I have done quite a bit of research and am awaiting delivery of the new connected Lockstate smart lock that syncs with my AirBnb, at great expense from the US (I am UK based).
Is anyone out there currently using this Airbnb synced Lockstate entry system (keys are the bane of my life) and can you give me the lowdown?
I will also report on my Lockstate experience as I test…!
Thanks Katie X
I did research as well and ended up buying the LockState WiFi Remote Lock (L500i) a little more than a year ago. It was an investment but I couldn’t be happier with it and haven’t had a single problem. I recall having an issue initially getting it set up and having to call for technical support. Shockingly, I actually spoke to a live person in the States who knew their stuff and my issue (it was my dumb) was resolved in less than 5 minutes.
Keep in mind that you have to pay a nominal $1 monthly fee for LockState Connect, their online device manager, to access the lock remotely. The program is fairly easy to navigate and, again, I haven’t had a single problem. It even provides you with a charge status of the batteries in the lock as well as an email notification if the batteries start to run low. It takes 4 AA batteries and their lifespan depends on how often you have the lock sync with the WiFi. I would say my batteries last a good 9-11 months doing an hourly sync.
I have not used the AirBnB sync, as that is a fairly new offering that I haven’t read up on yet. I’m quite content logging on LockState Connect and setting up my guest’s dates/times. I simply use the last four digits of their mobile phone number as their access code - certainly an easy system that prevents anyone from forgetting what their code is! You can also set up as many codes as your guests request.
FYI, I found the least expensive vendor of the LockState to be Home Depot. If you have a Discover Card and do an online order through the Discover Deals page you can get 5% cash back on the purchase. Let me know if you have any more questions!
Hello Ard, thank you so much for your comprehensive post… It all sounds excellent and perfect for my use. Interesting you haven’t used the sync option yet… I will investigate and report back! Katie
Hi Katie, Good to hear that you have ordered a Lockstate Remotelock, it is a shame that you did not order from us at smartlock.co.uk as we are their UK/Europe reseller. Probably would of been a lot easier. If you need any help setting it up then please get in touch. The airbnb integration is a great feature and we are getting loads of interest from other airbnb hosts. kind regards, Stuart
Hello Stuart from SmartLock…I would have dearly loved to order from you. My lock is taking for ever to arrive… 2 weeks and still waiting…! But bad news for you - I researched what lock to buy that would do what I wanted it to do, extensively on line from the UK and you guys didn’t come up as being stockists for Lockstate. You really need to review your online marketing - particularly for this type of product where 99% of purchasers will be tech savvy, ABC1, early adopters (like moi!) who will buy online. Anyway (I will take off my Marketing Directors hat!) I will be ordering more if it does what it says on the tin and I will be coming to you next time. Thanks for checking in, Katie
Hi Katie, thanks for the feedback and yes you are correct regarding the online marketing. It is something we are addressing, it just takes time and money. Maybe you can help spread the word! kind regards, Stuart
We recently installed the LockState LS-6i and I’m very pleased with it. From prior experience I knew we needed a lock that was 1. keypad based (e.g., not using a phone app or any physical key) and 2. could be managed easily from a web interface (e.g., no needing to hand enter codes into the lock). Due to a family health issue, we’ve often been managing our Airbnb remotely and so the lock had to connect to the internet. After doing a fair amount of research, the LockState 6i seemed to be the only solution that met my criteria. Our Airbnb set up is a whole house, four bedrooms that are mostly booked individually but sometimes booked in combination or as one unit.
A few of the highlights:
- Due to the volume of guests, having a unique, time-bound, key code for each guest has been a big improvement over other solutions like giving everyone the same key code with a simpler lock.
- While we’ve had no security issues at our house, I love that this solution gives us detailed history of who’s entering and when.
- I sense that issuing a unique key code reassures security-conscious guests. In our case this is probably more about perceptions than any real threat but it can’t hurt our reviews.
- The Airbnb integration has been exceedingly simple and works well. After a few clicks on the web interface, new guests get an email with a randomly generated code and the time-limits within which the code will work. It’s all very professional. The email template is customizable. For older bookings that preceded installation of the lock, I have been manually entering the information. Even for the manual entry, it’s easy and fast.
- The web-based service offered by LockState is very reasonably priced at about one to two US dollars a month (depending on which services you opt for) with discounts if you pay annually. They really couldn’t have priced it lower. Some hardware + service combinations are pricey and leave you feeling gouged, not this service. Also, I am actually grateful that they are charging something as it aligns their incentives and mine that they continue to invest in that part of the offering…
- Customer support is very good. I noticed on Amazon that someone from the company was actively responding to issues and this encouraged me to take the plunge. I have also reached out twice about minor questions and have been impressed with the responsiveness. Finally, it’s also worth noting that some of the more critical reviews are of earlier versions of the hardware/software that do not appear to be relevant any more.
- I liked that the company sells a range of products and, as a result, isn’t dependent on this one lock to keep the company afloat. Some newer, pure “Internet of Things” companies have struggled and LockState’s more diverse portfolio of products reassured me that they’re likely to be more stable.
A few other considerations:
- The hardware is not cheap so I wouldn’t necessarily use this for a safe, low-volume location. In other words, a cheaper, not internet connected keypad with a handful of reused keycodes could probably work just fine for many hosts. For a higher volume host or one that needs a high security solution I think it’s an excellent option.
- At this time, you can’t automatically generate unique access code from a guest’s phone number (you can do this manually). LockState knows this is something hosts would like (and I suspect Airbnb might need to enable it by sharing that information).
- The web interface can be a bit confusing at first (there are a lot of options that take a while to make sense of). When talking to a customer service rep I was told they’re updating the interface soon. To be clear, though, this is a minor concern and the site works very well overall. I check the site multiple times a day (to keep tabs on the house) and it works fairly well on my phone, too.
- The directions that came with the lock say that guests should hit the “Enter” key. On our lock there is no “enter” key and users hit the pound (#) key. This is trivial to convey to guests (we added it to the email and have a label above the lock, too).
So, in short, I’m really glad we got it and recommend it to anyone who wants an easy way to generate and manage unique keys for each guest.
Thanks for your great review on the LockState LS-6i.
How is your experience so far?
Hi Laabo Land,
Reliability: After moderate use for two years, our lock stopped working in May 2018 so I changed a 5-star rating on Amazon to 4-stars. After lots of back-and-forth with RemoteLock customer service we isolated that this was due to a mechanical issue. The customer service at LockState was ultimately helpful but it took a fair amount of effort to get expert assistance. They tried to help but some internal parts were apparently damaged from use and it was not salvageable. I am frustrated that a nearly $500 lock advertised as “commercial grade” wasn’t able to last two years but we still bought another 6i as the replacement. As noted above, when it works it works really well and offers the right mix of convenience and security for guests. It’s easier for me to think of it as a lock that cost about $20 a month and then it’s not so painful to imagine having to replace it after two years. This time, though, we bought it with the Amazon/SquareTrade extended warranty for extra protection. Likewise, if you’re considering this lock (or others given this is such a new category), I strongly recommend some sort of extended warranty.
App: The app has been improved a lot but is still a work in progress. For many basic tasks it is sufficient. For other routine tasks, though, you’ll need a web browser, probably at a laptop. For example, from the app I’ve not been able to re-issue the welcome email (with key code) when a guest misplaces the code. This can be done easily from a web browser. Also, for reasons I can’t figure out, both the app and the web browser fail to default to chronological sorting of guests. As a result, you always have to click multiple times to locate who’s currently active or about to arrive (e.g., sorted from most current to furthest away).
Missing (?) emails: Guests receive their access codes via email. About one in twenty guests follows up to ask when they’ll receive their email code. I think this is primarily user error by guests who can’t find an email sent immediately after they booked. I almost always am able to see a cc:d copy of the email in my inbox. It is, however, possible that the emails are not arriving in the guest’s email inbox for reasons beyond the control of Lockstate / RemoteLock. For example, the emails are sent via an Airbnb relay service (e.g., email@example.com ) and that likely introduces a point of failure for some guests. Also, it seems guests from China request that I re-send the access code more often than guests from other countries (perhaps due to some sort of filtering?).
Overall, though, I can’t imagine hosting without the Lockstate 6i and recommend it (again, with extended warranty).
One more update after four years:
RELIABILITY: Over the last four years we’ve gone through two 6i locks. We’re now on our third and I’ve had to ask our handyman to come fix a mechanical issue with the the third one. So, I’m not optimistic about the third unit’s longevity. RemoteLock claims the newer generation of locks are more reliable but I haven’t tested a newer unit. One lock was replaced under an extended warranty so we’ve paid for two.
WEB INTERFACE: The RemoteLock platform has gotten better and is easy to use.
GUEST EXPERIENCE: It’s still great to have a key code sent to guests and have the codes automatically generated to fit the guests reservation. We look professional, they feel safer, all around that’s great. I haven’t tried other smart locks but I believe the RemoteLock web service is being opened up to other locks.
IN SUM: When this third lock breaks, we’ll probably stick with RemoteLock despite the issues because, when it works, the system has been good overall. I will definitely research other options, though. And, absolutely get an extended warranty with one if you buy one (I got my second lock through Amazon and purchased the extended warranty upsell). I prefer to think of the lock as being something I “pay” ~$20 a month for, rather than replace every two years for $500 and then it feels like a reasonable solution.
I have the 6i and the new 620, and five 55L. They are excellent products and the interface with airbnb is clever - in my case, the guest gets a passcode for the front door, and the same code is on his room. Guests are very happy to lock their doors when they leave (I get almost 100% 2 and 3 night stays) and it is a selling point.
The web interface ups great and the mobile app, which contains many but not all of the controls of the web interface, allows me to easily work with the house.
That’s been our experience with LockState, too. We also have their locks on our front door and our guest room doors. We even have one on our master bedroom door, because we shared our house with guests when we were open.