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Door Lock Automation and Guest Status

Status: Requested 3 Votes
PacViewLodging
Jan 28, 2021 7:23 PM
Joined Sep, 2019 54 posts

There are a number of partners that are integrated with OR to manage electronic door locks. These door locks and partners all seem to have varying levels of capabilities associated with them that could be beneficial in helping understand the status of guests...

For example... I just found that Brivo (the company we are choosing to manage our door locks) has the ability to notify us the first time the door code is used on the door lock. IE - The guest has checked in. This is a great piece of information to have about the booking and allows us to not only send them triggered emails when they arrive about the property but it also gives us a sense of who is and isn't in house when we need to deal with issues like parking, etc... Brivo also have the ability to notify us if a specific code is used on a door lock. What our vision of this would be is to ask the guest to enter a code - 0000 for example when they have left the property. In effect they use the door lock to let us know that they have checked out. This will help the cleaning team get a jump start on the day activities if the guest has left early... The cleaning and or inspection team could also use the door lock to notify us when a unit is ready for guests.

Our thought here is that the property needs to have a Status Field and the Booking needs to have a Status Field and these fields would/could be managed manually in OR or they could be automated with any number of tools that are out there from the various partners or vendors or via OR workflows as well.

The Property Status might include values of - Occupied, Guest Ready, Needs Cleaning, Clean (Ready for Inspection), etc...
The Booking Status might include values of - Checked In, Checked Out, Pending Arrival

Workflows in OR could potentially handle changes in status... For example when a guest is checked in the property status would changes to occupied. When they checked out it would change to Needs Cleaning
Property Status could be updated by the housekeepers from Needs Cleaning to Clean, Inspectors could then change Clean to Guest Ready, etc... Brivo also has webhooks in their system that could be utilized to send to OR these status updates directly from the door locks themselves.

In the ribbon view of the properties/calendars icons could be placed on the bookings,calendar to show both the property status and the booking status so you could quickly know what was going on.

Food for thought on automating things and knowing status of properties at any given moment in time

PacViewLodging
Apr 7, 2021 11:01 PM
Joined Sep, 2019 54 posts

Brivo has the ability to send email and SMS - to solve my problem of OR not having booking and/or property status fields might it be possible to actually send to brivo with the Integration of the booking the guest email and phone number? I could then use Brivo to trigger the email or sms I want the guest to get the first time that their code is entered into the door lock.

Paul W
Apr 8, 2021 2:08 PM
OR Team Member Joined Jun, 2009 748 posts

Thanks for posting this. We have some upcoming Door Lock work that is going to update a number of common feature requests, so we'll try to get this into that work.

Valerie - Caroli
Dec 8, 2021 4:42 PM
Joined Mar, 2021 2 posts

I currently use Point Central and am not 100% pleased. Are you having better success with Brivo over Remote Lock? I'm trying to research both and will be making a change very soon. My area has some spots where cell signal and wifi are not so great.

PacViewLodging
Jan 22, 2023 3:19 PM
Joined Sep, 2019 54 posts

Door lock solutions seem to be a fickle bunch Valerie...  We started doing things manually with Vera back in the 2016 timeframe.   It was great, easy to use but we only had a couple of properties we were managing and creating the codes by hand and putting the restrictions on them for arrival and departure was relatively easy.   When we added 14 additional properties all at the same time it because nearly impossible for us to manage so we ventured out on a search and looked at Lynx (I don't recall what their original name was.) which supported an interface with Vera as well as Remote Lock which supported Vera as well.   We had challenges with Lynx and decided we would try to migrate some of our locks to the Samsung Smartthings platform instead of Vera.  Still zwave controlled locks but using Smartthings controllers.   We had limited success there with Lynx so we went to Remote Lock.   Things chugged along fine with RL for awhile but their licensing started to get in the way when we added 12 more properties.  I posted in another thread about the licensing and how expensive it became to manage our booking volume with their per lock/per guest pricing.   We started looking for a solution.   We chose Brivo as that solution.  It meant we would have to migrate all of our locks to Brivo controllers but at the time we signed up the pricing was based on controller and how are properties are situated this made a single vacation rental with perhaps 5 locks affordable again.  Good interface, good integration with OR everything was fine until Jan of 2023.  I received a large bill from them.   We were apparently the last customer that had the per controller pricing structure and they moved us to the per lock billing without even discussing it with us.   50 locks at $12 dollars per month was more that our budget wanted to take and even after their concession to $10 the reality is I am not getting $500 per month worth of service from them.   So long and short we are now back looking at solutions for our door lock dilemma. 

Since we initially setup our locks, wifi controlled door locks have come a long way and seem to be what most companies are supporting if they do not have their own zwave controllers.  Replacing all locks is an option but one we would rather not take at $200-300 per lock depending on type.  Zwave mesh networks can also control other things besides just door locks... you can do thermostats, lights, etc... so ideally zwave is where we would like to be with a partner that controls the locks with OR and we control the thermostats, lights, etc... with the partner's UI. 

I've taken the OR Integration Partner list and have contracted all of them.   I'm finding they are quite "proud" of their software.  One vendor Ive talked with has indicated a price of $15 for the primary door, $3 for addon doors in the same unit and then $8 for an employee only access.  For us that is $650 +/- per month.   I can hire someone to do daily data entry on Vera door locks for 30 hours a month (and it will take nowhere near that for our 32 properties) for less than that.  So I know for sure we will not be going with that vendor.   

A tech person should be able to come up with a simplified integration to VERA that reads a property ICAL and adds/removes/updates door lock codes.    I have found one such vendor, not on Vera unfortunately but on Smartthings.   Since Smartthings has changed their underlying architecture their apps are not working at this point either.  I've also placed feelers out in the Vera world...

I'm not opposed to paying for a capability but I think it needs to be reasonable based on what it does for our business.   The prices I am seeing now just can't be justified for businesses of our size.   I'll keep you updated on what I find out.