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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Controversial short lets management firm launches ‘digital door opening’

A short lets management firm which was earlier this year at the centre of an advertisement controversy is now partnering with a digital intercom service that allows owners to ‘open doors’ from anywhere in the world.

Hostmaker - which describes itself as “the world's largest management company for Airbnb and more” - was in hot water in May when a series of its advertisements on Transport for London appeared to be urging long-term landlords to switch from conventional AST-tenants to short lets booked through Airbnb and other similar platforms.

Eventually Hostmaker apologised and Airbnb distanced itself from the advertisement, although not until after substantial criticism by the Labour Party and others.

Now Hostmaker says its customers will be offered “an exclusive rate” to install a system called Klevio which allows guests to gain access to the property via an app on their phone. 

The system connects to an existing intercom system inside a home and is operated via an iOS or Android app. It can be fitted in any home with no need to change existing locks; it works with multiple doors and there’s no need to modify the communal area of apartment buildings since the device is located inside each individual property.

For guests heading to a Hostmaker-managed property where Klevio is installed they will be able to accept a digital key which can be restricted by time and location - to access the property on arrival and throughout their stay. 

“For short-let agents you can open doors remotely for late guests, and remove the need for a lock box to store the physical key. Smart access gives hosts added security and makes it easier to monitor entry, providing a log of who entered the property and when” says a statement announcing the innovation. 

Veronica Rivas, head of guest services at Hostmaker, says: “We were one of the first to spot the opportunity to make home sharing hassle free for hosts and guests and believe we’re doing so again when it comes to improving our services. We want to provide added reliability to our guests. Sometimes travel disruption can cause problems outside of everyone’s control, and we want to be able to give access to our guests remotely, as well as in person, to ensure a great quality of service, security benefits and easy of control and tracking for our overseas property owners.” 

Hostmaker works with over 2,000 host properties across London and eight cities outside the UK.

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