Reviewing The Schlage Encode Smart Lock for Your Vacation Rental

  Published August 01, 2023

  Updated August 01, 2023

  Vacation Rental Tips

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There are two things that are absolute game-changers when it comes to saving you time as an AirBNB/VRBO vacation rental host.  First, the creation of a digital guidebook will save you from repetitive questions and make your guests feel more at home.  Second, using a smart lock to alleviate difficulties with the manual key.  In this article we’re going to do a thorough review of using the Schlage Encode Smart Lock in your vacation rental and then also discuss why you should be using smart locks in more detail.

Key features of Schlage Encode for your AirBNB/VRBO vacation rental

  1. Keyless Entry: The Schlage Encode allows you to ditch traditional keys and provides a keyless entry option. You can use a unique access code, which can be programmed and managed through a smartphone app or the lock’s touchscreen keypad.  To keep things easier on your guests, consider making their code the first four or last four digits of their phone number.  Or some other unique method that personalizes the experience.
  2. Built-in Wi-Fi: The Encode comes with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, eliminating the need for an additional hub or bridge. This allows you to connect the lock directly to your home Wi-Fi network for remote access and control.  Once you’ve set up your guest code, the lock will continue to work even if the Wifi goes out.  The Wifi is only required when setting up the initial code.
  3. Remote Access and Control: With the Wi-Fi connection, you can remotely lock or unlock your door from anywhere using the Schlage Home app on your smartphone. This feature is hugely beneficial for vacation rental owners.  It makes it easier to lock the door behind guests (if they forget), remote open it if they cannot figure out how to use their code, remote open it for maintenance workers and so much more.
  4. Voice Assistant Integration: The Schlage Encode is compatible with popular voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This integration allows you to lock or unlock the door using voice commands for added convenience.  We don’t use this feature as part of our vacation rental experience as not everybody is comfortable with Alexa and other chat speakers in the room but it could be a nice feature for the right situation.
  5. Auto-Lock Feature: You can set the Encode to automatically lock the door after a certain period of time. This feature is useful in ensuring that the door is always secured.  We initially used this feature for our guests but after a few issues turned it off.  Not issues with the lock itself, just issues with guests not realizing it would auto-lock.  Guests would become locked outside and perhaps the code was not shared with them by the main guests.  It could potentially be a good feature but use with caution.
  6. Battery-Powered: The smart lock operates on battery power, and it uses standard AA batteries. The lock is designed to notify you when the batteries are running low, ensuring that you won’t be locked out unexpectedly.  From our experience, the batteries last a pretty long time.  This will depend on how much the rental is booked and how often the lock is being locked/unlocked but our batteries seem to last several months on average.
  7. Secure Encryption: Schlage emphasizes the security of their smart locks and uses strong encryption to protect your data and prevent unauthorized access to your lock.
  8. Backup Key Access: While the Encode is primarily a keyless smart lock, it also includes a traditional keyhole for manual access using a physical key as a backup option.  We have the backup key in a lockbox near the entrance.  While we’ve never had it happen, if the lock was to die we could direct guests to the lockbox where they could unlock the manual key.
  9. Easy Installation: The Schlage Encode is designed to be installed easily without the need for complex wiring or modifications to your door.  I consider myself a little handy but I have installed the Schlage Encode myself on all of our vacation rentals.  Install normally takes 15-30 minutes depending on the door.

Why should you use a smart lock for your AirBNB vacation rental?

As technology continues to shape our daily lives, smart locks have emerged as a game-changer for both property owners and guests. Smart locks offer a plethora of advantages that enhance security, convenience, and overall guest satisfaction. Below we’ll explore the benefits of smart locks for vacation rentals and how they have transformed the experience for AirBNB & VRBO guests.

1. Enhanced Security:

Security is paramount for any vacation rental property. Traditional lock-and-key systems are prone to vulnerabilities, such as lost or copied keys. Smart locks, on the other hand, utilize advanced encryption and authentication protocols to provide a secure access solution. Some models even offer two-factor authentication, ensuring that only authorized individuals can access the property.

With smart locks, owners can remotely monitor and control access to the rental unit. They can grant and revoke access codes for guests, maintenance personnel, or cleaning services, limiting the risk of unauthorized entry. Additionally, some smart locks come equipped with tamper alerts, notifying owners in case of any suspicious activity.

2. Seamless Check-In and Check-Out:

Smart locks eliminate the need for physical key exchanges during check-in and check-out. Guests can be provided with unique access codes, which are time-sensitive and can be activated upon their arrival and deactivated at the end of their stay. This streamlines the process, allowing guests to access the property at their convenience without requiring the owner or property manager to be present.

For property owners, this means no more coordinating meet-ups for key handovers, reducing the hassle and time involved in managing multiple check-ins and check-outs.

3. Flexibility and Personalization:

Smart locks offer a level of flexibility that traditional locks simply cannot match. Owners can create personalized access codes for each guest, enabling them to tailor their offerings to individual preferences. This personalized touch enhances the guest experience, making them feel welcomed and valued during their stay.

Moreover, owners can set up temporary access codes for short-term rentals, making it easier to accommodate last-minute bookings without compromising security.

4. Remote Property Management:

One of the most significant benefits of smart locks for vacation rentals is the ability to manage properties remotely. Property owners can use a dedicated mobile app or web portal to monitor and control access from anywhere in the world. This is particularly advantageous for owners who manage multiple properties or those who live far away from their vacation rentals.

Owners can receive real-time notifications of guest arrivals and departures, track property usage, and ensure that the rental unit is secure at all times. Additionally, remote access allows owners to address any lock-related issues promptly, reducing the need for on-site maintenance.

5. Cost-Effectiveness:

While the initial investment in smart locks might seem higher than traditional locks, they can prove to be cost-effective in the long run. With smart locks, there is no need to replace physical keys if lost, saving money on rekeying expenses. Additionally, the automation of check-in and check-out processes reduces the need for physical key management and associated labor costs.

6. Positive Guest Impressions:

Providing guests with a seamless, modern, and secure experience contributes to positive reviews and recommendations. Word-of-mouth plays a crucial role in attracting more guests, and the convenience of smart locks is likely to be highlighted in guest reviews, attracting tech-savvy travelers.


Smart locks should be part of your vacation rental experience

In conclusion, smart locks have revolutionized the vacation rental industry by providing enhanced security, seamless check-in/check-out processes, flexibility, remote property management, cost-effectiveness, and positive guest impressions. Property owners who embrace this technology are likely to stay ahead in the competitive vacation rental market, offering a more satisfying and secure experience for their guests while streamlining their property management efforts.