Self Check-in Airbnb: How to Set It Up?

Learn how to set up self check-in in your Airbnb and simplify your guests’ check-in process.

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Are you tired of the back-and-forth of coordinating check-in times with your guests? Then, it’s time to set up self check-in Airbnb. 

In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about the self check-in process and give you some extra tips for a hassle-free experience.

What is an Airbnb Self Check-in?

With self check-in, your guests can enter your vacation rental without the need for a face-to-face meeting. It can simplify check-in for both you and your guests, plus it can attract travelers who are exclusively looking for rentals with this feature. 

This is an increasingly popular solution, as it gives guests flexibility and a stress-free check-in process, even in situations such as delayed flights or late-night arrivals.

How Does It Work?

There are several options for self check-in, including:

  • Lockbox: This is a small, secure box typically mounted near the entrance of a property. You just add the keys to the lockbox, and guests open it with a code you provide.
  • Smart lock: It attaches to your lock or replaces the one you have and guests unlock the door with a passcode. Some smart locks can even be opened with a smartphone. 
  • Building staff: If there’s a 24-hour staff in your building, they can take care of key handovers.

Before arrival, you need to provide detailed Airbnb self check-in instructions to guests to let them know how it all works. Be sure to mention that they shouldn’t check in before the designated time. 

Should You Have a Self Check-in Set Up?

While this choice is totally up to you, self check-in setup can be a valuable addition to your Airbnb. 

It is a straightforward solution to hassle-free check-in, plus it can make your guests feel more at home as they will have more flexibility and they can let themselves in. Self check-in also makes the check-out process easier since guests can simply leave without needing to coordinate with you.

If you’re managing multiple properties, then this can be a huge time-savor. You can minimize the time and effort spent on coordinating arrivals and departures, and spend more time on improving guest experience and boosting your bookings. 

Airbnb Self Check-In Ideas

Here are a couple of ideas for optimizing the self check-in process.

Add Self Check-in to Your Listing

You can add the option for self check-in to your Airbnb listing page, so guests who specifically search for this feature will discover your rental. 

Airbnb even offers a self-check-in feature for your listing, and when enabled, guests receive check-in details three days before arrival. 

If you’re wondering how to add self check-in to Airbnb listing, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select listings and choose the listing you want to edit
  2. Under Listing editor, choose Arrival guide
  3. Click on Check-in method and choose between the given options (smart lock, lockbox, keypad, building staff, etc.)
  4. Add the check-in instructions
  5. Select Save

Automate Check-in Message

It’s a good idea to send your guests a message with detailed instructions, so there’s no confusion about the check-in process. To avoid adding yet another task to your to-do list, you can automate this message.

You can set up Airbnb to send a message to guests after they’ve booked. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Inbox, then Menu
  2. Find Settings and click Scheduled messages
  3. Click + New message
  4. Name your template
  5. Write your message and use shortcodes to personalize it
  6. Choose the language
  7. Pick the listings for this message
  8. Select to send it after the booking is confirmed and set the timing
  9. Click Save 

If you’re using vacation rental management software, or if you’re planning to start, you can schedule your message along with instructions through that platform as well. Some of our favorites are OwnerRez, Lodgify, and Hospitable.

Include Photos

For the check-in steps, consider including photos or even a short video. Visual instructions will guide guests through the process smoothly and they won’t have to worry whether they’ll spot the smart lock or know how to open the lockbox. 

Start with images of your property from the front and your entranceway to help guests locate your place. Then, you can add a photo of the self check-in method you have along with explanatory text and code.

How to Set It Up

Follow these steps to set up your Airbnb self check-in:

  1. Set up the self check-in system: Choose and install the self-check-in system, whether you opted for a key lockbox, electronic keypad, or smart lock.
  2. Write the instructions: Create step-by-step instructions for guests, including the self check-in instructions, directions to the property, parking information, and your contact information in case there’s an issue. You can add these instructions to your digital guidebook. In this way, your guests can have it all in one place.
  3. Add the keys: Add the keys to your lockbox, or if you’re going with an electronic keypad or smart lock, you can skip this step.
  4. Send the instructions timely: Make sure to send the instructions to your guests a couple of days in advance so they can ask questions if they have any.
  5. Test it out: Before implementing self-check-in for guests, do a test run yourself to make sure that the process is smooth and all instructions are clear.

Final Thoughts

Gone are the days of waiting around for guests to arrive or worrying about being unavailable when they do. Self check-in gives you a more hands-off approach, and it provides your guests with a smoother and more convenient experience. It’s a smart move that makes hosting easier for you and more enjoyable for your guests.

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