Five Access Control System Features for Apartment Building Owners
Managing safe and secure access to your apartment building is a full-time job. If your investment property is a side hustle, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to manage guests, tradespeople and deliveries. And don’t forget about letting residents who’ve locked themselves out in. While there’s no research to back it up, locked out situations seem to happen shortly after the apartment owner or manager has gone to sleep.
The solution to repetitive access control management tasks is a video intercom access control system for apartments that automates tasks and delivers the digital amenities that residents want and are willing to pay for.
If you’re focused on how to make your building a safe place for residents to live, or how to increase rent by offering the smart tech amenities today’s renters want, or how to modernize your building’s security wondering how to grow your investment property empire without cloning yourself — you’re in the right place. Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:
- What is a video intercom access control system?
- How does a video intercom access control system work for apartments?
- The top 5 access control task features you should automate.
What Is a Video Intercom Access Control System?
A video intercom access control system is a type of property entry management solution. It allows people with permission, like a resident, to enter a community or building. It restricts access to others until they have been authorized to enter. The authorization can come from an owner or manager or from a resident using the access control smartphone app.
The key components of a smart video intercom system are hardware and cloud software. In modern access control systems, the hardware unit has a microphone for two-way audio and a one-way video camera that only shows the person who is requesting permission to enter the building, not the resident.
The resident directory is inside the hardware which is mounted on a wall or a pedestal near the entrance. This is what visitors use to find a tenant. Note — the best access control video intercom systems have a high-definition color touch display that makes it easy for visitors to call the resident. And it gives residents the confidence that they know exactly who wants in when the video intercom system has a 135⁰ wide-angle live video feed. It’s perfect for identifying an issue before the resident unlocks the door.
When the resident touches the ‘unlock’ button on their smartphone app, it sends a signal to the door lock release. You can learn more about the pros and cons of different locks here.
The companion cloud-based software enables remote features like storing the resident directory and updating it even when the owner is offsite. The software, like myQ Community cloud for example, also serves up a smartphone app that allows residents to manage guest entry as easily as posting a video to TikTok.
How Does Video Intercom Access Control Automation Work for Apartments?
The internet of things (IoT) refers to the human/device connection that is enabled by software applications hosted on remote servers, commonly called the cloud. When connected with a cloud platform, like myQ Community for example, a video access control system can automate repetitive tasks for apartment building owners.
Here’s how. Investment property owners can automate resident onboarding from a single dashboard on their laptop or tablet. Instead of going onsite to physically rekey locks or to manually update the resident directory, this work can be done from anywhere without requiring the owner or manager’s physical presence onsite.
The IoT enables connectedness. And connectedness is what puts the ‘smart’ in your smartphone and other devices, like coffeemakers, thermostats and refrigerators. Each can exchange data with the cloud and perform pre-set, automated tasks.
For example, a video intercom access control system allows residents to automate guest entry management from their smartphones. The ability to issue a temporary pass to the delivery driver or a recurring entry pass to the person who cleans the apartment means that residents don’t have to leave work to let someone in. Or come back later to lock up.
Access control automation also means that residents are less likely to lock themselves out. It’s easy to forget keys. Not so easy to forget the smartphone that manages your life. But if a resident does get locked out, the owner or manager can let the person back in from the comfort of their living room couch.
The Top 5 Access Control Features Apartment Building Owners Can and Should Automate
Now that you’re more familiar with how an access control system works, here are five access control features that will simplify your management tasks and be useful to your residents:
#1 Resident Data
Building owners who rely on spreadsheets and manual entry of resident data are wasting valuable time. As the information needs to be updated often, the likelihood of introducing errors is high. Accurate information is what you need when assessing whether a potential renter would be a good resident.
Automate the management of resident data by entering the information into your access control system software just once. Then, edit from the convenience of an access control dashboard on your computer, laptop or tablet. Or, if you use prop tech software like Yardi, RealPage, Entrata or others, you can import your resident information with just a few keystrokes. You can also easily remove residents from the system and cancel their access credentials.
#2 Resident Onboarding
It’s great to keep your investment property fully occupied. But building owners who onboard new residents entirely onsite are engaging in a time-intensive process. With an access control system and companion software, you can be anywhere and add or remove resident credentials from the system remotely. You can even assign access to specific entrances, check guest requests for entry and take control of who comes into your building. Best of all, with automation you don’t have to be onsite.
#3 Resident Smartphone Entry App
Today’s renters expect modern convenience in the form of smart thermostats, appliances and smartphone apps that simplify their lives. A smart video intercom system that a offers smartphone app for access management sets your building apart. Why? Because having a video intercom system that is efficient, compatible, and secure with evolving personal technology is a signal to potential residents that their personal privacy and safety are a priority for your property.
When you automate access management for your residents, you’re giving them the flexibility to control access remotely from wherever they happen to be. In fact, entry control automation is more than an amenity in the way that shag rugs used to be. It’s an experience of convenient living that potential renters value and look for when they’re looking for an apartment to rent.
#4 Building Security
Responsible property owners are concerned about the safety of their building for its residents and the protection of the property itself. Now, you can worry less and automate more with a video intercom access control system.
Get real-time notifications and alerts about issues at an entrance, such as door ajar or repeated attempts to enter with outdated credentials. While you’re chillin’ in your PJs you get remote diagnostics that address potential issues before your residents even know about it. And with stunning HD video live feed and recording, you see what’s happening in front of the building — day and night.
#5 Emergency Unlock
Hopefully, you have an emergency plan with clearly marked exits and stairwells, so residents know how to leave the building safely. But the best access control systems also help in the event of an emergency. An emergency unlock feature that automatically opens all doors in the common areas of the building will ensure that residents can safely exit the building.
When your access management hardware is connected to its companion cloud software, you can do a global unlock without being anywhere near your property. It’s just one more way that a cloud-based access control system can automate entry management processes for busy building owners who are creating their very own investment property empire.
The Benefits of an Access Control System for Apartments
There are many benefits associated with video access control systems for apartments. Here are just a few:
Automation: Leave behind manual data entry and multiple spreadsheets to manage the property.
Collaboration: Connect and exchange information with property management applications without re-entering data.
Visibility: Get a single version of truth about the status of your property. Everything is conveniently kept in one place. When you make updates, they happen in real-time. Convenient dashboards deliver resident and property information in just a few clicks.
Security: Web-based applications are very secure with ultramodern encryption and backups of your data. Two-factor authentication protects and safeguards resident data. Cloud connectedness enables offsite access control management. You won’t get that with the server in the backroom.
Why LiftMaster is the Best Video Access Control System for Apartment Building Owners
Get everything you need to keep your building secure, your residents safe and your access control management up to date with modern, scalable solutions — retrofit or net new. With LiftMaster’s complete line of access control system solutions, you can protect every part of your property: main entrances, amenity rooms, gates, garages, package rooms, parking lots, fences, elevators and more.