Check-in is a key moment in any guest’s stay and it’s an aspect that everyone likes to do slightly differently. It’s the guest’s first chance to see the accommodation and perhaps meet you as the host, so it’s important to make a good first impression!
How do you welcome your guests? Do you meet them in person and show them around or do you have self check-in to give them more flexibility? Why have you chosen this type of check-in?
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@Lizzie I do self check-in with a smart lock. Every guest gets their own personal door code, which is entered into the system at check in time and deleted at check out. Both of my properties are private spaces. I work some pretty long hours, so I can't always meet guests, which is my primary reason for doing it that way. I also like that it gives guests complete flexibility on when they arrive, and I don't have to worry about coordinating our schedules. I had a guest this week who ended up being very, very late due to issues at the border, and they could check themselves in with no delay when they arrived after midnight, and their space was clean and ready to go. As a traveller, I also prefer self check-in, as I don't have to worry about timing.
I also use a "smart lock" with a keypad and find it works very well. The guest then has complete freedom to show up when it's convenient for them. It only take a few minutes to change the code for each guest. I use the last four digits of their phone number so it is easy for them to remember.
@Lizzie hey can i have that airbnb keychain...please!
I tie a ribbon on my keys......shocking fluro pink, sea aqua blue, navy blue, antique gold, depending on the boy/girl bookings.
I quite like that keychain you posted, in fact i love it.
@Lizzie, 99% of the time I greet my guests personally. I rent out a private room in my home, so I am there most of the time anyway as I work from home too. I send them arrival details a day or two before (scenic routes to the house, navigating my rollercoaster of a driveway, where to park, where to enter, not to be scared of the dog, etc.). I then greet them at the door, show them around their room, where to find towels, how to switch lights on, etc. and give them a key. I then show them where the toilet, bathroom and kitchen are and where they can help themselves to tea or coffee.
However, I do really like the idea of a smart lock with a changeable code - I saw one recently at a friend's workplace where you just scan your hand over it to lock the door. I've had to replace my key a few times as people have taken it with them or simply lost it, and I don't really like the idea of my house keys being out there somewhere! I suppose it is also possible for someone with bad intentions to get copy of the key cut. So, thinking of investing in something like this, especially for times that I can't be there to meet people.
That's a lot of stuff that I haven't thought of before (the scenic routes, navigating driveway, dog, how light switches work, etc.). How time-consuming is this? Is all of that, along with the auto door lock, something that you've thought of completely automating? Sounds interesting
I'm a relatively new host, but with the money I made on my first couple of bookings I bought a smart lock. I purchased the August smart lock through Amazon for $ 229.00. What a great purchase!! Installation was easy with the step by step instructions you get on your phone. Airbnb sends the guests a code the day before their arrival and it is only good for the duration of their stay. It also lets me know who has opened the lock, when they did it, whether the door is open or closed. You can also assign codes for people who might need access to your house (kids, mother in law, co-host etc.) You can also set it up (as I did ) to automatically lock after 5 minutes, so I instruct my guests to just leave and the door will lock behind them. It also automatically unlocks when I come home. I can't recommend the August smart lock strongly enough...It's amazing!
I’ve read that your door/lock has to be properly aligned in order for this to work. When I close my door my deadbolt doesn’t line up exactly. I have to pull my door slightly. Did you have that problem or your door lined up perfectly ?
Hi @Lizzie So far, I or another person give the keys of the apartments in person. I or other person also show the apartment to the guest, explain basic things and give basic information about the area and places to go. I do it briefly but some guests are more eager for information then others. Most of the guests comes to the city for tourism. Once in a while the checkin turns into a short and pleasant conversation.
Sometimes I consider implementing self checking and record a video with a walk tour in the property and send the video in advance to guest. I do not know if the excess of automation and letting everything up to guest would be a good idea. Few guests read manual and on line information. I am not sure they will see the video before arriving or when arriving.
Here a suggestion for you Lizzie. You could create a topice, kind of poll about self checkin - What guest would like the most.. self checkin of normal checkin with human contact.
To me, the idea of self checkin is not so good. I remember once before visiting Zurich I considered booking a place with self checkin where the price and accommodation it was nice! The cons.. if something went wrong, I would not like to be left out in the could! I quit and booked other place.
PS: I have another post that vanished about 1 or 2 days ago! I had to edit it... when I edited it and clicked "save", it vasnished away.
Interesting thoughts on self-checkin. Personally I prefer the self-checkin option as a guest. After a long day of travel I'm not always wanting to make small talk with a stranger. I assume that the host has given me the proper information about the place ahead of time and anything else I might want to know, I can ask later. I have stayed in many places and more often than not I have not met the host. And that has never been a problem.
As a host, I send out a welcome message 5 days prior with all the necessary info regarding checkin and the place in general. There is a binder on the table with other info about the area. As a result, I rarely see my guests face to face, unless something needs my attention. In that case they know I am only 10 minutes away to solve any problems that may arise. But as I said, that is rare. My guests come in at various times of day with no guarantees that they will arrive at any specific time. I don't find it necessary to alter my schedule to try and match theirs. The keypad lock gives them the flexibility to arrive at any time they want. For the last year and a half that has worked fine.