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Communication Problems with Airbnb - Part III

Certainly your choice. To each their own. Our guests love it. It is actually fun to use. In all of our booking history we had only one guest who stated “I am not downloading apps” and we gave them a keypad code.
We use apps to park cars, check in for flights, book rides, hotels and restaurants, deposit checks, message our doctor etc etc.
I’d much rather use an app than fumble with another key or memorize or look up an entry code.

I don’t use apps to do any of that.

I do and for many more things too but I’m fed up of having to download apps. My elderly robot needed replacing and the new one had to have an app to work properly. Annoying.

Quite the opposite in my experience but all hosts are different. The fact that you are having problems is enough for me to remain a dinosaur.

Really? It amazes me that people can’t remember a four digit code. I’ve nevwer had a guest forget their code. Ever.

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We are not having any functional or reliability problems with the August Smart Lock using the app. We have had some sporadic reliability problems with their dinky keypad in MI winters, even after I had it wired with an AC adapter (so no batteries exposed to the cold). Never any issue with the app, that’s why we are setting guests up that way (except for that one time objector). We have a hidden emergency physical key in case everything fails.
Our beef is with the way Airbnb lets August invade our message threads with our guests.
The “problem” is solved for now by manually setting up our guests, at some inconvenience and room for error. Whether August invite is initiated by us or automatically is transparent to the guest; the issue is with the automated message which we had to suppress.

We recently took a month-long trip along the West Coast and stayed in 9 Airbnb’s along the way, several of them with 5 or 6 digit codes. We are not ready yet for the memory unit in assisted living, but after a few stays the codes started to blurr at times.

Let’s acknowledge that there is more than one way to skin a cat (what a terrible thought in itself), and not one best way.
Cheers.

Most hosts who use keypads program it for the last 4 digits of the guest’s phone number, so not an issue.

They do and at one time, I did too. I have said before that I don’t give the code to guests until they arrive and it’s then given verbally. I’m a huge believer in the house tour. After I’ve prepared the apartment for incoming guests, I like to change from the haggard old cleaner to the smarter host, so I change and shower before doing the final apartment walkthrough.

Once when I was in the shower, I heard guests arrive an hour early and heard the husband say ‘oh, we’ll be able to get in. The code will be the last 4 digits of my phone number.’ He was right and the guests got in before I had chance to intercept them or do the final walkthrough.

So now, bearing in mind that some people seem to have the memory span of a goldfish, I use a random generator to create a two digit password and I use it twice to make the code. For example, 2121 or 5757 or 4242 - there are plenty of permutations and I’ve yet to find anyone who can’t remember a two digit number.

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Yes, we had a couple of those (last 4 of phone #). I thought it was a genius idea. Several other codes were longer and random. Interestingly none had an August lock (so none was as easy and fun to unlock and lock as ours, of course according to my opinion).
Our place is self check-in (we are at least 800, when not several thousand miles away), so ease, reliability, security and remote control from anywhere are key considerations.
Cheers,

  • goldfish

We like the “last 4 digits of guest phone #” approach. So far, we do that with a lockbox but are definitely interested in taking it to the next level with a smart lock but still using “last 4”.
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As some have noted, we prefer the idea of the code being presented to the guest in Airbnb msging and also text message - let’s say 1-2 hours before check-in or so.

Not to beat a seriously wounded horse, but that’s part of the beauty of the app.
Once invited and accepted, it only works for that smartphone at that location and only in the assigned time slot. You come to the right door and click on the big red circle, it becomes a green ring and the door unlocks. Click again and it locks and the red circle returns. Be at the wrong house or outside of your check-in to check-out time slot, and the circle is gray and nothing happens. Works only on the assigned smartphone - cannot be copied or forwarded. You can issue (or not) additional invites to other members of the party.
Our cleaning crew has apps, our neighbor has the app, no fuss no muss.
I can unlock and lock the door from anywhere so long as wifi is working.
Tthe guest app does not need wifi or even power to the house. Lock works on batteries and bluetooth.

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You are assuming that internet service never quits and the app always works. Not so.

I have had one encounter with an August lock and a new host. The app did not work, but they were fortunately at home upstairs and would buzz me in. It was a 2 night stay and I was gone all day and only came back to sleep & shower.

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That’s what I find vexing about the folks who are so enamored of their tech solutions. There seems to be an assumption that nothing could go wrong. What if I dropped and broke my phone on the way to a listing? Or it got stolen? What if I didn’t make sure it was fully charged before heading out on my journey? What if, as you say, there was a Wifi outage and they couldn’t program the lock?

Suppose a guest doesn’t have a smart phone?
I travelled all over France for 2 months several years ago with no phone. Thank goodness none of the Airs I stayed at were using this, mostly I was welcomed by the host.

No, I am not assuming anything. The guest app does not require internet to operate the lock. It connects to the lock via bluetooth. The only time internet is needed is for the host to operate the lock remotely. The probability of me needing to unlock remotely just when the internet is not working is extremely small, and if that happens there is an emergency key, which so far has never been used.
Since we are far away we do rely on tech with the necessary backups. We’ve had over 70 guests and 65% occupancy in a small town in Western MI with never an issue except the one guest who refused the app and got a keypad code. We had a couple of instances when we had to unlock remotely for guests who forgot to install the app ahead of time. We are not available to change a keypad on site and also need to be able to provide occasional access to repair people etc.
If you are trying to plan your life for every contingency imaginable with absolute zero risk you should not drive a car or get on an airplane.
We have all the occupancy we want with guests who use smartphones and apps, and frankly it’s OK if some choose other places, just as they may for other reasons such as they want a swimming pool and we ain’t got one.

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