Let’s say you’re on vacation, renting a house in Italy with some friends. You go to pick up the keys to your house but, instead of getting keys, you get a phone number and a code. These are your new keys. This is the new way SmarterKey is changing property rental.
Co-founder David Moss (pictured right) says most people renting out their apartment, house or room on AirBnB or other peer-to-peer rental platforms just don’t have enough time to go back and forth handing keys off to new renters, and picking them up again days later. SmarterKey’s solution to the problem is to eliminate the key, and let the property owner handle all the rentals remotely.
By now, you’re probably wondering “how can one phone call unlock a door?” Here’s how it works: To unlock the house, you call a Twilio number and enter in a code. Once you enter in the correct code, Twilio authenticates it and contacts the SmarterKey platform. SmarterKey then triggers a signal unlock the lock. This all happens in a few seconds. But, David Moss says the service wasn’t quite finished yet.
The problem was data. “People did not want to use data roaming when they’re travelling.” So SmarterKey built a smart hub to give managers and renters different ways to control the property. Now property owners can use SmarterKey’s electronic locks, controlled by the SmarterKey Hub to unlock and monitor a property via SMS, wifi, GSM and bluetooth.
This is just a start for the SmarterKey team. David plans to build out the platform so property owners can control lights, heat, energy usage and more remotely. They’ll be able to see data on how much energy renters are consuming, and how to save. David and his team are hoping their Twilio-powered platform will open the door to put them in more homes worldwide.