One of the most frequent stressful situations for B&B, hotel, vacation home or other accommodation owners or managers is the guest check-in phase, which involves handing over the keys to rooms or apartments.
The reason behind this particular frustration lies in the latecomers who communicate last-minute train cancellations, traffic or last-minute inconveniences that make them postpone their arrival time and thus their entry into the facility.
Instead of waiting hours and hours in front of the door or delegating to the poor receptionist exhausted from a long and busy day at work, wouldn’t it be better to try Self Check-in and WiFi locks and intercoms for hospitality facilities?
Let’s find out how smart locks can give guests autonomy and save valuable work and time for hosts who can finally manage the facility remotely.
WiFi lock: how it works
Self Check-in or automatic check in for hotel and non-hotel facilities (B&Bs, hotels, room rentals, agritourism, vacation homes, etc.) allows room doors to be opened or entrances such as the front door, gates or bars to be unlocked) through digital and home automation technologies provided by the facility.
Among the unquestionable advantages of Self Check-in is the fact that, by allowing guests to enter in total autonomy, there is no longer a need for the staff to be physically present at the key handover upon arrival. This saves a considerable amount of time, resources and money for staff members, who can focus on other parts of the reception phase. In addition, this particular contactless entry management is particularly appreciated by guests for the independence, privacy, and ease of arriving quietly without the anxiety of having to wait for someone to hand them the keys to their accommodation.
WiFi electric lock (or to be more precise, Bluetooth, as we will explain in more detail later) is the technology that physically allows guests to enter the facility and room. Using Smart Lock for Self Check-in in fact, it is possible to eliminate the handing over of keys altogether, managing everything remotely.
Electronic lock is very simple to use. For each reservation, a unique and timed digital key is generated, which means it is exclusively valid from the guest’s check-in date to the check-out date. That digital key will be transmitted to the smart lock to open electronic room and apartment handles via smartphone or remotely, through the Host app (a simple click of a button via app is all it takes to open the door).
This allows B&B, vacation rental, or hotel owners to monitor the access history of their facilities and share the data with the rest of the team.
Some opening devices that can be connected to the central hub of automatic check-in are:
- The Smart Lock that can be installed in a few minutes on the door of rooms and apartments instead of the traditional European cylinder, thus making the lock fully digital and making the door opening smart. It is battery-powered and connected via Bluetooth with the central device.
- The Smart Handle, which is the electronic, room-door compatible handle that opens remotely via smartphone and where you type in the unique numeric opening code that changes with each booking.
- The Electric Match, through which the door is electrified and releases the latch following an electrical impulse, allowing both smart and original key opening.
The front door or condominium entrances, on the other hand, are opened thanks to our central device called Vikey4, installed inside the facility directly connected to the apartments’ internal intercom and connected to Wi-Fi. Through the smartphone (of the customer or the operator), a signal is sent to Vikey4, which triggers the condominium entrances through the intercom, without condominium permits.
These interior door opening devices are smart lock and compatible with standard European cylinder locks and all types of doors, including armored doors, and gates. While for front door opening, simply connect the intercom to the Vikey4 central device.
There are several smart opening options:
- By intercom call that is transmitted directly to the owner’s phone, who can remotely open the accesses directly from the keypad during the call;
- From smartphones: thanks to the Host app, the owner can remotely open all accesses to the facility at all times, while guests can access the opening keys from the web app ( that is, the link they receive when booking);
- From the keypad on the electronic Smart Door Lock or Smart Handle, by entering the one-time code received at the time of booking;
- Using a code to unlock the smart lock or smart handle;
- With RFID Card: guests can access the facility using special magnetic cards equipped with RFID technology, which they need only to approach the electronic lock to unlock the door opening;
- With SMS: The guest will receive a text message -sms- with the link to the web page with the keys to open the door and the room door, as well as a series of reminders with the various links needed to complete the online check-in.
The different Smart Door Lock opening options have been designed to make sure that the electronic locks work 24 hours a day and even in case of internet breakdown, in fact, it will always be possible to open via numeric code that the guest receives at the time of booking.
Thanks to the code-opening smart lock and wifi intercoms, it is therefore possible to turn the smartphone into an actual digital key that can open gates and room doors in an easy, intuitive and fast way.
However, why does the electronic lock (Smart Lock or handle) only open the suite or room door? Because it cannot be installed outside a building for technical and sharing use reasons. To open the door on the street, the Self Check-in device is connected to the intercom so as to make it smart. It will be the guest once they arrive at the facility, or the host remotely, who will unlock the door opening without using keys (even remotely) by simply clicking the appropriate “open door” button on the web app or host app.
Thus, it is possible to make the door opening smart by connecting the Vikey4 device directly to the indoor intercom, while electronic lock or electric match can be installed to open the suite or room doors.
Smart WiFi (bluetooth) locks: benefits
Undoubtedly, the advantages of Bluetooth Lock and WiFi intercoms are all to be expected for hospitality facilities that want to focus on innovation:
- All devices can be installed without the need to apply for condominium permits because they are installed directly on the doors of apartments or rooms in B&Bs or hotels;
- In addition to smart opening options, it is always possible to access accommodations using physical backup keys like a regular lock;
- Giving guests the possibility to open doors to houses or hotel rooms even without the Internet, smart locks completely replace physical keys;
- Self Check-in and WiFi smart locks reduce both gatherings and front desk duties, which in this way become totally digital;
- Relieving employees from traditional check-in procedures, they can focus on improving the reception as it has always been a valuable service in Tourism, that is, in the relationship and connection with the guest;
- There will be no more queues at reception, late check-ins and last-minute check-ins without working reception;
- Physically entering the lodging through virtual keys is a service that is particularly welcome because of the convenience and special innovation of hotel check-in;
- Increasing guests’ sense of trustworthiness with the property, as they increasingly appreciate Self Check-in and WiFi locks as services that can make a difference in choosing a facility;
- Extended check-in times that guests like so much because then they can disengage from restrictive timelines imposed by the facility, and it does not bother the hosts since they can conveniently manage the entrances remotely;
- Greater autonomy and independence for guests who can manage their entrances in contactless mode without the anxiety of finding it locked.
Thanks to the incredible time and money benefits of WiFi locks, hosts can manage the facility wherever they are by offering an innovative, efficient service that is especially appreciated by guests.
Combined with the hotel home automation services provided to the facility, smart locks avoid delays, wasted time, and wasted resources and energy.
Offering an efficient automation service for hotel rooms, B&Bs, and apartments also positively affects the reviews and guest’s trust, who once they arrive can immediately start focusing on their vacation by taking advantage of smart devices that will make their stay even more comfortable.