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Need some help with smart locks


#1

Hi all,

I am new here, and am considering buying a smart lock for my home. The other thread I saw here didn’t quite answer my questions. I have a few specific questions:

  1. Should I even bother getting one?
  2. How much is one worth/how much would you pay for a smart lock?
  3. For those of you who have tried current solutions, what are some problems with the locks you own/what are some things you wish they did differently?
  4. Do the key distribution experiences for your current solutions work well? Are most done via a mobile app?

Thanks for any help, I appreciate it!


#3

Hi Brandon, smart locks are great, however for Airbnb, it’s useless for apartment buildings, There are two sets of doors, the main door and your suite’s door. The main door can’t be changes so you’ll still have to find a way to give your guests the fob / key. For the suite’s door, some strata will not allow you to change the door locks as it breaks the consistency of the look of the building.


#4

Hi Brendan,

  1. It depends on which type of house you live. In my case, a single family house, a smart lock is great.
  2. I paid $250 for an August.
  3. I consider myself a handy person, however, it took me about 25mins to setup and calibrate the lock. My tenants said the door was unlocked a few times when they get home, which never happened to me.
  4. Some people don’t know August, they just ask for the combination code for the lockbox.

Hope it helps,
Steven


#6

Hey Brendan, I love the idea of using smart locks – they are generally safer, connect over bluetooth (so WiFi isn’t necessary), and come with an emergency set of physical keys…plus, they’re so sleek [smile] Prices vary, mostly from around $100-$500, but in my opinion, you really pay for what you get. The cheaper smart locks offer extra features for extra costs, but the pricier ones generally include these in the starting price. That being said, I’ll say the average hovers around $250.


#7

Hi Airbnb hosts,

VirtualKey is providing a smart way to handle keys. If you sign up for beta customer, you will get a free smart lock and through VirtualKey services, guest will automatically get a smart key for specific time stamp once the booking is done. Move to hassle free key exchanges. Please provide your inputs to help us build a better service and please fill the survey to become a beta customer and get a free smart lock: http://tinyurl.com/obt4wtd


#8

Hi @Brendan_Lee,

It’s good for you that you get interested in smart locks - it’s really more convenient than passing the keys. Especially when you are managing more than three premises and each of them is located in different part of the city.

  1. Yes. With smart lock you don’t have to wait for customers being late, you don’t have to leave keys under the rug, or worry if someone have copied your keys.
  2. Don’t think about smart lock as stand alone piece of hardware used to open the doors, but it’s more like hardware connected with the software in the cloud. Take as much as you can from that software, and choose solution that fits you best.
  3. You may have troubles with installing some of the locks. If smart lock is using WiFi there may be a problem if your Internet (or even worse - electricity) goes down for some reason. Most locks are made for home usage and it’s not so easy to give or remove access. Another thing is mobile application your guest need to have. It’s very unconvenient for guests and some of them may not have smartphone or its battery have already died.
  4. I’m co-founder of RentingLock, but I’m also an AirBnb host. I’m passing keys with two simple clicks - I’m picking check-in/check-out dates, then guest e-mail address or phone number, and that’s that’s it. Tenants receive code to open the doors. They doesn’t need any app installed. RentingLock doesn’t need Internet connection and it’s working on batteries, that’s why it’s safer.

@jake88:
About the apartment buildings - with RentingLock you send a message with code via our system. You can add any message to this message, so it’s no problem with adding: ‘Press 123# to open the front door’.

By the way, price of RentingLock is $1 and $1.64 daily subscription fee for software to generate codes and sending them to tenants. So as you can see it’s much cheaper than coffee and saves you huge amount of time.


#9

Hi michaloblak
I’m confused on how the RentingLock service works. The apartment I have already connects my cell phone to the intercom. So that allows the guest to get into the building. But because our strata does not allow us to change the locks on our doors (at least not with one that is vastly different from the current design), my guest can’t get into the actual apartment. Maybe I’m missing something on how this service work.


#10

Hi jake88,
Yes, you have to change your lock, or to be more specific, all you need to do with RentingLock is changing a handle to one that we provide - the one with keyboard. You can attach a code to the intercom in the message you are sending from RentingLock software - so it will be something like: ‘Code to the door is 123, code to the intercom is 456’.
If there is no one unique code to the intercom you have to open it from your cell phone. You have to dial somewhere to open the intercom?
By the way, if you want smartlock, you have to change lock or at least handle, there is no other way to do it.

If you have more questions just ask me.


#11

ah, okay, thanks Micheal, that makes it much clearer. my issue is that my strata will not allow lock changes on the suite doors. well, back to square one.


#12

I have not tried this but it could be a good solution. I use the Kwikset Smart Key/Rekey system along with a lock box. It is much cheaper and has worked for me. I only rekey the lock if I feel I don’t trust a guest. I have only had to do that once. Having a lock box means I can give guest the code if I am not home and my check in times can be more flexible. I can also change the code on the lock box if I need to. Hope this helps.


#13

I have a home and prefer giving guests keys since I’m always home and don’t need to worry about letting guests in from a distance. I don’t like the idea of having new guests just walk into my house without any explanation - I think that must lead to some risky inadvertent behavior by guests. Who is there to tell them to take off their shoes and lift their luggage off the floor? Lol. It costs about $40 to get a lock rekeyed to the house. I asked the locksmith what was safer, a coded combo smart lock or a keyed lock. He said to a burglar it doesn’t matter, they would smash the door down or break a window, since it is all about speed.


#14

i use electronic keypad locks, but not smart locks (ones that you can access via wi-fi), basically because they are too expensive.
i also have 2 doors, a main door then apt. doors inside, i use them for both. i think they are like 129.00 at lowes, some cheaper, some more.
only issue i have is my house is 110 years old, so you must align the doors sometimes to allow the bolt to move freely.
and yes, guests sometime forget to hit the ‘lock’ button. or they forget to turn the lock once inside. but what can you do, i can’t teach them how to be smart…


#15

Hey Brendan!

I’d definitely recommend getting a smart lock. You won’t have to personally greet each guest to hand off the keys, and you can easily change the code between each guest, ensuring your home is always safe.
The prices are going to vary by the brand you choose, but some good ones are CodeBox, Kabra Oracode, Kwikset, Parakeet, PointCentral, and ResortLock.

Also just saw an article on home automation and smart technology. Hope this helps: http://blog.rented.com/home-automation


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