The experience of the visitors is of prime importance to every Airbnb owner. To make the trip a hassle-free process, Airbnb has come up with the facility of self-check-in to the customers. Technology has made things much easier as proprietors can now implement automated check-in for their renters. It has been found to save plenty of time for both tenants and owners. The process has become quite a trend due to the convenience it brings with it. There are no worries concerning the early or delayed arrival of the renters.
Read also Airbnb etiquette for hosts and guests.
The coronavirus pandemic has now created a necessity for the self-check-in system to avoid contact between people. The owner is not required to come in person for the check-in method, which assures the safety of two parties. The setting up is also a simple thing for the hosts.
As the name suggests, self-check-in involves checking into a place without having to meet the owner or regional point of contact for the apartment. It can be done in various ways. Utilizing a keypad, intelligent lock, key lockbox, or the doorman service are some commonly adopted means of self-regulated check-ins. For security purposes, a unique code is given to renters which will enable them to enter the premises in an authorized manner. The code is for making certain that only the people with the reservation can acquire access to the apartment. The visitor can apply the code to take the key for the house without having to meet anyone in person.
Why exercise self-check-in?
An in-person check-in method requires a lot of time and effort. Having smooth communication is the first place where a lot of time is consumed. The owner has to keep constant track of the expected time of arrival, road traffic, plane timings, and much more. This means constant calls or text messages till the tenant has reached safely at the residence. Then there are hassles of early morning or delayed nighttime check-ins. With the option to self-check-in, you save all that trouble and simply provide some directions to the renters on how to enter the apartment. You may minimize the time consumed on communication and there remains no need to keep track of their arrival.
Less stressful for the visitors
At certain times the owner or manager may not be present for the check-in. In such situations, guests might need to do some waiting. It becomes stressful after they have had lengthy flights or drives. Many are also not in a state to engage in a hearty conversation when they have just landed at the house. Self-check-in allows the entire thing to be much less stressful for the visitors, as they get their own time to settle in. They will also not have to bother anyone for coming in too early or too late.
Makes the rental business travel friendly
People who travel frequently for job purposes prefer the quick means of self-check-ins. Homeowners who provide self-check-ins at their places can earn the badge of being business travel friendly. Self-check-ins provide a great deal of flexibility to business travelers. The owner can also take in same-day reservations when a self-check-in option is enabled.
Shows confidence in customers
Letting the occupants of the rental self-check-in shows the trust you have in them as the owner. The verification of customers should be done once you receive the reservation. After confirming the reservation, and supplying them the code to self-check-in you demonstrate the trust you have in them to take care of the apartment throughout their halt. It leaves a great impression on the visitors and adds positive points to the listing.
Gives privacy to renters after landing
Airbnb homes are nicely decorated for visitors. On arrival, the renters prefer to go around the property and explore. When they self-check-in the exploration can be done more privately.
Promotes healthy and safe habits
Self-check-in minimizes contact between renters and owners. This exhibits your concern for the health and safety of your guests.
Steps to setup a smooth self-check-in
Now that you apprehend the importance of self-check-in, let’s go through the setup process. in this section we will list down the detailed steps on computerization of the entire process of self-check-in for the visitors of your Airbnb home:
1. Provide the self-check-in choice on the listing
Whenever you think of a new feature for the Airbnb home, the first step is to let prospective customers know about it. This means your listing should provide the option and all details related to self-check-in. Here’s how you can put up the choice to self-check-in:
- Log into your account on Airbnb.
- Pick the listing for which self-check-in is to be activated.
- Navigate to “Guest Resources” below the tab for complete details regarding the home.
- Modify the directions under Check-in.
- Once you choose Self-check-in, pick the method as either keypad, smart lock, lockbox, or doorman.
- Complete the changes by adding the appropriate instructions for the visitors.
Once you have enabled self-check-in, you need to concentrate on providing a detailed check-in message for the visitors.
Some tips on how to contact Airbnb read here.
2. Constructing the check-in message
Airbnb by default sends a message to the visitors 36 hours before their arrival at the location. However, this might have a drawback. The check-in message might get lost in the mailbox by the day the visitor reaches. So, it is more helpful to present your renters with a self-constructed message to initiate the check-in smoothly. The message will assist the tenants when they reach the residence on how to obtain entrance to the rooms. It minimizes any confusion that may occur.
Numerous points must be kept in mind when writing the check-in message.
- The renters should be assured that the apartment is ready for them and the owner is expecting their arrival.
- Mention the location of the home in detail with nearby landmarks and directions to get there from the airport.
- Many guests visit the apartment with their vehicles, so parking information is something they expect to see in the check-in message.
- People expect to have internet connectivity everywhere they go, so a Wi-fi password should be a part of the check-in details.
- Do not forget to add contact details in case the guests have any queries or require some assistance during entry or stay.
If there are any other special instructions apart from the above-mentioned, you can incorporate those too in the message. An informative check-in message is the first step towards effective communication between the proprietor and the renters. Moreover, the use of tools can assist you to automate the messages and save some time.
3. Put up images and videos
The check-in message can also have images to demonstrate the process by which guests can check themselves in. It is always more useful to have guidance in an attractive visual format. The tenants find it simpler to understand when you display the actual representations of the lock system at the premises. Also, do not forget to write a description and examine the preview of the listing before you make it public.
4. Provide a manual
If you enable self-check-in at the Airbnb rental home, including a manual is a safe idea. The manual will assist the visitors to take a nice tour of the property. General information such as timings concerning check-in and check-out, emergency contacts, tourists’ spots in and around the city, directions on operating the electrical appliances in the dwelling, internet facilities, and parking area. You will also have multiple rules and regulations that renters will be required to obey when inside the premises. These rules should be covered in the manual. The manual can be communicated to the customer via mail or a hardcopy at the rental can also be useful to the visitors for reference.
5. Receive guests with a personalized message and gift
Give your visitors a cordial welcome and make their experience a memorable one. Place a handwritten welcome message thanking the visitors for preferring your listing. You may also place a gift or put some fresh flowers before their arrival.
6. Don’t forget to check up on them
A short message to the guests after they check into the house is considered a good practice. The content can be simple wishing them a pleasant stay, stating your availability, or just ensuring the check-in was trouble-free.
What techniques can you utilize for self-check-in?
There are multiple alternatives to pick from when it comes to implementing self-check-in at Airbnb. The most common methods include having a smart lock, lockbox or key storage, keypad, or building personnel. Key exchange services are also available for such purposes.
The modern residences are fitted with smart locks at the entry. Instead of applying a key to unlock the door, one requires a security code to open a smart lock. It can be managed remotely using a device such as a smartphone. Once a reservation is made, the manager can give the security code to the visitors via email or text message. There are third-party software applications that owners can integrate with Airbnb and generate a new code for every new renter. The visitors will have an approved entrance to the apartment using the security password for the entire duration of their stay. After the renters check-out, the code is deleted and a fresh one is set to give to the next guest.
It is uncomplicated, easy to manage, and gives a fabulous experience to the visitors. Smart locks are an example of the most reliable security methods that can be applied to entrances. The host can keep track of people entering or leaving the premises.
However, like all other technology, smart locks are also vulnerable to hacking attacks. Batteries, internet connection, and a smart device are also a must for operating the smart locks. They are quite expensive in comparison to traditional door locks.
It involves attaching a numeric keypad to the door that can be utilized to unlock the door. It eliminates the requirement for a key and lock system. The keypad is for inserting the security code which will unlock the door. The keypad is a good security system that works well for the self-check-in process. The customers are given a security code prior to the check-in through the mail. These security codes must be changed after the departure of every renter. It is important for the security of the apartment.
The drawback is that keypads depend on batteries or electricity and the setup cost is also high. It can also be hacked and unauthorized access can be obtained to the house.
Lockbox or key safe
Proprietors can always follow the traditional padlock system for self-check-in. The key needs to be kept at a safe place from where the visitors can get it. For this purpose, there are storages called lockbox or key safes. These are obtainable in different forms. The digital ones need a security code to unlock and the smart ones can be opened up using a phone. The lockboxes are strong and do not break off easily. So, the key to the property is safe inside a lockbox and can be accessed only by the authorized visitors. They are available in various price ranges.
However, careful use is necessary otherwise the lockbox may be jammed. If anyone leaves the lockbox open then there is a chance of a security breach at the residence. Also, make sure to change the code on the digital key storage frequently.
This is the traditional method of dropping off the key with one of the staff in the building who can hand it over to the renters upon their arrival. However, it might not be very hygienic in the current circumstances as it involves contact between two people.
Key exchange services
There are various companies that offer key exchange services to Airbnb proprietors. They are normally available 24/7. The tenants can collect the key from them. You can find out about the services near the rental for the suitability of guests.
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