Airbnb Self-Check-In: No More Waiting for Your Guests’ Arrival

Airbnb self-check-in

By  The Hospitable Team

Providing your Airbnb guests with a great experience from start to finish is essential, that means you need to ensure a smooth check-in process. The best solution is to offer them a self-check-in option where guests can access your property using a key lockbox, smart lock, or keypad.

All you have to do is attach a lockbox or key safe to your door handle or wall. Your guests will only need to get a code to let themselves into your property.

The self-check-in process helps both guests and hosts because it saves time for everyone, especially in the case of early or late arrivals. Besides, this way you, as a host, can demonstrate your trust. You show your guests you’re confident that they will take care of your home and that they don’t need your supervision or micromanagement.

Here’s everything you need to know about preparing an Airbnb self-check-in process for your property.

Check-In Guidelines

You should start by adding self-check-in to your listing. You will need to select the way your guests will get into your house or apartment and add Airbnb check-in instructions.

It’s better to include photos for each step of the process. Make sure that each picture is clear and self-explanatory. You can also add text to each photo to describe it or add more detailed instructions.

What information to include in check-in instructions?

  • The address of your property.
  • Photos of the front of the property and entranceway.
  • Information on where the key is hidden if you are hiding a key.
  • The combination to gain access to the key, if you are using a lockbox.
  • Access codes to gates and doors that are opened with a code.

You could also change the door or the lockbox passcodes between guests for better security.

Airbnb will automatically share your instructions with confirmed guests three days before they arrive at your home. They’ll be able to access check-in instructions on the Airbnb app throughout their trip, even without a data plan on their phone.

You may want to automate your guest communication further.

Our AI will recognize and respond to questions about parking, WiFi, amenities, places to eat, and many more.

Lockbox vs. Smart Lock: How to Choose the Best Option for Your Property?

Lockboxes are the simplest solution for the dilemma of check-in key exchanges, although this option is rather outdated. Lockboxes come in many shapes and sizes, and they can usually be operated by a keypad or smart lock. You can provide the Airbnb lockbox code to your guests; they can open the box and grab the keys. Then they come and go when they like.

Lockboxes can be installed inside or outside the house, on the wall, or at the door; the wall installation is more secure. If renting out private residences, it’s better to install weatherproof lockboxes that are durable against impact and dust. You can choose between mountable lockboxes installed on the wall with screws and padlock-style lockboxes with a metal loop around a door or railing.

Don’t want to deal with lost keys in your short-term rental? There is a better option to control who can access your vacation rental home. Smart locks allow you to lock and unlock your door without using a regular metal key. They are installed on a door and are one of the most secure and convenient door locks because they require only a secret code. Hosts can use Hospitable and smart locks to automate the entire check-in experience for the guests.

With Hospitable, you won’t need to spend your precious time typing out manual codes for each guest. Hospitable can automatically create and send unique door codes matching your guests’ phone numbers. Your guest will receive all the necessary instructions just in time. The codes will expire after they check out.

Home smart locks with various functions and options are becoming increasingly popular among vacation rental property owners. They operate by connecting to your home’s WiFi network. WiFi-enabled smart locks are a good option for those seeking integration capabilities because the lock’s functions are further enhanced when connected to the Internet.

Smart locks may be tricky to install, so they are great for tech-savvy hosts who value their time and use advanced tools to streamline their processes.

You don't need to be a tech geek to automate.

Hospitable is easy to get started. Our AI will take care of your guests' communication, team tasking, calendars syncing, and more.
Start now with a 14-day trial.

Best Smart Locks for Airbnb

Smart locks offer a simple solution to people who manage Airbnb properties remotely and help ensure an easy yet secure way for guests to enter their places. You can use them to facilitate self-check-in and check-out for your guests by using passcodes that expire when they check out.

Some advanced smart lock models make your Airbnb rental more secure. They connect to your smartphone and smart home devices. For example, some smart locks can integrate with security cameras and allow you to monitor who comes in and out of your rental. And the best thing about smart locks is that they integrate with other vacation rental apps, making them very easy to manage.

For example, Hospitable supports the best smart locks for Airbnb,, and other platforms via direct integrations with such popular smart lock systems as the Schlage, August, Yale, SmartThings, and RemoteLock apps.

We are also continuously working on adding new smart lock integrations.


Guests love the ease and convenience of a casual check-in process, so it is a great feature to take advantage of if you are renting out your property on Airbnb. Airbnb self-check-in will free up your time, as well as give your guests an opportunity for needed privacy after a long day on the road. 

But you should provide your guests with clear self-check-in instructions with a lot of photos and update your Airbnb vacation rental with a good lockbox for a key or a smart lock.

Check-in automation will save you lots of time. Make sure to read our list of Automation hacks that will boost your revenue.

SmartThings connection

Keeping your SmartThings connected with Hospitable

Have you heard that there are some changes coming to the software that powers SmartThings? The big news is that this will impact some providers’ existing integrations. We have a solution for you not to lose your smart lock features.

Airbnb check-in instructions

Airbnb Check-in Instructions: Tips on How to Delight Your Guests

Your guests’ check-in sets the tone for their entire stay. If this process is stress-free and smooth, it can help lead to positive reviews. Find out how to create check-in instructions for your short-term rental and make the check-in process smooth for you and your guests.

Join the best!

300,000+ properties
from 140+ countries
grow with Hospitable


Get started with a free trial now.
No credit card needed.
Short-Term Rental Automation: The Easy Way to Streamline Your Business

Download now!

To find the easy way to streamline your business.

You are missing out! helps you automate messaging, team, and operations management, and run all your Airbnb,, Vrbo, and Google properties from one convenient dashboard.

Best thing?

You can start totally free!

14 days trial. No credit card needed