Top Key Exchange Companies for Vacation Rentals


Some vacation rental owners feel entirely comfortable turning to a neighbor for help with guest key exchanges. This is a quick and easy solution for an Airbnb host or vacation rental management team in need of some help with the guest arrival process. 

With this method, the guest is simply greeted by a neighbor, or trusted friend, upon arrival in order to gain access to the vacation home. It sounds easy, and it often is, but this isn’t a viable option for all rental property owners. Neighbors can be unreliable, and perhaps you don’t even have any neighbors interested in the gig. 

Although we live in a sharing economy, receiving help with a simple task involving guest services like delivering a key can be difficult, even impossible. Leaving the key with the property manager seems like a good idea at first, but what happens when that person gets held up in traffic or has a scheduling conflict?


Partner with a Key Exchange Service Instead

Luckily, you can pay for just about anything these days, including a key exchange service for vacation rentals. To make the guest arrival and departure process run as smoothly as possible, consider partnering with one of these top key exchange companies for vacation rental properties:

– KeyCafe for renters in USA + London, Amsterdam, and Paris

– Hoard for renters in major European cities

– KeyNest for renters in the UK


For Vacation Rentals in the United States: KeyCafe

KeyCafe comes highly recommended, especially for short term rental properties in the United States. The entire approach of KeyCafe is modeled around the fact that key exchanging can be simple, even if you are thousands of miles away from the property you’re renting out. 

Since KeyCafe opened its doors to the world, it has worked with over 500,000 customers in 800 locations across 40 cities. Of course, your property needs to be in one of these cities, so check the KeyCafe official site to see if it services your area. Here are the steps involved in using KeyCafe for your VRBO, HomeAway, or Airbnb rental. 

  1. Sign up for an account and find a KeyCafe Smartbox near you where your keys will be stored.
  2. Guests will be given access to the SmartBox (and the keys inside) with an access code – this can be done through the KeyCafe mobile app.
  3. Guests will pick up key upon arrival and drop off before departure. Property managers and owners will receive notifications via text message or KeyCafe app notifications.

For Vacation Rentals in Europe: Hoard

One of the largest key exchange companies in Europe, Hoard, allows vacation rental owners to store keys at local stores. As long as there is a “Hoard” spot near you, the process of sharing keys has never been simpler. In fact, Hoard goes by the motto, “sharing simplified”.  This means you can relax on a beach in Thailand while guests check into your apartment in Amsterdam. 

Here’s how it works. First, check on the Hoard website to see if there is a local store near you that has partnered with the key exchange company. Then, book a spot at the closest Hoard location. You’ll receive an access code that you’ll be able to share with your guests. Drop off the key at the reserved spot, where the guest will then pick up the key using the provided access code.


For Vacation Rentals in the United Kingdom: KeyNest

KeyNest uses basically the same procedure as Hoard, only it operates solely in the United Kingdom. It is the optimal key exchange program for renters based in the UK since it’s easy to use – for both property owners and guests. 

Just as you would with KeyCafe and Hoard, the exchange process starts by registering online and receiving a code. Then, you’ll drop off the key to a compatible KeyNest location near you, give your guests access to the code, and be on your merry way. 


Consider Going Keyless with Electronic Smart Locks

It turns out you don’t even need a key to open the front door anymore! More vacation rental management companies and property owners are opting for keyless entry for rentals. This is exactly as it sounds…no key needed whatsoever. 

This system works by using an electronic keypad for entry instead of the traditional key. You’ll simply send the guest an access code via the booking site or the guest’s email address. The best aspect of utilizing keyless entry is the added security it provides. Property owners have the ability to change the code with each and every guest booking from anywhere in the world. 


Top Keyless Entry Providers For Vacation Renters


The Rental Housing Association of Washington says that “lost keys are something that happen and replacing them can be expensive, nerve-racking, and troublesome, especially if you are traveling when this occurs. Lockouts are another reality of owning rental property.” With EveryDoor, you’ll never have to worry about this.  

The main purpose of EveryDoor is to give guests keyless access to the building when they first arrive. Inside the building, the actual keys will be waiting so they can use the traditional key locking/unlocking system for the duration of the trip. EveryDoor works for apartment buildings, houses, and condos, with only 3 steps involved to make keyless entry possible for guests. 

– Step 1: Schedule guests’ arrival from the EveryDoor site (no need for an app download).

– Step 2: The guest gains access to the rental space without the need for a key, simply following the instructions provided.

– Step 3: The guest finds the key inside the property, which then can be used for the duration of the trip.


RemoteLock is a WiFi-operated smart locking system that is quickly gaining popularity among rental property owners around the world. Owners and management pros have complete access to their rental units through key code pin pads. RemoteLock says that “hosts and property managers can create, delete, generate and manage guest codes from their cell phone or computer and deliver to guests for the time of the rental.”

Whether you prefer the traditional lock-and-key system or you opt for smart lock technology, it is important to partner with a key (or keyless) company that creates a smooth transition from guest to guest. 

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