When guests check into your hotel or guesthouse, they want to be able to access their rooms quickly and easily. How do your guests enter and exit their rooms? With a traditional key? Or do they use touchless technology?
This can be an important consideration for hotel managers and is something that may not come up in your day-to-day management. And yet, your guests are likely to be very aware of this part of their experience.
I stayed at two properties last month. Both of which use traditional keys. I can vividly recall the moment when I couldn’t find my room key because I had accidentally left it in a bag that I’d taken to work. The thought of losing, forgetting, or misplacing a hotel room key can cause anyone to feel a rush of adrenaline. And another frustration: Taking a backpack when I go for a jog just to store the key.
This led to a discussion on modern hotel room keys and the ways they improve the guest experience as well as streamline routine processes through automation. We spoke to our wonderful integration partner, RemoteLock, the experts in smart lock solutions for all types of properties.
What are smart locks?
A smart lock is a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Z-wave enabled smart door device that lets guests access rooms by unlocking doors with the tap of a finger or a connected device.
Smart locks even allow remote access, so you can send guests self-expiring access codes via the pre-stay email with an online check-in link to skip the front desk altogether.
RemoteLock has been at the forefront of internet-connected devices and cloud access control for hotel rooms and other businesses. They provide both the software integration with RoomRaccoon’s PMS and integrate to a range of smart locks and hardware from top brands.
What are the benefits of smart locks for hotels?
Smart locks offer a host of benefits over traditional, mechanical key locks. Aside from being a more secure way to manage access and make a good first impression for guests, smart locks give hoteliers greater control of their properties from anywhere.
1. No more lost keys
Say goodbye to lockboxes and impromptu key handoffs or replacements. Smart locks enable hoteliers to leverage unique, self-expiring access codes for each guest that only works for the duration of their stay. Guests can use the same access code to access their room as well as shared amenity spaces such as a swimming pool, gym, or business centre. Guests never have to deal with the frustration of being locked out — and hoteliers can rest easy with the added security of trackable history.
2. Save time and reduce expenses
Integrating RemoteLock and RoomRaccoon allows hoteliers to automatically generate self-expiring access codes for each guest, and remotely manage access for all users. That means guests no longer have to stop at the front desk for check-in — a convenience for the guest and a huge time saver for staff.
In fact, some hoteliers have been able to completely eliminate the need for a staffed front desk, freeing up their staff to take care of other essential needs for guests.
3. Provide a completely contactless experience
Hoteliers can streamline check-in and check-out, and promote personal safety by limiting contact with their guests. Guests can receive their access code in advance and go straight to their rooms without visiting the front desk.
4. Easy access control from anywhere
Smart locks give hoteliers control over who can access their properties and when from anywhere. Hoteliers are empowered to be responsive when guests cancel or extend their stay.
Are smart locks right for your property?
Smart locks are not only reserved for large hotel chains. In fact, independent hotels and guesthouses that invest in smart locks can save up to 93% on access management costs. You effectively eliminate the costs to replace keys and locks when staff leaves or when keys are lost, including ad-hoc access request fees.
At the same time, it increases the security at your property and allows guests to have a more enjoyable time with quicker check-ins and less fretting with keys.
Things to consider according to RemoteLock:
1. Technical features
Hoteliers need to consider the construction of their doors, whether they want a deadbolt or a lever lock, if they need weather-rated locks in certain climates, if they want a lock that supports unique PIN codes only, or one that also allows for the use of keycards, prox cards, or even a smartphone for access.
Current designs look like either standard key locks or electronic dial pads, allowing you to choose whichever best fits your property’s aesthetic.
Other considerations include whether the property has on-site WIFI service or if the smart locks will be operated offline.
While that may seem like a lot to consider, a knowledgeable access control expert can help guide hoteliers to the best product for their particular situation. Fortunately, RemoteLock controls locks from all of the major smart lock brands such as Yale, Schlage, Kwikset, August, KeyInCode, and more to provide hoteliers with the flexibility in selecting the right hardware for their needs and guest experience.
Merging security and convenience
For any hotelier, security is paramount at every door on their property. Just how secure are smart locks? RemoteLock answers:
Smart locks are highly secure devices that also deliver a wealth of conveniences to hoteliers, staff, and guests. Security and convenience need not be at odds with one another when it comes to making the right business choice.
In fact, smart locks are more secure than traditional mechanical keys because they cannot be lost, stolen, or copied the way that keys can. Smart locks use unique, self-expiring access codes that only work for a specified time period which offers a secure access solution to hotels. If an access code is lost, forgotten, or otherwise compromised, hotel staff can quickly invalidate it and issue a new one providing peace of mind to guests.
The RemoteLock-RoomRaccoon integration not only makes managing every aspect of your property possible but also effortless. From your RoomRaccoon PMS you can select a reservation and click on the ‘door icon’ to quickly generate an access code for that particular guest or send the guest an access code via a pre-stay email.
How long does installation take?
While hardware installation time depends on a number of factors such as the door and lock type, most seasoned locksmiths or maintenance team members can install a smart lock within an hour. After that is complete, configuring the property within the RemoteLock platform and adding each lock to the database is intuitive and usually accomplished with just a few clicks. RoomRaccoon clients can then easily request a RemoteLock connection from their connectivity dashboard. A member of our customer service team will then contact you to activate it.
Almost every industry, including hospitality, has increasingly moved toward smart or cloud-based access control technologies such as RemoteLock. And all of them find smart access to be more flexible, convenient, and secure. The pandemic drove the demand for contactless check-in to a point where it is no longer a nice amenity at higher-end properties, but a requirement for nearly every property manager to protect their guests and staff.