Vacation Rental Access Control: The 'ResortLock'

By Brian Rhodes, Published Feb 20, 2015, 12:00am EST

Controlling access to your vacation home or rental property is the vision of ResortLock [link no longer available]. Through an internet based management portal, users can manage security from thousands of miles away.

But does it make sense and is it priced right? We examine LockState's cloud access platform in this note.

Property Management Pitch

For the Property Management market, the appeal of the ResortLock [link no longer available] for building owners is managing frequently changing renter access without having to recover keys or travel onsite. Especially when owners manage multiple locations or are thousands of miles away from a vacation home, the ResortLock simplifies logistics of handing out keys to the right people at the right times.

Video Overview

The company explains the features of the lock platform in video below:

The ResortLock is an algorithm sync'ed lock with a rolling PIN that changes based on a proprietary pattern.  Users can assign valid PINs based on solutions given by the companion software with a certainty they will expire after a certain period and be voided.  ResortLock's website [link no longer available] details this process:

The companion RemoteLock product [link no longer available] will offer a web based platform for a networked standalone lock.  The key values of the platform are integration and remote access through general 802.11 WiFi routers, near real-time status updates and manual lock/unlock controls, and basic video integration through a browser based interface.

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The platform also claims it integrates with a range of other [link no longer available]WiFi-enabled sensors [link no longer available], power plugs, and switches that are managed through the same interface.

The lockset is a replacement cylindrical prep lever set, powered by 6 AA batteries, and is available in both cylinder and mortise lock versions:

Users are able to unlock the lever by the integrated keypad, or through a standard Schlage C6 mechanical key.

Price and Availability

The ResortLock system is available online from the manufacturer for about $399 [link no longer available] (depending on model), which includes a basic user management program.  The connected RemoteLock product will require a cloud service billed monthly for each lock of <$5 per month, per lock.

In the near future, the manufacturer will offer a dealer program for integrator resellers, who will be able to buy the RemoteLock for ~$270 and resell cloud service with a dealer cost of about $1 per lock, per month.

Product Limitations

However, ResortLock comes with a number of weaknesses that could limit its appeal:
  • Battery Powered Only: If the internal batteries die, the only way into a door is with a key. This likely means managing a 'spare' key and hiding it onsite. It also means servicing and managing the lock as part of routine site maintenance.
  • WiFi Required: For RemoteLock, a permanent internet connection needs to be run to the site.  While not an issue for some vacation spots, it could be an issue in remote locations or if the power is out.
  • No Door Position Switches: A lock does no good if the door cannot be confirmed as closed. The lockset does no support inputs for DPS or door status sensors, so confirming a door is closed is difficult unless video cameras are also used.
  • No Exit Device: The lock comes in cylindrical or mortise lock versions, but no panic bar/exit device version is available.  While likely no issue for most residential properties, it could be a problem for group occupancies like bunk houses or dorms.  
Competition
 
The market is currently awash with residential smartlock alternatives. With mega-hyped alternatives like Lockitron and Kevo already being heavily promoted, the risk for ResortLock is simply losing the marketing and promotion battle.
 
However, if ResortLock proves itself reliable, it could be a big advantage over the competition. Especially given Lockitron Admitting Failure and major hardware redesign plans, opportunity is there for a commercial grade product to seize the hesitant property management niche market.
 
While ResortLock is a drop-in keypad lock in a crowded market, RemoteLock, offering WiFi connectivity to home automation sensors and power plug controls, offers features now that have only been 'roadmapped for future development' by many of the smartlock startups.

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