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  • Are Smart Locks a Smart Move for Your Multifamily Property?

    White Paper March 25, 2021

    Smart locks don’t eliminate the need for key control. Here’s why.

    With more people living a connected lifestyle and multifamily communities adopting social distancing measures in the wake of the pandemic, more and more properties are implementing smart locks. But is that the smartest move for your property? What if residents don’t want them? Can you ensure residents’ safety and privacy? Will your property truly be keyless, or will you have some traditional keys left?

    Before moving forward with smart locks, carefully consider each of these issues.

    Safety and Security

    One of the big draws for smart locks is safety. You can easily grant or revoke door access without needing a locksmith. They also make it easier to remotely unlock and lock doors for self-guided tours, which helps both staff and residents comply with social distancing guidelines. It makes sense, then, that some properties are opting for smart locks.

    But smart locks don’t always equal security. In fact, a World Economic Forum report identified safety and security as some of the biggest risk areas for internet-connected devices, such as smart locks, due to the vulnerabilities in the technology.1

    Residents’ Preferences

    Before trading traditional locks for electronic ones, consider how your residents will respond to that change. Millennials, for example, gravitate toward digital locks, with 60 percent saying they’d be more likely to live somewhere that offers mobile access control.2

    Not everyone feels the same way, however. In New York, one group of residents sued their landlords for the right to use physical keys instead of the building’s new smart lock system.3 Their concern was that the smartphone app required to enter the building would track their location data and violate their privacy.

    Key Control

    When you adopt a keyless entry system, you might forget about keys. But odds are, you still have them: backup keys for when the lock goes offline, keys to common areas or storage sheds, or even access tokens that function like keys (e.g., fobs or cards). Smart locks don’t eliminate your need for a key management strategy.

    Consider how you’ll secure keys, track who has access to them, and ensure they’re returned on time. Whether you’re using electronic locks or traditional metal keys in your apartment community, an effective method of tracking your keys and locks is nonnegotiable.

    With KeyTrak electronic key control systems, you can secure keys and smart lock tokens in a system consisting of steel drawers or a tamper-proof panel. To hold employees accountable, the system will automatically log when a user removes or returns keys or security tokens.

    Be smart about your key and access control processes no matter what kind of keys you use. Download our whitepaper for more tips.

    1 World Economic Forum
    2 Allegion
    3 CNET