Remote Access: Multifamily’s Key to Success

Integrating electronic access is a simple and profitable way to attract a growing audience of residents, mitigate safety concerns and streamline access management, according to Ann Matheis of Allegion.

By Ann Matheis

Ann Matheis

Ann Matheis

In this day and age, with technology reinventing everything we do, renters are just as likely to enter and exit their apartments using an electronic fob or smartphone app as they are a traditional key. Residents can now use the convenience of their smartphones—a device they are less likely to lose track of—to easily access facilities, unlock their homes at specific times and even tour apartments without a leasing agent.

But today’s technology and electronic access are not only changing the way residents enter their apartments, but also revolutionizing the way apartment companies operate. By leveraging remote and electronic access control, apartment operators can make the most of the staff they have, while maximizing the amount of time they have to better serve residents in today’s competitive multifamily landscape.

Remote access for service calls

Implementing amenities that are controlled via smart devices allow residents to grant remote access to their apartments for service calls. This also helps apartment owners, managers and operators save money by eliminating the need to rekey a lock if a resident loses their credentials or moves out. With keyless solutions, staff members and property managers can simply revoke the previous resident’s access and set up a new resident’s credentials using a mobile device or computer, without ever going near the lock itself. The result? Property owners no longer need to spend precious time and resources on the process, giving them the ability to focus on other operations that boost bottom lines and benefit residents. Plus, smart locks are designed to be integrated with other property management systems; meaning only one system is needed.

Important facilities insights

Outfitting a property with an electronic access control system not only frees up staff time, but can give apartment companies unique insight into which amenities and features of a building interest both prospective and current residents the most. For example, operators using these systems can gauge resident use of common area amenities, such as a common outdoor space, work out room or movie theater, by looking at the access logs that are automatically generated for these systems.

Once you issue that credential, whether it’s through a key fob or a smartphone, property managers can see any of the places the renter accessed along the way. For example, if a prospective renter is doing a self-guided tour of the building, a property manager can see whether they actually entered the gym and walked around to view all the equipment, or whether they just glanced in for a moment.

Ease of after-hours services

Another advantage is the ability for companies to service multiple properties within a given geographic region with fewer staff. For instance, an off-site concierge working from a central location may be able to serve residents at multiple properties after hours within a given geography for lock outs and access to other areas, such as mail rooms. This type of centralized service also ensures quality control and uniformity in the level of service residents receive.

Safety and security

Not only does electronic access streamline processes throughout a property, but it also can improve security efficiencies. Keyless entry means there are no keys to be stolen or replicated and no locks to be picked and bumped. In such cases with traditional key management systems, an entirely new lock and key must be installed on the door to restore safety and security, which is both time consuming and costly. According to a recent survey conducted by Schlage, 63 percent of Americans report that at least one person who doesn’t currently live with them has a key to their home, underscoring the vulnerabilities to unauthorized access. By implementing keyless systems, property managers can address these safety concerns and prevent unauthorized access on their properties.

Enticing the millennial market

It should come as no surprise that Millennials are one of the biggest audiences for the multifamily property market today. More and more, multifamily property owners are finding smart home amenities to be an especially attractive option to millennial residents and that many are willing to pay for the convenience and prestige that comes with. In fact, data from a recent Allegion study among college students shows that once a millennial resident has experienced the convenience of a keyless lock, 40 percent prefer them over mechanical locks and tend to worry less about safety and lock-outs.

Integrating electronic access is a simple and profitable way to attract a growing audience of residents, mitigate safety concerns and streamline access management so property managers can focus on the pressing issues that ensure maximized returns on investment.

Ann Matheis is the marketing director, multifamily for Allegion. For more information, visit

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