Strange but true story. Last fall, I was at one of our cabins blowing leaves off of the driveway and porches for our arriving guests. A neighbor startled me when he tapped me on the shoulder. I shut down the blower and he asked me, “Who is that lady in the white Isuzu who shows up on Thursday night and leaves on Friday morning?” I had no idea who he was talking about, no one I know drives a white Isuzu. He said that for a while she had been showing up on Thursday nights. He said she had blonde hair, but I doubt it was Goldilocks.
Most of our short term cabin rentals are for the weekends, people come up from Atlanta for a quick getaway, so I am at the cabins on Fridays to make sure the cabins are ready for their arrival. Several times, I may have noticed something unusual, but I wrote it off as something left by the housekeeping crew.
So who was sleeping in our bed? We never found out who this uninvited guest was, I can only assume that it may have been a former housekeeper, or someone who had a copy of a key to the cabin.
Earlier that year, we had a similar situation at a cabin where a businessman had been given permission to borrow their kayaks, if no one was staying in the cabin. The guest called me and said that they woke up from a nap only to find 3 men inside the cabin. The men said, “We are here for the kayaks.” Terrified, they told them to help themselves. The business had made a copy of the key several years ago so that they did not have to ask when they came to borrow the kayaks.
How secure is your cabin or vacation rental? If you give your housekeeper, guests and contractors a key, it is not secure at all. Anyone can run down to Home Depot and make a copy of the key you gave them and return to your property, whenever they choose. So what are you to do?
We recommend that you install a Schlage Electronic Lock on your main entrance to your cabin. This digital lock can store multiple passwords. Set the lock up with several passwords:
- Personal password – do not give this out to anyone
- Throwaway password – when you need to allow temporary access to a contractor or someone
- Manager password – only known by the management company
- Housekeeping password – password assigned to an individual housekeeper
- Guest password – given out to guests and changed frequently
If you change housekeepers, or give out your throwaway password, remove the password immediately to remove their access to your property.
Key control is very illusive. Your control of that key and access to your vacation rental ends as soon as you give that key to someone else. There are plenty of other keyless locks out there, take the time to research each of them and find the one that will work best for you. Put the keyless lock on your door, and get all of the other locks re-keyed and regain control of who can access your cabin.
If you have any questions about how Sundance Cabin Rentals can help you with vacation rental property management, please give us a call at 888-881-3286. Let Goldilocks find somewhere else to sleep.