Here at Houst we use lockboxes for all our homes. But why? Are they safe? And why don't we meet guests in-person?
Here's everything you need to know:
What is a lockbox?
Simply, a lockbox is a small, external safe containing a key. Lockboxes can either be attached to a wall or a railing.
How does a lockbox work?
We use two types of lockbox: wall-mounted and railing.
We'll secure a wall-mounted lockbox to a wall, usually by the entrance to the property itself.
We'll normally attach a railing lockbox to a nearby bicycle rack, using a bicycle cable to secure it in place.
We provide guests with the lockbox code via an online portal, which expires at the end of their reservation. Guests will then enter the code and - depending on the lockbox type - either twist the handle or squeeze two buttons. The lockbox will open and the keys can be retrieved.
How do guests find the lockbox?
Houst provide guests with a mobile-friendly lockbox guide. This guide includes:
A map of the local area.
A step-by-step picture guide from the front door of the property to the lockbox.
Accompanying written instructions.
A diagram of how to open the lockbox.
The telephone number for our Guest Support Team.
See here for an example of an Houst lockbox guide.
Are my keys safe in the lockbox?
The security of your home is always our priority, so let's take a closer look at our lockboxes:
Railing: MasterLock 5414. MasterLock are one of the most trusted brands in security. The lockbox has a solid zinc body and a dual-locking system for additional security. The protective cover offers defence against the elements too. These lockboxes are used widely by Britain's NHS to access homes requiring social care.
And to be completely safe, your keys are always untagged, other than with an Houst homecode. We keep spares locked away in our office too.
Important Point: The lockboxes are almost always empty. Either your guests or our cleaners will have the keys. The lockbox is used only on changeover day.
Should I use a lockbox?
There's a range of reasons to use a lockbox:
It's easy for guests: Not everyone wants a 20-minute house tour, or an extensive run-down of the neighbourhood. Most guests just want to check-in and chill out.
24/7 Access: Early flight? Or maybe you stayed in the bar longer than intended. A lockbox makes things easy at any time, day or night. No more curtailing of plans to meet your host.
Airbnb Work Collection: Installing a lockbox means you'll be eligible for inclusion on Airbnb's 'Work Collection' - homes for business travellers.
Easy Maintenance: Our maintenance partners are happy to access via the lockbox too, meaning you don't have to wait (or pay someone...) to let them in.
Friends and Family: How many times have you had to taxi a key to your mother-in-law, or leave a key under the doormat for your friend? Lockboxes are a safer and easier solution for everyone involved.
How do I install one?
No need to worry - we'll do it for you!
If you think the railing lockbox is best for you then your Account Manager will install one at your onboard meeting.
And if the wall-mounted sounds more suitable we'll schedule our handyman to install it a few days later (in a spot of your choice, of course).
Best of all? Your sign-up fee covers both the lockbox and its installation.