Best Smart Lock For An AirBnB!

Yale Smart Lock

I was thinking about securing my AirBnB with the Nest X Yale lock, and I wanted to make sure that it would be the right choice. So, I did a little research to find out what features (if any) make the Nest X Yale lock a good or bad option for AirBnB.

So, is the Nest X Yale Lock a good option for AirBnB? The Nest X Yale Lock offers live monitoring via the app for the owner and eliminates the need to temporarily issue and recover keys from potential renters. These are frequent issues faced by AirBnB owners, resolved by one product.

Check-In Issues RESOLVED

Lost Keys

One of the biggest issues facing AirBnB owners is the ‘key’ problem. If you are considering switching from a regular lock to the Nest X Yale lock, this will be a surprisingly life-changing decision.

With a traditional key lock, you (or someone you trust) has to be there locally to meet up with and give the key to your renter and get it from them. Or, you could stash your key under the rug and pray no one finds out, and that the renter doesn’t take advantage of that down the road (i.e. squatters).

Another big ‘key’ issue is that it is a physical object. As with any other physical object (particularly small ones), they can be easily lost. If you already planned to leave town after giving your renter a key, you could receive a call saying they’ve lost it and have to turn around or risk losing that rating.

Copied Keys

What’s not sketchy about giving a stranger your key? The property you rent has value, at least money-wise, but potentially emotional value as well. Yes, when you post your property on Airbnb you want to rent it out, but on your terms and awareness only. If you give your renters physical keys, they could potentially then have a copy of it made.

Copied keys could allow your renters to access the AirBnB even after they are supposed to be gone. With access to the AirBnB site, they can figure out when your availabilities are, and check to see if they’ve been filled before choosing to squat at your place for free.

Ninety-nine percent of the time that a key gets lost or taken by renters, it is a clear-cut and dry accident.

The difference between copied keys and lost keys is that in one scenario you are notified that they’ve lost the key, or if they forgot to return the key to you after renting, you are aware. If renters choose to copy your key, you have absolutely no idea. You can’t pre-preemptively change the locks on your place.

Other than squatting, which is relatively harmless, this poses a serious security issue not just for you, but other renters who choose to bunk at your AirBnB.

Picture this:

You posted your home on AirBnB for a weekend you’re planning on being gone. Who knows, you could make some extra cash. Except, someone bites, and you’ve got a renter. And they turn out to be a little bit creepy. No sweat, it’ll only be for a weekend and then you’ll never worry again, right?

Wrong, dead wrong (literally). That creep could copy your key, and best case scenario rob you or squat in your house. Worst case scenario…you’ve all seen homicide cop shows right?

The Lock

Nest X Yale Lock was produced by two reputable companies. Nest is well-known for their product line of quality and reliable smart home products. Yale, on the other hand, made a name for itself in traditional home locks and security. Both of them working together created the perfect AirBnB lock combination using Yale’s hardware, and Nest’s software.

The Nest X Yale Lock itself looks like a traditional deadbolt until the user touches the Yale logo which activates the touchscreen and allows users to enter the passcode on the digital keypad.

There is almost no way that people from the road can tell that this is anything more than a traditional deadbolt. Renters, however, will be pleasantly surprised to encounter a tech upgrade.

Oh, and that passcode? Via the Nest Home app, you can set unique electronic keys for each guest to use, with expiration dates. This removes user opportunity to copy keys. AND, all these guest passcodes are available for you to view your passcode history. There is zero opportunity for you to re-issue the same passcode twice, and users to take advantage.

Worried about tampering? This lock is a key-less deadbolt. There is zero opportunity for anybody to pick the lock. As far as hacking goes, there are plenty of safety features integrated into the tech as well as your ability to change the lock to “privacy mode” giving only you access.

The opportunity for user error is very low which makes it perfect for AirBnB usage. A greater likelihood for a higher rating arises when there is less room for renters to create their own user errors.

AirBnB

The entire goal of Airbnb is for hosts to make a little cash and users to be provided with a cheap and easy stay. The only problem or huge bonus factor in this whole situation is that rating.

Hosts have only limited interaction with their renters which means that those interactions need to be positive in order to get that five-star review. That review defines the host’s Airbnb as a whole and will either make or break a potential renters decision to stay at an AirBnB.

If interactions in high-stress situations are streamlined, then it makes a more positive impact on the renter.

Picture This:

A renter has just arrived in New York City, this is their very first, well, anything. This could be their first “big” trip, their first time using public transit, and their first time using an Airbnb because their friends convinced them it was a good option.

Well, by the time they locate the Airbnb, they could be dead tired and cranky because of cranky New Yorkers.

Ok, so I’ve set the stage. Your check-in could be the thing that sends your renter over the edge or, what makes them feel a little more comfortable. By streamlining the check-in process, it will at least make certain that your renter’s first impression is a good one. This could be the first easy thing they’ve experienced all day.

With the Nest X Yale lock, users don’t have to wait around for you, or vice-versa for the key exchange. In fact, they don’t even have to interact with a human at all. It could be any hour of the day or night and they’re in with no issues.

Nest Home App

User Error

Upgrading your lock to the Nest X Smart lock should bring the user error level down significantly, but some people are just challenged.

If renters forget the passcode or somehow deleted that text off of their phone, you can send it to them digitally from anywhere in the world. No more lost keys!

The renter says they can’t get in, what do you do? You can unlock the door via the app no matter where you’re at.

If you don’t just want to text your renters the code, and if your guests are even a little tech savvy, you can also give them access via the Nest App. This is a real feature, especially if your renters already have the app, use Nest products, or will be frequenting your Airbnb locations.

Giving your renters access via the Nest app doesn’t mean you have to give them your login information (pro-tip, bad idea). On your Nest app, you can add a guest or family member and give them a unique passcode.

When creating that profile, you can set your Nest X Yale lock so the guest’s access code will expire at a specified date and time. This will ensure that your renters are out when they are supposed to be.

Monitoring

Afraid of parties? Yeah, we like all of our AirBnB renters to be responsible and follow all the policies we’ve outlined. But, as that old saying goes…while the cat’s away, the mice will play.

Even if you don’t have any monitoring systems installed such as cameras, this app does a pretty sweet job at allowing you to monitor how many times the door opens and closes which can give you somewhat of an idea the normal comings and goings of your renters, or if there is a secret party going on.

If you are super concerned about the traffic of your AirBnB, you can set the app to give you notifications every time the door is locked or unlocked.

Some of you are probably thinking, “but what if they don’t lock the door, how will I know the traffic of my place?” You can adjust your lock’s settings to automatically lock after any specified amount of time. No more having to rely on the renter for the security of your space. Bam, your place can auto-lock five minutes after the door was unlocked.

If you think notifications EVERY TIME someone locks or unlocks your door are excessive, you can just view the lock history whenever you want via the app. I don’t know about you, but frequent notifications can be anxiety-inducing.

If you check the lock history and if your door locks and unlocks 50+ times during one night there is totally a party happening. It’ll give you the opportunity to better manage your AirBnB, and shut down any secret parties going on under your nose.

Still, concerned about security? If someone types in an incorrect passcode five times in a row, you will get a notification and you Nest X Yale Lock will not allow another password entry for 90 seconds.

If you’re gone and there are no AirBnB renters staying, you can change your lock to “privacy mode.” What this means is that no one can type any passwords into your lock. It can only be unlocked via your account by taking the privacy mode off, or by unlocking your lock.

Smart Integration

Nest produces many other smart home devices other than the Nest X Yale lock. If you wanted to purchase more than one Nest home device, there is an integration capability, so your smart devices can communicate with one another.

Good news, it only takes one app. If you already have any other Nest devices installed in your Airbnb, all you have to do is pair your lock to the app and you can monitor and adjust settings for any and all your devices from afar. Could it be any easier?

Some Airbnb hosts have their location going full time all the time. Others, only on the weekends. That means, if you want to fulfill your smart home dreams, you still can.

Nest Thermostat

Many Airbnb hosts already use the Nest Thermostat to regulate temperature because you can adjust it via the Nest app from anywhere in the world. This can save hosts money when renters aren’t staying at their Airbnb.

With smart integration, if you have both the Nest Thermostat and the Nest X Yale lock, your thermostat can automatically adjust or turn on when it registers that the door has been unlocked.

Nest Hello and other Nest Cameras

Not to leave the thermostat in the dust, but one of the best Nest smart pairings is your Nest X Yale lock and other Nest cameras.

The Nest Hello is a doorbell camera that should give the perfect view of all your Airbnb guests when they unlock the door.

If your guests are not tech-savvy, with other Nest cameras located near your door, you can turn the camera via your app to see what your renter is doing wrong. It could be that they just aren’t touching the Yale logo to activate the passcode touchscreen.

Bringing Nest Cameras and the Nest X Yale lock together is the best of both worlds because not only can you see the comings and going of your renter via the camera, but you can see their door-locking history. Now hosts can be doubly certain that the door is locked when their guests leave.

Nest Secure Alarm

If you are an Airbnb host getting a Nest X Yale lock, you’re doing it not just for simple streamlining and flexibility, but for security.

Hosts don’t have to forego security systems just because they are renting their place out to strangers. Just because you’re renting doesn’t mean that you’re opening up your home for break-ins. You can still get a security system if you have the Nest X Yale lock.

The Nest Secure Alarm and the Nest X Yale Lock are the perfect duo. Once the Nest X Yale lock is unlocked, the Nest Secure Alarm is automatically disarmed. Your renters don’t have to type in a code or hear loud beeping. In fact, they might not even know it’s there which is the way you want it.

Pitfalls

The Nest X Yale Lock has a ton of advantages and perks, but it is fairly pricey, hovering around $280 on Amazon.

For AirBnB’s that have a lot of traffic and are making quite a bit of profit, this is simply a drop in the bucket that will help boost your rating. If your AirBnB is rarely used, this could be a price gouge.

The Nest X Yale lock can be DIY installed, or you can hire professionals to come to do the installation for you. If there are no Nest X Yale professionals in the vicinity of your AirBnB, you will have to do the installation yourself. This could be a little off-putting for AirBnB hosts who live in a completely different part of the world.

Your Nest X Yale lock is battery powered. This makes it far easier to install, so you don’t have to wire your house. However, this also means the batteries will need replacing. Nest claims that the batteries will last 6 months to a year. Depending on the usage of your Nest X Yale lock, it could be sooner or later than that.

Battery percentage can be checked on the Nest app, and the app will also give you notifications as it runs low giving you adequate time to replace it. If you fail to replace the batteries, your Nest X Yale lock could die leaving you locked out.

A lock out is a terrifying thing, especially when you have to get in to do a battery replacement. If you are in fact locked out and your lock is dead, you will need to purchase a 9V battery to give your lock temporary power from the outside. This will be enough to unlock the door and change the batteries.

Related Questions:

Is the lock wired or battery powered? The Nest X Yale Lock is battery powered. It uses standard AA alkaline batteries. There is no option at this time for your lock to be wired.

Can the Nest X Yale Lock work on your door? The Nest X Yale Lock can fit most standard doors supporting a deadbolt. For specifics, you can refer to the Nest site and they have a list of sizes. If the lock does not fit your door, you may have to use some tools to expand the size of your deadbolt, or call in a professional.

David

David has been an avid DIYer for years. Recently he's really taken to home security, but he has a lot of experience with all sorts of projects from Plumbing to Electrical and Framing to Tiling.

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