Did I turn the stove off?
Some version of this panicked thought has flashed through everyone’s mind at least once. Did I close the window? Did I let the cat back in? Did I lock the door?!
Whether it’s on the drive to the office or on a plane out of town for three weeks, we’ve all wished that a neighbour or a friend could just pop by and check in on the place.
When we conceived Keycafe our goal was to service Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway hosts with a solution to the most cumbersome yet the most essential part of the process – handing off the keys. Trains run late, cars break down, emergencies happen and lo and behold, your guest is locked out of the place you promised they’d have in the city. What a hassle.
What we’ve learned along the way is that access to your home and a safe and secure key exchange method has much wider applications than we envisioned when we first dreamed up the idea. And the people who showed us just how diverse our service could be are our early adopters here in Gastown, our home base.
A local real estate agent has deployed keys at locations throughout Vancouver and North Vancouver. He is able to be at a personal showing at the Lonsdale Quay, while letting in another realtor to show one of his properties in Coal Harbour. He has let us know that Keycafe saves hours of driving time and stress each and every day.
The Frequent Flyer
One of our clients, Philip, a local photographer, has people coming and going from his studio on a regular basis. Cleaning crew, collaborators, and business associates regularly need access to his space and last year he had to FedEx his keys from Toronto just so his assistant could stop by and grab a file. Now he has a set permanently parked at a local coffee shop and wherever he is in the world, he knows who is in his apartment, when they got there, and when they left.
Jeff, a gym owner, has a set that lets numerous personal trainers use his space whenever they book clients. No need for complicated coordination and flurries of text messages to figure out if he is around to let them in, and no need to have 10 sets of keys floating around between everyone who might need access on short notice. From the feedback we’ve had, safety, security and trackability have consistently been the most valuable aspects of the service.
No Booking Left Behind
Another favourite story is from Kathryn who had an her apartment listed on Airbnb. A prospective guest was looking to book that evening. The notification arrived as she was halfway down to Seattle, a solid two hour drive from home. In the past, this would have meant driving back or turning down the request to host the traveller. Having a set of keys waiting for the person to arrive while she herself was out of town didn’t just allow her accept the booking, it saved her precious time.
We love hearing these stories, it’s very gratifying. If you have an experience to share, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to try Keycafe out for yourself, you can register here in minutes.