Since the beginning of 2020, check-ins powered by contactless technology have become the new normal for vacation rentals across the globe. In fact, guests now prefer keyless solutions over in-person key handovers, according to Breezeway’s Property Operations report. 

It’s not surprising: smart locks offer a more flexible, streamlined, hygienic and safe solution for both property managers and guests.

There are many smart locks on the market that you can invest in, but which smart lock is the best? Let’s explore the benefits of smart locks for vacation rentals and our pick of the 5 best smart locks on the market right now.  

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Why should property managers switch to keyless entry?

Keyless entry for rental properties has a lot of benefits that not only simplify the process for property managers but also optimise the check-in and out process for guests. Here are just some of the main reasons why you should switch to keyless entry:

  • Covid safe: Contactless property entry has become the latest benchmark for safe check-in since the pandemic. This not only avoids personal contact but also offers a more hygienic solution to this process.
  • No lost or stolen keys: Keyless entry completely eradicates the risk of lost or stolen keys; guests simply need to connect their phones to Wi-Fi/Bluetooth or enter a code to unlock the property. 
  • Tech-savvy solution: Guests often prefer tech-enabled solutions like smart locks because of their convenience. 
  • Streamlined processes: Smart locks not only simplify the check-in process but also improve the guest experience. Guests can enjoy a more independent, flexible check-in process that suits their personal schedule. 
  • Long-term money-saving: The initial investment of smart locks will save you money in the long run; there will be no need to have check-in staff, key replacement, etc. 

What should you look for in a smart lock?

As a rental property manager, it’s important that you choose the right smart lock for your commercial operations. The following are just a few of the criteria you should consider when investing in a contactless check-in solution: 

  • Can this smart lock integrate with my Property Management System? Your smart lock should integrate with your PMS or home automation platform for a fully connected system. 
  • Is this smart lock easy to install? Some smart locks can be combined with your current deadbolt installations, which are often easier and cheaper to install. It’s important to understand the two types of smart lock installations in order to choose which option is the best for you. 
  • Is this smart lock optimised for commercial use? Many keyless locks on the market were designed for residential use. These are often not appropriate for commercial purposes as they may not provide the right safety and integration features.  

Do smart locks need Wi-Fi?

Not all smart locks use Wi-Fi. In fact, the majority of smart locks use Bluetooth instead, in order to connect to guests’ phones. Other smart locks use Z-Wave radio signals (this is essentially the same as Bluetooth but offers a stronger connection). 

Smart locks that use Wi-Fi are able to connect with your Property Management Systems to monitor activity, link to security systems and carry out remote operations. Because of these capabilities, smart locks that use Wi-Fi are usually linked to commercial use. 

However, each contactless product model will use the right combination of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Z-Wave technology for their purposes, so it’s a matter of choosing the right smart lock that is able to fulfil your property management needs. 

​​The 5 best smart locks for vacation rentals 

Here are the best smart locks brands for vacation rentals and hotels, along with their top two models. 

Each of these solutions offers unique features and spans a large budget range, so we hope that our list will help you choose the right smart lock for you. 

1. Schlage

Schlage’s range of models offers advanced tech features, from touchscreen keypads to voice assistant capabilities (like Alexa). Schlage also offers the strongest deadbolt systems on the market, with a Grade 1 rating from the American National Standards Institute. With a Schlage contactless lock system, you can manage guest codes from the Schlage app, for an easy, contact-free process. 

Price range: $159.00 – $249.00 

Availability: Worldwide 

Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot Smart Lock: Create custom codes for guests that they can input using the touchscreen keypad. There is no need for guests to download an app to use this smart lock, making it one of the most simple solutions out there. This model uses Z-Wave technology which you can connect to your smart hub. Monitor all guest access using the Schlage app.

Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt: This lock provides both a touchscreen keypad and voice activation for guests to check in. Using Wi-Fi connectivity, this lock can connect to any voice assistant and can also be easily integrated into existing Ring security systems. From the Schlage app, you can track the lock status, create codes and set alerts to manage the entire process remotely. 

2. August Smart Locks

August Smart Locks are quite the contactless solution. These locks can be controlled from anywhere, simply using the August app. Its smart time programming capabilities can schedule automatic unlocking as soon as guests arrive. The August models are sleek and can easily integrate with your existing deadbolt.

Price range: $149.99 – $249.99

Availability: US and Canada

August Home Smart Lock Pro + Connect: Using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, the Smart Lock Pro + Connect allows you to remotely unlock your door from anywhere. This model is compatible with the majority of existing deadbolts – a great option for quick and easy implementation.

August Wi-Fi (4th Generation) Smart Lock: This smart lock has built-in Wi-Fi perfect for connecting to your favourite voice assistant. The 4th Generation also has Geo-referencing, so you can receive the latest lock activity via push notifications or email. 

3. Kwikset

With military-grade encryption and Securescreen™ technology, Kwikset smart locks offer the best security for guest check-in. What’s more, Kwikset can easily integrate with your existing digital technologies, and you can even DIY install some of its smart locks with just a screwdriver. 

Price range: $79.99 – $249.00

Availability: Worldwide 

Kwikset Obsidian Smart Lock: This sleek, modern design combines aesthetic with safety with a touchscreen-controlled deadbolt system. Obsidian is BHMA Grade 2 certified and has auto-lock capabilities, providing a fully secure system that’s great when managing large numbers of guests. 

Kwikset Halo ​​Wi-Fi enabled smart lock: This smart lock is a great choice for easy integration to your current system, as it simply connects with your Wi-Fi. From the Kwikset app, you can effectively monitor, track and control guest activity. Most importantly, Kwikset also has customisable user codes so you can restrict access to a particular range of dates for each guest. 

4. Yale

Yale has been a leading lock manufacturer for over 180 years. Its pick-proof creations have transformed into digitally-powered security systems that now allow for remote control of your properties. This is a fail-safe brand that offers fantastic security capabilities for a reliable product that will stand the test of time. 

Price range: $129.00 – $279.00

Availability: Worldwide 

Yale Linus Smart Lock: This Smart smart lock has all of the remote functionalities powered through Wi-Fi. You can send virtual keys to all of your guests for effortless access. The Linus model also has Doorsense™ technology, which lets you know whether your door has been securely closed or whether it’s ajar. Also, this lock can easily integrate with Airbnb. 

Nest x​​ Yale Smart Lock: Yale teamed up with Google’s Nest to create a secure, smart lock that can integrate with the Nest app and the rest of the Nest property security products for the ultimate safety system. This is the perfect option for those who already have Nest products as part of their rental property management system.

5. Igloohome 

Igloohome designs and manufactures smart security products specifically for commercial use. Not only do they offer a sleek, minimalistic design, but the Igloohome smart locks also create time-sensitive PIN codes and Bluetooth keys you can send to your guests. What’s more, the Igloohome products don’t need Wi-Fi to work, so you can access it anywhere. It also syncs with Airbnb. 

Price range: $250.00 – $499.00 

Availability: Worldwide 

Igloohome Smart Mortise 2+: This product claims to be the slimmest smart deadbolt in the world. It eliminates the risk of Wi-Fi hacking by using Bluetooth. The Smart Mortise 2+ has a range of different modes that can help you track activity, send specific access codes and also set auto-lock capabilities. 

IoT Deadbolt: This particular model uses Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology so you can connect to your locking system using your mobile network. The IoT deadbolt has a low-consumption design and high-security measures for the ultimate commercial use. 

Conclusion: Which smart lock is best for your vacation rentals?

All of these brands are at the top of the list for contactless check-in for vacation rentals. Igloohome stands out thanks to its dedication to security products solely for commercial use. Their models are somewhat more expensive than the rest, however, their unique security features and custom designs prove they are a long-term investment that will guarantee money-saving in the future. 

Are you looking to expand your security-related products to implement in your vacation rental properties? Take a look at our article on the best Noise monitoring devices for vacation rentals.

Want to stay up-to-date on the latest vacation rental tech innovations? Join the VRTECH community. We’ll send you a weekly newsletter and invites to networking events.