By sheer numbers, letting agencies are spending a lot of money on the logistics of keys. Or more specifically, key handovers, to all of the people that need access to a property. The model
seems really dated in this century where we increasingly expect things on demand and via our phones. Let’s look at a few scenarios:
Airbnb and Short-let Providers
In order for these hosts to provide access to their guests, they need to physically be there to open the door and hand over the keys to their properties. This obviously is a hassle if the let is
too short with high rates of turn-over or if the property is located across town. What if the guest missed their flight? What if the letting agent gets caught in traffic? Some agencies have found a work-around by hiring Greeter’s to wait at the property, but paying someone £20 to wait at the property isn’t a good use of agency money and this can increase the minute your guest is running late.
Cleaners and Maintenance Contractors
Many agencies will have a handful of trusted service providers that may have keys to their properties, but many won’t. That means that contractors will need to go to the main office, pick
up the keys and then go back to the office to return them after their job is done. This doesn’t even account for renovation work, where you would have multiple contractors that need access
to the same property on the same day. There is a human element in this that can make scheduling all of this a real nightmare and a money drain for all involved.
Physical Keys are Expensive
Speaking of the human element. Have you ever locked yourself out of your flat or lost your keys? Agencies are in charge of hundreds of keys. While most have strong systems in place to
keep track of them all, it’s bound to happen that some get lost or never returned. This adds to the overall cost of the business and is usually considered the cost of doing business - but does
it need to be?
Solutions from the 21st Century
There are solutions available. Smart Locks are not new, and everyone from Amazon to Yale is trying to upgrade our access, but changing the lock in an obvious way comes with added risk.
Klevio is one such solution. Once a Klevio hub is installed and connected to your existing door lock, you can offer virtual keys to both guests and contract workers. You’re free to set a time-limit on how long that virtual key will work and you can revoke it at any time. From outside there’s no change to the door and you keep your physical key.
Trust is good; control is better
With physical keys, you need a lot more trust. You’ll need to trust that the person you’re giving the key to will return it and only use it as it was intended. With virtual keys you have better control on how a visitor accesses the property. Nevermind the logistical problems I’ve pointed out above. These systems are the best solution to eliminating costs to the agencies, contractors, and the environment. A true solution, not a work-around.
Aleš Špetič - CEO and Co-Founder at Klevio