listing description, but not even that will save you when the first guest complains. Seriously. And it will happen. You might be better off turning off instant book, and carefully screening your guests before accepting any reservations. That's likely a better deterrent for any badly behaved guests, than cameras. 

 

Your price seems very, very low, but I don't know what the going rate is in Abuja, Nigeria, so that my just be my US economy-skewed brain. Anyway, good luck, whatever you decide to do. 

 

By the way, I also use the TT lock app. I had purchased their "bridge" for Internet connectivity so I could program codes  and see lock activity remotely, and the bridge was the biggest waste of time and money. It never worked properly, and messed up a lot of the lock function, so I eventually disconnected it and never looked back. 

 

Cheers and good luck, Kia

View Best Answer in original post

9 Replies 9

Mr. Chris, 

Based on your experience, can you or any of the respected members recommend a good product for the smart lock which generates timed codes for guests to use only during their staying period.

Thank you

Tarek

Good morning. In terms of self check in, with key box, I don't find it to be an effective system. Personally I wait for the guests in front of the door and I show them the apartment, or the loft below, I have these two realities exclusively on Airbnb and, in addition to showing them how the accessories or insulated windows work, I also show them the monuments and museums, or restaurants and shops, finding ourselves in the center of Rome, a stone's throw from the Colosseum and part of the Archaeological Park. There are key boxes in other places nearby, but they are often the subject of vandalism, dirtied with the remains of ice cream, or even worse, if at height where dogs can pass through. I believe a human relationship between host and guests, even for any inconvenience, or search for taxis, or anything else, is the best way to do tourism and assist travellers.

Kia272
Level 10
Takoma Park, MD

@Chris17565 I honestly think you'd do well to have a local co-host. Even if you set up the "perfect" system for you to be able to host remotely, what happens if something happens? Someone local needs to be around to handle issues that may arise. I think it *may* also help to keep guests on good behavior if they know that there's somebody local, and they've also seen a person- in person- associated with your property. For example, instead of having the security people show guests in, perhaps a co-host could do it. They could also check after your cleaning people, who may not be doing the *best* job, as your cleanliness rating has already taken a hit. 

 

Now, about your cameras.....ultimately, they'll get you shut down. It's against AirBnB policy to have interior cameras. Even though you've "disclosed" them, the minute a guest complains, your listing will be suspended, and the guest will likely get a refund. By the way, disclosing them down in the section under "Safety and property" doesn't cut it. Guests don't read, period. 

 

If you choose to keep the cameras, you need to put that out front and center in your listing description, but not even that will save you when the first guest complains. Seriously. And it will happen. You might be better off turning off instant book, and carefully screening your guests before accepting any reservations. That's likely a better deterrent for any badly behaved guests, than cameras. 

 

Your price seems very, very low, but I don't know what the going rate is in Abuja, Nigeria, so that my just be my US economy-skewed brain. Anyway, good luck, whatever you decide to do. 

 

By the way, I also use the TT lock app. I had purchased their "bridge" for Internet connectivity so I could program codes  and see lock activity remotely, and the bridge was the biggest waste of time and money. It never worked properly, and messed up a lot of the lock function, so I eventually disconnected it and never looked back. 

 

Cheers and good luck, Kia

Chris17565
Level 2
Abuja, Nigeria

Thank you so much for your contribution, Kia. Your pieces  of advice about Co-host and guest screening are worth more than a million to me. Thanks again. Much appreciated.

 

Regards,

Chris

Kia272
Level 10
Takoma Park, MD

@Chris17565  You are very welcome! Happy I could help. And good luck making it work! 

 

 

Jenny
Community Manager
Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Hi @Chris17565 

 

It sounds like you're making some good investments to keep your listings safe and secure.

 

I'll let our wonderful members give you the benefit of their experience, but I did think it was worth sharing this article which gives some great advice about informing guests about security devices.  Airbnb prohibits security cameras within certain areas, so it's worth familiarising yourself with the details.

 

Jenny

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Please follow the Community Guidelines

Chris17565
Level 2
Abuja, Nigeria

Thanks for your insights, @Jenny . I'm actully aware of the privacy requirements surounding CCTV cameras; having them only in public areas and the need to inform guests about them. It's noted on my listings and in pasted on walls in my apartments that CCTV cameras are in operations, and my guests like it as they say they make them feel safe. There are no CCTV cameras in the rooms.

 

Regards,

Chris

Mike-And-Jane0
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Chris17565 if you have CCTV cameras that allow you to watch the cleaners changing the beds you are breaking Airbnb rules and will get shutdown pretty quickly when a guest complains.

Chris17565
Level 2
Abuja, Nigeria

Thanks for your insights, @Mike-And-Jane0. I have used professional cleaning outfits and they have often sent me pictures of each room when the cleanings are completed and the beds are laid. However, we have sinvce changed to having my staff watch and sign them off via Whatsapp video and/or Facetime, and this has been included in our contract. For clarity, there are CCTV only in the lounge, passages, shared kitchens and balconies, and guests are made aware of this in my listings and also on the walls around the properties. But, rather than complaining, guests have often commended this in their feedback and comments. Moreover, I'm not aware of any privacy law or regulation that prohibits the use of CCTV cameras in public areas. I'm only aware of the rules and regulations surrounding their use. I will check further to be sure I'm not breaking any rules, as you suggested. Thank you very much for your insights.

 

Regards,

Chris