The key hand over is one of the most difficult aspects of hosting to nail and can cause a multitude of problems if not managed effectively.
Wherever possible, an old fashioned meet-and-greet is the optimum solution as it allows for further instructions and a show around the property which your guests will appreciate.
But what do you do if you’re unable to meet your guests in person? Below we have outlined for you 5 distinct ways you could exchange keys if you aren’t physically there:
Friends, Family, or Your Cleaner
Your usual cleaner could be an ideal middleman between you and your guests as they are familiar with the property already. Going further, some hosts have been known to allow the cleaner show guests around the property as well, but this depends on the level of trust.
The drawbacks are that they may not always be available when your guests are supposed to arrive (assuming they are on time), and that this person will essentially be the face of your business if they are interacting with guests. Is this person reliable and do they have excellent interpersonal skills?
If the answer is yes, this could be an option.
Key Management Companies
Some new companies offer a location based key exchange service.
KeyNest for example, is a smart key exchange service that partners with local shops and hotels to allow you to store your keys and have your guests collect them. It is easy and secure as no one holds the addresses and all the guest needs to provide is a single-use code.
A key advantage of this option is that most of the stores have long opening hours, so your guests have the flexibility to check-in at any time.
The major drawback is that this service is new to the market and only available in certain location around the world so do your research.
Property Management Companies
Managing your guests’ check-ins is one thing but property management companies like Keey also take care of the cleaning, maintenance and guest communications.We offer a full package on all services.
If you don’t have time to manage all of the ins and outs, it’s a great solution.
However, these services come at a cost and you will have to share a small percentage of your Airbnb revenues.
Lock-boxes and Smart Locks
Lock- boxes are very simple to install and to use. All you need is to send a code to your guests so that they can open it and get the keys. Smart locks can often even be controlled via an App.
Smart locks can only be used in houses or if you manage a whole apartment block. However, it would be quite expensive and a big hassle to change the front door of your building if you only manage one or a few flats in a building.
Here at Keey, we routinely use lock-boxes to great affect. Guests regularly comment on how efficient and easy to use they are.
Under The Flower Pot
Probably the simplest way to exchange keys. Nothing is easier: nothing to book, nothing to pay, nothing to plan or to think about. However, the simplest way is unfortunately also the least secure and outdated way of exchanging.
Many guests will also not appreciate having to look for the key under random rubbish, and you risk that your key will be found by someone who is not supposed to be there.