In a such competitive market, rental vacation owners and managers, aim for maximum profitability and differentiation.
I’m a RENT4REST vacation rental owner and I have been managing properties since 2010. I like to control all the processes involved in management and operation. As time is a limited resource, I try to manage operations in the best possible way in order to optimize all processes, preferably using technological solutions.
In 2016, upon realized that the ratio of time/money, in trips to hand over keys to cleaning/maintenance teams, key exchange between the check-in team, keys lost by guests, or forgotten inside the apartment and also the costs involved in all these trips, I decided to look for a smart lock solution for our units.
Usually, when I look for a new technology for my business, I make a problem outline that I intend to solve/automate, their cost and the desired solution. In this way, I can analyse whether the technological investment pays off.
In this case, some problems that embraced my daily life:
– Guests lose the keys
– Guests forget keys inside the apartments when they leave
– Guests do not leave at the set check-out time
– Last-minute changes to the guest’s arrival time;
– Person who had the apartment key is no longer able to receive the guest and has to give the key to someone else;
– We don’t have anyone available at that time to receive the guest; – Flight delays and after all guests arrive in the middle of the night;
– Employees must always carry apartments keys or in case of unforeseen circumstances, return home/office to pick up the keys;
– I don’t know the employee’s number of the cleaning companies who had the apartment keys (security);
– Keys delivery for emergency cleaning;
– I cannot control if the cleanings have already started or if they have been carried out;
– Cleaning staff says it was at a certain time;
– Every time maintenance is needed, a budget is required and someone from the team has to go to the apartment to open the door and stand still while the problem is resolved;
– Extra travel costs;
– Lock replacement cost;
– Cost of setting up new keys;
– Guest dissatisfaction for not receiving in desired time
– Cost of extra key copies;
– Extra travel costs to deliver keys / open doors;
– Unique and secure codes that only work on the day/check-in time in until the day/check-out time;
– Employees with specific and safe codes;
– Remote door opening (including the front door);
– Code entry register;
In April 2016 we installed the first 3 homeit smart locks in Estoril apartments, we were so happy with the results that in 2017 we started the installation in Lisboa apartments.
Since 2016, smart locks have evolved a lot mainly in simple installation and security terms.
“From the guests’ point of view, they find it very practical and most of the time it makes an great first impression, it’s the first WOW moment!”
Our goal for 2020 is to have a homeit smart lock in all apartments with PMS integration, and electronic keys automation creation as well as sent to guests on the day of check-in.
All the initial issues were solved and we believe that, despite the equipment/installation cost, the investment has a return because we were able to optimize the time and different teams’ management. From the guests’ point of view, they find it very practical and, most of the time it makes an excellent first impression, it’s the first WOW moment!