How to automate check-ins without using a smartlock


Managing a property portfolio isn’t an easy job. According to Business Insider, many Airbnb hosts use the site for ‘flexible part-time work’ rather than as a ‘full-time career.’

For the large percentage of individuals who rent out their property on Airbnb as a side job or hobby which offers additional household income but isn’t their professional day job, managing work vs personal time alongside your client’s expectations becomes more difficult.

The Problem

At KeyNest, we always seem to come across the same problems. How are you meant to help check in guests in two properties if they come at the same time? What about late guests, and guests that want to visit when you’re going to be sunning yourself in the Maldives on your family holiday? What about when guests want to check in during the day when you’re at work? You may be pretty great but you’re not superman.

Does any of this sound familiar? It was to Guy.

"Being an Airbnb host and having a full-time job is hard work. I’d come home late from work and have to go straight out to meet guests, not getting back till late in the evening and having no time with my family. I really wanted to make it work but couldn’t keep on doing it all the way I was."

Guy’s first thought was to install smart locks:

"Unfortunately, smart locks can’t be installed in most properties that I manage, because guests still need a key or a fob for the main building door. Nearly all my properties are flats and key ‘safes’ are anything but safe."

Guy reached out to us to see how we could help.

The Solution

As Guy learnt, our smart key solution keeps hosts and guests happy. We combine security and that all important personal touch to create a system that is straight-forward and effective. It doesn’t require any setup and can be used for all your key handovers. Best of all? You can track your key handovers in real time wherever you are.

So how does it exactly work?

It takes 30 seconds to set up an online KeyNest account. On our locations page you can find the nearest store to your property and then get a drop-off code for your key. 


You, the Airbnb host, then drop your keys off at your local KeyNest store, giving the shopkeeper your unique code which they will attach to a tracking fob and place in a safe.

At the time of writing this we have over 200 KeyNest stores and we gain roughly 20 new stores every month. For Guy, whose properties were in King’s Cross, our 24/7 Nisa local store by the station was his main point of call.

"It worked great because it was so easy for me and my guests to get to. All the staff there are lovely and friendly which my guests liked, and it helped promote their local business."

Once done, you send the collection code to your guests, and you’re done. Yep, that’s it, you can now put your feet up. Your guests can then travel to your selected KeyNest store, give the shopkeeper the code and be handed the keys. Simple, right?


“My favourite thing about KeyNest is that it saves me so much time. The shopkeepers know where my properties are so can help give directions and multiple check-ins can happen at once. If there are any problems, which is rare, KeyNest’s 24/7 support operations team are always there to help me and my guests."

Why Keynest?

We set KeyNest up to try and solve the annoying complications that come with traditional key handovers. We are developing our network of stores with 5 new stores joining us every week, and a new city each month, to try and make our concept as accessible as possible. As our service became essential to thousands of Airbnb hosts, we were delighted to become an Airbnb partner in September 2017. Now, we are not only being used by Airbnb hosts but also by Serviced Apartments Operators on

We have already enabled tens of thousands of guests to collect their keys securely and conveniently from a local KeyNest store whenever they arrive. We help hosts save countless hours waiting for late guests by letting them crack on with their lives while KeyNest sorts out the rest.

"I couldn’t imagine life without KeyNest now – they make being a host so much more enjoyable and have enabled me to expand my property portfolio as I need to spend less time on check-ins."

If you’ve experienced similar problems to Guy or would simply like to learn more about how KeyNest works, please call us on 0203 633 4599 or email