Mobile keys for independent hotels mean travelers no longer have to fumble around with keys or worry about misplacing them. Instead, they can check in online, purchase extra services, and access rooms using their most indispensable travel companion - the mobile phone.
Mobile-savvy travelers are demanding more automation and hands-on control over each step of their journey. Thanks to cloud hotel management systems (HMS), it’s becoming increasingly easier for independent hotels to adopt digital technologies like mobile keys and meet guest expectations.
In this article, RoomRaccoon and FLEXIPASS lend their expertise on mobile keys for independent hotels and answer your questions about installation, costs, and functionality.
Is Keyless Entry Popular Among Independent Hotels?
Mobile hotel keys were first introduced in 2010. Within the most prominent global hotel brands, the mobile key has gone mainstream, with most hotels offering the perk to their loyalty program members or as a way to create competitive differentiation.
Mobile key adoption for independent and smaller hotel brands has dramatically grown from 2018 to 2019. According to FLEXIPASS, over 50% of its users in this segment offer mobile keyless entry to guests today. RoomRaccoon data shows that digital door keys and guest access were independent hotels' fifth most popular integration in 2022.
How Do Mobile Hotel Keys Work?
Mobile key providers like FLEXIPASS use Bluetooth technology to create a mutually authenticated channel between a mobile device, such as a smartphone, and a compatible “BLE” door lock. This connection is fully encrypted and secure.
In other words, a guest turns on Bluetooth on their mobile device, opens the FLEXIPASS app, and taps the phone against the door reader.
Yes, it’s that simple, and no internet connection is needed.
What about the physical door lock installation?
FLEXIPASS works closely with the leading door lock providers ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, Dormakaba, and SALTO Systems. The door lock provider is responsible for installing the physical door lock.
Once door locks are installed and working, FLEXIPASS sets up the mobile key on-premise or can be activated through your hotel management system on the cloud within minutes. It’s, therefore, important to check if your hotel software system integrates with mobile key providers.
FLEXIPASS is fully integrated with RoomRaccoon's hotel management system (HMS) to automate the entire pre-arrival process. The RoomRaccoon HMS sends arriving guests an automated check-in request with a unique one-time code that prompts them to download the FLEXIPASS app from the App Store or Google Play and enter the code.
The guest uses the app to unlock doors during the length of their stay. When the guest checks out, RoomRaccoon automatically lets FLEXIPASS know, and the key is instantly deactivated.
Which Doors Can Mobile Keys Open in Hotels?
A mobile key will allow guests to enter spa areas, the gym, elevators, meeting areas, and the entrance door. Hotel managers can decide which guests have access to which areas of the property.
This means that keyless entry is fully customizable, giving you more control over the comings and goings of guests for improved security.
What Are the Advantages of Keyless Entry For Independent Hotels?
1. Save time with self-service technology
Is there anything worse than facing a seemingly endless check-in line?
Independent hotels can increase operational efficiency and enhance the guest experience by providing self-service technology like mobile keys. Guests can conveniently check in on the move and use their mobile devices as their keys.
Despite the increased travel demand, the hotel industry is still struggling to recover from the pandemic-induced staff shortages. Mobile room keys allow hotels to operate at full capacity with fewer employees.
2. Increase guest engagement and earn more revenue
Humans are only capable of interacting with a finite number of guests at the same time. Self-service technologies can help independent hotels engage their customers with better and more individualized interaction throughout every step of the customer journey.
Integrating FLEXIPASS with RoomRaccoon allows you to allocate more resources to producing better services with additional features like online check-in, chatbot functions, and upselling tools. As a result, your property can earn more with each door opening.
“Your property can earn more with each door opening.”
3. It won’t break the bank
Mobile keys are a cost-effective and sustainable option for independent hotels that want to leverage modern guest entry technology.
Although they are often considered complex and expensive, mobile door locks can be implemented without replacing your existing lock system, making them more accessible to independent and boutique markets.
As a long-term solution, you can't go wrong. Mobile keys can't get demagnetized or lost like key cards, so you save a lot of money on replacements and eliminate plastic keycard waste, attracting more eco-friendly travellers. It's a win-win.
Can a Guest Have a Mobile Key and a Plastic Key Card Simultaneously?
FLEXIPASS explains: Yes, a sharer can be created if, for example, a family of four is staying together, the parents could have mobile keys on their phones, and the kids can each get a plastic key card.
The RoomRaccoon HMS can accommodate both types of keys at the same time. Key cards and mobile keys can be generated for a reservation through the native property management system - there is no need to access different portals.
3 Tips for Independent Hotels to Get Started
1. Change your perspective and think like your guests. What does your guest experience look like right now? And how do you envision it in the future?
2. What do you need? Check if you are using BLE door locks. FLEXIPASS software is compatible with ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, SALTO Systems, and Dormakaba.
3. Automate your pre-arrival access control. Check if your current system integrates with reliable mobile room key providers.
As an independent property operator, you have the freedom to create a unique guest experience.
Integrating your HMS with cutting-edge technology like mobile keys ensures every guest has a seamless and enjoyable experience from when they arrive to when they check out.
Sign up for a 30-day free RoomRaccoon trial or book a demo with a local product expert to learn how you can streamline your hotel management with RoomRaccoon and FLEXIPASS.
Author: Nicky Minnaar