Choosing one of the best smart locks for Airbnb is a surefire way to achieve a 5-star check-in rating, which is a huge factor in your journey to becoming a Superhost. Your earnings and reputation skyrocket once you become a Superhost. Plus, you get that neat little badge on your profile picture.
The badge is a symbol of trust and a massive selling point when potential tenants are perusing the listings.
I’ve been staying in Airbnb rentals for over five years, and one of the things that still worries me the most is the check-in process. Will the host be there when I arrive, or will I have to sit outside 7-Eleven sipping beer yet again?
Tenants never know the exact time they’ll arrive because there are infinite variables at play during travel.
That’s why installing a reliable smart lock at your Airbnb rental is a brilliant decision. After I share my top smart lock picks, I’ll list the advantages of using a smart lock as an Airbnb host. Plus, I’ll go over how smart locks factor into travel security.
Now, let’s check out the locks.
#1) AirLocking (Smart Lock and Checkout Button)
The AirLocking smart lock is the ultimate timesaver for any Airbnb host. Aside from being a timesaver, the greatest advantages of this lock are customer service and reliability.
Your guest check-in/checkout process is a breeze, as this lock was specifically designed for Airbnb.
- The customer support team walks you through any obstacles you may run into during the setup. Once you’re all set up, everything integrates with your Airbnb calendar.
- The user interface at the customer portal is easy to use.
- The actual lock works great, and the keypad has individual buttons for each number 1 through 9.
- Automatic, customized email greetings to your guests with welcome information: directions, lock code, and any other information you wish to add to make check-in easier
- The lock codes are automatically generated for each guest.
- You control when your guests’ codes start/stop working to account for early/late arrivals/departures (please excuse the forward-slash overload).
- A low monthly cost with a discount for additional locks
As an Airbnb guest, I love the idea behind this lock. The reason I’m including this article on my anti-theft site is that we as guests don’t know if a previous tenant has the keys to your lock.
For this reason, I wrote an article dedicated to the best portable door locks, which a lot of people are starting to use when they travel and book with Airbnb.
Since AirLocking automatically generates new codes and disposes of the old codes, tenants don’t have to worry about previous tenants accessing the property. That extra peace of mind is nice to have for guests, just my two cents.
Click here #ad to read more about the AirLocking system at Amazon.
#2) Schlage Connect Century Touchscreen Deadbolt (BE468CEN619)
The reason I chose this smart lock by Schlage as my #2 pick is that Schlage has been in business for nearly a century. They know what they’re doing when it comes to building a premium lock.
One of the greatest features of this lock is the fingerprint & smudge-resistant keypad which makes it nearly impossible for potential intruders to identify the code.
- It’s best to use this lock in conjunction with the Wink app. With the app, you can create and manage custom entry codes for each guest.
- There’s an automatic reminder to deactivate codes after checkout.
- It comes in several varieties to match any door.
- Very easy to program and operate
While I do think this is a great and reliable lock, it’s difficult to surpass AirLocking due to the features of the AirLocking that are made for Airbnb.
However, the combo of the Wink app with the Schlage lock will definitely get the job done for you. Buy this lock with the confidence you’re buying a legit lock for a reliable company.
#3) Oaks Labs Smart Door Lock
The Oaks Labs Smart Lock is my top budget pick on the list. You can easily program temporary codes for your Airbnb guests using this lock and manage everything from the integrated phone app.
One feature I like that you may like/dislike is the optional keyed entry. I always like having a backup plan, especially when I’m considering customer service.
This lock also has a longer battery life than I’ve seen in other smart locks. Oaks lists a battery life of up to 1 year (10,000 locks/unlocks) using the included AA batteries.
- The ability to generate temporary codes for guests without WiFi
- The flexibility to use the app, touchpad, physical keys, or a key fob to open the door
- View all lock activity in the app with or without WiFi
- “E-keys” allow your guests to use the phone app to access the door if they like.
- The aesthetic/professional appearance of the lock
- The lower price than other smart locks
- The USB power backup
I had trouble putting this lock at #3 because it probably should be #2. The feedback for this lock is glowing, and the price is right Bob Barker style. But in all seriousness, the flexibility, functionality, and aesthetic look of this lock make it a sure winner.
Check out the installation video below (Note: the “Rently” logo has since been replaced with the sleek “Oaks” logo):
#4) PopuLife Smart Lock
The PopuLife Smart Lock is a feature-rich smart lock that gives you all the tools you need to remotely manage your Airbnb lock. One thing that sets this lock apart from the others is a built-in alarm that you may find useful.
It also has a battery backup to ensure your guests are never locked out. You also get the convenience of a phone app similar to the first two locks on the list.
- The app is flawless and works every time.
- Very easy installation
- Great customer support
- Easy to set/manage personalized key codes for each guest
Overall, this is a great smart lock for Airbnb or other vacation rentals. My only reservation is the company isn’t well-known with an excellent track record like Schlage, and the AirLocking lock wins in the features department. The advantage of this lock over AirLocking is no monthly fee.
#5) August Smart Lock Pro + Connect (3rd Generation)
The August Smart Lock is one of the best currently on the market. What makes this lock so great is the constant upgrades. The app allows you to manage your key codes for guests and monitor when they come and go.
All in all, this is probably the best overall home smart lock, but the AirLocking is still better for Airbnb because of its integrations and reliability. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if August adds more functions similar to the AirLocking in the near future.
- Easy to assign/manage codes for each guest
- Easy installation
- Seamless integration between Airbnb and HomeAway
- Set the codes to automatically expire after checkout
There are several factors to consider when using the August Smart Lock Pro for an Airbnb rental:
- The keypad is not included, and it’s necessary to have.
- The 2 AAA batteries might need to be replaced monthly in cold weather.
- Strong WiFi signal required
- Can be tricky for some people to install
The reason I have it at #5 on the list is the handful of negative reports, the price, no keypad included, and it lacks several Airbnb integrations available in the AirLocking.
You’re better off sticking with the AirLocking if you’re comfortable with the monthly fee (currently $4.99).
Advantages of Using a Smart Lock for Airbnb Hosts
- A lot of Airbnb hosts get overwhelmed when the reservations start rolling in. By starting with a smart lock, you set yourself up for success out the gate. It’s better to start with an efficient setup than to react later once you start getting more reservations.
- By starting with a smart lock, you give yourself a much better chance of picking up 5-star reviews, especially in the check-in department. Guests will know you’re serious when you show them how professionally you handle the check-in process. The biggest mistake a lot of new hosts make is underestimating the stress a guest is under while traveling. When you make the check-in process a breeze, it’s hard to get a negative review.
- You save money in the long run. With a smart lock, there’s no need to hire someone to check in your guests. You also don’t need to ask a family member or friend to do it for you (because they surely don’t want to anyway). I once had an Airbnb host ask me to help check-in guests because he and his cousin couldn’t do it. That was super unprofessional, don’t be that guy.
- The obvious advantage is you don’t have to be there during check-in. You may be traveling the world yourself, and a quality smart lock allows you to control the lock remotely.
- Guests can check in at any time. Instead of going through the headache of tracking your guests’ progress on their arrival days, you can be sure they already have the temporary passcodes they need to check in. There’s no need to worry about common travel delays or early arrivals.
- The auto-generated welcome emails with the AirLocking lock are awesome. The AirLocking lock is the closest thing to autopilot currently available to Airbnb hosts.
Always remember that making your guests feel at home is the #1 priority and an integral part of the Airbnb culture. Airbnb is a community first.
People want to feel safe when they stay at your rental.
A reliable smart lock is a critical anti-theft feature. While we all want to trust Airbnb guests, you never know when someone may make a copy of your key.
With a smart lock, guests can’t copy your keys. They get a temporary code, and once they check out, that key goes in the digital trash.
The best smart lock for Airbnb currently on the market is hands down the AirLocking. The company designed it specifically for Airbnb hosts, and its performance speaks for itself.
That to me says this is a great and reliable lock that will stay at the top of its class for years to come.
The best budget smart lock for Airbnb on my list is the Oaks Labs lock. What I love about it are the versatility and USB power backup.
The folks who created the Oaks lock also appear to be legit and ahead of the ball in the smart lock game.
The August Smart Lock has the most feedback, but it’s #5 on my list for a reason. The AirLocking easily outclasses the August in the Airbnb department.
I like Schlage as a company and have used its products in the past. I put them at #2 because of their track record and long history.
Between the top three locks, you definitely get the best options and most suitable features for an Airbnb rental or other vacation rentals.
Best of luck with your Airbnb and your journey to becoming a Superhost!