A key handover can be quite the challenge for Airbnb hosts. While an in-person meet-and-greet provides the perfect opportunity to familiarize guests with the property and local attractions, it isn’t always feasible. So, what solutions are available if you’re preoccupied with work, vacationing, socializing, or other commitments?
Here are 6 alternatives for key handovers when you’re not around:
1. Leverage Your Contacts: Cleaner, Friends, or Family
Initially, a trusted cleaner familiar with your place could bridge the gap by offering guests a brief tour and then handing over the keys.
However, on the downside, their availability might not always sync with guest check-ins. So, the success of this method largely depends on the reliability and friendliness of the person you entrust.
2. Utilize Sharing Economy Services
Companies like KeyNest provide a novel key exchange system, partnering with local businesses where guests retrieve keys using a one-time code. It’s efficient and offers some peace of mind since addresses aren’t stored. Plus, with extended business hours, guests have flexibility.
However, the reach of such services is limited. While KeyNest operates in London and select UK cities, similar services elsewhere may cater to your location.
3. Classic Concealment: Doormat or Flowerpot
Choosing the age-old method of hiding a key under the doormat or in a flowerpot is undeniably easy. It involves zero bookings, incurs no additional costs, and requires minimal planning on your part. However, it’s essential to weigh the convenience against potential pitfalls. While it may be a familiar approach, guests may not appreciate having to search around for the key upon arrival. Furthermore, there’s an inherent risk involved. If someone with ill intentions knows about this common hiding spot, your property’s security could be compromised.
4. Enlist Airbnb Management Services like Keey
Beyond just check-ins, companies like Keey handle cleaning, upkeep, and guest communication. It’s ideal if you’re strapped for time. Premium offerings translate to a dent in your profits, as you’d part with a fraction of your Airbnb earnings. That said, sometimes it’s more economical than Airbnb’s co-hosting feature.
5. The Tech Route: Lockboxes and Smart Locks
Lockboxes are straightforward: share a code with guests, and they retrieve the keys. Smart locks up the ante with app-based controls. Security is a concern for lockboxes, from shared codes to vulnerability to tampering. Smart locks, while sophisticated, are suited mainly for individual homes or if you have control over an entire building. Retrofitting one for an apartment within a complex might be cumbersome and costly.
6. Embrace Digital Key Exchange Platforms
Digital key exchange platforms are truly transforming the way hosts and guests interact. Through these platforms, hosts can effortlessly send encrypted digital keys directly to a guest’s smartphone. This innovation means guests can gain access to the property throughout their reservation period, all without needing a physical key. This method is undeniably convenient, streamlining the check-in process.
However, as with most technological solutions, there are potential pitfalls. The entire system is contingent upon technology functioning seamlessly. Any software glitches, connectivity issues, or even a simple battery drain on the guest’s phone could pose challenges. In such scenarios, guests might find themselves unable to access the property, leading to potential frustrations and inconveniences.
How do you navigate the key exchange maze with your Airbnb guests? Need assistance? We’re here to help!