Coded Door Locks

We have fitted coded door locks or key safes to our properties, hoping this would give our guests the freedom to check in and out and come and go as they please without worrying about keys, and allowing us not to be waiting around for guests to turn up etc etc

When we receive a booking, we send out a welcome email stating we will send another email a few days before their stay with the door code numbers and anything else they might need.  A few days before their stay we then send the email with the door code. We do not use the same door code over and over for obvious reasons.

The majority of guests still call and ask where they pick up the keys, or will turn up and try to input a number and then call and say the code isn't working.  When a guest turns up and tries to input the number it turns out that on their booking confirmation they have been given a code from BC this code is not the door code we send out.  On the BC portal under key collection information we have written that we will send a door code a few days before their arrival and to ignore the code sent by BC as its not the door code.  We also include this in our emails.

Any good ideas on how to get guests to read the emails we send them?  Any idea on how to make this information stand out on their booking confirmation (BC this ones for you)?  We email them, send messages through the extranet, send messages through Pulse, and still end up having to text or phone them.  This process should be so simple, it's frustrating!!!

We are sure you have some great ideas to help us with this.




A property that we stay at has a notice on the door to the effect that if you are a BDC customer, We sent you an email a few days ago, please check your email for the door codes. Any problems please phone......


Not a guaranteed fix but you could also add tbe instruction to your "fine print".
Another idea, on your welcome email add the requirement for their Whatsapp/Messenger/Line/etc number. Then you could simply send the code one day before arrival.


We will add to the fine print like you say its not a fix but its another form of giving information. We have also been thinking about making up a photograph which has the message in it, as I believe this will be sent with their confirmation if we upload this in the key information section of the properties on the portal.

We do already email, text, phone, messenger and whatsapp, all these communication companies must love us all, its just lucky most of them are free!


How about a sign next to the lock....Dear guest, please use the code we sent to you xx hours before your check in date.

Sara Jarvis

That does not work fluff if they have no WiFi

the photo is a great idea but with 3rd party bookings also won’t work

how many times do we hear, my daughter, boss, hubby etc etc made the booking?


"That does not work fluff if they have no WiFi"

The hope was that they had opened the message before travelling, as most people would but paid it no heed. The sign would lead them back to that message that would, in theory, be in the chat history on their phone i.e. no connection required.

If you've covered ALL the methods talked about then it really is a case of "leading a horse to water...". Unfortunately that means you continuing to have the problem you describe.

Flats Friends


We also use the safety boxes to leave the keys. I love the idea about the sign in the entrance of the building saying that they have the codes in the email!

What we did is add a line at the end of the email that says "Please, REPLY TO THIS EMAIL to confirm that you have read it." If the day of the arrival we haven't received the reply, then we send the instructions through WhatsApp or send an SMS saying "please, check your email".


I use an Instruction page nest to the door. I communicate using WA or SMS. I continue to remind them to use the door pass code sent in the WA with instructions. they r also able to communicate with me when necessary.

Yet, no matter what u do there will still be guests that simply ignore technology based information and r rigid to use old school hotel like service, having a physical key to unlock etc. Well those are only a few ....1 to 2% whom we just need to be there to assist them.


It is so refreshing to know we're not the only ones pulling our hair out on this subject. It never ceases to amaze me that people just don't read the info they are given.

Personally though, I think guests get too much info. on the b.com site there is far too much information not to mention the constant updates guests receive before arrival. I stayed one night in a serviced flat and I received about 5 updates from booking.com before I checked in - that's just overkill and, I have to say the information received differed to what the property provider told me.

To expect the guest to read the fine print is pointless - why is there a fine print? all the information a guest needs should be in the main text of the booking confirmation. The booking confirmation if sent by booking.com or us as providers, should be posted on the extranet so we can all read what the guest has received. We then have the opportunity to correct any info if needed.

It isn't clear when guests receive the key code info from b.com. They shouldn't get it before the cancellation period has ended or, until they have paid. This is particularly important to us as we are not located on site.

To ensure this doesn't happen, we do not provide this information until the day of arrival. For some of our sites, we simply can't as a key code is generated when keys have been returned by exiting guests. The earliest we issue these details is midday on arrival date, we then send this info by text and request confirmed receipt from the guest.

We also request an ETA and follow this up if we haven't been provided this info. Not all guests appreciate the difference between an apartment, an apart-hotel with a hotel and we do not offer 24hr assistance.