Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Airbnb hosts and guests what is your pain level for key handovers?

If you a host or a guest of an Airbnb property, then you should have experienced the pain first hand of a key handover. What has your experience of the pain been like on a level of 1 to 10, like on the Universal Pain Assessment tool? With smartlocks your pain is always 0 for guests, and 0 for hosts. Lets have a closer look at the pain of the old fashioned metal key handover for Airbnb hosts and guests.

Perhaps for both guest and host alike, the key handover has never really been too painful. Perhaps at worst, it been around a mild 1-2 level, where arrangements are made in advance of guests arrival time via email or phone call, and the host is home to handover keys, or makes arrangements to meet the guest on the property at the pre-arranged time. This is not a drama at all right? Therefore you could say that, referring to the Universal Pain Assessment Tool, the pain is mild or next to nothing, and it could easily be ignored.

What about if the guests plane, train, car was in traffic, and the scheduled time cant be met? Perhaps the guest is two hours late. What happens then? The guest simply sends an email from their phone to notify the host that they have been delayed. Well that might be fine for the guest to simply send an email on the road in a car or on a train. But what if the guest does not have email access as they're from overseas and they don't have global roaming switched on? What if the guest is on a plane that has no wi-fi? The guest then has to go to a cafe or library or somewhere with wi-fi access to send the email - the guest pain is starting to get moderate (3-4) as it is now interfering with their planned task of getting to the Airbnb property on time. If the host does not live on site, then their day and arrangements have been interfered with now too, they have to hand around for two hours, or come back later. Suddenly the hosts pain is up to 3-4 'moderate pain' level.

What if the guest sends an email at the airport when they land to say they are two hours late, but then in the train on the way to the Airbnb property, the guests phone battery dies, and the train is delayed by 30 minutes due to track maintenance, or something like that? If the guests phone battery is dead, then they can't get a message out, and so then the guest starts to get a little anxious. They are worried that when they get to the property it will be half an hour after the planned new meeting time, and the Airbnb host would've gave up waiting for them and left. The guest won't be able to get into the property. The guest is in a new city they've been to before, perhaps its night. It dawns on the guest that they will be locked out. The guest;s anxiety gets worse - they are panicing now. Its interfering with their concentration. They can't think of anything else other than being stranded, locked out in a big city they've never been too before. They have all their bags, and possessions and cash and passports on them. They could be attacked at any moment and robbed. And there is no way to get into the property other than breaking in. The pain level for guest is now up to 7.

What about the host regarding this new second delay? The host is getting sick of driving out to the property now for a second time, and so they decide to leave the key in the potplant by the door, and so they email the guest (whose phone has died, as we just mentioned) to tell them the key is in the potplant. The host doesn't think too much of this, and they get back to work. But then they start to get anxious worrying about if someone, perhaps one of the neighbors, or a person walking past, saw them place the key in the potplant. They are now worried someone is going to get that key and let themselves into their property. That person may trash their house. That person may steal everything inside. The guest has just bought a new LCD widescreen TV. That will get stolen for sure. 

The host then thinks, well its not the end of the world, as Airbnb have an insurance policy so it will be covered. But then the guest is worried about if the insurance policy covers the act of placing a key in a potplant in front of a busy street - is that negligence?  The hosts head is spinning about everything that could possibly go wrong now. They have to get back to work, but they can't concentrate. They've already missed eating their lunch with driving back and forth in their lunchbreak to the property for the 2 arranged key handover meeting times. They know they should eat, but they can't. They are too anxious to eat. The host has to look up their Airbnb insurance policy and read every line to see if they are covered. Maybe they have to call the Airbnb helpline. Should they get legal advice? How much is a lawyer going to cost?. But they have to get back to work. The host's pain level is suddenly up to an 8-9. Its severe, they can't do basic things like eat, and do their work.

Say goodbye to these painful complicated arrangements of the key handover.

Now lets try this scenario again with a smart lock installed on the Airbnb property. The Airbnb host takes the email notification booking for their accommodation for the guest; they log into the smartlock software and generate a time-sensitive digital key in the form of a PIN code that only works for the guests booking time. This takes them 30 seconds. They email this code to the guest. A few minutes later the guest confirms they have received the email with the the time-sensitive PIN code. The host gets back to work knowing that the key handover is done, and there is nothing that can go wrong, as whatever time the guest turns up to the property after their scheduled booking time, and before the end of their stay, they simply enter the 6 digit code on the keypad on the smart lock on the door to let themselves in. The code will always work until check-out time, and then it expires. After it expires, the guest can't get back in again and the host doesn't need to worry about getting the key back from the guest. They don't have to worry about the guest copying their key at the local hardware store, and letting themselves back in at any other time to trash or rob the place. There is no pain! Why put up with pain and hassles of the key handover when you don't have to? With smart locks there is no pain.

If you would like to order a smartlock for your Airbnb property see our online store here with opening specials for smartlocks starting at 199 Euros

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