I could tell you stories from other AirBNB hosts about their misadventures with guests—pop-up brothels, rager parties, identity thefts, and untold property damage. Some of these reports are so wildly off the charts they’ve become near urban legend.
As an Airbnb Host, I have my own anecdotes to retell. I’m one of 4 million AirBNB listings by 640,000 AirBNB hosts. Since launching in 2008, AirBNB has had 150 million users and its appeal is only increasing. In 2017, 100 million guests stayed in AirBNB listings in 2017.
After reading the headlines about AirBNB guests gone bad, I installed a video camera at the entry door and foyer. The system pinged my cell phone and my computer each time the door opened and shut. The idea was that I would be alerted to the door opening and shutting too much, indicating my guests were having their own guests over to the condo.
One AirBNB couple—he was from Germany and she a US citizen) traveled to Denver with their infant and his German-speaking mother as a babysitter. I toured them around the place and left. Within an hour, my phone and computer began pounding out alerts at the rate of 10 per minute. OMG, I panicked. This is exactly what prompted me to install the alarm camera system.
I signed into the video camera data feed. Turns out that the grandmother was wholly focused on opening the locked owner’s closet right under the camera. She yanked and pulled and yanked again. She pushed and pried. She was relentless, the alerts continued for an hour.
Bottom line, there was no party and she never got the deadbolt open.
In another instance, a celebrity booked my home for a 6-week period and on the July 4th holiday called me to say he was hot, using exactly those words. (Yes, he was, I’ll give him that.) I went to deliver him an air conditioner and got no answer. Turns out, he’d packed up and left, stealing my bedsheets and mattress pad and failing to pay for the last two weeks of his reservation.
AirBNB has matured over its decade of operation offering hosts helpful insights at online at AirBNB Host Assist. The topmost recommendation is for hosts to install a RemoteLock from LockState, a smart lock allowing hosts to remotely manage the door security. This AirBNB-endorsed lock allows hosts to give temporary access to guests for the duration of their reservation. The host can delete a code from anywhere in the world using his/her phone. So when a guest leaves and the host changes the code, the host is assured the guest won’t re-enter.
Likewise the use of a code instead of a key ensures that a guest won’t make duplicates of a key to use later on. Yes, there’s a story about that in AirBNB urban legend.
RemoteLock comes in three iterations. RemoteLock 5i is designed for interior use only, apartment or condo hallways, and interfaces with WiFi. RemoteLock 6i is weather-worthy and can be used on an exterior door with high usage in a commercial setting. RemoteLock 7i is a stylish durable WiFi used in apartments and shared homes.
What’s especially nice for AirBNB hosts, is that the RemoteLock system interfaces with the AirBNB reservation system and manages booking access for guests. Additionally the lock history is available for review real-time online.
The only glitch in the popular locking system was reported in late summer 2017 when LockState sent a firmware update intended for LockState 7i users to LockState 6i users. The update broke the earliest 6i products, disruptive to both hosts and guests. The technical failure bricked up the houses, meaning the door lock wouldn’t open and guests were locked out. As well, hosts had to package and return their old lock to get a new free replacement, a process that took up to two weeks.
Alexius Security, Denver’s premier locksmith, has solutions to protect your personal property if you’re an AirBNB host. Owner Gustavo Esquinca is known among Denver as the most trusted resource for emergency lock situations as well as proactive lock installations.
Owner’s closets are a great option for homeowners who host on AirBNB or VROC. Securely lock away the papers, property, and items you don’t want an unmonitored guest to have access too.
Alexius installs smart locks for owners and makes wholesale lock changes when a lock of any sort has been compromised.
Alexius is also known as the locksmith you can trust to accompany apartment owners to change locks after an evicted party evacuates the residence.
Contact Alexius for a consultation on the best locks to use in your circumstance.