Anyone who has stayed in more than a couple Airbnbs over the years has surely been frustrated at least once by trouble getting inside their rental–either because they couldn’t find the key (likely hidden somewhere obscure) or because they had trouble connecting with the host in person.
August Home–a leading maker of smart locks–thinks the days of needing keys or having to arrange a meeting with an Airbnb host are over. Today, August said it has a way to make it possible for Airbnb hosts to give guests access to their rentals easily–with just a pin code they can punch into a keypad or access through a mobile app.
Hosts that have both an August smart lock and an associated smart keypad can offer their guests access using either the mobile app, the keypad, or both. Regardless of which method they choose, home access lasts for the duration of the guest’s reservation, and then expires automatically when it’s over.
As someone who has both an August smart lock and smart keypad on my front door, and who stays in a lot of Airbnbs, I can say that this is a promising development. Sometimes, of course, it’s nice to meet your host, but there’s never anything exciting about having to track down a key. The question for August is whether it can guarantee a guest’s entry. As a device that depends on Bluetooth, an August smart lock can have communications issues. Usually, they’re easy to resolve–turn Bluetooth off and on again on the phone–but I wonder how many users will think to do that if there are problems.
Short of that, though, I’m looking forward to the first time I stay at an Airbnb that lets me get in this way.
Update: This story has been changed to reflect that Airbnb says the integration is not part of a new partnership. Also, a video provided by August that was previously included in the story has been removed because it violated Airbnb’s brand guidelines.