The role of a property manager is critical to the planning, safety, and success of a facility. With over 52,000 hotels in North America and millions of domestic and international visitors staying in hotel rooms, continuing excellence in the guest experience is also a top priority for property managers across the nation. This guest experience not only consists of superior customer service, exceptional dining options, and cool amenities, but undoubtedly the most important element is guest safety. That is why property managers must understand the complexity of each facility’s electronic lock system to help ensure safety is a top priority upon a guest’s arrival.

Understanding a hotel’s existing lock system and recognizing when it is the right time to upgrade that system is imperative to all aspects of a hotel, from keeping the staff to the thousands of weekly guests safe and comfortable during their stay. Choosing the right lock for your property can be daunting, but there are a few resources property managers can utilize to help ease the decision making process. Below are tips on how to choose the best lock for a hotel or lodging property.

Ask yourself, why now?

Hotel facility managers are constantly searching for new ways to improve their guest experience. Part of that strategy consists of advancing a facility’s safety processes including its electronic lock system. One of the most important questions property managers should ask themselves prior to upgrading their systems is why now? What are you looking to do with your current system? Are there issues occurring with your current system? Is there new technology emerging that you’re looking to implement into your facility? Understanding why you’re looking to improve your hotel lock system will ultimately help guide you towards making the best decision for your property.

Are there specific features you want?

Many hotel brands are upgrading their guest experiences by utilizing the most innovative systems such as BLE (Bluetooth low energy) enabled locks. Is a remote check in system something you’re interested in exploring? If that is something you are looking to implement, what barriers may stop you from doing so? Are your rooms built to sustain such technology? Additionally, have you worked with other systems before that you feel would be best utilized at your current property? All of these factors play a big part in the decision making process.

Do you have a legacy system in place?

If your property is part of a big brand, it is likely your facility has a legacy system in place, meaning, every large hotelier typically has a style guide in place that outlines a specific criteria for an electronic lock system. Is your hotel only allowed to use a certain brand with a specific finish? Is your property only allowed to install Bluetooth enabled locks? Do you require an RFID system? Understanding what your brand guidelines are will help expedite the purchasing process and ultimately create a seamless transition from your old system to the next.

The million dollar question, what is your budget?

One of the most challenging conversations for any property manager looking to upgrade their existing electronic lock system is budget. Key factors that contribute to a budget are number of guest rooms, number of additional staff rooms, and a solidified timeframe for when the new lock system needs to be completed. Traditionally, property managers should start shopping at least six months prior to the anticipated date of completion. This also should include discovery phase and production time.

With the influx of visitors traveling throughout the United States, it is imperative that hotels keep up with the demand of an excellent guest experience. By doing so, a property manager should place hotel safety as a top priority which means keeping systems fully operational and ensuring proper training is implemented. If you are a property manager and are interested in discussing your lock system needs, please contact Electronic Locksmith as they are the industry leader in hotel lock parts and repair.