Homeowners and business owners alike stand to benefit greatly from the enhanced security and convenience provided by modern smart locks, and the ability to remotely and securely grant access to a property makes this impressive innovation especially useful for Airbnb hosts.
Whether hosting guests through Airbnb is your main business or you’re just renting out a personal vacation property, a good smart lock can make all the difference when it comes to the security and smooth operation of your Airbnb. Eliminating issues related to lost keys and late check-ins, smart locks allow hosts to grant guests access to their properties for a limited amount of time and without meeting in person to exchange keys. This can be a huge time-saver for the host, especially those managing more than one Airbnb, and guests are sure to appreciate the increased ease and convenience of a high-tech security system.
With the vast and varied supply of smart locks on the market, finding the right Airbnb door lock to secure your property can be challenging. Depending on your security needs and your existing security system, you may not be able to make do with just any smart lock. The following guide will give you a rundown on what to look for when choosing a smart lock and point out our top picks so that you can find the best smart door lock for Airbnb rentals.
Quick Answer: Best Smart Locks for Airbnbs
- Best Overall: Yale Assure Lock SL
- Classic but Modern: Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt
- Best for Europeans: Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro
- Easiest to Install: August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
- Honorable Mention: UltraLoq U-Bolt Pro Smart Lock
Best Airbnb Smart Lock Reviews
Now that you know what to look for, here is our list of the best smart locks for Airbnb rentals currently on the market.
1. Yale Assure Lock SL
This touchscreen keypad smart lock is a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled lock that also offers a Z-Wave Plus option, so you can integrate your security system with any existing home smart devices. The deadbolt replacement lock is small and slim and can be installed within minutes with just a household screwdriver. Although the lock cannot be accessed with a standard key, hosts can create up to 25 unique codes and personalize lock features and settings for each individual guest.
Classic but Modern
2. Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt
Another awesome keypad smart lock is the Schlage Encode, a deadbolt replacement lock with built-in Wi-Fi that pairs easily with the Schlage app and the Key by Amazon App. A convenient log function and up to 100 customized access codes allow hosts to remotely and securely grant guests temporary, permanent, or recurring access to their property over email. Apple Home keys are also compatible with this super-convenient device, and no additional hubs or connectors are necessary. The Schlage Encode lock is easy to install, and security features include a built-in alarm system and a convenient low-battery indicator.
Best for Europeans
3. Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro
Turn your smartphone into a smart key with the top-rated Nuki 3.0 smart lock. The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled lock offers all of the best smart features, including autolock, a log function to keep track of anyone coming and going, and a user-friendly app that offers guests a smooth experience. Perfect for iOS, Android, and Huawei smartphones, the Nuki 3.0 is hands-down one of the best keyless door locks for Airbnb rentals, automatically opening the door for you for a super-easy and hands-free entry. Hosts can also enjoy the convenience of remote access, granting guests entry with a mere swipe from the smartphone or smartwatch app. Nuki also offers an additional bridge component for anyone interested in integrating their lock with a home Smart system, and the lack of an exterior component makes this deadbolt adapter lock super secure and easy to install. Unfortunately, the Nuki 3.0 is incompatible with most existing US locks and is generally only intended for the European market.
Easiest to Install
4. August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
One of the best smart locks for the front door is the innovative August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. This top-of-the-line smart lock offers a deadbolt adapter design that is easy to install and connects with your existing lock so you can keep your standard keys. The lock is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled and utilizes smart features like remote access, voice command, and a convenient activity feed so you can log who comes and goes. There is no need to buy additional pieces with the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, and the compact design is super easy to securely attach to the inside of your door. August’s data privacy guarantee and two-factor authentication makes this an extra secure option, and you can use your face ID or fingerprint to unlock your door through your smart device. Hosts can also quickly and easily log into the app or website and disable all keys in the event of a lost or stolen phone. The lock can be installed in just 10 minutes and easily integrates with your Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Assistant.
5. UltraLoq U-Bolt Pro Smart Lock
Last but certainly not least is a keyless entry smart lock from UltraLoq offering a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled design and a fingerprint and keypad entry system. The heavy-duty design and long battery life make this a very secure and reliable choice for your Airbnb business, and the lock can easily be installed with just a household screwdriver. Additional smart features include autolock and voice command, and the commercial-grade lock comes with a Wi-Fi bridge.
What to Look For in a Good Smart Lock for Airbnbs
- Deadbolt Replacement: The most common type of smart lock is designed to completely replace your existing door knob or deadbolt. These locks usually include an exterior component like a keypad, a key fob, or a fingerprint scanner, and most can also be controlled through an app. Smart locks with keypads are generally either touchscreen or electronic, with touchscreens using a bit more battery power than their electronic counterparts. The number of codes you are able to program varies by lock, ranging from a handful to unlimited.
- Deadbolt Adapter: Adapter smart locks are usually app-controlled and are designed to connect to your existing deadbolt. This makes them much easier to install, although the lack of a keypad or other exterior component means that guests need to have a Smartphone and download the app in order to access the property.
- NFC: Some smart locks work through NFC, or Near Field Communication, meaning that the devices use radio waves to communicate between short distances. The technology is similar to Bluetooth and uses very little energy, although NFC chips really only work for Android devices.
- Z-Waves: Z-Waves work similarly to Wi-Fi but tend to use less power. The drawback to locks that connect through Z-waves is that you will need to purchase an extra Z-Wave hub because they cannot communicate directly with your phone.
- Bluetooth: Since all smartphones nowadays have Bluetooth, it makes sense that most modern smart locks operate at least partially through Bluetooth. Bluetooth-enabled smart locks offer geofencing, meaning that they prompt your device to search for or recognize the lock once you enter a certain radius around the property. This prevents your phone from constantly searching for the lock and draining the battery, making Bluetooth a power-conservative method of connectivity. A Bluetooth-enabled lock will also function even if your power or internet is down.
- Wi-Fi: The best smart locks use a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, since internet connection is also needed if you want to take advantage of most smart features like remote access and system integration.
It probably goes without saying that security is one of the main factors you should consider when searching for the best smart door lock for Airbnb rentals. Locks that function purely off Bluetooth are generally considered more secure, since Wi-Fi-enabled devices are always at risk of being hacked. If Airbnb is your main business and you are particularly concerned with potential break-ins, consider choosing a lock that uses two-factor authentication. This may inhibit the ease of the unlocking processes but will certainly add an extra layer of security and peace of mind. Two-factor authentication may require you to hold an approved Bluetooth-enabled device as well as to enter a code.
You may also want to consider choosing a commercial-grade smart lock, although these locks will generally be more expensive than a standard home option. Some locks will also notify you of any suspected tampering or forced entry. Deadbolt adapter locks come with an added sense of security, since the lack of an exterior component means that no one can remove the device from the door or gain physical access to the electronics. Any potential hacker would also need to know which device you have to gain access to the network, which is far more difficult to discern if the lock is only connected from the inside.
4. Smart Features
Wi-Fi-enabled smart locks come with a slew of cool and convenient features that are usually controlled from an app. No matter which combination of these features interests you, be sure that the lock you choose offers a user-friendly app that is compatible with both iPhones and Android devices.
- Remote Access: Perhaps the most convenient feature for Airbnb hosts, remote access allows you to grant entry to guests even if you’re nowhere near the property. The ability to control your Wi-Fi-enabled smart lock from anywhere means that you can let guests, delivery drivers, housekeepers, or any other authorized persons into your home without taking the time out of your day to visit your property.
- Autolock: Another convenient feature for Airbnb hosts, autolock utilizes geofencing to automatically lock and unlock your door when an authorized device enters and leaves a certain radius. This is especially helpful for anyone renting out a vacation property, since you won’t need to worry about guests forgetting to lock the door on their way out. Unfortunately, the autolock feature is notoriously unreliable with some smart locks, so be sure to read the reviews first or go for one of our top picks listed below to ensure that you get the most out of your new lock.
- Log Function: This highly useful smart feature will keep you notified of who comes and goes when you’re renting out your home, providing an added level of security that is sure to come in handy.
- Integration: Many Wi-Fi-enabled locks can also integrate with smart home systems to turn on lights or check security cameras. Whether you use an Amazon Alexa, an Apple HomeKit, or a Google Assistant, there are plenty of smart locks on the market that work as add-ons to your already high-tech home.
- Voice Activation: Perhaps the most futuristic locks of all, voice-controlled locking systems will lock and unlock when you speak your prechosen passcode or phrase.
Depending on your technical skills, you may want to consider the installation process of the smart lock you have your eye on. Some locks are easier to install than others, with deadbolt replacement locks generally being the most difficult to assemble. Read through the installation instructions of the smart lock you plan to purchase to ensure you can get it up and running in time for your next guest. Also consider whether you’ll need to purchase any extra gadgets like a Wi-Fi bridge or a new cylinder.
The last thing you want as an Airbnb host is for your guests to get locked out because your smart door knob lock is on the fritz. Check the battery quality of your lock before you purchase it, keeping in mind that the simpler the technology the longer the battery life. The most reliable smart locks can run for months or even years without replacement and will even notify you when the battery is low.
Locks with keypads tend to be pretty reliable because the Bluetooth function will still work to unlock the door even if the power and the Wi-Fi are down. And although keyless entry is super convenient, nothing beats having a standard metal key in case all electronics fail. Many deadbolt adapter locks come with the option of using a standard key in an emergency.
That concludes our guide to the best smart locks for Airbnb rentals. Hopefully you have an idea of what to look for in a good smart lock, and these modern security features help you run a smooth and secure rental property.
This article focuses on “featuritis” which really is not too interesting. Adding to what John Peters mentioned, any smart lock isn’t worth anything if you are not able to pair it with a Rental Lock Management application. It’s the software that makes the thing work.
John Peters says
A smart door lock for Airbnb rentals is only as valuable as its accompanying app. These applications will control everything about these devices. Due to this, choosing a lock with an easy-to-use and navigate app is a must.