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Check-in Time: From When to When?


I’ll be away on medical leave this summer and my neighbour has generously offered to check guests in and clean. She has a busy life. Would love any 411 on establishing a small check-in time window (e.g. 6pm to 8pm). She’s not the type to be looking at her phone and to check endless updates on guests ETA. I’d love to know how community members deal with check-in times. Thank you.


I installed a key lock box so I no longer wait around for guests. I have my check in time set for 3pm onwards. At 2.45pm I place the key in the lock box and send them the code. Guests can check in when it is convenient for them and I no longer spend hours waiting for them :slight_smile: works both ways!


I agree with @travellinbug. If there’s any way you can do a lockbox or keypad lock it will save your neighbor (and guests) a lot of headache.

If you must do an in-person check-in, set the small window and then make sure guests are absolutely aware of it. I’d have them acknowledge it. “Dear guest, Thanks for your reservation! My neighbor and co-host is only available for a short check-in window from 6pm-8pm. We can’t guarantee anyone will be available outside this time, so please arrange your travel accordingly. Please confirm you understand you’ll need to arrive between 6-8pm.”


I agree with installing a key lock-box or keypad, so guests do not need to contact your neighbour to enter your rental home.

But I would have a sign in the common area that states:

“Please telephone our neighbour (name here) at (phone number here) when you first arrive and if you have any special needs during your stay. Thank you.”

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What a lovely neighbour.

I agree use self-check, so your neighbour doesn’t have to wait around for your guests.

And make sure, as well as whatever rate you have agreed with your neighbour for cleaning, you agree (normally a higher) rate if your neighbour if they are needed for other issues such as having to evict problem guests, or if there is a problem say with the boiler and they need to organise a call out and wait for the plumbers arrival.

Do leave your neighbour with a list of local suppliers you use.


I love this idea. I’ve always wanted to do the personal check-in because if the guests connect with the owner and the owner is nice, they tend to take better care of your house. If this isn’t possible, I’ll take your advice and do the lockbox : ) Thank you.


I love this, Don. It’s a win-win. My golden neighbour doesn’t have to physically be there, but the guests know that she’s around, making the experience more personal. Thank you : )


Helsi, my neighbour is from Heaven. Thank you for this idea about giving her the cleaning fee plus. I’ve been looking at all the 2019 fee break-downs and for some reason almost no one on the island is charging for cleaning this year. I also notice there’s a tax that wasn’t on our listings last year. I’m hesitant to be the only one in town who charges a cleaning fee.


You don’t need a separate cleaning fee, you can factor it into your day rate, based on average number of guests and days booked @mypictonhouse

Whether or not you decide to charge a guest a cleaning fee, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be compensating your neighbour for her work to prepare your home. After all if she wasn’t to do this, you couldn’t make money from it.


I’d use a combination of the two - which is what I do anyway. Yes, have a keypad and make it a very simple one so that guests won’t have any problems using it. Make sure that your neighbour is fully aware of how to change the code for every guest.

This is easy for her and easy for the guest. Keypads have a key that overrides the code if necessary so make sure that she has that if needed.

She should message the guest the day before check in and give them a 2 hour window. (Mine is 4 pm to 6 pm). If she asks them to text or message her on the platform when they are fifteen minutes or so away, that gives her adequate warning (check lipstick etc :wink: ) but it does mean that she’ll need to be available for those two hours.

Tell guests that if they are arriving after 6, then she’ll arrange a self check in for them, using the keypad. Send the instructions along with the code on arrival day - you don’t want guests to have it in advance and anyway, it won’t be changed for that guest until the last lot have checked out that morning.

Tell the guests also that she’ll pop by in the morning to say hello and to meet them.

That way the guests have the best of both worlds - easy check in if they are delayed but personal attention too.



So wise. This is a great help, Jaquo : )

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