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

Hi there. To clarify the FAQ, two apps should not control the same lock simultaneously to avoid a conflict. However RLA is flexible enough to manage multiple locks for personal and rental use. Select all your locks on the main page. Then you can select the appropriate rental lock in the Manage Property page for each unit and for personal users, under the Manage Users → Manual Users you can assign the personal locks for individual users and also configure custom notification settings on the user page.

Thanks @lflorack. Yes that’s related to change made my Airbnb to their iCalendar which was addressed in the updated release last week. Everyone using Airbnb should update RLA to the latest version and can subscribe to our Facebook page for update notifications. The app also sends out critical update notifications to hosts.

@maddie @RBoy I’m getting changes to Airbnb guest’s codes as their stay moves through the dates. What is happening is my Airbnb guest is staying from 12/10-12/14. So their code is 1014. Then as their stay progresses, the codes begin to change:

  • yesterday the code switched to 1114
  • today the code is 1214

What’s going on? I’m on v03.05.02

It looks like your AirBnB calendar server is changing the reservation dates in the iCalendar. PM me your iCal url and I can check it out.

Sent you a DM. FYI, this happened a few days ago to my other properties as well.

Think this might be related? I noticed the app being down yesterday when I was troubleshooting this.

I checked out your iCalendar and it looks like Airbnb is changing the start dates in iCal reservation every day. If it started after recently it may be a bug related to the update Airbnb deployed to their iCal systems on Dec 1st or it may be related to the outage they had yesterday.

If it continues I would recommend logging a ticket with Airbnb support regarding your iCal reservation start dates changing and not in sync with the reservation. Another host had a similar issue last week for one of her properties and it was resolved after she reported it to Airbnb.

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I am having problems with frequent (spurious) changes to dates which is also changing the entry codes I have already distributed? If I select telephone number for code generation what effect will that have on already existing codes? thanks

See the post above yours, Airbnb has a bug after their recent deployment which is causing their server to change the iCal start dates for some properties on a daily basis (you can verify this by opening your iCal file using notepad and see the start dates for your affected reservation). Please create a support ticket with Airbnb for your affected property and they will fix your property iCal.

If you switch RLA to use phone numbers for generating codes, the changing start date shouldn’t have any impact if you’ve set the code activation to one day in advance, but it’s better to have Airbnb fix your iCal issue to ensure a smooth operation.

Would it be possible to “lock” the generated access code so that any subsequent change to the the ical does not affect it? I can’t think of any reason to modify the code once generated (and distributed to our guests). I can get the ical fixed but if it happens again we will have more irate guests locked out?thanks

Hi there. Detecting a change in the reservation dates is an important feature of RLA. If you’ve set RLA to generate codes based on dates, it’s important for RLA to update the codes when the reservation dates change so they match the template sent to the guest.

Once AirBnB fixes your start date change issue on their iCal server, it will resume working as expected. In the meanwhile you could generate codes manually for your affected property guests (I.e. manual users) or switch to phone number based codes instead of date based codes.

Thanks for the reply Maddie however the guests do not now receive any info/code directly given that the sms feature is effectively dead? I will use the telephone to generate codes.

Last night at 1:50 am (I was asleep) I got a request to book which I believe was spam. This morning when I saw it I declined the request. However, I also received a text message a 1:50am as well stating that a new code had been generated for this user. I didn’t see this text message until after I declined the reservation, so when I went to my smart things app, I did not see the user had been added. I also did not receive any notification that the user had been removed. My question is whether or not the code was actually generated in the smart app and lock before I accepted the guest? Thank you

UPDATE: Airbnb has fixeded the issue with their iCal system

RLA works off the reservation data provided by AirBnB in the iCalendar. In the case above it looks like AirBnB showed the reservation as confirmed on the iCalendar so the app processed it and generated a code for the guest. When you cancelled the reservation the next morning, the reservation was removed from the iCalendar which the app detected and removed the guest code.
Whether the code was activated (and deactivated) on the lock depends on the check in date and how you’ve setup the code activation options (same day or X days ahead). You can verify this by looking at the Recently tab in the Classic ST app for the lock or if you’ve enabled detailed notifications in the app it will sends you a message when the codes are activated and deactivated.

In future if you come across any guest reservations which aren’t confirmed according to you by but the app has assigned a code, take a snapshot and download the iCalendar (open the iCal URL in a browser and save it) and send it across to our support desk so we can investigate it further and figure out why AirBnB is showing it as a confirmed reservation.

Airbnb must be making changes to their iCal, because tentative bookings have never appeared on there before.

@RBoy I’m sure many people here would enjoy a new feature that supported lock code generation based purely off the checkin/out dates from a generic iCal URL.

Reasons being, many of us have a PMS or other management programs that manage Airbnb + Vrbo + Tripadvisor, and those PMS/management programs also have an exportable iCal. Most large scale vacation rental groups will have this, and will actually generate native bookings via their own website.

Alternatively, an API based integration would be ideal, but I understand how that would cost a lot more and be a ton more work, plus privacy/security issues.

Incase anyone is interested in using STHM (New ST app SmartThings Home Monitor, RLA can control Classic SHM directly) with RLA, you can see this write up from @milandjurovic71

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@RBoy regarding API based ideas, many of us professional property managers utilize Smartbnb for property messaging management. They have a webhook for both platforms that would be an excellent source for lock code management: http://help.smartbnb.io/en/articles/600261-webhooks-for-airbnb-and-homeaway

I’m willing to pay for this. I’m sure I could recruit a group of people to do this as a group buy.

Hi there. Thanks for your feedback. I’ve made a note; we are constantly working to expand the integration options and will keep this in mind.

Rental Lock Automater (RLA) - Version 03.06.00

  • Added more Check-in and Check-out actions for each property like turning on/off switches, changing modes and thermostat setpoints

Hi - I’ve recently started using Smoobu to coordinate the booking channels and notice that in the CRM section of Smoobu they capture the full phone number of the client. I wondered if there was a way of connecting RLA to the Smoobu data to revive sending SMS to clients with their code?