[RELEASE] Rental Lock Automater - Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, Booking, Expedia

Introducing the Rental Lock Automater! (RLA)

Let SmartThings automate guest codes and manage multiple rental properties using AirBnB, HomeAway, VRBO, TripAdvisor, Booking, Expedia, channel managers, PMS systems and custom calendars to automatically schedule, notify and welcome your renters to your properties.

Small businesses (yoga, gym etc) and offices can automatically generate and schedule user codes for employees and customers using custom calendars (Google, Yahoo, Outlook etc).

RLA is built on our very stable Sure Programming(c) engine it is the ultimate tool to automate your rental properties and offices with SmartThings.

Click here to see a list of recommended locks

Click here for where to buy Z-Wave locks

Click here for step by step installation instructions

Click here to read Tips & FAQ’s

Settings up Automatic User Codes

  1. Select the number of properties in the Manage property page, enter your AirBnB, VRBO, Homeaway, TripAdvisor, Booking or Custom channel manager for each property/unit
  2. Select the locks for each unit (you can share locks between units, e.g. common entrance), confirm the automatic scheduling options (check in/out times, activation ahead of time etc) and you’re done!
  3. The app will consolidate all your reservations and schedule your users for you
  4. It’ll automatically synchronize your users with any changes to your reservation calendars. Enjoy!!

Channel Managers & Custom Calendars

Use your custom booking calendar or integrate with hundreds of booking providers and property management systems (PMS) who support iCalendars. Choose from 3 types of automatic codes, phone numbers, check-in/check-out dates and random codes. Refer to our website for a complete list of supported providers:

Key features:

  • Works with Z-Wave and ZigBee Locks and Keypads
  • AirBnB, VRBO, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, Booking, Expedia calendar integration
    • Channel managers & custom calendars like Booking Automation, Beds24, HostAway, Rental United, 365 Villas, MisterBandB, Your Porter, Lodgify and more
    • Configure units/properties with individual calendars
    • Share locks among properties (e.g. common entrance)
  • Automatic scheduling/management of rental users
    • Create codes from phone numbers, dates etc
    • Customize scheduling options (checkin/checkout time, activate ahead of time, etc)
    • Extend/advance check in/out dates/times
    • Update automatic codes
    • Notify on new/updated reservations
  • Automatic Check-In / Check-Out actions for each property
  • Usage history for each lock
  • Sure-Programming engine: verifies and displays programming using color codes
  • Unlimited users and locks
  • Program multiple locks simultaneously (supports fixed and variable pin lengths)
  • Easy and intuitive setup
    • Colored icons show user state
      • green → active
      • grey → inactive
      • yellow → pending
      • red → error
  • Different types of users such as:
    • permanent
    • one time
    • expiration (start/end date/time)
    • scheduled (daily/weekly etc) with multiple schedules per user
    • presence based
    • mode based and many more
  • Support for different types of locks and Zigbee/Ring keypads, (bluetooth, RFID, etc)
  • Define custom individual Unlock and Lock actions for users such as:
    • Exit delay actions (wait for X minutes before running actions)
    • Separate actions for Keypad and Manual locking/unlocking and per door actions
    • Create custom actions for security Keypad away/stay/night buttons
    • Turning on lights if it’s dark outside
    • Unlocking/locking secondary locks
    • Opening/closing garage doors
    • Notifications on type of lock/unlock (manual, code, keypad, bluetooth, rfid etc)
    • Changing modes
    • Arming/Disarming STHM
    • Turning on/off switches
    • Custom notifications settings (who and how many)
    • Define rules when to run and not run actions
  • Define Door Open/Close actions such as
    • Automatically relocking the door when it’s closed
    • Ringing chimes when door is opened
    • Notifications if door is left open
    • Define actions for each door separately
  • Lots of built in safety mechanisms to ensure users have a reliable experience
  • Compatibility with SmartLocks

and lots more…see website for complete list of latest features and integrations.


Web Based Access

SmartThings has a BETA release of a web based mobile app where you can access your SmartApps through a browser, try it out at https://my.smartthings.com

Automatic user programming:

  1. Fully automated code generation, messaging, activation and deactivation
  2. Synchronized automatically with AirBnB, Vrbo, Homeaway, TripAdvisor, Booking, Expedia and custom PMS calendars
  3. Synchronize multiple rooms/properties from a single app
  4. Automatically program guest codes across multiple doors/locks (e.g. main entrance/gate)
  5. Automatically run custom actions at checkin and checkout
  6. Manually override automatic user start/end dates/times and lock codes
  7. Get notifications on initial or every guest code usage

Additional examples of manual user programming:

  1. I give my landlord an access code for the lock but I want it disabled when I’m at home (presence based users)
  2. When my children are at home and the parents aren’t home, then allow the babysitter’s code to work (presence based users)
  3. When we’re away, allow my neighbor’s code to work (mode based users)
  4. I can schedule a code for my nanny with multiple schedules per day (morning and evening)
  5. I can program ahead for my vacation rental properties with a start and end date/time for my guests
  6. When I lock my door from outside I want my house to lock up behind me (close garage doors, lock all other doors, turn off switches, arm the security system etc)
  7. When I unlocked my outer door I want the inner door to also unlock and the lights to turn on but only at night
  8. I want my employees to have access only during business hours or on specifics days/modes

Check out our other Rental/Property Management SmartApps

You can browse through the complete list of apps on our website or on the smartthings forum.

This SmartApp is available on the RBoy Apps Server, http://www.rboyapps.com as part of our premium Commercial Apps. Refer to our website or facebook page below to get access to the server.

Visit our Facebook page for updates on new apps and to get access to our Commercial Apps. RBOY APPS SmartThings - Make your Home your Butler

Copyright (c) RBoy Apps


Does this work side by side with the existing lock manager or does it need to replace it?

What other apps are planned for the commercial license? Right now it is just this one, is there a way to upgrade my existing license?

It has all the features of User Management app for manual programming plus a lot more for automated programming (see website/first post).
It’s an all in one app, so don’t use along with another user/code management app to avoid programming conflicts.

The current commercial license offer is an introductory offer and covers all apps (40+) on our website. We may change it in future as we introduce new apps. You can subscribe to our Facebook page for updates on new apps and integration announcements.

1 Like

Just to add, Ive been using the app with my Airbnb rental as a Beta user for the last couple of months prior to public release last Thursday.

I had been looking around for a way to automate Access Codes with my Yale Lock for a few months and must say this solution is brilliant !! Its very configurable and rock solid.

The team at RBoys have been great in evolving the functionality perfectly to support Airbnb Hosts, but equally, it would work well for many other use cases.

If you are doing short term rentals with Airbnb, i would say this is a must have tool.


This app is A-mazing. Seriously mind-blowing.

I have been using it since day 1 as soon as I received the email from Rboy.
Granted I only had a few guests check in/out since last week. I have been very pleasantly surprised, not a single bug/glitch/mis-scheduled code.
This is very impressive for commercial software on such a small scale.

I enabled the detailed notifications and can see every day the app checking the calendar and adjusting the codes for the next guests.

It is saving me time every week, which I believe in the long run will help me manage more units, and generate more income


Ok, I’m a bit nervous. I live 200 miles from the cabin I rent out over the summer. It would be difficult if I needed to get there to “fix” something on-site. I’ve used Lock Code Manager for years now and I am confident it is stable and meets my needs, however, the list of functions in Rental Lock Automator is VERY appealing.

My first reaction is to let the early adopters find the bugs for this year, then change things up in time for next year. Please someone, convince me this is safe to use for the season that is about to begin! I want the function but not the risk.

It’s actually built on the Lock Code User Management engine (on purpose). So if you’re comfortable with LCUM then you shouldn’t have any surprises with RLA. It has all the “manual” features of LCUM + automatic scheduling and it can notify you while scheduling so you know what’s going on. You can use both features side by side. It’s been tested across 4 continents for many many months before we released it.

There you go! That’s the push I needed!

I have a tag-a-long question, somewhat unrelated. I haven’t kept up on the migration (?) to the Samsung app. Do I have to (or should I) migrate from the ST app? Will I be forced to in the near future?


I would stay with the classic app for now. The new app doesn’t support custom apps or devices or even all the marketplace apps.
Eventually (years?) we may be asked to migrate. You can search for “new app” and see the a lot of threads that talk about it.

I presently keep my rental schedule in Google Calendar. Anyone care to recommend one of the services that can automate the rental access codes? I don’t need to advertise, a pay portal, or anything else (I have to turn people away each year) but automation is nice!

What plays nicely with this new Smartapp and won’t take too much of my money?

@RBoy — I just installed the commercial app for Airbnb. It looks like it’s gonna be exactly what I need! I have a couple questions:

  • When renters receive the automated message, what phone number do the messages come from? Should I include text to make it clear that they should not reply to the message?
  • Do I ever need to re-import the calendar, or does it automatically update?

Thanks for the great app!


It comes from SmartThings.
Yes, you include a simple line at the end of your message like “Please don’t reply to this message” or “Contact me at XXX if you have any questions

Not required. The app will update the schedules multiple times a day and do it’s housekeeping to keep everything up to date. If something isn’t responding expected it’ll send you a notification and take corrective action.

It’s a set it and forget it setup. The goal is to give you back your time and peace of mind. Combined with the energy management, security and experience apps from RBoy Apps, it will manage your property and renters for you.

1 Like

@maddie Thanks for the quick and helpful response. Two quick follow ups:

  • Is there any way to see a sample of the text message?
    Is there a log that I can look at to get a confirmation that it went out? Or an alert/notification?
    UPDATE: Just got a notification that the sms was sent!


1 Like

I am currently using the manual lock control from Rboy. I rent 3 rooms in my house, and each room is a separate Airbnb listing. The main entrance lock to the house is of course shared by each room and each room also has its own lock. When I change the code for one of the rooms, I also change it on the main door lock, which has the codes for all rooms. This means each guest just has to remember one code which works for the main entrance and their room. Can the rental lock automater handle this situation?

EDIT: To get the Multi Rental Unit feature (you can share common locks between properties), upgrade to version 02.00.00 or newer. You can configure up to 8 properties (more in future) each with their own AirBnB, Homeaway/VRBO calendars.


This app can program multiple locks simultaneously, so you can have one AirBnB listing and synchronize the user codes with multiple locks (deck door, front door, main gate, garage door etc).

However it is never a good idea to have multiple apps program a single lock as they will clash with each other. Plus it can have unintended side effects like the lock running out of slots trying to consolidate codes from multiple locks.

In your situation you have three separate “units” each with their own lock and their own listing. RLA can manage each listing and lock for you independently.

The best way to handle this situation would be add a keypad on your main door for each of your rooms and program that keypad along with the room lock using RLA (it can program multiple locks/keypads).

Then use the Lock & Door synchronizer to unlock the main door lock (one way synchronization from your Keypad to Main door lock) everytime the user unlocks the keypad.
The added advantage is that when they unlock using their room keypad at the main door, you can have the lock & door synchronizer unlock both their rooms doors and also the main door.
The reason for one way synchronization (from Keypad -> Main door & Room door) is so that when someone unlocks the main door it doens’t unlock their room door as well.

With this setup you can total automation and synchronization between the main lock and the room locks while maintaining a separate list of users for your main lock.

Keypads are cheap, you can buy them for $10 to $15 on eBay.

Hey everyone! I’ve been using the regular lock programming app from Rboyapps, and have just started using the Rental Lock Automater. I have 6 airbnb rentals. I tried the Rental Lock Automater out on my personal lock, pretending in the app that it was one of my rentals, and it worked marvelously. Because of that, I went to set it up on one of the “real” rentals, and I’m getting some issues. This has happened with both the auto-generated users as well as permanent users:

12:59:28 PM: warn 3802 failed to add user 3. Retrying again
12:59:28 PM: trace 3802 code report codeChanged returned Name:XXXXXXXX, User:3, Code:null, Desc:User code is not added, Value: 3 failed, Type: failed
12:59:28 PM: warn 3802 failed to add user 3. Retrying again
12:59:28 PM: trace 3802 code report codeChanged returned Name:XXXXXXXX, User:3, Code:null, Desc:User code is not added, Value: 3 failed, Type: failed
12:59:22 PM: trace Scheduled to run codeCheck in 15 seconds
12:59:22 PM: debug Requesting 3802 to add XXXXXXXX to user 3, code: XXXX, because it is scheduled to start at Fri May 11 2018 13:00 PDT
12:59:22 PM: trace 3802 User 3 XXXXXXXX is scheduled to start at Fri May 11 2018 13:00 PDT and expire on Thu May 17 2018 11:30 PDT

I’ve removed the guest’s name and code for privacy purposes, but where it says requesting to add to user 3, code: XXXX, it shows their correct code. Then, shortly after trying to program, it gives the error of “User:3, Code:null, Desc:User code is not added, Value: 3 failed, Type: failed”. So it seems somehow the code is becoming “null” for that user. I can’t figure out what could possibly be going on. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

From what I understand you have multiple locks setup with multiple hubs/mesh’s.
There is one lock that’s responding with an intermittent programming failure, it is close to the hub but it doesn’t have a repeater, while the locks with repeaters in their mesh are working fine.

We highly recommend having a repeater within about 20ft of the lock because the ST hub doesn’t buffer messages.

Z-Wave networks are mesh network and the reliability/strength of the mesh is created with repeaters in the mesh. Without a repeater (e.g. just a hub) it doesn’t create a mesh which can lead to intermittent failures due to lost commands (the ST hub is not a reliable message buffering device, which is highly recommended when using a z-wave beaming device such as a lock). The Schlage BE 468/469 models are particularly susceptible to a weak mesh/buffering issues.
This is a common setup issue and we always recommend having atleast one repeater on the mesh preferably within about 20ft from the lock. This is because locks need a buffered network to hold messages until they wake up to accept them. I’ll add this to the FAQ’s as well.

A Z-Wave repeater are most mains powered Z-Wave Plus devices. See this post for a list of recommended buffering/beaming repeaters which support locks. We recommend using a plug rather than a in-wall switch simply because it allows you the flexibility to place it at an appropriate location between the lock and hub.

After adding a z-wave repeater please do a z-wave repair on your hub so that the mesh is optimized. If you have any issue with your lock after adding a repeater please feel free to each back out to me.

Here are some popular choices for locks

Special considerations

These locks have a known issue with the firmware where they don’t accept reprogramming codes which are already programmed. This can be an issue when there is packet loss in the mesh, if RLA asks the lock to program a code but the programming confirmation message is lost in the mesh, RLA will continue to try to reprogram the code until it receives a confirmation. However since these locks do not accept reprogramming existing codes, they will not respond to the request. A typical symptom of this issue would be that the code works however it’s shows up as a failed programming request.

These z-wave locks have a known firmware defect which makes them susceptible to mesh packet loss (especially at low battery levels) causing a loss of lock/unlock notifications or names of users. The loss of notifications for these locks can be reduced by using the Enhanced Z-Wave Lock device handler and a good beaming repeater.

  • Schlage FE599
  • Yale Keyless
  • IDLock 150

These locks do not report which user unlocked the lock. Consequently RLA cannot execute per user actions nor will it be able to record the usage history for guests.

Locks to avoid when using automatic code generation

It is advisable to use locks that have a full keypad. Avoid locks with a limited keypads that share buttons for digits, such as the Kwikset 888/910/912.
This is due to an inherent design flaw in these locks, if two codes share the same key button in the same order, e.g. 1234 and 2134, it cannot tell the difference. Consequently the lock will reject codes which share the same order of the key buttons. To put it in context, a 10 button keypad can generate 10,000 unique 4 digit codes, a 5 button keypad can only generate 625 unique 4 digit codes.
Since RLA generates codes automatically based on user/reservation information it is advisable to use locks that have a full keypad to avoid running into this issue.

Avoid Kwikset 888/910/912 and similar limited keypad locks

Alfred (DB1-C-BL, DB1-B-BL) locks do not allow sequential and repeated user codes (eg: 1111, 1234)

Comparison of Lock Features

Here is a write up comparing the features of different lock brands (they vary by model but it’s a good place to start).


If I forget to add an SMS message template, what exactly is being sent to the guest before check in?

The smartapp references “The Palms” as the dwelling… If I forget to add an SMS message template, will guest see a text mentioning “The Palms”?

If there’s no template, no SMS will be sent. This way you can choose if you want want the app to send the SMS or not.
When a SMS is sent you’ll be notified (if you’ve enabled the scheduling notifications options in the property management page)

Hi folks

I installed this yesterday and it is looking very promising. I made some comments to Maddie who’s being very responsive.

Just so that they are out there, here goes.

  • I list with multiple providers. I maintain my aggregated calendars in Guesty. Would love to see a caledar feed from here
  • I rent the whole house but also individual rooms in each house. I need therefore to have a number of calendars supported for the location - one for the house and one for each room.
  • I’d like to pick up the location and room and use them in the SMS : Hi - the keycode for your stay at is …