An Airbnb lockbox is the ideal solution to a common problem hosts face every time they are unable to be there in person to hand over their keys to guests. A secure lockbox allows rental keys to be stored for guests to collect when they are ready. Offering a self-check-in for guests has become even more popular recently. A self-check-in eliminates physical contact and gives guests more flexibility.
Using a smart lock is the most popular technology for allowing guests to check in alone, but short of generating a new access code for your Airbnb or vacation rental after every guest, a smart lock is not the only option!
A lock box allows you as the Airbnb host not to be physically present for check-in but still use a key instead of a smart lock. Self check-ins are easier to manage via the Airbnb app for both Airbnb owners and property managers.
Learn more about the benefits of using a lockbox for securing your Airbnb rental keys and ensuring a smooth check-in process for your guests.
An Airbnb lockbox is a secure box that holds the keys to a vacation rental property. It enables self-check-in, eliminating the need for face-to-face key exchanges, thus providing convenience and flexibility to both hosts and guests.
Let’s discuss the different options for self-check-in:
Each of these options has its advantages and drawbacks, and the best choice will depend on factors like the host’s budget, the property’s location, its WiFi reliability, and the level of security desired.
Remember, whatever lock you choose, it’s crucial to have a secure system in place for managing access codes. Codes should be changed regularly, particularly between guests, to maintain security. It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case of technical issues or power outages.
You can use a lock box to protect keys or manage the lock for your Airbnb door. There are several common lockbox systems with different lock designs:
There are many benefits of using a secure lockbox as part of your property management strategy:
Having a lockbox removes the need for you to be there to welcome your guests. This saves time, as you will no longer need to plan your schedule around guests arriving at particular hours.
In addition, lockboxes can help to cut back on expenses, as hosts who can’t be there often hire a manager to do it for them. With a lockbox, you no longer need to constantly spend money paying someone to grant access to your guests. The management is also far less time-consuming.
Guests also benefit from using a lockbox to check in, as they can choose any arrival time that suits them, and they have more control over the procedure. Without a host there, they can check in at a more relaxed pace. Guests who have had a long trip may also be tired and not in the mood to converse with hosts or managers.
This method is also a safer way for you to hand over the rental keys to your guests, as opposed to a physical meet and greet. Airbnb lockboxes encourage contactless check-ins, which can help guests feel safe while they are checking in. Self-check-in eliminates the need for a meet-and-greet and a physical exchange, helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Your rental keys are more protected in a lockbox vs. a hiding place. Safety boxes are generally designed to withstand break-in attempts and lockpicking. They are less likely to be stolen out of a box than from underneath a rock or pot plant.
Secure lockboxes can vary in price, often starting between $10-$20 dollars for a budget model. Mid-range boxes start around $30-40 dollars and up. High-end smart lockboxes can cost between $100-$300 per model.
To find the best lockbox for your Airbnb rental, you should first shop around to get an idea of what is available:
Master Lock 5514D Bluetooth Electronic Wall Mount Lock Box. As the name suggests, the Master Lock Bluetooth Lock Box allows guests to gain access through Bluetooth connectivity. You can use the in-house app to set up access codes for yourself and your guests, share codes with them, and get notifications when they are busy accessing this smart Airbnb lockbox.
Price: $117 on Amazon.
Igloohome Smart Keybox 3. For a convenient and hassle-free key handover, a popular choice for hosts is the Igloohome Smart Keybox 3. The interior can comfortably store multiple sets and access cards, in case guests need spares. Checking in is easy for guests, as they don’t need to download any app, they can send login codes via SMS, Facebook Messenger, and Whatsapp.
Price: $170 on Amazon.
Masterlock 5424D Portable Lock Box. The Master Lock Portable Lock Box comes with a shackle that can be looped around door handles or removed so the box can be mounted on the wall. Set your own unique four-digit code that can easily be reset. The dials light up during nighttime, or when there is low visibility. This model can store several locks or access cards.
Price: $40.00 on Amazon.
Kidde Access Point Lockbox. The Kidde Access Point Lockbox is a simple but effective Airbnb lockbox for storing up to two pairs of keys for your guests. It can be attached as a permanent fixture to a setting of your choice. Set a unique code for your guests to gain access, and reset the code to a new combination after they check out.
Price: $30 on Amazon.
ORIA Key Storage Lockbox. The ORIA Key Storage Lockbox is made from heavy-duty steel and zinc alloy, making it resistant to hammering or sawing. The dials are four scrolling wheels that can be set to create unique codes. Store up to five keys comfortably inside the box, for your guests to access when they arrive at your rental.
Price: $17 dollars on Amazon.
Kingsley Guard-a-Key Black Realtor’s Lockbox. The Kingsey Guard-a-Key Lockbox is the ideal budget Airbnb lockbox, offering great value for money. Set a unique combination lock using the four-number wheels and store up to ten keys inside it. It is made from durable metal and a scratch-resistant vinyl casing.
With over 10,000 possible combinations to set, you can rest assured that only your guests will be able to access the keys inside.
Price: $14 on Amazon
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. Aim for a model that is not overly complicated. Requiring maintenance staff to fix your box would be unnecessary stress.
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 definitely don’t want to leave your guests in this situation, especially if it’s cold or raining.
Purchasing a cover for your Airbnb lockbox can help keep it dry, and prevent the keys from sustaining water damage or freezing. A cover can either be a slip for the keypad or an entire box that protects the device.
This is why you should be proactive and purchase a cover to go with your lockbox. You can attach the cover as you are doing the installation, which will save you the hassle of uninstalling the box later on to attach it.
If you don’t want to buy a cover, then make sure your safety box is installed in a dry area that will not receive direct rain or snow. A porch or veranda wall could work, otherwise, a sheltered garden fence is also a good option. Make sure you test the area first for weather resistance before installing your Airbnb lockbox.
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 box. Though guests may not mean to mismanage the box, it could happen if they are not used to working with lock boxes.
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. This leaves the box unlocked and exposed to petty criminals who could steal it.
Fortunately, thinking ahead can help you avoid these issues. Leave detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to open and close the lockbox for your guests. If your Airbnb lockbox is visible from the road, avoid leaving check-in instructions with the box, as strangers could stop and read them. Having a lock box does not prevent everyday guest errors like broken or lost keys.
Another solution is purchasing a smart lockbox that allows you to send backup 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.
There are two main places that a box attaches to, which are walls and doors. It’s usually easier to install a lockbox on a door, but the downside is that it’s more visible, and it might be an easier target for pickpockets. Your placement method needs to be logical and depending on your chosen lockbox options, you might need to hide some wheel locks better than others.
Installing your lockbox to a wall takes longer and may need specialized tools to get the job done. The benefit of this is that you have more options for deciding where to place it.
You should strive to be savvy when installing your lockbox. Try to pick a spot that balances “well-hidden” with “easy to find”. Your box location should be discrete, but still accessible for your guests to find. You can send all of the information for check-in to their Airbnb account to avoid sending it to the wrong person.
If you put it in a location that’s difficult to spot, guests might become irritated (especially at night) and they could write a negative review. To avoid this, provide guests with detailed, clear instructions for finding your Airbnb lockbox on your property once the guests arrive. It will also save time for Airbnb hosts as they won’t have to find an alternative check-in solution if the guests cannot find the lock box in question.
Avoid installing your lockbox in an area that’s visible from the road. Try to place it on the side or at the back of the house. If you live on a busy street, with lots of traffic and pedestrians, there is less risk of someone trying to access the box. However, you should still aim to keep it hidden from people on the street.
Where you place your box will depend on the type of vacation rentals that you manage or own. Here are some suggested areas to install your lockbox:
Pinpoint a place that is easy to find but not directly visible. You should not install your box right near the street or an access gate.
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.
Using an Airbnb lockbox can help guests feel safer when checking into your vacation rental. Whether you use a combination code, a wheel lock or a you opt for one of the best lockboxes on the market, be sure to follow the steps above. It can boost your rental bookings as many guests these days prefer a self-check-in option. Offering this can also improve the guest experience. Guests will be able to schedule a check-in time that best suits them, without having to worry whether someone will be able to meet them or not.
Another way to enhance your guests’ experience is by using vacation rental software, like iGMS, to streamline all essential business tasks. With iGMS, you can run your vacation rental business on autopilot by:
It’s so easy to ensure your guests have the best possible stay at your rental using iGMS to take care of business for you!
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