Under the doormat. In the flowerpot. Even on string dangling through the letterbox. Us humans have always needed ways to let people access our property when we can’t be there. To let the cleaners in, tradesmen, and, of course, guests.
Thankfully, there are now a few more advanced and remote ways of welcoming visitors to your apartment or house, and keeping unwanted intruders out.
But which is best for you? We’ve taken a look at a range of apartment access control systems to help you decide.
1. Meet And Greet
You, yes you. It’s your apartment and they’re your guests, so surely you being there dangling the keys and smiling has to be the warmest welcome of all? Well, yes. But it’s not always that simple…
Pros – Being there yourself is the ultimate personal touch. A chance for you to meet the peeps who are going to be staying in your place. You can really get their stay off to a good start with some great customer service, so that five star review when they check out is all but in the bag.
Cons – All kinds of things can go wrong here. What if you’re held up at work or in traffic on your way to handover the keys? What if your guests’ flight is delayed? Hanging around jangling keys and twiddling thumbs isn’t a good use of your time.
2. KeyNest – Smart Key Exchange
KeyNest lets you deposit your keys in a box in a secure location near your property, like a café or 24-hour convenience store. You just tell your guests where the KeyNest is and when they collect the keys, you get notified via your smartphone.
Pros – Your keys are being kept somewhere near (but not too near) your property. Owners can manage check-ins from anywhere and get real-time email notifications when keys get picked up. Guests can pick up keys any time of day from secure, convenient and easy to find locations. And shop owners get visitors to their stores who might not otherwise pop in.
Cons – Hard to find any with this one. The number of KeyNest locations is expanding all the time, so there’s bound to be a key storage/pick-up point near you. To find out more, head over to keynest.com
3. Lockboxes and Key Safes
These are self-explanatory guest access systems (but we’ll explain anyway). You put up a secure box somewhere near your apartment or house and put the keys in it. When someone needs them, you send them the code that opens the box and they can get the keys. Easy as one, two, key, (or A, B, key if you prefer).
Pros – It’s foolproof. Just send your guests the code they need to enter, and tap tap, room, they’re in!
Cons – We’ve all seen films in which safe codes are cracked, and boxes forced open. How can you be sure that someone won’t use guile or something a little stronger to open yours. And having to keep the box so close to your property may give you a few sleepless nights.
4. Leave It With The Neighbours
The old school option. Who better to trust to be gatekeepers to your place than the people you turn to when you need someone to feed the fish and switch the lights on and off to make it look like you’re home when you’re away.
Pros – You’re leaving your key with someone you know and trust. What could possibly go wrong?
Cons – Err, quite a bit, actually. What if you don’t know or trust your neighbours? What if your neighbours are out when your guests come calling? Or on the phone? Or asleep? What’s in it for them to provide a warm welcome to your guests? Whenever you’re relying on a fellow human to meet, greet and hand over the keys, there’s always going to be room for error.
5. Electronic Smart Locks / Keypad Locks
An upgrade to the traditional metal keys and locks. Now you can forget keys and still get in. Actually, you can forget keys altogether. All your guests have to remember is the unique entry code you send them. Simple.
Pros – Modern and secure. This is what tech is all about, right? And the codes you send out can be deleted at any time.
Cons – At the very least, you’re going to need a new lock installed in your door. That won’t come cheap. And the size and weight of your new lock might very well mean you actually need a new door!
So there it is, all kinds of ways to let guests in, with KeyNest definitely the newest and potentially the most effective.
Time to put this post to bed. You can let yourselves out.