A Complete Guide to Keyless Entry For Rental Properties (with Our 5 Favorite Smart Locks)

By November 10, 2022November 16th, 2022vacation rentals
vacation rental apartment

“How do I get the keys?” is often the first question a guest asks after booking and the first hurdle they encounter when they arrive. And anyone who’s run a vacation rental knows that organizing that handover can be a real source of stress. They can be lost, locked inside the unit—or even stolen or copied. Disaster.

If you’re making your guests rely on physical keys to access their vacation rental, you’re missing out on the benefits of short-term rental tech—such as improving security and making the arrival process easier for guests and your team.


Connect your operations

Imagine connecting your smart locks to a consolidated dashboard where you can keep track of access, monitor unit status, and get an overview of all your operations. Learn more about Operto’s hospitality automation solutions today.


Setting up a keyless entry system and door lock means you can avoid the issues traditional keys cause and give your guests easy and streamlined access, even if you’re not onsite to check them in. Here’s how.

What is keyless entry?

Keyless entry is a system that gives guests access to their vacation rental without a traditional key. It uses digital tools such as a smartphone app or a code typed into a smart lock keypad to do so.

A keyless entry system typically uses a motorized “smart lock,” which is connected to a digital network via Bluetooth or the Internet. You can open, close, and monitor the door from an app or centralized hands-free system, offering more convenience than a physical key and lock that you have to be present to use.

There are various benefits to using keyless entry, including:

  • Contactless check-in: No one has to be onsite to let guests in, which can help you reduce your staffing needs and allows you to enjoy the operational advantages of vacation rental home automation

  • Increased flexibility: Guests don’t have to wait for a staff member to access their property—they just arrive when they arrive, then go straight in with no fuss. 

  • PMS and channel manager integrations: You can use STR technology to connect your smart locks to your PMS and ensure all your bookings are accounted for.

  • Unique access codes: Each guest and team member can receive a unique access code that you auto-activate and deactivate for check-in and check-out. 

Additionally, when you pair your keyless entry with a tool like Operto, you can view all your reservations, cleans, and maintenance tasks on a consolidated management platform. You’ll also be able to change entry codes when necessary, address security concerns instantly, and keep track of guest and staff access from wherever you are.

List of benefits of keyless entry for rental properties

Protecting your properties and guests is just one of the many benefits of keyless entry for rental properties.


How much does keyless entry cost?

The price of keyless entry installation can vary depending on the locks you choose (the price of a keyless lock can be as low as $159) and the service you need.

And, while many smart locks for keyless entry can be installed on your existing doors, in some cases, they can be installed over your existing deadlocks, meaning the changes made are minimal in terms of time and cost. 

Also, most smart locks can use your existing WiFi and Bluetooth networks, meaning they don’t require any additional installation, expensive systems, or complicated wiring.

The investment of installing keyless entry smart locks is definitely more upfront than simply sticking with traditional manual locks, but this can certainly pay itself off in the long run—think less staff, fewer security issues, no replacing lost or stolen keys, and happier guests who are pleasantly surprised by how easy the check-in process was.

Another option is updating your existing locks with Operto Boost. We can update your locks within minutes, meaning no installation or downtime, so you can upgrade to contactless check-in for vacation rentals with less hassle and no need to replace locks.  


What kinds of key entry locks exist for vacation rentals?

There’s a huge variety of smart locks for keyless entry on the marketplace, so you have options to choose from depending on your budget, design, and needs. 

You can choose keyless entry that requires guests to enter a code on a keypad or a contactless solution that grants them access via a mobile key on their smartphone. Many locks, such as the Yale Assure range, pair with their own apps or other popular apps (like Apple Home) to grant guests access. 

And while most keyless entry smart locks are connected via WiFi and Bluetooth, some brands, such as Igloohome, pride themselves on offering keyless entry solutions that work even without a connection, making this option perfect for vacation rentals in remote locations.

So whether your rental is a high-end city apartment or a rustic forest cabin, a keyless lock solution can work for you.


An image showing a real-life example of Nuki keyless entry for rental properties.

Contactless access makes check-in easy.


Connect your operations

Centralize access and smart lock management with Operto so you can easily keep tabs on who’s accessing your units at all times 


What are the pros of keyless entry for vacation rentals?

A home or apartment keyless entry solution remedies all the problems of traditional keys in one swoop, offering major advantages for you and your staff, and your guests too. These include:

  • Remote control wherever you are. If you use Operto to coordinate your keyless entry processes, you can connect everything through your PMS.

  • Immediacy and independence for guests. This gives guests easy access to the property upon arrival.

  • Better security as only authorized people can access. Smart locks are an excellent vacation rental safety tech solution. And if a security problem comes up, you can change the code instantly, remotely.

  • Connectivity through a central system such as Operto. This allows you to easily keep track of access, unit status, and maintenance tasks. 

  • No need for staff or you to wait around to supply keys. You don’t need to have your team on hand in case a guest loses their keys. 

  • Increased flexibility for guests. Works 24/7, as there is no need for guests to meet staff in person or arrive at a set time.

  • Happier guests. When you give your guests a smooth, independent arrival, you set them up for an enjoyable, frictionless stay. 

  • Less dependent on staff. This means greater efficiency and lower costs. (Don’t just take our word for it. Check out this post explaining how one property management team used keyless entry technology to streamline ops and employ just one staff member to manage 60 properties).

Keyless entry by itself can be a powerful tool for your business. But when connected with centralized operating systems such as Operto, keyless entry is just the first step in the much larger process of seamlessly managing your vacation rental from start to finish.

When you integrate keyless entry for rental properties with a wider management platform, you can generate unique key codes for guests and staff. This means you can grant access to different people at different times and keep track of when a room is occupied, empty, being cleaned, or ready for check-in.

Linking your smart locks with a platform like Operto also lets guests check access details and key information in advance. Immediately after a guest books, they’ll receive an email link to the Operto Guest web-based app.

There, they can view their entry code and access information, as well as preview all the essential information about their stay. After arrival, guests can find the WiFi password, request housekeeping, and get curated local recommendations, all within the white-label app. 

By giving your guests this information up front, you make them more independent, which helps you cut down on the time you spend on guest communications. Also, Operto helps you keep track of bookings, cleaning, check-in, and check-out—so you’ll always know exactly what’s going on, no matter how many units you manage. Zero fuss, zero stress, and it all starts with keyless entry.

An image showing the Operto Connect’s Manager Dashboard.

Monitor guest and staff access, noise levels, unit status, and more with Operto Connect.


What are the cons of keyless entry for vacation rentals?

It’s important to make sure that keyless entry will work for your business, so you should know what you’re getting into before you take the plunge and change up your hardware and processes. 

Here are some things to bear in mind when considering keyless entry for your vacation rental:

  • Mobile key intuitiveness. Some guests are confused by keyless locking systems and may need some extra guidance when using one for the first time.
  • Battery life. Some keyless entry systems can run out of battery and require a 9V battery or other power sources to unlock if power fails. To solve this, Operto sends you an alert when the battery level dips below a certain threshold, giving you plenty of time to organize a replacement.
  • Price. Smart locks are also more expensive upfront than a traditional lock. However, they’re far less expensive than paying staff to handle check-ins, so they pay themselves off in the long run.
  • WiFi connectivity required. Many keyless entry systems require WiFi to function, so if your properties are located in a remote area, this could be an issue. In this case, you can choose a lock that works offline, like Igloohome’s devices. 
  • Installation. It can be expensive and time-consuming to overhaul all your existing locks. But the revenue from a single reservation will normally cover this cost. And with Operto Boost, you have the option of simply updating your existing locks rather than overhauling them.

Luckily, most locks are engineered to be as easy to use as possible, with almost no extra work from you once installed. And when you pair your smart lock with Operto, the experience is simple and straightforward to navigate for everyone, from property managers to housekeepers to guests.

An image showing an example of Operto smart device and keyless entry for rental property integrations.

Operto offers numerous smart lock integrations for your convenience.


Keyless entry for vacation rentals: Is it right for you? 

We’ve summarized the pros and cons in a handy table, so you can figure out what’s best at a glance.


Pros

Cons

✓ You can keep track of access via one consolidated digital portal

✓ Guests instantly receive pertinent information when you pair your smart locks with a digital guidebook and guest portal tool like Operto

✓ Only authorized guests and employees have access

✓ You can change codes remotely and instantly in case of a security risk

✓ Works 24/7

✓ Different key codes for guests, housekeeping, and maintenance

✓ Allows tracking from check-in to check-out

✓ Integrates with other smart tools like noise monitoring devices and smart thermostats when using a hospitality automation platform like Operto

✓ You can reduce staffing needs

╳ Some guests may need more help and education to use keyless entry the first time, especially if it’s a mobile key

╳ More expensive upfront than a traditional key system

╳ Requires batteries that require changing, albeit infrequently

╳ Most require WiFi or Bluetooth

╳ Installation can be a hassle


Our 5 favorite keyless entry systems for vacation rentals

Not sure where to start when it comes to choosing a home or apartment keyless entry system? Take a look at the five keyless entry systems we recommend for vacation rentals. Note that all these solutions are compatible with the Operto vacation rental management platform.

Yale Assure Lock 2

The Yale Assure Lock 2 is a compact keypad option from the trusted Yale company which is compatible with most types of doors. It offers convenient keypad access, and the WiFi version is equipped with Google Home and Apple HomeKit for contactless access. 

This smart lock also comes with an auto-lock feature, so you can always make sure the door is secured after guests leave. Plus, you can use the Yale Access App, as well as the Operto Manager Dashboard, to keep track of who’s entering your units and when. 

Available in black suede, bronze, or satin nickel. You get physical key access for backup if needed as a last resort, and it's a good value option, starting at $179.99. Integrates with Operto.


An image showing a real-life example of Yale keyless entry for rental properties.

Yale offers convenient contactless access for your guests.

August Smart Lock Pro + Connect 

The August Smart Lock Pro + Connect is a convenient, key-free smart lock that works with smartphones and Apple Watches, allows you to manually grant recurring or single-occurrence access to guests, and keep track of who’s entering and leaving your properties.

If you use Operto, we automate this process to provide guests with their unique access codes for you.

Available in silver. Priced at $229.99. Integrates with Operto.


An image showing August keyless entry for rental properties.

Keep an eye on who’s entering and leaving your properties with August.

Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

The Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt connects to your home via WiFi and can be paired with the Schlage Home app, the Key by Amazon App, and Apple Home. You can manually create unique access codes and keep track of every time someone accesses your property. 

You get up to 100 unique access codes that you can manage and send to guests via text or email, and the lock can even be paired with in-home smart devices like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. 

Available in a variety of styles and colors. Listed at $229.99. Integrates with Operto.


An image showing Schlage keyless entry for rental properties.

Schlage offers a variety of colors and styles for its smart locks.

Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro

The Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro is popular in the UK and Europe, and this keyless access device has a built-in WiFi module that allows you to control your doors remotely and grant access to guests or maintenance staff wherever you are. 

It allows guests to access your units with their smartphone or smartwatch, and you can use the Nuki app to monitor access at your properties. It connects to Alexa, Google Home, Apple Home, and Airbnb. 

Available in black or white. Listed at €279. Integrates with Operto.


An image showing a real-life example of Nuki keyless entry for rental properties.

Give guests the convenience of accessing their rental using their smartphone or smartwatch


Igloohome Smart Deadbolt 2S

Specially designed for commercial properties, the Igloohome Smart Deadbolt 2S is light on size but heavy on security, and it won’t wear out with repeated use. Igloohome says it “redefines access management,” and the lock can be used with PIN codes, Bluetooth keys, or even physical keys as a final backup. 

Its slim design is easy to see and use, but small enough to keep things discreet and shows just how simple keyless access can be. Plus, it doesn’t need internet to work, meaning it’s a good option for more rural properties with limited WiFi connection. 

Listed at $209.99, but you can contact Igloohome directly for more detailed pricing, trials, and demos. Integrates with Operto.


An image showing a real-life example of Igloohome keyless entry for rental properties.

You can set up your Igloohome smart lock to run without WiFi, meaning just about anyone can install this vacation rental smart tech at their properties.

Too long; didn't read?

Connecting keyless entry for vacation rentals to a centralized management portal such as Operto can revolutionize your vacation rental business. It lets you automate check-in for guests and seamlessly coordinate every part of your vacation rental operations.

connect operating system


Keyless entry: Super-connected and streamlined

Keyless entry can bring big benefits to your business, both in terms of simplifying your operations and enhancing the guest experience. And all the locks we mentioned above integrate with Operto, meaning you can link your keyless entry system to the rest of your business workflow with ease.

Guests get their own code, as do housekeepers and maintenance workers, along with anyone else who needs access to the property, so you can keep track of who is coming and going, and when rooms are ready for check-in or check-out at a single glance.

“I expect you will see more property management companies move towards automating the majority of the entire short-term rental process by using technology more and relying less on face-to-face interactions.”

Vered Schwarz

GUESTY PRESIDENT & COO

Connecting your keyless entry system with Operto makes it easier to coordinate and automate staff schedules and tasks, all while enhancing security at your properties. Plus, guests get the frictionless, fuss-free, streamlined, and safe experience they expect.


Connect your operations

Imagine connecting your smart locks to a consolidated dashboard where you can keep track of access, monitor unit status, and get an overview of all your operations. Learn more about Operto’s hospitality automation solutions today.

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