35 Replies Latest reply: Jul 28, 2016 12:25 PM by otttoyboy RSS

    Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?

    thedavids98 New Member

      We are switching out of our current management company to running on our own in early April.  At that time we'll need to change our lock and I'm trying to determine the best fit.  Being 2 hours from our rental, I like the ability to change the lockpad remotely, have no keys for the renters to lose - seems like quite a convenient system.  I've looked into a few and as I get into it, I find the fine print about monthly service fees to update remotely.  Ugh!  I don't want to have to pay a monthly fee.  It looks like RemoteLock has a setup without a monthly service fee.  Has anyone had good luck with their system?  Any other options?

          • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
            mike-dfv Community All-Star

            You may want to look into a more robust system that allows for keyless entry and many other household controls. I use the Vera system, www . micasaverde . com. (for some reason, I can't post links, though I see others do it regularly.) There is an up front cost, but no monthly charges and the UI is very easy. You can remotely contol things like thermostats, pool heat, lights, and more. I have my carriage lights (outside the garage) set to go on at sunset and off at sunrise.

             

            Mike

              • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                otttoyboy Senior Contributor

                +1

                I use Vera for access to Kwikset Z-Wave locks.  Each guest gets a unique door code that I set for them prior to arrival and remotely disable when they check-out.  I most often use their cell number as the code (which they love -- easy to remember).

                 

                Vera can also control lights in your vacation rental (I have set mine up to control the outside light so that it is on if guests arrive after-dark).

                A benefit is that I get notification (by e-mail) telling me of any change to the lock (door code entered, locked, unlocked, bad code entered, who entered the code, when, etc.)  I always know when the cleaning staff is done their work (I get a notification when they unlock the door and one when they lock it).

                 

                You can, optionally, have a Z-Wave thermostat controlled by Vera as well.  I do this for my home and it works well.  I'm not sure that there's any particular advantage to this over getting a WiFi thermostat (other than the obvious that you can control all devices with a single interface).

                 

                For Thermostats at my vacation rental properties, we have line-level (240V) baseboard so I use a new wireless device from Sinope.  So far they have worked flawlessly. I have had occasion to reach out to Sinope support and they were efficient, courteous, and resolved any issues I had tout-de-suite!

            • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
              tyann Contributor

              I saw a remote system at Lowe's today, but I don't recall what it was called or if there is a monthly fee.

               

              I use Nexia (used to be Schlage LiNK) with the Schlage locks and Trane thermostat. There is a small monthly fee of around $9, which is minimal for the kind of access it gives me, and I feel that it is a good investment.

               

              Here is a list of threads you might find useful that have discussed the remote locks in detail.

               

              Tyann Marcink

              Nature's Retreat and Canyon Retreat | vacationhomeinbranson.com

              Photography and Website Design | marcinkdesigns.com

              • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                Contributor

                I installed the ResortLock in January 2011 and love how it has been working, except just had one huge frustrating experience and an expensive trip out by a locksmith called by the tenants on a weekend -- luckily now resolved by a call to the ResortLock tech, so it won't happen again. Want to let others be aware of this before it happens to them, as it may be in the instructions manual, but I hadn't noticed. THE TENANT CANNOT PUT IN THE SAME SHORT CODE USED BY THEM PREVIOUSLY OR BY SOMEONE ELSE. We have repeat tenants, so of course they again used the last 4 digits of their phone number, which turned out not to work. The same thing would happen if someone used a short code, like 1-2-3-4, and then someone else tried to use that same short code. The tech said that the short code cannot be re-used unless 24 times have passed since last used. Maybe someone else noted that about the ResortLock somewhere on this site, wish I'd thought to check, but just in case they didn't, I thought I'd let you know.

                  • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                    New Member

                    So what happens if someone does?  I can easily see people using 1234, 9999, 1111, etc and if it stores the last 24 codes there is a great chance someone will reuse a code.  I assume from your note that it somehow messes the system up or do you just have to tell your guests to try a different code if the lock doesn't like the first code?

                      • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                        Contributor

                        In the letter that goes out to the guest telling them how to put in their own short code, I added a sentence to tell them that if their short code isn't accepted, to try again using a different short code. So far it has only happened with one set of guests who were return visitors. Also worth noting, once the people are trying to put in their short code, they have already gotten into the house using their long code, so if they have a problem maybe they will reach the owner first and get it solved quickly. Except for that one thing, the ResortLock has been easy to use and the service department has been very quick to help.

                    • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                      iopbeachhouse Community All-Star

                      We use erental locks and love them!

                      • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                        margaret Senior Contributor

                        We use ResortLock and have had not had problems so far. We have been using it for about 18 months and are happy with it. We just added the same lock to our new place because it has been so easy to use.We do change the batteries every 6 months just to be on the safe side. I ahve had a couple of guests call to say the lock dosn't open but it has always turned out to be they are not entering # at the end of the code.

                          • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                            evan Active Contributor

                            margret i'm looking at resort lock. i assume you have the rl 4000 that has a lighted keypad? is there amonthly fee? can i just change the code just monthly from remote are. I'm just wondering if i can use a remote lock as i have a 3 prong door latch. my doors are very heavy and when i used the key to open they have 3 prong area.. a few more things. I don't like giving a long 10 string code. I know the renter can change when he gets there. But can i give them a 4 digit code to begin with?also is there co's to install?

                              • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                margaret Senior Contributor

                                There is no monthly fee. You can program the codes for each guest on line. You do have to issue the 10 digit code that the guest can change, I have not had any complaints about the codes being too long.  My husband installed the lock on one of our properties and my maintenance man did it on another. There is a phone # on the ResortLock web site and they are very helpful, I am not sure about the 3 prong but I am sure they will be able to answer that if you cal them.

                            • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                              crescentbeach4u Community All-Star

                              I too use the Resort Lock and love it for over a year.  I have not had any problems or remote code screw ups.  I keep a lock box in the door jam with a hard key but have never needed to use it.  And quite honestly I have forgotten that code to punch in anyway!

                              • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                serenade Community All-Star

                                I use Resortlock RL4000 and have been quite happy with it. I use schlage in different units as well and have to change the codes manually. Does anyone know how long the battery typically lasts for these locks? I'm always a bit nervous if they run out.

                                • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                  New Member

                                  REsort Lock is a great device and had it installed before season back in Nov and has worked great since. The customer service was far more superior than what Im used to with otehr companies.

                                   

                                  I highly recommend this product and company.

                                  Bob Appell

                                  • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                    foxandhound Contributor

                                    I just ordered this bc there are no monthly fees to change codes from your phone, its all Wifi.

                                    If someone has had bad luck with this please tell. It has awesome amazon reviews.

                                     

                                    Schlage Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Built-In Alarm


                                    Schlage Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Built-In Alarm, Bright Brass, BE469 CAM 605 - Door Dead Bolts - Amazon…

                                      • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                        pnoeric New Member

                                        That looks like a good one, though if the wifi goes out, does that mean people can't enter the house?

                                        • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                          u0999 Premier Contributor

                                          I was researching this, does this require a Vera controller? I could no figure out if Schlage has their own portal, or you need to buy a Zwave Vera controller? we use electronic Schalge (non wi fi) for both properties and are very pleased, but i was thinking maybe to go WIFI.

                                            • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                              pnoeric New Member

                                              Just to add to the conversation - as someone who loved his ResortLock lock, I think it's better than the Schlage. Here's why:

                                               

                                              - No need for wifi (and no problems if the wifi goes out)

                                              - No need for special controller (Zwave, Vera, etc) or anything else weird

                                              - No extra fees - once you buy it, everything included, no monthly fee

                                              - Supported by Homeaway/VRBO and Airbnb, so it will automatically generate codes for guest and email them if you wish

                                              - Unique code for each guest that expires - much more secure than having one code that every guest uses

                                              - It's also the door handle, so the guest enters the code and then opens the door... not a separate deadbolt

                                               

                                              Resortlock RL 4000 Slightly Used No Add'L Costs | eBay

                                                • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                                  u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                  We do not even have one code with non wifi Schlage - housekeeper sets code for every guest to the last 4 of guests phone #. I would be willing to try, but we need a oil-rubbed-bronze one to match all the other door hardware we have..

                                                    • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                                      Premier Contributor

                                                      u0999 wrote:

                                                       

                                                      We do not even have one code with non wifi Schlage

                                                      Actually you do have a code set - but it must be set on-site.

                                                       

                                                      The great thing about a zwave lock is that you can set many codes from anywhere.

                                                       

                                                      The other very important feature for a distant VR operator is that I receive email msgs when events occur.

                                                       

                                                      For example

                                                       

                                                      UserID="4" UserName="john doe" has unlocked door lock "John Doe" in room "entry" at 2016-06-28 10:42:04.

                                                       

                                                      Couldnt survive without that.  Too stressful not knowing if and when my guests first arrive.  I dont like to leave house vacant for too long.

                                                  • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                                    Premier Contributor

                                                    u0999 wrote:

                                                     

                                                    I was researching this, does this require a Vera controller? I could no figure out if Schlage has their own portal, or you need to buy a Zwave Vera controller? we use electronic Schalge (non wi fi) for both properties and are very pleased, but i was thinking maybe to go WIFI.

                                                     

                                                    No it does not require a Vera brand controller (but it DOES require some brand of zwave controller).

                                                     

                                                    Any z-wave lock will work with any zwave controller, including:

                                                     

                                                    • Lowes Iris
                                                    • Nexia
                                                    • Vera
                                                    • many others

                                                     

                                                    However the Vera stands out as the best IMO for two reasons:

                                                     

                                                    • no monthly charge to use
                                                    • large active user forum to assist
                                                  • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                                    Premier Contributor

                                                    I always recommend the Kwikset "Smartkey" locks for rental property (or any home actually).

                                                     

                                                    With these locks, you can change the key WITHOUT a locksmith, which is great.

                                                     

                                                    Also, I wouldnt recommend a touch-screen.  The fail, get dirty, face gets scratched, etc.  It will probably be OK though.

                                                     

                                                    Here are my notes:

                                                     

                                                    http://goo.gl/DZBkuZ

                                                     

                                                    then click on "VR locks"

                                                      • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                                        pnoeric New Member

                                                        Hi vrrentcamera, I'm just curious, what's the benefit of being able to change the key without needing a locksmith? (Just wondering....) If the guest is coming in with a keypad/touchscreen, they never use a key, so in theory the only person with a key is the owner... which makes me think the key would never really need to be changed/updated. (Or, for that matter, even used... when I had the resortlock, I would just give myself a code when I needed to enter the house, so I can't think of any time when I used the physical key to enter the property.)

                                                         

                                                        Like I said, just curious; you've clearly done your research so I'm just trying to get a sense of your thinking here. Thank you :-)

                                                          • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                                            Premier Contributor

                                                            Im curious too: why are you exiting the VR business?  If you are going to LTR, then the Kwikset Smartkey is highly recommended.

                                                             

                                                            what's the benefit of being able to change the key without needing a locksmith?

                                                             

                                                            good question.

                                                             

                                                            Reason #1:

                                                            I have 3 LTRs and one VR.  I like to have everything the same.  So I use the same Kwikset Smartkey lock on all.

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            Reason #2:

                                                            Our VR high season is 4 months long or so.  In the past I have rented to one family for the entire winter season, and they want a key.  And I want them to have a key too, so I dont have to be concerned if they get locked out (no one ever has) when I am out of town.

                                                             

                                                            I always change the key cuts after providing anyone with the key.  It is such a pleasure to change the key in seconds, instead of hiring a locksmith and coordinating between guests when I am on-site, which is stressful and expensive.

                                                              • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                                                pnoeric New Member

                                                                Ahhhh ok-- thank you for the reply. Your reasons make perfect sense, especially for your longer-term rentals where they want a key.

                                                                 

                                                                As for why I'm getting out of the biz... got married and moving to Switzerland! See below. I'm the dude on the left in the lederhosen ;-)

                                                                 

                                                                It's a shame because I loved the biz. I had my short-term rental for 8 years; I was the #1 most highly rated property in Los Angeles, with over 130 five-star reviews on VRBO (and lots of other great reviews on FlipKey and Airbnb). C'est la vie.

                                                                EricAndClaudioMarriage-1000px.jpg

                                                                  • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                                                    Premier Contributor

                                                                    Hey if you had a zwave lock, you could run the VR from Switzerland!! haha

                                                                     

                                                                    Congrats on your wedding.  Sounds like a great VR in LA.  Are you going to try to sell it as a turn-key VR?  Or just a regular house?

                                                                      • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                                                        pnoeric New Member

                                                                        Thank you for the good wishes :-)

                                                                         

                                                                        I would have loved to sell it as a turn-key VR -- since, really, it's two things: a piece of real estate and a thriving business. But I ended up selling the property (a couple of months ago) as a regular sale and the new owners didn't want to run a short-term rental biz so I just shut down the business completely.

                                                                         

                                                                        I actually did think about trying to make it work from Switzerland ;-) but in the end decided it was time to just simplify my life. I'm happy with the offer I got on the property (it's a seller's market in L.A. right now) and helps me "clear the decks" for my int'l move.

                                                                • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                                                  u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                                  does kwikset use battery power to open/lock? The reason we liked Schlage (non wifi) because it only uses battery power to store codes. it does not use battery power to lock.unlock, you have to rotate the knob. which means battery lasts a very long time. since I am remote, it is very important to me. my locks get a lot of use, so I would not want battery to drain, and leave renters locked out.

                                                                    • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                                                      Premier Contributor

                                                                      u0999 wrote:

                                                                       

                                                                      does kwikset use battery power to open/lock?

                                                                      Yes - mine does.  Not sure if all Kwikset do.  I think that Schlage sells both motorized locks and non-motorized.

                                                                       

                                                                      I started out with a Schlage lock that was not motorized - like yours.  After a year the zwave part stopped working.

                                                                       

                                                                      I replaced it with a Kwikset motorized and never looked back.  I have changed keys several times after several long-term winter renters and not sure what I would have done without the ability to rekey in seconds.

                                                                       

                                                                      My batteries last a LONG time.  Maybe 6 months or a even a year.   At first it was chewing thru batteries, until I changed the polling frequency on the Vera (as described in my notes).

                                                                       

                                                                      Now they last and last.

                                                                       

                                                                      The motorized is a double-edged sword.  Its great for buzzing in maintenance people.  Or a guest that forgot their code (hasnt happened yet, since they tell me what code to use).

                                                                       

                                                                      Also it is SO much simpler for folks to use.  They had trouble with the Schlage, although I didnt think it was that difficult.  But with the motorized lock, they punch in the code and actually hear the motor go, so that makes it obvious to them that the code entry was successful.

                                                                       

                                                                      And the door falls open too, whereas with the Schlage non-motorized they would have to spin the lock, and if it didnt engage they would be frustrated.

                                                                       

                                                                      Another great feature of the motorized lock:  If a guest leaves at the end of their stay, I can operate the deadbolt if they forgot to lock up.  That is worth it by itself!

                                                                        • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                                                          u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                                          Umm, not sure why you need keys at all? it is a code lock, right? Honestly I don't even know where my keys from Schlage are because we never use them, we just use code. and of course we never gave the keys to the renters or cleaners.

                                                                          we have 2 Schalges (non motorized) still in operation. One is 5+ years old, another is 3+, exact same model. We do get a lot of traffic because we rent year round mostly to groups of 8-10 people so yes, battery life is a concern to me. I remember maybe 2 occasions when a renter was confused about operation (i.e did not  understand that they need to rotate the knob).

                                                                           

                                                                          I am asking all these questions because I need to weigh convenience vs battery longevity (the motorized locks can drain battery faster).

                                                                            • Re: Remote keyless locks with no monthly fees... what are my options?
                                                                              Premier Contributor

                                                                              u0999 wrote:

                                                                               

                                                                              Umm, not sure why you need keys at all?

                                                                               

                                                                              For my longer-term renters.  In the past, I have had a family stay the entire winter, and they like to have a key.

                                                                               

                                                                               

                                                                              I am asking all these questions because I need to weigh convenience vs battery longevity (the motorized locks can drain battery faster).

                                                                               

                                                                              I dont think it is so relevant;

                                                                               

                                                                              I am guessing that the battery is drained more by the zwave link than by the motor.

                                                                               

                                                                              The zwave link is on 24/7, communicating to the zwave controller.  The motor only runs a few times per day.

                                                                               

                                                                              With the motor, its important that the door fits well and the deadbolt moves easily.  If not, it would drain the battery quicker.