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5. Check-in flexibility

Lockboxes, keyless entry and Kecafes

Many guests arrive late at night or early in the morning, and a personal key exchange may not work well.  While allowing 24-hour and self check-in may be stressful at first, it will really make a difference in the amount of business you will attract.  It is also a requirement for being listed as “business travel ready.” 

We personally use lockboxes affixed to the wall by the front door of our building.  There are also lockboxes that you can hang off the doorknob or gate.  Lockboxes work like a charm, and we’ve found that most (but definitely not all) guests prefer to check in on their own.  If you are not available during the day because you’re at work, if you don’t live or work near your Airbnb, etc., a lockbox is indispensable.


If your landlord or HOA does not allow a lockbox, you can look into keyless entry systems or Keycafes.


There are several types of lockboxes available, depending on your needs.  Some can be installed directly on a wall or door, while others can go around a doorknob or gate.

Lockboxes eliminate the need for you to give your guests multiple sets of keys, should they need any.  Just tell them to leave the keys in the lockbox every time they leave the unit, that way, the keys will always be there for the first person returning.

Keyless entry systems

Keyless entry systems are a little more expensive, but are an even easier way to let your guests in.  They also eliminate the problem of misplaced or lost keys. 

If you rent or belong to an HOA, you may not be allowed to use a lockbox or keyless entry system.  Keycafe can be the solution in some cases.


Keycafes are appearing in many places.  Hosts need to sing up at and drop their keys off at local Keycafe self-service locations.  When hosts drop off their keys, they attach them to a Keycafe tracking fob and leave the keys inside an individual chamber at the Keyport.


Guests are assigned a pin number and pick up and drop off keys at the Keyport.  There is no cost to start and hosts pay as they go or can get a subscription.

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