Are you looking for an Airbnb Lock? If so, this branded content presented in collaboration with August Smart Locks explores one important thing you need to have as an Airbnb Host to enjoy both security & freedom : a smart, key-free entry door lock. Since writing this blog post, August has contacted me to let us know that the Smart Key Pad software has been updated and we can now change your door code remotely with the app which is simply amazing!
As you might know, I’m a busy Host with many back-to-back bookings.
My check-outs are set at 11 am while my check ins at 4pm.
Like many of you, I use the few hours between our departures and arrivals to get our place cleaned by professional cleaners for our next Guests. One big problem that many busy Hosts encounter with Airbnb is that we keep hosting countless international Guests arriving at all times of the day and night – non stop – all year long. An even more problematic situation is when we have Guests asking for a late check out while our next Guests are asking for an early check in, on the same day.
This crazy Airbnb Lock problem happened to me the other day.
Our DreamLoft listing is located about an hour and a half drive from our Stylish Country Home by the Lake where we spend most of our time these days when our Montreal place is booked. Because of this, I do most of our arrivals remotely while we’re out in the country enjoying life in nature (and vice versa when we choose to live in the city). Until recently, I was using some good old keyless entry door locks to remote manage all our properties. You know, these keyless door locks that were invented before the internet. The ones that need you to be there physically to change the door code yourself and that won’t tell you when the batteries are dead.
Yes, I was using this Dinosaur Airbnb lock.
Pardon the fingerprints on this picture as I didn’t bother cleaning it before removing it to install my new August Smart Lock.
Since we mainly host international Guests and that I mostly manage our properties remotely, I didn’t change the door code each time a Guest would leave our place. First, changing the door code is impossible to do remotely because someone needs to be there physically to accomplish this task. Second, at some point, I tested asking my cleaner to change the code upon each departure, which became a nightmare to manage. So instead, I started changing the codes myself, every now and then, whenever I felt it was time to change it, which became very rare.
I know this situation might sound reckless to you but beware that many Airbnb Hosts don’t even have keyless entry Airbnb locks on their property. Yes, many Hosts still give a good old key to their Guests!
Even though any Guest could make a copy of their key, I imagine that these Hosts don’t change the door handle each time a Guest leaves their home.
After all, Airbnb is built on trust and as Hosts, we trust that our Guests are honest people.
With my Airbnb business being mainly international, once our Guests leave, they go back to their country. The odds that they would come back to steal our couch because they still have access to our door code are pretty slim. Our couch is pretty hard to fit on a plane and if they would ever run away with it, I have their personal info to easily track them back via Airbnb.
Having hosted more than 4,000 Guests, we’ve never ever had anything stolen by anyone so I’ve always been okay with our door code situation until this uncomfortable incident happened the other day.
We were hosting an American couple at the DreamLoft for a few days when they asked for a late check out the morning of their departure, which I agreed to. Our next Guests were a European family arriving the same afternoon who asked for an early check-in, which I also agreed to. On paper, everything was supposed to work fine but when the European’s plane flew early that morning, they decided – without telling me – to drop their suitcase earlier than the time we had discussed, like at 10 am! And instead of ringing my door to see if anyone was there before coming in, they just entered the door code and walked in as if they owned the place.
Surprise! Someone was in there still there sleeping.
The Americans were obviously shocked, to say the least, that some Europeans had access to the door code. After a little discussion, both groups got along very well and managed to resolve the situation by themselves but the Yankees called me after leaving our property to let me know that they had felt insecure about the fact that other Guests had access to their door code.
Not long after this situation happened, somewhere online, I saw this August YouTube video.
I immediately visited their website to learn more about this product. When I saw that August is offering a full Airbnb integration, I was hooked. Upon connecting Airbnb and August accounts, a host can authorize specific codes that Guests will have access to during their stay. When Guests complete a booking, they automatically get notification that they received access to your home through the August Smart Lock and that they should download the August App. Once the reservation ends, access to the Host property is automatically revoked.
Sounds like a dream to me.
I ran to the store to buy myself an August Smart Lock hoping to resolve my door code problem. But after installing it on my door, I realized that I needed August Connect to be able to access the lock remotely via the internet. Without this accessory, the lock would only work via Bluetooth, which would not resolve my remote management problems. When I went back to the store, I was out of luck since there was no more August Connects to be found anywhere in Quebec. When the salesman told me a new version of the lock was just about to be released, I decided to return the unit to hopefully try the newest version as soon as it would become available.
So when August Home contacted me out of the blue a few weeks later to offer to test their Airbnb integrated August Smart Lock, I was very happy to give it second try.
Having installed the lock twice, if you have any interest in this product, I highly recommend reading the August installation online guide to see if your current lock is compatible with their system. You can also watch their installation videos showing each step of the installation process. Overall, the lock is fairly simple to install since August Home allows you to keep your external door hardware meaning that, the August Smart Lock only replaces the interior side of your standard deadbolt.
But in my case, since I had the old keypad on the outside, I had to replace the external hardware with a new regular lock costing an extra $50.
The packaging presentation of the August Home’s products is top-notch and reminds me of Apple. From the moment you open the box, you can feel that this is a high quality product that has been designed with intelligence and care.
This August Smart Lock comes with 3 different mounting options that can accommodate all sort of locks.
I ended up using the #3 option which worked perfectly with my external hardware.
Once the mounting is installed, you simply need to attach the August Smart Lock to your door with the two side wings.
That’s it, the August Smart Lock is installed! You then need to install the batteries that are included with it. The front cap is magnetic and you simply have to push the bottom part of the cap to access the batteries. Genius right?
The smart lock automatically becomes activated as soon as you remove the plastic strip.
You then need to install the August App on your phone to sync the App with your Smart Lock. When this step is completed, you will only be able to operate the lock via Bluetooth, since at this point it still won’t be connected to the internet.
To connect the August Smart Lock to the internet, you have two options. Option #1 is to install the August Doorbell Cam that acts as an internet bridge to connect your Smart Lock to your wireless network, allowing you to manage it remotely.
Unfortunately, during the installation I soon discovered the August Doorbell Cam only works when connected to your existing doorbell wires. The big problem at our country home is that we have no doorbell. This made it impossible for me to install the August Doorbell Cam meaning it was still impossible to connect the lock to the internet!
“Never, never, never give in!”
― Winston S. Churchill
A week later, August sent me Option #2: the August Connect that plugs in your wall outlet and acts as a portal to connect your August Smart Lock to your wireless network.
Voilà. After all these efforts, my August Smart Lock was finally connected to the internet!
But I wasn’t done yet. I also installed the August Smart Keypad on the outside of my door. I highly recommend this option because it is extremely useful for people (like me) who do not always want to use the smart phone app to unlock the door when physically on location. Also, this Smart Keypad will quickly allow you to access your home with a door code if your phone batteries are dead or if you or your Guests ever leave their smartphone inside your home.
With the hardware completely installed, I was able to log back into the August App to link my Airbnb account to the Smart Lock. As soon as this step is completed, any Guest that books my home automatically receives a message to install the App which will allow them access to our property only for the duration of their stay via the App.
Here’s the message I got from August after hooking the App.
Congratulations Dany, and welcome! Your Airbnb listing Stylish Country Home by the Lake is now set up for secure, keyless access with your August Smart Lock. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with how August virtual keys work.
How do my guests get their virtual key?
Once you confirm a reservation for this listing, your guest will receive an email from August Home with instructions on how to install the August app and link it to their Airbnb account. Once linked, a unique virtual key will be issued to the guest automatically. The key expires automatically at the end of their stay.
How can I find out who has virtual keys to my Airbnb property?
You can view the list of guests who have accepted the virtual key to your property (as well as which dates the key will work) any time from the August App: From the “Lock” screen, tap the tab titled “Guest List.”
How do I know which guests are not setup with virtual key?
August Home will notify you by email 72 hours prior to your guest’s check-in date if they have not set up their August account. You can then choose to send a reminder note encouraging your guest to install the August app so that they can enjoy the convenience of keyless access with their smart phone.
If your guest is not interested in keyless access or does not have a compatible smart phone, please make alternate arrangements for the guest to access your property.
What’s a good way to advertise keyless access to potential guests?
If you haven’t already done so, consider updating your listing profile on the Airbnb website to advertise keyless access. Consider using the text below:
No keys to lose or to return! This property provides secure, keyless entry with an August Smart Lock. You can lock and unlock the door with your smartphone, using a unique virtual key issued to you for the duration of your stay.
August Home Support
And here’s how the App works.
At the top right of the screen, you will see a blue “Remote Connect” button. You need to activate this button each time that you want to remote connect to your lock. When the middle button is green, it means the lock is currently open. When pressing it, it will go red, meaning your door just locked. You can remote manage several locks on one property and many properties with several locks.
On other menus, you can manually invite other types of Guests to access your property via the App. You have a cleaner, a friend or a lover who needs to access your home? Just invite them and August will tell you the ins and outs of every single authorized Guests. To top it off, you will also receive a notification when your batteries are low.
Jonathan White was our very first Guest to go through the entire Airbnb automation process with a last minute booking. August automatically sent him an invite to access our property. We didn’t know each other prior to the booking but since he’s also an Airbnb Host who manages three properties, we ended up having a little talk about his first time experience with my August Smart Lock.
Here’s the exact text message Jonathan sent me this as soon as he got in.
Hi Dany, I’m settled in. Small battle with the TV but seemed to have preserved. 🙂
Honest appraisal of the August App: works great once downloaded, but login is onerous. Hadn’t downloaded prior to arriving so perhaps a note for future Guests that they should do so before getting here and the setup/login.
Anyway, all is well. Nice place, great art.
Having hosted more Guests since Jonathan checked-out, I agree with him. The August Smart Lock is an awesome physical product but the App & Airbnb integration has potential to get even better.
August Home and Airbnb are both leading the way in this new era of remote controlled homes. Currently, the Airbnb integration only gives Guests access to our home via the August App that needs to be installed, prior to check-in, on the Guest’s smart phone. This forces our Guests to use the App to unlock the door. At the moment, no Guest will ever receive an actual door code to use the August Smart Keypad access which is – I think – the fastest, simplest and most efficient way to check in into our home.
Since then, I have also been hosting some bigger groups and sometimes the person who booked my place has been asking me to manually send an invite other people in the group so that they can all download the app. This becomes time consuming and I feel it would be way easier for my Guests to have the option to use a door code if they choose so.
Companies like August and Airbnb love to hear users feedback to improve their products and I truly think August should work on an update of the App to allow Host’s choose how they want to give access to their homes.
As a Host, do you prefer Guests checking in using the App, the Smart Keypad or both?
According to this user’s preference, Guests could either receive a door code via text or email and/or receive a link to install the App giving limited access to our home only for the duration of their stay.
Personally, I would also love to be able to change my Smart Keypad door codes remotely since at the moment, you need to stand by the door to change the codes via Bluetooth.
AMAZING NEWS!!! Since writing this blog post, August has contacted me to let us know that the Smart Key Pad software has been updated and we can now change your door code remotely with the app!
I love that August took the time to listen to the users’ feedbacks and I cannot express how this very small update has made me love the August Smart Lock so much more. August definitely is an awesome product and I am so glad that I can finally change my door code conveniently anywhere I am. It’s simply awesome! This August Smart Lock is exactly what I needed to resolve my “door code problem” and I can’t wait to install it on all my properties. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this sponsored blog post and here’s the link to buy the August Smart Home Access Solution.