Vacation Rental Door Locks: Keyless Entry vs. Lockbox

The Evolve TeamLeave a Comment

The whole experience begins right here. A guest is at your door, exhausted from a long journey, hoping everything about their vacation will be easy. The first test is entering the property. Do you have the best door lock for your vacation rental? One that is both convenient and secure? You’ll find out soon enough. 

Believe it or not, something as simple as the rental lockbox or keyless lock — and how easy they make it to enter the home and get settled — can either put that guest at ease or frustrate them before they’re even inside. And for you, this moment will impact how positive or negative their review of your property might be. 

Good news: We’re going to walk you through how to set up a seamless entry experience with a keyless entry system and back up rental lockbox.


First, Evolve recommends a primary lock and a backup for your vacation rental, not just a single smart lock. It’s better to give guests multiple ways to enter quickly rather than force them to wait for help in case the primary lock fails. 

That means a smart lock as the primary keyless entry system (for maximum flexibility and control), plus a hidden physical lockbox on the property in case something unexpected takes the smart lock out of commission. 

So the best smart lock for your vacation rental is one that has a backup. But that’s not helpful for narrowing down your list! Read on. 


There are a few locks that are popular with vacation rental homeowners across the country and that have proven themselves for both security and convenience. 

Every property and every home is different, so we’ve listed a few options here that you can check out for yourself, purchase directly, and install easily. 

Schlage Z-Wave Connect 

  • Touchscreen with key backup
  • Z-Wave enables automation and remote management 
  • Works with Alexa for voice control
  • Stores up to 30 personalized codes at a time

Schlage BE468 Touchscreen Deadbolt

  • Fingerprint-resistant touchscreen 
  • Z-Wave enables automation and remote management 
  • Available Auto-Lock for added security

Kwikset SmartCode 916 Touchscreen Deadbolt

  • One touch locking motorized deadbolt 
  • Z-Wave enables automation and remote management 
  • Works with Alexa for voice control
  • Stores up to 30 personalized codes at a time

Schlage BE365 keypad deadbolt 

  • No keys to lose or forget 
  • Biggest adjustable bolt for professional grade security
  • 19 code capacity 


Our recommendation for an entry management system is RemoteLock, which lets you control and manage locks from the cloud. RemoteLock integrates seamlessly with most vacation rental software, including (Airbnb and Homeaway). You can send codes to guests, update codes, and monitor guest and staff usage from anywhere in the world.

  • Create backup codes in advance 
    Be ready to send a new one if the code isn’t working or the WiFi isn’t working.
  • Control check-in and check-out times 
    Just set the code to the time block your guests or cleaning team will be there to control who can access the house and when.
  • Stress less about lost keys
    No need to ever think about guests losing or duplicating keys again.

One important thing to keep in mind when choosing a keyless entry system: avoid options that rely on your smartphone to gain access to the property (such as August Smart Locks). 

Requiring an app download for guests to enter the home is a headache waiting to happen. Chances are they’ve been traveling and might have a weak signal or low battery. Don’t tie guest entry to an unreliable phone and/or download or you’ll risk making the whole process more challenging for both you and your guests.


Keyless entry systems are great, but we strongly recommend having a key backup in case your system isn’t working. Be sure to let guests know the backup plan prior to arrival to prevent any last minute messages or late night calls.

Rental lockbox priorities:

While we recommend against using lockboxes as your main way to deliver keys, we still get a lot of questions about them. Here are the basic things to remember.

  • Always choose push buttons over combination dials. 
  • Have an additional option (like a garage door code) in case the lockbox fails.
  • Place in a well-lit area so guests can read the small numbers.


Whether you follow our recommendations or choose your own solution, make sure you look for a solution that will cause the fewest possible guest complaints. Keep these priorities in mind.

Your smart lock or lockbox should be secure
First and foremost, you want to be sure that only the people you’ve designated can access the property, which means your access method should allow you to change the code for each guest who stays at the property.

Your smart lock or lockbox should be easy to use
Guests who have trouble gaining access to the property will be annoyed and frustrated before they ever step in the door, so your access method should be easy for them to use. You’ll also want it to be easy to change after every guest.

Your smart lock or lockbox should be affordable
There are some very fancy security systems out there that run in the thousands, but we think your access method should be a small investment in your property’s security, rather than a huge dent in your income for the year. 


When you join Evolve, we put expertise like this on every aspect of your vacation rental — from answering your guest questions and inquiries, to marketing your property and setting competitive rates for your area. We even have an entire team dedicated to vetting the partners you can choose for your on-site guest experience. 

See if you qualify and join 10,000+ homeowners in booking more nights and stressing less.