Skip navigation

Join the Vacation Rentals Conversation!

Get answers to all of your questions from fellow owners and travelers.

Join the CommunityX

CommunitySeek, Ask, and Share in the Vacation Rentals Community
16319 Views 71 Replies Latest reply: Aug 19, 2013 7:31 AM by evan RSS
New Member 4 posts since
May 25, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

May 25, 2011 10:31 AM

Exchanging the Keys

How do Community members handle the exchange of house keys with guests?  I'm trying to avoid hiring a traditional rental agent, but as of yet, I have no way of managing the check-in / check-out and key exchange process.  (I live over an hour away from the rental property and do not plan to drive there every week.) Has anyone found realtors or property managers who will deliver and retrieve the housekeys without requiring a full-service rental agency agreement?  Thanks for your advice!

  • mike Contributor 90 posts since
    Dec 29, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2011 10:38 AM (in response to noordinarytomato)
    Exchanging the Keys

    Where is your vacation home?

  • New Member 3 posts since
    May 25, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2011 11:41 AM (in response to noordinarytomato)
    Exchanging the Keys

    I have installed a lighted keypad deadbolt.  Codes can be changed periodically and you won't need keys at all.  Once you have received full payment from your guests, you can give them the code.  The code doesn't need to be changed for every guest, although I tell my guests that I will "assign them a code for their visit".  I change it every 3 or 4 guests.  I've been doing this (I actually had a lockbox before, but the lighted keypad makes the house keyless) for 15 years and never had a problem.  No more dealing with keys at all!

    • New Member 4 posts since
      May 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 25, 2011 12:36 PM (in response to westcoast1)
      Re: Exchanging the Keys

      I do the exact same as above, except I do change the code for every set of guests.  Remember to delete the old codes though, just adding a new one does not delete the old one.  Usually these lockpads can store up to 100 codes!  The only one that you shoudl leave in is yours. 

       

      Also, it is a good idea to leave a 'realtor-type' keybox outside with a real key in case somehow the renters mess up the lockbox or the code was enetered wrong or whatever.   

      • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,194 posts since
        Aug 30, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jun 13, 2012 4:09 AM (in response to swordspider)
        Re: Exchanging the Keys

        I do the exact same as above, except I do change the code for every set of guests.  Remember to delete the old codes though, just adding a new one does not delete the old one.  Usually these lockpads can store up to 100 codes!  The only one that you shoudl leave in is yours.

         

        I'm not sure what keypad and electronic lock system you're using, but I never heard of an entry level one which stored 100's of codes.  The ones in the $75-125 dollar range usually store two or three.  I have several, some different brands, and they all are like that.  Also, with those units setting a code over another code does indeed erase the first code (for example, if you enter a new code for Code #2, the old code for Code #2 will be deleted).

         

        I have an electronic deadbolt on my own unit too.  When my old manual deadbolt went bad on one side I figured why not have one for myself too.  That way, when I go from unit to unit I don't have to take any keys to lock or unlock, as the secret master code is the same for them all.  The one on my own unit however features not only a backlit keypad with codes and a traditional key, but also a wireless keyfob to unlock your door from your keychain, just as you do with you car (it was only around $100).  It's great when your hands are full! 

    • Contributor 38 posts since
      May 28, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jun 24, 2011 4:47 PM (in response to westcoast1)
      Re: Exchanging the Keys

      What make is your electronic keypad?  And can you still use a key if necessary?

  • New Member 3 posts since
    May 25, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2011 12:40 PM (in response to noordinarytomato)
    Re: Exchanging the Keys

    Swordspider has a good point about the lockbox -I do still have the old lockbox with a set of keys in it in case of an emergency.  You can buy a lockbox like this and mount it outside on a fence or somewhere, it has a push button code entry system and stores your keys.  I also live far away from my rental, which makes changing the code every time difficult, which is why I change it every few guests.  I have never had a problem with this, especially since most guests also come from a distance.

  • tyann Contributor 223 posts since
    Dec 28, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2011 4:53 PM (in response to noordinarytomato)
    Re: Exchanging the Keys

    Here is a previous discussion on keypad locks.

     

    Tyann Marcink

    Canyon Retreat and Nature's Retreat | www.vacationhomeinbranson.com

    Website Design and Photography | www.marcinkdesigns.com

    Handpaited Children's Room Decor | www.littleelephantcompany.com

  • kiawahcottage Community All-Star 375 posts since
    Jan 1, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 26, 2011 1:19 PM (in response to noordinarytomato)
    Exchanging the Keys

    I have 2 lockboxes at my VR.  I give renters the combo for one, if it won't open or the key is not in it they have to call me for the other one.  Keys for the renters to use are inside the house. I change the code once or twice a year and I have never needed to give out the second code.

     

    The lockbox key has a tag that says 'lockbox key - return to lockbox' so hopefully it will not be left out (and so far it has been returned).  Also, my lockbox has rotating numbered cylinders so I have to remind the renters to scramble the code.

     

    Paul

    vrbo 131254

     

    Kiawah Cottage

    Promote Your Page Too

  • New Member 18 posts since
    Oct 16, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 24, 2011 4:47 PM (in response to noordinarytomato)
    Re: Exchanging the Keys

    Theres a lot of electornic locks on the market that eliminate the use for traditional keys. Theres 2 ways to go as far as how the codes work..Each way has a large variety of brands and features to pick from,

    1. the lock kwikset,schalage inexpensive and use the same few codes that need to be changed manually. around 100

     

    2. More expensive, but use either internet or pc software to  generate guest, houskeeping, maintenance codes etc. The codes are already preset technically when the lock is programmed for evey possible date that a code could be issued for. You can chose the dates and times the codes work, so if guest is due in saturday at 3pm then thats when the code works, same at check out time.You can even do an audit trail on the lock to see whom has entered the unit on what date and time. If you ever got a bill from a service person and wondered if they were ever there this would tell you.  A lot more conveinant, but more expensive. around $280 to 550

     

    You can always mount a lock box on the outside of the unit to place the keys inside as well. Downside is the code you have to change, and your relying on the guest to put the keys back for the next set of people.

     

    If you need any help or have any questions feel free to let me know,, hope this helps

     

    www.locksmithmyrtlebeach.com

    lhlockcompany@aol.com

    • Contributor 42 posts since
      Nov 3, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 9, 2012 11:25 AM (in response to locksmithmyrtlebeach)
      Re: Exchanging the Keys

      Hello

      My wife has installed a Resort Lock 4000M which was a laborious task heightened by the fact that the door earlier had a SafLock which included cut outs where screws needed to be placed as well as relocating the lock downward.The next one will also replace a Saflock that accommodated a credit card type key just like the first onel In a nutshell I was impressed that she and I as helper made it work. Do you know if we can install thermostat remotely controlled in conjunction with the RL system? And if not what is available.

       

      Next issue-- my review of the internet seems to indicate that Schlage will not work since the property is in Litchfield and we are seven hours away and the wi-fi from Charter is not without some problems. I would like to find a keyless entry system and thermostat control that work seemlessly together and that is controlled by computer wherever we might be- i.e. can send codes to guests for entry and set the thermostat when we choose. Does such exist?

      thanks

      Bill Jones

      • New Member 18 posts since
        Oct 16, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jan 10, 2012 8:33 AM (in response to piavian_43)
        Re: Exchanging the Keys

        Hello Mr Jones,, Im not aware of any software that will work with the resort lock and a thermostat. I know of some software and products that will work a lock and other items lights, surveillance, thermostats etc, but however not for the theremostat and the resort lock.. The resort lock software itself is pretty much its own code, it probably could be combined using a software programmer person but the cost would be way to expensive,  Youll probably end up with 2 different softwares. Using 2 softwares really isnt bad, youd have one for the lock, and another that could control the rest of the home.   The only real issue will be having a internet service connection within the unit that is only for the unit, not a wifi shared by the building. As long as you had internet you can remote control pretty much everything electronic in the home.. Let me know if you have any other questions,  Thanks for you interest,

         

        Tony Humes

        LHLC  (843) 995-4101

        • Contributor 42 posts since
          Nov 3, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jan 10, 2012 10:17 AM (in response to locksmithmyrtlebeach)
          Re: Exchanging the Keys

          Thank you Tony for your response, With the Resort Lock installed we will check out the thermostat from another vendor but if I recall correctly the ones I saw required the continued operation of the wifi within the unit to remain operational and that is my problem since Charter doesn't rate a 100% on service and for that reason I liked the Resort Lock since the computer and wifi in the unit had nothing to do with the operation of the codes etc.I spoke with someone at Schlage and she confirmed that all of their locks were operated by the wifi in the unit so I have written that company off in hopes of finding another. Lockstate connect was sent to me from Resort Lock but it looked as though the product was not available.bill

           

          William W. Jones,  430 Mellen Avenue Knoxville, TN   37919 Tel:  865-523-2445 Fax:  865-523-8033

          wwj430@msn.com

          Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2012 08:33:51 -0600

          From: community@homeaway.com

          To: wwj430@msn.com

          Subject: Re: Exchanging the Keys - Re: Exchanging the Keys

                                                                                          Seek Advice. Get Answers. Optimize your Vacation Rental Business.

                                                                                          Re: Exchanging the Keys

           

           

              created by locksmithmyrtlebeach in Checking In and Out - View the full discussion

           

           

           

          Hello Mr Jones,, Im not aware of any software that will work with the resort lock and a thermostat. I know of some software and products that will work a lock and other items lights, surveillance, thermostats etc, but however not for the theremostat and the resort lock.. The resort lock software itself is pretty much its own code, it probably could be combined using a software programmer person but the cost would be way to expensive,  Youll probably end up with 2 different softwares. Using 2 softwares really isnt bad, youd have one for the lock, and another that could control the rest of the home.   The only real issue will be having a internet service connection within the unit that is only for the unit, not a wifi shared by the building. As long as you had internet you can remote control pretty much everything electronic in the home.. Let me know if you have any other questions,  Thanks for you interest, Tony HumesLHLC  (843) 995-4101

           

           

               Reply to this message by replying to this email -or- go to the message on Community

               Start a new discussion in Checking In and Out by email or at Community

                                                                                          © 2010 HomeAway.com Inc. 1011 W. Fifth Street, Suite 300, Austin, TX 78703

                                         

          Please add us to your address book to ensure you continue receiving HomeAway emails.

                                         

                                         

           

          View our Privacy Statement | Contact Us  | Terms & Conditions

  • twobitrentals Community All-Star 1,369 posts since
    Aug 5, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 12, 2012 4:59 PM (in response to noordinarytomato)
    Re: Exchanging the Keys

    I too have a resort lock. Have had it since January 2010. I absolutely love it. I live in Wyoming and my property is in Missouri. I don't give out master codes to anyone, including the cleaning people. That way if anyone states that something is missing during their visit, they will have to talk to the other guests in their home, as NOBODY would have access except them and me. AND I am 1000 miles away. Nobody has suggested anything has been missing, but it just gives them that added security that THEY are the only ones that have access during their stay.

     

    It was worth every penny, no more lost keys, nobody has to worry if they show up late, no payment for someone to meet the at the door. all in all, I would say that I have saved money with resort lock and would recommend them to anyone.

    • hana23 New Member 7 posts since
      Jul 1, 2013
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 2, 2013 3:13 PM (in response to twobitrentals)
      Re: Exchanging the Keys

      Hi,

       

      This is the first time I'm actually arranging for finding a rental so not sure what is the "norm" and requesting community help.

       

      So far, 2 different owners have described the reservation procedure requesting for full deposit by personal check sent via snail mail and have offered to send the house key via snail mail as well. 1. my weekend is only a couple weeks away and am nervous about possible snail mail delay 2. I've only stayed at rentals with lock box key so not sure I'm confortable being sent a key separately.

       

      Both listings have positive reviews and I'm anxious to finalize my weekend plans but just wanted to check with others' feedback.

       

      Thanks Community!

      • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,194 posts since
        Aug 30, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 2, 2013 3:22 PM (in response to hana23)
        Re: Exchanging the Keys

        That is strange.  I've never heard of anyone mailing a key before.  It seems like an archaic way to do things nowadays.

      • twobitrentals Community All-Star 1,369 posts since
        Aug 5, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 2, 2013 3:31 PM (in response to hana23)
        Re: Exchanging the Keys

        That is very stange....most folks have arranged with a rental agent, a close friend, or has some sort of lockbox or resort lock? You might ask if there is someone close to the property that could receive the key for your trip. If you are still uncomfortale...I would continue to look for another property that is more accomodating to your needs.

  • margaret Contributor 298 posts since
    Apr 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2013 3:21 PM (in response to noordinarytomato)
    Re: Exchanging the Keys

    I use Resort Lock and I love it. I set codes for each guest to use during their stay. The code is active from check in to check out then expires. I am in NJ and I manage my SC VRs from home on my computer and Resort Lock makes life much easier with no keys to worry about.

    • hana23 New Member 7 posts since
      Jul 1, 2013
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 2, 2013 3:35 PM (in response to margaret)
      Re: Exchanging the Keys

      Thanks to everyone for your feedback! Yes...it does seem rather strange...place was such a deal but I've decided to go ahead and pursue a different property for my own peace of mind.

      • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,194 posts since
        Aug 30, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 2, 2013 3:38 PM (in response to hana23)
        Re: Exchanging the Keys

        If you liked it I would have at least brought this up with them and given them the chance to accommodate you first or find out why they don't use an electronic lock (doesn't have to be ResortLock, there are many cheaper ones that are not remote) or even a lockbox.  Maybe they are new at this and need the advice.

        • hana23 New Member 7 posts since
          Jul 1, 2013
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jul 2, 2013 3:43 PM (in response to swlinphx)
          Re: Exchanging the Keys

          Thanks, swlinphx. I will definitely keep that in mind for next time. Given my time constraint to secure a rental (not to mention that I'm also rather a high strung neurotic planner) I wanted to finalize my reservation asap and had other exchanges going on that I felt more comfortable with. Also was only about ~$50 difference between this and the other.

          • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,194 posts since
            Aug 30, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jul 2, 2013 3:52 PM (in response to hana23)
            Re: Exchanging the Keys

            I understand hana23.  But if they follow-up with you let them know why you decided against their rental so they at least know and have the opportunity to consider rectifying their procedure.  That's the kind of constructive criticism that will help them in the long run.

          • beachbumz Active Contributor 542 posts since
            Jan 21, 2013
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jul 2, 2013 4:07 PM (in response to hana23)
            Re: Exchanging the Keys

            Whoa, whoa, whoa! I use this method for now and WHY you ask? Because I've been looking at better, other available means to go to. I get about 1 week, spring and fall, to get that method in and work out the kinks. This September will be my kinky week. Have I decided to go with a lock box? No, if you ask me THAT's completely bass ackwards. Like Margaret, I too am going with a wi-fi approach. Why didn't I do that before you ask? Because wi-fi where I'm at sucked! As to the deposit and snail mail, I require a deposit 45 days in advance, so my renters have the keys and pass at day 40. If it's not there by then, it's sent express mail. So before you start tossing out generic statements about how this is "strange" or "very strange", take in mind there are sometimes some reasoning behind it. Hanna23 is a big girl, if it makes her uncomfortable, then the obvious answer is don't do it. Just sayin'

            • twobitrentals Community All-Star 1,369 posts since
              Aug 5, 2011
              Currently Being Moderated
              Jul 2, 2013 4:15 PM (in response to beachbumz)
              Re: Exchanging the Keys

              You don't have to have wifi at the location to have resort lock, just batteries. You DO have to have wifi at your location to get the code to give to the customers. All you have to do is make sure that the batteries in the door lock are replaced from time to time. I did find it stange that keys would go through the mail, only because what if you have back-to-back reservations.That would make me nervous to have duplicate sets of keys back and forth. I do understand about the lockbox being a potential problem, could you have another lockbox some where else, a water spout, etc. I worried about my garage door opener being taken by a guest accidently, but I have in large print that there is a $100.00 fee if that happens....so it just hasn't yet (thankfully).

               

              I guess I made the assumption that if most people lived far away that they would hire someone to provide the key to the guests and then made sure that they got them back. Had no idea that people mailed keys back and forth. Sorry if I offended anyone.

               

              I guess, this just makes me love my resort lock that much more. No keys, no worries about losing keys, no worries about getting in the house. (I think I should be a commercial for them...what do you think?)

              • beachbumz Active Contributor 542 posts since
                Jan 21, 2013
                Currently Being Moderated
                Jul 2, 2013 4:21 PM (in response to twobitrentals)
                Re: Exchanging the Keys

                No offense. Wi-fi just appeals much more to me. I will have to look into resort lock though based on your information and recommendation. Thanks for the info. And yes, you appear to be a very good unpaid spokesperson.

                • twobitrentals Community All-Star 1,369 posts since
                  Aug 5, 2011
                  Currently Being Moderated
                  Jul 2, 2013 4:27 PM (in response to beachbumz)
                  Re: Exchanging the Keys

                  I have had it for over 3 years now and have not had any failures in operation. However, if a guest shows up early....it won't work and then they call and say the combination isn't working. I have to always look at my watch to see if they are trying to access before the check in time. That has been the answer every time so far. If they really need to get in early, I just jump on the internet and get another code for the period of time that they are early and then tell them to use the other code for the remainder of their vist. (I had this happen when the folks were traveling with an elderly lady that had to use the bathroom...like right now) HA!

                   

                  Also, they can program in a shorter 4number code after using the original code for the rest of their trip, if they wish. It will still cancel all codes at the departure time that I have coded into the computer. Many just use the garage door opener to come and go.

                   

                  By the way, I live over 1000 miles away from my VR

                  • carol Senior Contributor 2,158 posts since
                    Dec 10, 2010
                    Currently Being Moderated
                    Jul 2, 2013 4:47 PM (in response to twobitrentals)
                    Re: Exchanging the Keys

                    I'm curious, twobitrentals: when you send the guests that code, do you clearly state that the code will not work until check in time? 

                    • twobitrentals Community All-Star 1,369 posts since
                      Aug 5, 2011
                      Currently Being Moderated
                      Jul 2, 2013 4:54 PM (in response to carol)
                      Re: Exchanging the Keys

                      Carol,

                       

                      My welcome letter goes out to the guest as soon as their funds clear my account. In the first paragraph in large letters, it states "the dates and check-in/check-out times are listed below, please verify with me that these are correct as the door will NOT open at any other time". Most folks do verify with me that they are correct. some I never hear from again, so I guess they think if it is right, they don't have to worry about confirming with me. It also states that the check-in/check-out times are firm because of back-to-back reservations and the limited time that the cleaning folks have to get in and out.

                       

                      Actually, my welcome letter is quite long and very specific including that they should print it out and take it with them. The codes are also in this letter!! HA!

                      • carol Senior Contributor 2,158 posts since
                        Dec 10, 2010
                        Currently Being Moderated
                        Jul 2, 2013 5:08 PM (in response to twobitrentals)
                        Re: Exchanging the Keys

                        Sounds like you have it all covered! 

                        • twobitrentals Community All-Star 1,369 posts since
                          Aug 5, 2011
                          Currently Being Moderated
                          Jul 2, 2013 5:12 PM (in response to carol)
                          Re: Exchanging the Keys

                          Actually Carol, it was because of folks on here with wonderful suggestions that helped me tweek my contract, my welcome letter, my request for reviews, my refund of deposit letter....etc.

                           

                          I am pretty sure that I have read things that you have written that have encouraged or provided me with information that helped shape my business. I truly find this website a blessing to me when we can do that. I only found out about Resort lock on here. That was an amazing find for me. I am also looking into the "nest" for my thermostat based on information shared on here.

                           

                          Love this place and folks like you!

                      • iopbeachhouse Community All-Star 455 posts since
                        Aug 10, 2011
                        Currently Being Moderated
                        Jul 3, 2013 6:30 AM (in response to twobitrentals)
                        Re: Exchanging the Keys

                        I have had the same experience. I tell my guests in several places that the combination will not work until their stated check in time and yet they will show up, try the code and call me to say something is wrong. One other suggestion I have, we find the directions for entering a shorter, personal code to be a bit confusing. I made up a document called "working the locks" that has pictures and an easier to follow step by step description. It also tells them how to lock our French doors correctly. Contact numbers are also included in case they have a problem getting in. I send it out with the code to every guest.

                  • vacationrentalauthority Contributor 24 posts since
                    Jun 28, 2013
                    Currently Being Moderated
                    Jul 2, 2013 7:14 PM (in response to twobitrentals)
                    Re: Exchanging the Keys

                    We use a similar system so we can control access for guests, cleaners and repairs as needed.  A quick online change or addition of a code within a limited time frame allows us to control who has access and when.

                     

                    Robert

      • sage Community All-Star 978 posts since
        Jul 4, 2012
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 2, 2013 4:05 PM (in response to hana23)
        Re: Exchanging the Keys

        hana23 -

        I find it strange that people might it strange that the key to a VR would be mailed to the traveler.  When I have stayed in VRs the practice has been that keys were mailed to me.  I live 2 hours away from my VR and rely on the mail to get keys to and from guests.  Electronic locks are not an option for me because none are available for the non-standard doors used in our condo complex; although there is a lockbox on the door, if a guest took that key for routine access it would leave no backup in the event of a lockout.

         

        What does sound strange in your situation is that, based on what you posted in the travelers' discussion section, at least one of the owners was to mail the key at the same time the owner mailed the rental agreement to you, and before you returned the signed rental agreement and a money order as payment.  That is so unusual that I would fear that the person was mailing out a key as a way of lulling a traveler into a false sense of security so the traveler would mail the money order, only to arrive at the property address and either find out there was nothing at that address, or the key that had been delivered did not open the door (and the property was already occupied).

         

        Since you say that place was "such a deal," and being a great deal can be a basis for suspicion all by itself, I think you are wise to avoid that property.  And you might be doing the world a favor if you notified the customer support people of the circumstances that raise suspicions. It may be legitimate, but you might save someone else from being a victim of fraud.

         

        To minimize the delays that could arise from use of the mail, you might filter your property search to limit it to those properties that accept HomeAway Payments, or look in the listings to see if the property accepts credit card payments, or ask in your inquiry if the owner accepts credit cards.  Many owners are set up for electronic signing of their rental agreements, or the agreement can be faxed or scanned and sent as an email attachment. While not all owners are electronically savvy there are many who should be able to have the rental agreement to you and returned, and to receive your payment, by tomorrow which should leave time to get keys to you by mail.

        • hana23 New Member 7 posts since
          Jul 1, 2013
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jul 2, 2013 4:14 PM (in response to sage)
          Re: Exchanging the Keys

          Hi Sage,

           

          Yes, my suspicions were exactly that - she offered to send me the key along with the rental agreement before receiving a signed agreement or deposit. I don't want to think badly of people and perhaps she is just an overly trusting old fashioned owner but it does grate against my comfort level and seemed out of norm from my consulting with my personal friends with VR experience.

          She DOES have positive reviews...but not sure if those can be faked on these sites if it is a scam situation.

           

          So glad I found this forum. Thanks to everyone for their advice!

          • sapphiresteve Active Contributor 506 posts since
            Dec 16, 2010
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jul 2, 2013 7:38 PM (in response to hana23)
            Re: Exchanging the Keys

            You might subject the positive reviews to http://reviewskeptic.com . It is claimed to be 90% accurate.

             

            Steve

          • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,194 posts since
            Aug 30, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jul 3, 2013 7:03 AM (in response to hana23)
            Re: Exchanging the Keys

            Aside from time constraints and the hassle of mailing a key back and forth, there is another issue with keys.  Anyone can make a copy of a key anywhere.  There's no way I'd feel comfortable knowing any one of dozens and dozens of renters over the years may have a key to my place or left a copy with someone they know who lives locally near the rental.  And I am not about to change the locks every time either.  To me, electronic locks are a no brainer.


            But if for some reason you want to use a key, there are still options like lock boxes, neighbors, etc.  I just see too many problems with both using a key and using snail mail for access.

            • twobitrentals Community All-Star 1,369 posts since
              Aug 5, 2011
              Currently Being Moderated
              Jul 3, 2013 7:12 AM (in response to swlinphx)
              Re: Exchanging the Keys

              While I agree with you, you can have your keys stamped with a do not duplicate on them. However, if the department that makes keys doesn't pay attention....well...you know the rest of the story.

              • carol Senior Contributor 2,158 posts since
                Dec 10, 2010
                Currently Being Moderated
                Jul 3, 2013 7:18 AM (in response to twobitrentals)
                Re: Exchanging the Keys

                Mailing a key to someone doesn't increase the chance of them making a duplicate -- remember guests can make a duplicate anytime during their stay as well. 

                 

                However, there are key sets  where the blanks are tightly controlled and only authorized dealers have the blanks.  They maintain a database linking owners to blank type and will not make a copy unless you can show ID to prove you are the owner.   This is what I use.  

                • twobitrentals Community All-Star 1,369 posts since
                  Aug 5, 2011
                  Currently Being Moderated
                  Jul 3, 2013 7:21 AM (in response to carol)
                  Re: Exchanging the Keys

                  This is true too! I just am thankful I don't have to worry about that with my Resort Lock

                • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,194 posts since
                  Aug 30, 2011
                  Currently Being Moderated
                  Jul 3, 2013 7:44 AM (in response to carol)
                  Re: Exchanging the Keys

                  No, I didn't say that mailing makes duplicating them easier.  I mean that just the whole idea of keys to begin with (mailing or not) has that other drawback.  Snail mailing is just a further hassle/delay.

                   

                  As far as "Do Not Duplicate" goes, I have been able to easily get around that in the past.  Sometimes you can put a key cap (the color sleeve many use to identify a key quickly) on the key that hides that and they won't check.  Another locksmith made a copy of a resort gate key for me that said "Do Not Duplicate".  That alone certainly wouldn't put me at ease, especially after so many renters over so many years.

              • kiawahcottage Community All-Star 375 posts since
                Jan 1, 2011
                Currently Being Moderated
                Jul 3, 2013 8:19 PM (in response to twobitrentals)
                Re: Exchanging the Keys

                Hi,

                 

                The "Do not duplicate" stamp on a key means it costs an extra $5 to duplicate.

                 

                Paul

  • ttaylor0 Active Contributor 429 posts since
    Apr 1, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2013 7:55 AM (in response to noordinarytomato)
    Re: Exchanging the Keys

    I am old and still use real keys for my VR. I have the cleaning lady go over an put a key under the mat the day my renters are to arrive. I have never had a problem. Also as swlinphx said, I too have taken in many keys to different locksmiths that had "do not duplicate"stamped on them and never had one say a word about making me copies. I'm just too cheap to spend several hundred dollars to have one of the keyless locks installed when I have used the same key for all my guest for several years. But, they have to be better for peace of mind.

    • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,194 posts since
      Aug 30, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 3, 2013 8:44 AM (in response to ttaylor0)
      Re: Exchanging the Keys

      Ttaylor0, you can get an entry-level electronic lock at Home Depot or Lowe's for a one-time investment of $80.

      • Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 3, 2013 9:51 AM (in response to swlinphx)
        Re: Exchanging the Keys

        Also another non-internet lock is erental which we chose.  However, as a renter I am afraid to rent when people mail keys or use key lockboxes because of security and even the cheaper code locks.  Being aware that  all owners do not change the codes between guests could result in renters  to decide to arrive early when guests are still in the unit  or check out late  etc.  Security is a big issue becase we travel with such expensive electronics now and I have much more confidence in the locks with individual codes for each guest.  Sure the cleaner(s) MC and owner etc. may have them, but it's not as risky as the other options.

         

        Note Erental does not require internet at the VR but I needed to get on-line at my home to set it up initially 18 months ago.   ERental offered the more secure dead bolt Schlage lock that we preferred.   Pre-set with 10,000 codes and never a problem.

        • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,194 posts since
          Aug 30, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jul 3, 2013 10:04 AM (in response to lincoln)
          Re: Exchanging the Keys

          We have different brands on our units.  They all have their pluses and minuses but all are better than using the same key for stranger after stranger.  If you live on property like us and have to enter each unit between rentals anyway, then there is no need to get an expensive Internet-enabled electronic lock.  For the $80-100 price point, no electronic lock should be beyond the budget of someone whose vacation rental is a business investment.

           

          I even put one on my unit when my old manual deadbolt began to fail merely for the convenience.  Mine even has a keychain fob to lock and unlock my front door just like my car, which is great when your hands are full.

    • vacationrentalauthority Contributor 24 posts since
      Jun 28, 2013
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 3, 2013 9:42 AM (in response to ttaylor0)
      Re: Exchanging the Keys

      I understand your penny pinching ways.  I really do but please concider the value of haveing a keyless entryway.  It is incredibly easy to provide guests with a 4 digit code to enter the VR.  Some of these locks cost less than $100 and can be easily installed by the homeowner as long as you can operate a screwdriver.  More advanced systemes allow you to change codes for each guest and have a code for cleaning crew, maint, ect.  Codes can be set for specific times and dates or limited to just a small window to allow cleaning crews to come and go.  These locks can even inform you via email when a code is used to enter the home.    Cool HUH

  • atinkeyme New Member 1 posts since
    Aug 18, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2013 6:28 PM (in response to noordinarytomato)
    Re: Exchanging the Keys

    Hi ,

    Has anyone looked at KeyMe as a possible solution?  It's a new app that allows you to manage, copy, and share your keys.  Check it out at (http://www.keyme.net)

     

    This is a solution for people who don't want to install an electronic lock.  We've found that physical keys have been around for ages and they work well.  Using our app, you can simply send email someone the code to have a locksmith create a key or have a physical one sent to them in the mail.

     

    Full disclosure, I work at KeyMe and would love to hear any and all suggestions.  Please let me know.  Our team can be reached at support@keyme.net


    Thanks,

    Atin

    • sasmo Contributor 67 posts since
      Jan 24, 2013
      Currently Being Moderated
      Aug 18, 2013 7:31 PM (in response to atinkeyme)
      Re: Exchanging the Keys

      While KeyMe looks cool to have for a regular person, I can't see this as a real solution for VR owners. I'm pretty sure no renter wants to make a trip to the locksmith just to get into your place when they could use a keyless or lockbox. Not to mention you now have 100 people walking around with your key. The only possible use I see is if you use a lock box, but then have this as a "spare" backup, but I would never use this as my everyday solution. 

       

      In my opinion: Cool product, wrong market.

      • evan Active Contributor 664 posts since
        Jan 12, 2013
        Currently Being Moderated
        Aug 18, 2013 8:17 PM (in response to sasmo)
        Re: Exchanging the Keys

        my 3rd full yr rental  110 rentals and the old fashioned  lock box has worked great. never a lost key ever as the renter puts the 2 keys back in box when leaving. every yr one can chaage the front door key with the lock smith. i can't have an electronic door lock as my door has 3 latches and is too heavy

        • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,194 posts since
          Aug 30, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Aug 18, 2013 11:48 PM (in response to evan)
          Re: Exchanging the Keys

          Evan, do you mean you actually have three dead bolts on your door?  If so, you can get three electronic locks for $300 and use the same code for each, then change the code after each guest to the same again on each.  When you consider the security issue, even $300 is not a lot for a one-time expense to secure your home and business.

      • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,194 posts since
        Aug 30, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Aug 18, 2013 11:46 PM (in response to sasmo)
        Re: Exchanging the Keys

        I completely agree with sasmo.

        • evan Active Contributor 664 posts since
          Jan 12, 2013
          Currently Being Moderated
          Aug 19, 2013 7:31 AM (in response to swlinphx)
          Re: Exchanging the Keys

          no swlinphx i haveone of those 10 foot high very heavy 2 piece front doors that has 2 other areas it opens when i turn the key so the key takes a little force to turn. I think it has some kind of bar that runs up and down it so when i turn the door key it moves the latch above and below the key area. one time i mentioned to lock guy and he acted like i couldn't get. i wonder if i can?

Not a member?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY

Register Now

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Incoming Links

Bookmarked By (0)

Legend

  • Best Answers - 4 points
  • Helpful Answers - 2 points