Smart locks are the latest craze in the world of Airbnb, and it’s a handy piece of tech landlords are calling a “must have”!
It’s not often I get things wonderfully right the first time round – in fact, that’s the understatement of the century – but I think I may have made a breakthrough with my shiny new Yale Smart Lock I had fitted on my Airbnb front door.
Sure, there are quite possibly better devices out in the wild, to provide all the advantages that smart locks provide when managing Airbnb rentals, but I certainly couldn’t find any better, and I’m absolutely fine with the choice I made.
I believe I’ve found the best Airbnb smart lock out of a surprisingly imperfect selection.
Before I started putting ink to paper, I couldn’t stop myself from having a quick snoop around Google to see what other publishers were recommending in terms of smart keys for Airbnbs.
While I did find the one I purchased featured in a few articles (all notably from UK based publishers), I also saw many other options. In fact, it was an uninspiring minefield of options, because it felt like I wasn’t being provided with genuine recommendations from real users, but more so a generic list of smart locks which were all ranking highly in Amazon under the Smart Lock category. Sloppy journalism, at best.
Nope, I haven’t tried several Smart Locks, I’ve only tried one. So that’s why I’m going only to recommend one.
After much deliberation and tireless research, I decided to snap up the Yale Assure Smart Lock. It’s been highly rated by consumers, but that definitely wasn’t the only reason it ended up being my smart lock of choice.
My ideal Airbnb front door smart lock
Before I get into the details of why I chose the Yale Assure, I do want to say, that after I fell down the rabbit hole and emerged myself in the smart lock world, I quickly realised there isn’t a perfect solution. At least, I couldn’t find one that ticked all my boxes. That was both surprising and frustrating, because I didn’t feel like I was asking for much. I found myself humming and hawing between smart locks, unsure of which feature I was willing to go without, because apparently I couldn’t have it all.
I couldn’t find a smart lock which fulfilled all of the following:
- Good security
- Manufactured by a reputable brand
- Physical key override
- Pushable buttons (not touchscreen)
- Mobile app access
- Doesn’t require a third party smart home hub/system (e.g. Alexa) in order to access remotely (to change pin code or unlock)
- Reasonably priced
Seriously, WTF? Am I really asking for too much? Apparently so.
Why I chose the Yale Assure smart lock for my Airbnb
Reason I opted for the Yale Assure smart lock for my Airbnb front door is for the following reasons (please note, not all of the reasons I cover won’t be exclusive to the Yale smart lock, but smart locks in general):
- It’s Yale – probably the most popular brand for door locks in the world (certainly the UK), and known for its excellent quality and functionality. Enough said.
- Keyless access – no keys or fobs required, just a code to enter into the keypad! Presumably, this feature is why so many Airbnb landlords are switching to smart locks, so they don’t have to deal with the excruciatingly painful dilemma of guests losing keys.
Positive reviews – I read through hundreds of reviews on Amazon and they were largely positive. But of course, you can’t please everyone.
The one complaint that cropped up a few times was the fact that the lock will not allow for remote access for anyone in the UK using z-wave. Apparently it’s a frequency issue. So the only option is to use ZigBee, which was actually fine for me. To be honest, I don’t think it will make much difference for most people, because most smart hubs support Zigbee (e.g. Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, Google etc), but I thought it’s still worth mentioning.
Physical key override – I found it astounding how few smart locks provide a physical key override, because to me, that seems incredibly important. Perhaps even critical.
If there’s any kind of electrical malfunction or the batteries completely die, I want the peace of mind knowing I’ll still be able to access my property. I can’t even imagine why anyone would go without that fail safe!
The Yale Assure was one of the very few smart locks that I came across which features a physical key override and it was one of the primary reasons I chose it.
Accessible remotely via app – this was also another critical feature for me, I need remote access, which allows me to setup new codes for new guests and lock and unlock from any location.
Note that not all “smart locks” are accessible remotely, and most of them will require a smart hub for the function to work (the Yale Assure does require one, I use mine with an Alexa).
The trade-offs I had to make (for picking the Yale Assure smart lock)…
As said, I couldn’t for the life of me find my ideal smart lock, so the following sacrifices were begrudgingly made by opting for the Yale Assure…
Price – nope, this wasn’t cheap by a long-shot. In fact, it was one of the most expensive options I came across. I purchased it for about £250 from Amazon.
Yale does have another highly rated smart lock for less than half the price (the Yale Smart Living keypad), but it doesn’t have a physical key override. So really, that’s what I paid the premium for.
I don’t regret it.
Pushable buttons – I really wanted push buttons, as opposed to touchscreen, because I felt they would be more reliable and resilient. But it’s a feature I begrudgingly had to sacrifice.
I only found a few smart locks that came with push button keypads, but none of them were truly “smart”, because they didn’t allow for remote access. Odd.
Smart hub – 99% of smart locks I came across require a smart hub (e.g. Alexa) for remote access. That’s a bit annoying, because now the lock is reliant on another piece of tech inside the property, which only makes the lock more prone to technical failure.
I did come across a small handful that didn’t require a smart hub, which connected to WiFi directly, but they came with trade-offs that weren’t even worth entertaining. They seemed like total disasters.
Easy to fit/setup – granted, my handyman installed the smart lock for me, but he assured me (no pun intended) it was relatively easy. I quote, “even a donkey like you could have fitted it”
Okay, great, thank you.
Make of that what you will.
- Seems to work – I’ve not had any complaints from guests or cleaners so far; everyone has been able to access the property without any issues.
The app works – the app does everything I need it to do, including:
- Allows me to lock/unlock the door remotely
- Allows me to easily create and destroy pin codes
- Allows me to setup multiple different pin codes
- Low battery warning (although, I can’t say for certain, because my batteries are still going strong)
In conclusion, the two most important features for me are remote access and a physical key override, and the Yale Assure provided both of those. The other features… I’ll live without. Not that I have any other choice.
The Yale Assure smart lock performance so far
I’ve only been using it for a few months now, but so far so good. I’ve got no complaints:
Hope my feedback has been useful. Which smart lock did you go for and what were your requirements?
Oh, and does anyone actually know of a smart lock that can tick all my boxes? If so, please drop a comment below…
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.