August 31, 2019 Update:
Six months of use and a non-techy guest triggered the “security lock-out mode” by entering the wrong pin code 40 plus times, which made the lock frozen.
Igloohome support team asked for a video evidence of the “frozen lock.” Once confirmed that there was no way to fix it, they sent me the new version, Igloohome Smart Keybox Version 2 – for free. They also did not ask for the broken lock to be sent back.
It has been exactly one year and 1 month now since I have been using version 2.0 of the Igloohome Smartkey storage box. It hasn’t failed us yet. Stay tuned for my comparison of the old version to the latest Version 2.
The check-in process of your guests will either need you to be there to meet them or you’ll need a safe storage for your key. Enter The Igloohome Smart Key Storage Lockbox.
I have to be honest that I have doubts about this product. I have searched online for several lock boxes and smart locks and this was not really highly rated, at least by Amazon verified buyers.
But since it was on the list of Airbnb recommended products, I asked my brother to help me buy it from Amazon.
In this article, I’ll show you how it can automate your self-check-in process.
It’s still too early to recommend it nor to reject it. It has been working so far and I don’t look forward to the day that I’ll tell you it has failed us.
The main purpose of getting this smart keybox is to have a safe place for your key where other people can access it via PIN codes or Bluetooth Key.
This is for you if:
- Meeting your guests in person for check-in is not possible.
- You have a reliable source of the internet on your smartphone to generate PIN codes to give to other people.
- You don’t intend to use it outdoors where the rain can drench it.
- You do not live in a very cold place.
Once you have the app, create an account. Input your e-mail address and dedicate a password.
When you buy the Igloohome Smart Key Storage Lockbox, you’ll get:
- The Smart keybox
- 2 Keys (to remove the shackle)
- 1 Rubber Mount
- 4 Screws
- 4 Screw Anchors
Here’s how the smart key box looks like.
To initially open it, place your thumb and index finger on the neck of the keybox. See the photo below.
Press hard the upper part of the key box and pull it towards you to open. Once opened, you’ll see a white plastic cover with an arrow that shows how to open it. That’s where you need to put the 4 AAA batteries. It needs batteries before you can sync it to the Igloohome App.
The AAA Duracell alkaline battery is the recommended battery for this device. According to the manual, you should NOT USE Heavy Duty, Eveready, GP and rechargeable batteries.
When the right battery is used, it can allow up to 5,000 open and close key box operations (approximately 12 months) – that’s according to the manual.
In my case, upon initially setting up the key box with 4 AAA Duracell batteries, it says “change batteries in 6 months.”
In order for you to control the key box, you need to pair it with your Igloohome App. To pair it with the App, do the following.
- Open the Igloohome App and select “Menu.”
- Choose “Set Up Home” and “Choose Your Product”
- Add New Lock To New Home
- Make sure that the key box is open. Tap the Smart key box so that it lights up (blue lights).
- On the Igloohome App tap on “Next”
- Choose the Smart key box to start pairing it.
- Once connected, give your lock a name and associate it with the “home” you intend to use it to.
By default, there is a Master PIN. It’s for the lock owner. There are 4 other types of PINs.
- Permanent PIN
- Duration PIN
- One Time PIN
- Bluetooth Key Sharing
This is how I make use of the PINs.
The Permanent PIN
I created a permanent PIN for my co-host. A permanent PIN doesn’t expire unless you reset all PINs. You must also make sure that it is used within 24 hours of creation.
To make sure it is already activated, use it to open the key box upon creating it. Once active, you can share it with your co-host.
If your co-host helps you with the majority of the things you need to do with your home such as getting the home ready for your guests, you must give them a 24/7 access to your key box – that’s assuming that you are letting guests book your whole place and not just a portion of your home.
The Duration PIN
From the word “duration,” this PIN will only be valid within certain time frames. For example, a guest can only access the key box from XX time of check-in date to XX time of check-out date.
- Duration PIN For Your Guests’ Use
To facilitate a smooth check-in process, send the self-check-in instructions to your guest 24 hours in advance. Make sure they understand where to find the key box upon reaching your place.
Also, make detailed instructions on how to open the key box, input the PIN, open the smart key box to get the key, and lock it after.
Don’t worry about providing them with the PIN in advance. Since it is a “duration PIN” it will not work until the time you have set, which is your official check-in time, the 1st day of their arrival.
- Duration PIN For Cleaning Services’ Use
Most hosts would only give a Duration PIN for their cleaners. Assuming you have a standard check-in and check-out time (e.g. 12-noon check-out and 2 pm check-in), you can give your cleaners a 2-3 hour access to the key box. You can set the date and time the PIN is valid.
Before the PIN expires, they must be able to finish preparing the place and return the key to the keybox so that the guests can get it during their check-in time.
Should they not finish on time, you can give them a one-time PIN, just for the sake of returning the key to the keybox.
The One Time PIN
From the word itself, a one-time PIN can only be used once. I don’t use it since the cleaners or guests need to use a PIN twice (opening to get the key and closing upon returning the key).
A one-time PIN is only valid for the first 6 hours of creating it. It becomes unusable after that even if it still hasn’t been used yet.
There is another type of PIN/Key that can open the keybox, but I don’t use it. It’s called the “Bluetooth Key.”
There are two types of Bluetooth keys. The first one is for the owner’s use and the 2nd one is for sharing.
The Owner’s Bluetooth Key
The lock owner can use the first type. If the lock owner is within a 1-meter range, they can tap on the “lock” icon in their App. The keybox is supposed to unlock.
However, I find this funny since the keybox “sleeps” and needs a little touch for it to wake up. Most of the time, finding the sleeping keybox thru Bluetooth takes time. It’s faster to tap the keybox to wake it up and input the Master PIN if I want to open it.
The Bluetooth Key For Sharing
The “Bluetooth key for sharing” works as a duration PIN. It has a date and time validity.
For a Bluetooth key sharing to work, you need to ask your guest to download the Igloohome App. But not all guests have smartphones.
Your guest needs to register for an account and have an internet connection on their smartphones.
Once your guests have the above requirements, they can open the Igloohome App to receive and use the Bluetooth key.
It can be a hassle, especially for old-school guests.
The Igloohome storage key box and its App have a lot to improve on.
First, they advertise we can place it in a roofless spot, such as your gate. I have read reviews around that if it rains, it will drench your key box inside, therefore, make it useless.
Also, since it relies on 4 AAA batteries only, using this during winter will drain the batteries quick. We all know that batteries discharge quickly in cold weather.
The Igloohome App also needs a lot of improvement. Although the interface is easy to navigate, it lacks simple functions such as editing the duration date and time of a duration PIN once it is created. You also cannot delete a PIN code until they are expired.
Another function I am looking forward to having is the ability to see if my guests have already arrived (or if their duration PIN was already used at what time and date). Right now, the only way to see that is to be within a Bluetooth range of the key box.
There are so many rooms for improvements,
but this product delivers.
- Use only the Duracell alkaline batteries.
- Install it in a covered place.
- Don’t let it get wet.
- Don’t use it in winter or in cold places.
- Take photos and label with arrows what to press, how to open, how to close, so your guests can easily open it.
I won’t bore you with the “How To” of the Igloohome App and the Igloohome Smart key box. They are readily available in the product manual upon purchase. But should you want me to elaborate further on how to operate the key box and the App, leave your request in the comments section and I’ll write a separate article for that.
For now, at least as of writing this review, I can tell you that the Igloohome key box (update: Version 2) has been useful to me as a host who lives far from my rental space and
- My co-host, who lives nearby, can have a 24/7 access which I can revoke anytime.
- The cleaners can come in and return the key with no one needing to hand the key over to them.
- The guests can come and go regardless if they are coming in at midnight or checking out early in the morning.
I’d update you if it fails me.
I am, so far, one happy Airbnb host who automates the check-in process using the Igloohome Smart Key Storage Lockbox (update: Version 2).
I highly recommend that you also check out the reviews of people who bought this lock box.
Leave your questions below! I’d be happy to discuss anything you have in mind. 🙂