10 Replies Latest reply: Dec 6, 2018 8:04 PM by njbeachplace RSS

    Help! Looking for reliable smart door lock for vacation rental near beach.

    njbeachplace New Member

      Looking for reliable smart door lock for vacation rental near beach. Major concerns are reliability, battery life, low battery notification, remote access / codes, program ahead of time dates and time for tenant access, with keypad and key (backup). Reading reviews on August, Schlage connect and Resortlock and not sure what to believe. And then I see multiple smart hubs, SmartThings, Vera, Wink, Iris. Would appreciate if you could share your experience and what you have found works best for you? Thanks in advance.

        • Re: Help! Looking for reliable smart door lock for vacation rental near beach.
          timthek Active Contributor

          I have eRentalLock and I am across the street from the Ocean. It is a Schlage lockset with a custom chip installed. It's been there for almost 2 years with no issues. I chose this specifically because it did not require or use WiFi, Bluetooth or power. There's no app for guests and nothing to "go out" and cause a problem. It has run 2 years on 1 9V battery which I just replaced as a precaution. Everything is programmed by algorithms. Every renter gets a unique code that has an exact start date/time and end date/time. They are able to set their own short code (as short as 3 digits - up to 6 digits) upon arrival. I can generate codes at any time from anywhere and send them to guests as needed. I can provide my cleaning crew with codes or send a handyman a one-time use code. My guests don't have to worry about picking up keys, lost keys, copies of keys, previous guests having the keycode or lockbox code and I never have to worry about a power outage, the WiFi going down, or guests having technical issues with their phone. There are no monthly costs either.

           

          The ONLY downside is that I cannot remotely track usage or block someone's code. You need to be on site to deactivate a code or retrieve access logs. I've never had to cancel a code (but I could ask a neighbor or handyman if needed) nor have I ever needed access logs.

           

          Highly recommended.

          • Re: Help! Looking for reliable smart door lock for vacation rental near beach.
            njbeachplace New Member

            Thanks for the Info, it sounds very good. I have a few questions, do you know which model Schlage lock you are using. Is it a deadbolt or knob lock? Does it have a key for backup? my door has a deadbolt and knob Lock right now, and not which I should use, or maybe install a Smart deadlock with Judy knob with no knob lock. Also when people checkout, is there any way to know if the door was locked?

              • Re: Help! Looking for reliable smart door lock for vacation rental near beach.
                timthek Active Contributor

                So, both units of my place have screen doors....so that allows guests to leave the main door open and keep out bugs, etc.

                 

                I say that because I have a standard deadbolt and the electronic knob on the main doors. The knoblocks are the Schlage FE595 (eRentalLock electronic vacation & airbnb Rental Lock - Product eRL-FE595 Latchbolt Lock). Mine are set to always be locked. I could change that but the guests cannot set them to remain unlocked. If they want easy in and out without needing to use a code, they just leave the main door open and they have the screen door. If they want the added security of always having the doors locked they just close the door. With a 3-4 digit code they can tell the kids the numbers and not have to worry about it. I also don't have to worry about guests leaving the place unlocked....as I have never had a guest leave and not close the main door.....though I have certainly heard people who have this happen all the time. 95% of all my rentals get cleaned on the checkout day so my cleaners are usually there within and hour or two of the guests leaving anyway. With the deadbolt my guests can also lock that at night manually and  have some added peace of mind (though there is almost no crime on the island so it really isn't needed. Both locks are keyed as well so I can open them and I do have a lockbox hidden outside in case there is ever an emergency.

                  • Re: Help! Looking for reliable smart door lock for vacation rental near beach.
                    njbeachplace New Member

                    sounds like a great solution.  I have a couple more questions/ concerns. Have any of your tenants had issues programming the lock? Or locking themselves out by screwing up the codes? I assume all the chips are programmed with the same algorithms, so if you generate a code for one house, will that same code be active on your other house at the same time period? So my question is will the person have access to both of your houses for that time period? Have you tested that out? My houses are next to each other and I can’t have one access code work on both houses at the same time. Also, if someone had a copy or access to the erentallock software could they generate their own access codes to gain access, since I assume the algorithms are all the same in each lock / chip? Sorry for all the questions. Appreciate all your help!

                      • Re: Help! Looking for reliable smart door lock for vacation rental near beach.
                        timthek Active Contributor

                        Good question. No. Every lock/chip has it's own unique ID # that you put into the system when you set up your account. The algorithms are based on the master ID code so each lock gets it's own codes. I believe if you have two that are on the same house (front and back door) and you want them to be the same you can set them to be the same, but they are not that way by default. My locks have different ID codes and generate separate codes that only work on that lock. The guests can choose to program the same or different personal codes if they rent both units.

                        I've not had a single guest in 2 years have any issues with the locks aside from one lady who was using the upstairs code on the downstairs door and couldn't figure out why it wasn't working.

                        As for someone else using the software, unless they either get your username and password and login as you, or if they know the master ID code for your lock, they can't get their own codes.

                        I've also not had any guests forget their code. Even if they did, the original code I send them still works even if they set a short code and forgot. They can also call me for the code again or a new code.

                         

                        In short, no one can generate codes for your locks but you.

                        Each lock will have it's own unique codes and those codes will only open that lock.

                        Guests cannot accidentally cancel their code or screw up the locks, the worst they could do is forget their short code and need to use the original code you sent and reset their short code.

                    • Re: Help! Looking for reliable smart door lock for vacation rental near beach.
                      u0999 Premier Contributor

                      I use and recommend BE365 (camelot) non motorized deadbolt based e rental lock, without lever. Since it is not motorized, battery power is only used to store codes and not to lock/unlock the lock, so battery lasts long time compared to others. you can have more than one lock set to use with same codes.  here is best article on locks https://www.ownerreservations.com/blog/encyclopedia-of-vacation-rental-smart-locks

                    • Re: Help! Looking for reliable smart door lock for vacation rental near beach.
                      sage Senior Contributor

                      I have had a ResortLock RL4000 for 4 years. The door is 250' from the ocean. Electronic devices generally have short lives -- I feel lucky if a smoke detector lasts 18 months. I change the batteries in the ResortLock once a year and have had no problems with the lock. I prefer this to a lock that relies on wifi. While my lock has performed flawlessly, wifi has been another matter entirely. In the past 4 years I have had to replace the wifi router, I have replaced the cable modem twice, and have had to reset the router or modem multiple times.

                        • Re: Help! Looking for reliable smart door lock for vacation rental near beach.
                          twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                          I Am with Sage and as I have posted many times on other threads the Customers Service is probably one of the best I have encountered in a very very long time. I have had my resort lock fo 9 years and had 1 repair that they completed while providing me with a loaner.

                           

                          It was flawless! Can we say that about many of the CS departments that we use in the world today. They understand the importance of having a working lock on Vacation Rentals and work hard to provide quality service.

                        • Re: Help! Looking for reliable smart door lock for vacation rental near beach.
                          denisea New Member

                          Hi njbeachplace-- with it being 8 months ago, which lock/hub did you choose?  I know which style of lock I want (wifi enabled, motorized bolt, 10 keys, either Schlage or Kwikset), but kind of stuck on the hub system to choose.  I don't like the IRIS system.  The app is not very intuitive and it takes too many steps to add and delete users.  It also caused some significant problems as it recognized codes by the numbers entered, whereas the Kwikset lock with 5 keys recognizes codes by keypresses.  2468 is the same as 1357.  We had the eRentalLock and gave it away.  The wifi lock/hub is the way to go for me.

                           

                          Wink  vs. Vera  vs  SmartThings  --  pros and cons anyone?