Access Control: A Guide to the Basics

By: Amelia Woolard

A guide to access control from SmartRent.A guide to access control from SmartRent.
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Imagine enjoying access to your flat, office, or gym without having to dig in your pocket or bag for the key.

Consider the ease with which you could invite guests to your home without having to provide them with a spare copy of your key or meet them at the door when they arrive.

Access control realises these “what-if” scenarios for the most convenient access method imaginable. Access control systems are beneficial to those at every level of a smart apartment or commercial building: residents, their guests and service providers, managers and operators, and building owners.

If you’re curious what access control is and how it can be utilised in residential or commercial settings throughout the United Kingdom, keep reading for an introduction to the technology and its incredible benefits.

Want to dive in even further? Schedule a complimentary demo with SmartRent and we’ll be happy to discuss how this product can enhance your asset.

What is access control?

In the housing industry, access control refers to a method of automating property access, so that only authorised residents, visitors and staff may enjoy admission to these spaces.

Access control systems come in many different forms, from physical keys and lockboxes to cloud-based systems. Cloud-based platforms, like SmartRent, rely upon cloud computing to enable access, no matter where the resident or building operator is physically located. This offers convenience and scalability for property owners who adopt it.

Typically, automated access control involves the use of keypads and codes, which can be distributed or revoked by an operator. However, access control can extend far beyond individual units. SmartRent’s Alloy Access platform involves Bluetooth locks and mobile passes, key fobs, and readers for a customisable, community-wide solution.

Access control systems offer a safer way to control who is being given access to personal and shared spaces within a residential or commercial community. Because everyone wants secure places to live and work, it's easy to see why the service is growing in popularity.

According to Fortune Business Insights, the access control industry is expected to reach a value of over 20 billion U.S. dollars by 2027 and is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 9 percent. In other words, it’s a great time to invest in access control!

Residential access control

Considering access control for your residential building? That’s a good move. Residential access control is increasing in popularity, as it offers additional security and convenience for residents and provides an all-encompassing view of access activity for management teams.

Aside from giving residents the ability to enter their homes without a physical key, access control unlocks countless conveniences. If a resident is expecting a package, they can assign a one-time access code to the courier. If a childcare provider makes more frequent visits, residents can provide recurring access as needed.

Finally, residential access control systems can be harnessed for self-guided tours. Because prospective renters can receive their own access code, they are able to conduct the tour independently, freeing up labour spend for owners and accelerating leasing goals. Check out our recent whitepaper to learn more about the impact of self-guided tours on leasing decisions.

Commercial access control systems

Access control systems may be well-known in residential settings, but there are countless use cases for them in commercial buildings, too – so many, that HID Global and Security Management estimates that 54% of businesses will upgrade to mobile and/or door access control systems by 2022.

Like its residential iteration, commercial access control operates along the same framework, granting access only to those who have the correct credentials. Offering supreme flexibility, operators can use these platforms to distribute or revoke access in minutes. Employees can come and go at varied hours – a fantastic perk, given the popularity of flexible scheduling.

There are security benefits to commercial access control, as well. Because managers can easily audit who has been entering their buildings at which times, they are better equipped to recognise security threats. This round-the-clock surveillance also helps them avoid scheduling late-night security shifts, trimming labour costs.

The SmartRent difference

There are many access control platforms on the market today, but few compare to that of SmartRent. SmartRent’s access control systems are designed to increase efficiency, decrease costs and simplify everything relating to asset-wide access control.

Our top access control devices now include those from TLJ Access Control. Following our recently completed integration, TLJ’s electronic door locks and access readers can now be paired with SmartRent’s Z-Wave technology. This integrated solution offers the convenience and security of having smart building access management fully embedded within SmartRent’s digital ecosystem.

SmartRent also boasts an impressive number of integrations and partnerships, which make our access control platform all the more appealing. Instead of installing a solution that is completely separate from your PMS system, SmartRent builds upon the software you already use to manage your community, adding top-tier access control on top of it.

Curious to learn more about access control systems and how they benefit your development? Request a complimentary demo and we’ll be sure to answer all of your questions.