Vacation rental marketplace HomeAway goes keyless with August smart locks


Expedia-owned vacation rental platform HomeAway is tapping the services of smart-lock maker August to allow guests to unlock rental properties using nothing but a PIN code.

Founded out of San Francisco in 2012, August is best known for its home-access system that bypasses keys by using smartphones to lock and unlock doors. The company offers other products, too, including a Wi-Fi-enabled doorbell camera that lets homeowners see who’s at the door from a remote location.

Travel search giant Expedia snapped up HomeAway for a whopping $3.9 billion back in 2015, a validation — if one was needed — of rival Airbnb’s rapid growth in the online home rental realm. And now HomeAway wants to remove any lingering friction for guests arriving at a property.

Above: HomeAway PIN for August

By installing August’s smart lock and accompanying keypad, owners aren’t only making it easier for guests to “check in,” they’re also removing the need for anyone to be physically present when the guest arrives. It also means that keys don’t have to be left in envelopes or under doormats for collection.

Hosts looking to integrate their HomeAway-listed properties with August just need to connect their August account from the HomeAway host page. In the owner’s dashboard, HomeAway will then generate PIN codes, which are unique to each reservation. Guests receive their PIN code directly through the HomeAway guest mobile app.

This latest partnership comes a few weeks after Google revealed that August’s locks were now compatible with Google Assistant, bringing voice-control smarts to the home security mix. And August already supported Airbnb, following a similar tie-up back in 2015.

“Our partnership with HomeAway puts an end to leaving keys under the doormat, lost keys, and coordinating key exchanges with guests,” said August CEO Jason Johnson. “This simplifies managing the rental process for both hosts and guests.”

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