Five Reasons Your Apartment Community Needs Access Control

By: CJ Edmonds

image of access control gate at apartment compleximage of access control gate at apartment complex
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Multifamily operators are currently deploying technology solutions on the property level at a faster rate than ever before in the industry’s history. The necessity to accomplish more with less in-person manpower during the pandemic demanded a new approach that embraced innovation.

In response, proptech companies have developed a vast array of products, creating an almost dizzying menu of options. Operators looking for a clear and consistent value, and a feature that complements almost all other onsite technology, need to take a closer look at access control.

With direct integrations to property management software and other smart home products, access controls enable operators to create a truly connected community. While the benefits of controlled access features are many, these five stand out:

1. Self-Guided Tours

Used sparingly just a year ago, self-guided tour platforms were among the proptech universally deployed during the pandemic. They’re now entrenched in operations and serve as an invaluable tool for leasing teams and prospective residents alike.

Access controls can take the self-guided tour experience to the next level.

A mobile-based access control system allows for easy implementation of a self-guided tour system by allowing prospective residents to tour the property on their own time without the need for a leasing agent. Mobile Bluetooth technology enables prospects to access elevators, amenities and select homes, but also limits self-guided tours to authorized areas of the community.

Integrations with interactive mapping systems also help to guide prospects throughout the property and allows them to experience the community via the same access privileges enjoyed by residents.

2. Security

Control panels, smart access locks and intercom systems create a network of security and visibility. With access controls, property managers can oversee and track who has access to the community, making it easier to protect both the asset and residents.

Cloud-based access-control solutions remove the need for expensive on-site networking equipment and allows facility managers to monitor the system from any internet-connected device. User record management and access to reporting has never been easier.

Operators can monitor visitor logs and run access reports for specific areas of the community, like garages, package rooms and elevators. They can receive custom alerts when doors are propped open. They can sync existing residents and users, establish access schedules and assign access permissions for specific doors to a specific user or group of users.

Access controls don’t just limit access to the community, they track and control access to create another layer of security.

3. Convenience

The days of fumbling through pockets or purses for the right key to open a door are over. A Cloud-based access control system provides hands-free access solutions. Users have the flexibility to choose different access methods for each entry point and customize the means by which residents, associates and visitors access perimeter doors, amenity spaces, garages and apartment homes.

Operators can choose to use existing key fobs or access cards, or implement Bluetooth locks and mobile passes to further ease access for residents, teams and other authorized individuals.

4. Transitions/Turns

An access control platform that fully integrates with the property management system establishes a single platform to administer residents access permissions. Operators can assign or remove access credentials in seconds, and from any location.

When a new resident arrives, or a departing resident vacates their apartment, access can be granted or removed immediately. And temporary access permissions can be assigned to better facilitate the apartment turn process between residents.

5. Vendor/Guest Access

That capability is particularly helpful when a third-party vendor is required for carpet replacement, cleaning or more extensive repairs. Property managers don’t need to be on site to meet vendors and provide access, and they can preset an access window for regularly scheduled vendors.

Likewise, temporary access credentials can be granted to guests of residents, enabling them to come and go during their visits and providing limited access to common areas and amenity spaces.

Moving Forward

An integrated access control system lays the groundwork and infrastructure to support future proptech deployments, and is fully scalable as a property or portfolio continues to grow. Multifamily is moving into the age of innovation and automation, and access control provides a vital cornerstone as operators build out their tech stacks for the road ahead.