29 Jan Everything You Need to Know About Key Boxes
If your new to the world of short term rentals and Airbnb, or you’ve never stayed in a holiday let yourself. You may have never heard of a key box and be unfamiliar with how they work. Or why you’d need a key box and also whether they’re secure.
This useful guide will answer all of your key box related questions and help you source a quality key box to suit your needs. Allowing your future guests to check in with ease, while ensuring your property is completely secure.
What is a Key Box?
A key box is a small lock box that is fitted to the entrance of your property. Usually at the main door to enter the building at street level. It’s effectively a miniature safe, large enough to hold several keys. And can be accessed with a 4 digit code combination to open the lock box.
If you live in Edinburgh city centre, or any major city, you may be familiar with what these look like. As these small black boxes are dotted around all over the place. By means of allowing guests to access the keys to your property and check themselves in with ease. Without having to have a face to face experience of handing over the keys and being shown around by a human. It’s the most cost effective and time effect way to allow guests to check in to your home. Still not convinced, read on to find out more.
Why Do I Need A Key Box?
A key box opens up a whole world of opportunities which is why we insist that all properties have them before we proceed with managing your short term let. Let me explain. Not all guests want to arrive bang on check in time. Guests who are travelling for work or travelling long haul like the convenience of being able to arrive and check in at any hour without being tied to a strict timescale for a face to face check in.
Plans change and the flexibility of a key box means your guests can arrive at whatever time they choose, after the agreed upon check in time (normally 3 pm or 4 pm.) If you’ve been travelling for 14 hours and aren’t arriving until 11 pm, the last thing you want is a host greeting you with keys and showing you around every nook and cranny of the property. In some cases it can be a real turn off. Guests are more likely to filter for listings that have a key box entry. Therefore resulting in you the host, missing out on potential bookings and long stays by not having this option available.
How Do We Manage This?
We keep regular communication with guests, making sure that they have key box instructions, location and code within a week of their arrival. We advise them to read through these and if any questions arise to let us know. Likewise we follow up with your guest on the day of check in asking them to get in touch if they have any problems checking in. While asking them to let us know that they have arrived safely and are happy with everything at the property. If the guest is arriving at an acceptable hour, we’ll often give them a call, just to check that all is well and let them know that we’ll be available should they have any questions throughout the duration of their stay.
There have been several occasions where we’ve taken on very last minute same day bookings for the properties we manage whereby the guests flight has been delayed and their existing host isn’t able to offer them a face to face check in and has no key box. As a result they’ve had to cancel the booking they initially had in place and we’ve then been able to welcome the guest as a result. Reassuring them that they can arrive anytime because we have a key box entry system that provides flexible arrival. Therefore a key safe is a huge benefit that can actually increase your book-ability.
Can You Fit My Key Box?
We can arrange to have your lock box fitted by a professional company. Alternatively we can pass you their details and they can have the key box fitted for you. However it’s important, if you have a shared entrance, that you make your neighbours aware that a lock box is being fitted. Particularly if there are no others currently installed.
Once your neighbours have given the OK, we can then proceed with your key box being fitted. Alternatively, if you have a main door accessed building which is not shared then the key box can be fitted without further approval.
Are Key Boxes Secure?
One of the questions we’re often asked is if key boxes are secure. From our experience they absolutely are. However we’re a little more stringent with our choice and only like to recommend quality products that are security approved to our property owners.
We have heard of instances with cheaper key boxes where the mechanism has jammed and the guest hasn’t been able to access the keys. Or particularly with the boxes that have scrolling numbers, the guest has perhaps failed to scramble these after returning the keys leaving the code visible, or the box still open.
For this reason we only advise our homeowners to purchase the Supra C500 key safe or the Masterlock Push Button Key Safe. Both of which are police accredited. Their button function leaves no trace of the code to those who are wandering by. While they both also have an easy locking function making it easy for guests to close after they have accessed the keys, leaving no room for error.
Both key boxes have an easy to use design, are extremely secure and cannot be broken into. Ensuring that your key is never accessed by anyone who doesn’t have the code. Giving you complete peace of mind.
Final Thoughts On Key Boxes
By now you should understand the many benefits of having a key box for your rental. As this small modification can allow you to attract a whole other demograph of guests. Who perhaps would have overlooked your property had a key box entry not been an option.
Alongside this, it also provides a back up key for emergencies. In most cases with the properties we manage, we provide guests with 2 sets of keys. One in the lock box and one in the apartment. While we encourage guests to return the lock box set back there after entering the property for the first time. Ensuring there is always a spare. Therefore preventing the instance of a 3 am lost key situation arising (which are rare but they do happen.) As a spare, emergency set, is always on hand.
Key boxes allow us as a business to minimise the costs that we charge you, our client. Face to face check ins are time consuming and costly. Especially when guests are delayed or their travel plans change. Which is why we’re such an advocate for our property owners having a key box installed. As well as providing you, the property owner, with information on the most secure key safe out there. Benefiting both you and your guests.
We hope you find this blog post helpful. If you’d like to hear more about our services then please feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to discuss your property in more detail and find out how we can help.
Why not check out our ideas on how to make your rental more eco-friendly allowing you to attract more guests and do your bit towards helping the planet.