Key Exchange: Three Reasons Why You Should Digitise It For Your Sharing Home

Sharing is caring, it’s even more so when you are sharing on Airbnb. Making your curious but nervous guest feel at home is what home sharing all about, and is also the key to a successful vacation rental hosting. What does a traveller expect when he arrives in a completely strange city? A clear sign to exit the airport,  a good public transport, and the host/the key is ready for him without any need to wait.

Meet-and-greet is the most common choice since many hosts’ day 1 on Airbnb: waiting for your guest, saying hello, handing over the key, doing a final visual check on the guest to see if he/she is sane, and walking your guest around your property hoping he/she would give you a 5-star rating for your effort. Everything sounds so perfect until your guest’s flight gets delayed for 3 hours, or you have other commitments to meet when the key exchange is scheduled. Well, that’s when you start considering to find a way to have your guest self check-in. Lockboxes, unlocked mailboxes, and the doorway mats are many hosts’ friend, and now the advances of digital lock space have been familiar to many of us who use a keypad to access the garage or wave a swipe card to get through the office door.

Here are 3 reasons why, in 2016, you should choose digital technology for your sharing home:

1. It’s just so convenient

While door locks have served us for centuries, the technology has totally redefined the word ‘access’. You may no longer need a key, but a smartphone that you almost carry 24/7 nowadays.  Simply click on an app and it can send a signal through the network to a Wifi-connected little box by your door lock or deadbolt. Enter a pin code on the small touch panel or even just use your fingerprint, beep, the door is open. This concept has been trendy and similar products can be found in many tech-advanced Asian countries like Korea and Japan.  

Another fascinating feature is that you can now manage your guests’ access by sending a text message, and you can reverse the access by expiring the key pin code. And again to do this, simply just click a button on your phone. Easy does it. Do the same for your cleaners, plumbers, electricians or even dog walkers, you can give them key access for only a few hours, just enough time for them to finish their job when you are away.

2. It’s safe!

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Think your mailbox key exchange is safe? Think again.

Despite hundreds of hilarious ways to hide your key you can find, using a mailbox is the most common option. Put your key in an unlocked mailbox and then have your guest to pick it up. Easy. However, having a glance at the spiking number of credit card theft cases, you would be scared by how likely your key will be an unexpected loot when someone searches your mailbox for a credit card. With a digital lock, you can have your key exchange done safely, only with the person you granted access to.

3. Stay updated

Having your guest self checked-in does not mean that you will lose track. Most digital entry solutions can shoot you an SMS message of your guest’s check-in and check-out time. This is particularly useful when you have a strict check out policy or you need to make sure your cleaner only enters your property after your guest has left. 

But the drawbacks…

Like the traditional hide-and-seek key exchange methods, digital locks aren’t perfect. Here are some major drawbacks that you need to consider before you make a decision:

1. It’s not for apartment

If your rental property is a security apartment, well, good luck installing one. In Australia, very few digital lock brands have passed the fire security rating test, so if your property is in a high-rise apartment, you can’t legally install it. Also, most of the time a unit block or an apartment building will have a security door/gate outside, your digital lock will not be able to open that for your guest.

2. It’s expensive

Most digital locks now available on market will cost you over $300. Some of the big names like August can cost you over $400, and that’s excluding any electrician and installation fee.

3. More to worry about…

Most digital locks rely on indoor wifi to stay connected to work and will need a battery. If your lock is out of power or there’s a wifi drop-out (which is very common in Australia, all hail the NBN), your guest will be locked out and then you would be expected to manual deliver your backup key and get a low rating for this outage.

Say hello to KeyHub

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Share, drop, get notified. As easy as if you are using an ATM.

Here in Newtown, KeyHub lets you enjoy all the benefits of having a digital lock, but without any of the expenses or hassle. Our device is conveniently located in your neighbourhood store which is just a few steps away from your door. There is no upfront installation cost nor any requirements for any technical knowledge, and it’s compatible with your existing key.  Apartment? No problem, the key exchange will happen outside your property and you won’t have arguments with your strata anymore. Just add your guest on our web app, walk into one of our participating KeyHub location and drop your key in our fully automated device, and sit down and receive an SMS notification when your guest self picks-up the key. KeyHub is a cost-effective and hassle-free solution where the technology of future marries the techniques today.

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