Vacation Rental Management for busy people!

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The trouble with keys

Keys

If you don't live near your vacation rental then the keys either need to be:

  1. Mailed out and back - with the risk of the mail system not delivering, or
  2. Picked up and dropped off at a physical location nearby - additional traveling for your guests, or
  3. Put in a lock-box near the door and the code provided

In addition:

  1. Keys can be duplicated, so security is a concern here
  2. The guests could enter the home before check-in and after check-out if they are not required to pick-up or return keys to a nearby location
  3. If there's only one or 2 keys then for large groups coordination gets difficult and they will end up hiding the key near the door somewhere. A lockbox with a code should solve that issue.

Using a traditional keypad

The common alternative is to install a combination lock with a keypad on the door and then tell the guests what the number is before they arrive. There are different issues with this approach - traditional combination locks can hold one or a few codes at any one time so there's a compromise that needs to be made:

  1. Either manually change the combination code for each guest - your management company would typically do that and would likely charge for it.
  2. Or change the code less frequently and risk that previous guests could return and enter the home.

With this method you will still have the issue that guests may enter before check-in or after check-out if no is there to check up on them.

Using a fully flexible, yet pre-programmed, keypad

What on earth is that? It's just like a keypad lock but the codes required depend on the dates of the stay and are built in to the lock itself. A special computer program that you use generates a code based upon the arrival day and time and the departure day and time. This code can be used by the guest only during those times. You never need to go to the lock to change anything - the lock knows the day and time and whether the code used should allow entry.

Pros

  1. Install it and you never need to change it again
  2. Control check-in/out access - usually to within an hour
  3. It's secure as previous guests cannot use the old code

Cons

  1. You need a computer program in order to generate the codes
  2. The locks can be quite expensive
  3. Some locks have an ongoing "access" fee to the code generator

So, what do you do...

ResortLock RL-4000 eRentalLock eRL-BE365

The good news...

  1. Resort Lock and eRentalLock have introduced versions of the fully-flexible keypad that does not require any ongoing fees
  2. MyVRZone is a wholesaler for these locks and can offer a 10% discount for bulk purchases - MyVRZone will aggregate multiple orders from different people to get the discount
  3. MyVRZone has integrated getting the code into its vacation rental management software tools reservation system so that you will not need to manually log in to the Resort Lock or eRentalLock online systems each time. More importantly, it will ensure that any changes made to the arrival/departure times will result in a new code being obtained immediately and automatically - no forgetting.

For more information, see the lock comparisons here, and go to the Product Page here - where you can make a purchase if interested.

Update: Resort Lock have released a version of the RL-2000 with a mortise lock in September 2009