After a long winter filled with renovations, our home is now ready to welcome guests. We are also looking into becoming Airbnb hosts. While the site offers a great benefit, an easy way to fund our travel, there are some security concerns and logistical nightmares that until now have made me weary of taking the jump into hosting Airbnb guests. I’ve been searching for home alarm systems for a while now but I’m just weighing up the pros and cons of each. Home alarm systems are great for when you need CCTV, motion lights and sensors to warn you of potential intruders. I’ve also been comparing smart locks so that I get notified every time someone unlocks the door, but with so many different designs out there, it’s hard to know which one to choose. I might even invest in some hurricane or bullet proof film for windows, just for the sake of extra protection!
Nonetheless, back to our discussion! I have finally found a smart lock that I want to introduce to you, the August Home Access Solution.
What is August Home Access Solution?
August Home is the leading provider of smart locks and smart home access products. These products include the August Smart Lock, August Smart Keypad, and August Doorbell Cam. With each of these products, concerns regarding keys and home security vanish and I instantly become an #AugustSmartHost. Here’s a closer look at each.
The August Smart Lock
The August Smart Lock is an ingenious product that will make life easier whether you are the host or guest of an Airbnb. The August Smart Lock works hand in hand with the August Home app available for iOS, Android on Google Play or from august.com/app. The simple-to-install smart lock allows you to create unlimited, virtual keys for guest with timed access (i.e. the duration of the guest’s Airbnb stay) and even lock and unlock you door using Siri.
Even cooler is that the August app is integrated with the Airbnb app making the check-in process seamless for both host and guest. Hosts simply link their Airbnb account to the August Home app. Once a reservation is made, Airbnb guests automatically receive an email instructing them to download the August app. After their account is up and running, guests simply choose “I received an Airbnb invite” in the app and a virtual key for the dates of their stay is created for them.
August Smart Keypad
The ease of August’s products doesn’t end with the app. You can also pick up the August Smart Keypad, a sleek product that is life changing for Airbnb hosts, parents, and anyone who needs to give people access to their home. Instead of hiding keys around your yard, you can use the keypad to create unique entry codes for your own use and to give to people like your handyman or dog walker. They keypad eliminates the need for a smartphone and also allows you to unlock and lock your door without a physical key, when used with the August Smart Lock. The codes can be altered and deleted with ease to ensure your house is only accessible to those you permit to enter.
August Doorbell Cam
Perhaps my favorite August product is the August Doorbell Cam. As a mom on the go, I’m not always home and my kids often are with babysitters. Now when someone comes to the door and rings the bell, I can see and speak to the person at the door from my smartphone, no matter where I am. The one-way HD camera gives me a clear view of who is at the door but they cannot see me.
Quick Tips for Airbnb Hosts and Guests
Diving into Airbnb hosting as well as trying the service for the first time can be quite daunting. I’ve come up with some tips from our experience using the site as guests that apply to both hosts and guests.
Be Smart About Who You Let In: While most Airbnb guests only want to stay at your home, some people use the site with the wrong intentions. Never make an Airbnb booking using anything but the Airbnb.com site. Booking through the site is the only way to take advantage of the many protections Airbnb offers to you as a host and to your guests.
Store valuables out of sight: While I don’t think you need to clear your house of all valuables, make sure to be realistic about leaving out things like cash or anything that can be easily broken and is valuable to you. Many hosts have a closet or room that can be locked where they store anything that would be too hard to replace or may be too hard for some people to resist taking. Remember that your guests may welcome their friends or other people into your home.
Set Rules You Would Like Followed: Be clear with the rules you have set for your home. Some guests from other countries may think it’s not a big deal to smoke in your home so be clear from the get-go on what the rules are. Also clearly state whether your guests inviting their guests into your home is permitted and during under what conditions visitors are welcome.
Be Respectful: If you are in the home or same city during your Airbnb guests stay, be respectful of their time. Most guests are on vacation and hoping to explore the city without interruption. Others are working and may have phone meetings or things to attend to. If you are not staying in the home, don’t just pop by. If you need access to the home, contact your guests and ask their permission first.
Apply for the Airbnb Host Protection Insurance: Although the insurance program through Airbnb will not cover intentional damage, most damage to your home will not likely be done on purpose. Check out the Airbnb Host Protection Insurance program to find out how you can be covered for up to $1,000,000 per occurrence in the event of bodily injury to your guest or property damage related to an Airbnb stay. If you are renting out your home for an extended stay then you may want to look into an AAOA tenant background check form to make sure that you are doing what you can to protect your property, this will give you even further peace of mind when checking out tenants.
If you aren’t home between guest stays have someone you trust come survey the property: This way you know when any damage was done to your home and can also ensure your home is in good condition for your next arrival.
Read reviews: Whether you are a host or guest on Airbnb, the review sections on the site are invaluable. Look for hosts or guests who happily followed the rules and left the home as it was found. Words like “pleasure to communicate with,” “great stay” and “very respectful” will lead you to good hosts and guests.
This summer, I will be working in partnership with August Home providing you with solutions and ideas for Smarter Home Access (TM) and how to be an #AugustSmartHost. To pick up the August Smart Home Access Solution and learn more about being a Smart Host go to August.com and stay tuned for more on this incredible technology and how it works with Airbnb.