Rental Lock Automater (RLA): FAQs

Channel Managers & Custom Calendars
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  • Can I use channel managers & custom calendars with RLA?
RLA can connect with channel managers and generic calendars which export the guest reservations using iCalendar links. RLA can use that reservation information to automatically generate user codes for the guests. Please ensure that your iCalendar link (URL) is accessible from a browser before proceeding (it should download or open the iCal file without any errors). To setup channel managers and custom calendars in RLA follow these steps:
  1. Install and open RLA from your SmartThings mobile app
  2. Click on Manage property
  3. Click on your Property/Unit name
  4. Scroll down and click on Custom  channel managers
  5. Enter your custom iCalendar URL
  6. (Optional) By default RLA will consider all calendar entries as reservations. You can configure RLA to only select or exclude specific reservations based on the reservation title by configuring the options:
    • ...exclude if title starts with
    • ...include only if title starts with

  • How does RLA process custom iCalendar reservations?
RLA uses the following iCalendar fields to process reservations and generate the guest codes:
      The guest (user) name is taken from this calendar field. (a.k.a Title of your calendar reservation)

      These fields should contain the reservation start (check-in) and end (check-out) dates

      (Optional) if you've selected Using phone number as the option for automatic code generation in the Manage Property page, this fields should contain the phone number from which the user code will be generated. See the next FAQ, Using phone numbers, for details on how to configure RLA to extract the phone number and  generate user codes.

  • What types of user codes can RLA automatically generate for custom calendars?
RLA can be configured to generate 3 types of automatic user codes for custom calendars in the Manage property page:
  1. Using phone numbers
    RLA uses the DESCRIPTION field to extract phone numbers and generate user codes.
    By default, RLA expects the phone number in the first line of this field. It will take the last X digits, as configured in the Manage property page or as required by locks with fixed length user codes, found in the first line of this field to generate the user code.
    If the phone number is not in the first line of this field or there is other information in this field, you can configure RLA to identify the location of the phone number in this field. To do this, in RLA on the custom iCalendar URL page, enable the option Extract phone no. from reservation and then enter the beginning marker and end marker identifiers. The beginning marker are the characters immediately preceding the phone number in the DESCRIPTION field and the end marker are the characters immediately following the phone number in the DESCRIPTION field. Keep in mind:
    • While extracting the phone number, RLA will consider the phone number as all digits between the beginning marker and end marker. All non-digit characters between the markers will be ignored.
    • If no end marker is specified, RLA will take all digits between the beginning marker and the end of the DESCRIPTION field as the phone number.
    • If no beginning marker or end marker is specified, RLA will consider all the digits in the DESCRIPTION field as the phone number.

    • HostTools
      • Automatic (no markers required)
    • Hospitable
      • Beginning marker -> phone
      • End marker -> \n
    • Hostaway
      • Beginning marker -> Phone:
      • End marker -> \n
    • OwnerRez (when setup to include phone number in iCalendar)
      • Beginning marker -> Phone:
      • End marker -> \n

    • If you're using a phone number to generate user codes, ensure that every calendar reservation entry contains a phone number in the DESCRIPTION field
    • Don't forget to select 'Using phone number' in the 'automatic code generation` option under `Custom calendar` on the 'Manage Property' page
    • Some channel managers like Beds24 allow you to customize the DESCRIPTION field contents so you can configure it to include only the users phone number in this field
    • If you are unsure about the markers  your channel manager uses, download the iCal file using a desktop browser and open it in a text editor like Notepad to take a look at the DECRIPTION field to identify the markers.

  2. Using check-in / check-out dates
    The user code will be generated DTSTART (check-in) and DTEND (check-out) fields as described above. The user code will be first X digits (as configured or required by the lock) of ddDDMMYY, where dd is the 2 digit check-in day (e.g. 04) and DDMMYY are the 2 digit check-out day, month and year (e.g. Sept 6, 2021 is represented as 060921).

  3. Random code
    The user code will be a random code that is unique to each reservation (guest name)

  • Which channel managers & custom calendars can I use with RLA?
RLA can work with any channel manager & custom calendar that exports the reservation information using an iCalendar URL. The URL should be accesible from a browser without additional authentication (see the above FAQs for more details). Here are some channel managers and custom calendars which have been verified to work with RLA (the available features depend on the channel manager):

  • Can I have RLA automatically  send SMS and emails to guests from my custom calendar?
We will be adding these features in future.