Cover Image for Smart Access Transforms Communities for the Better

Smart Access Transforms Communities for the Better

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Robert Mudd
Robert Mudd

What exactly is smart access? How much does off-site access control result in value? And how does it empower residents? These are questions—important ones—that we’re more than happy to address. Tackling the first question is simple. Smart access is the ability to control and manage every lock, everywhere, every time it’s needed or desired. Anything less, as we illustrated in last week’s blog, is neither “smart” nor “intelligent”. If your lock doesn’t give you the ability to use it from a remote mountain top deep in the Rockies, it’s simply not smart.Really, the true benefits of off-site smart access control are two-fold: providing instant control for both residents and property staff, and eliminating wasted time and effort. We’ve already adopted a concept of this with remote door unlock in our vehicles. Clock the door open from the window in the dining room so your significant other can retrieve something from the car. When is the last time you used a metal key to unlock that same car? Does your car even have one? Want more evidence? Glad you asked! Let’s go deeper.

Open Doors, Out of Home

Physical keys for front doors, just like the separate car door keys, are antiquated. The carabiners, pockets and purses of your average person are far too crowded as it is; and with the latest must have - masks - they’ve got more than enough items on a single person without adding another old-fashioned key. When residents have the ability to unlock the door to their apartments from their smartphone using our mobile app, then that’s not only one less thing to worry about, it mimics the replacement of all the other locks with all the other keys that now sit idly in their junk drawers.

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On top of that residents can also grant access to vendors, package delivery persons and their guests while away from home. No more waiting around for that consistently late dog walker, leaving your keys under the mat for the housecleaner, or harassing property management to facilitate the hundredth key transfer of that month. Speaking of those managers, what does this provide them?

Time Management

Hours and hours every week of the management staff’s time is wasted tracking down physical keys and going to vacant units to prepare them for showings. This figure doesn’t include when a vendor or guest loses a physical key, something that happens
so regularly it blows the mind, which then requires changing out a tumbler or pinning a new lock. Every one of us that has dealt with these situations wants a better system. With smart access the entire property can be managed from behind any property manager’s desk. And it goes beyond just the managers.

Maintenance staff can receive temporary e-keys containing a window of validity that grant specific access to units for work order completion. Trying to go contactless? Leasing agents can set up self-guided tours for prospective residents so both parties can feel safer, and staff can free up their day for more resident services and retention activities. Imagine reclaiming 15 minutes of valuable time per work order? All in all, smart access control transforms an important aspect of property operations into a well-oiled, and at times automated, machine—allowing for notable improvements in efficiency and productivity.

What’s next?

Is this the totality of the benefits of smart access? No. Will there be hurdles to overcome while the residents incorporate a new access system? Yes. Do the benefits outweigh the risks in every category? Let’s figure that out together as we get deeper into implementing Episense’s building intelligence to your next development, value add, or acquisition.

Robert Mudd
VP, Business Development

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