Three Ways to Automate Your Airbnb Check-in

Want to keep your listing active while you’re away on an extended leave?  Here are three ways to automate your Airbnb check-in.

Use Key Lock Boxes

Using a combination lock key is a simple, low tech way to remotely check your guests into your unit.  On the day of the check-in, you can simply send the combination to the guest.  They can then unlock to access the keys and check themselves in.

Some hosts use two lock boxes, one with a different combination just in case the guest gets locked out.  When using lock boxes, it’s also good practice to regular change the combination for extra protection.

See how to exchange keys with your Airbnb renter.

Utilize Building Concierge

Some apartment complexes or communities have concierge/front desk services.  They’re often also the property managers (or are employed by them).  In these type of units, you want to make sure that before you sign the lease, you have a very good idea of how they treat Airbnb units in their complex.

Some are explicitly against Airbnb units and will shut you down. In that case, you should look else where.  Others may be indifferent where as long as your guest don’t cause trouble for them, they will leave you alone.  But they’re also not going to be very helpful.

But there are a few complexes, especially in downtown urban areas, where the property managers are very familiar working with corporate housing and Airbnb hosts.  They will actually insist that all the keys stay with them and that they handle all key transfers to guests.  Your job as a host will simply be to notify them in advance of guest check-ins by giving them the guest’s full name, check in, and check out times. This is an idea set up to automate your Airbnb check-in.

These scenarios are rare but they could turn a unit into a nearly fully automated cash machine.


Hire Someone

This is often a last resort when the other options are not available (i.e. can’t use lock box due to neighbors and building has no concierge or they’re not friendly to Airbnb hosting).  You can often find a friend who lives near by or enlist a friendly neighbor to help with check-ins by bartering some of value to them.  Be creative, it doesn’t have to be monetary.  Maybe you have an extra TV or car for your friend.  If it is monetary, make sure the compensation is on a per check in basis.


Some are easier to pull off and others are more difficult to arrange but automating guest check-ins can free up your time to manage more units.   Regardless of which method you use, make sure you are absolutely responsive to your guest.  Leaving a welcome message/basket can help you maintain a personal touch to the guest experience.

If you’re still living in your unit and have personal valuables there, you may want to stick with in-person for your Airbnb check-in.   These are three ways to automate check-ins that work quite well for dedicated full time units to free up time for the full time host. Do you have other suggestions? Leave them in the comments below!

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4 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    December 8, 2014
  2. Airbnb Japan
    December 12, 2014
  3. Jeremy
    October 9, 2017
    • learnairbnb
      October 9, 2017

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