By Clint Larson, Saddle Rock Security
For decades now, we have been able to use proximity cards, keys, or codes to open a locked door.
Cards have had some advantages over keys and codes, but those advantages have disappeared. It is very easy to copy these cards, just like you would a key. Once the keys or cards are copied, then you lose control of who has access to the facility.
Today there are smart access control systems that give you the ability to utilize smart phone technology to authorize and grant access directly from the phone. Rather than turning on your phone, opening the app, and then clicking on the app to open the door; you can leave the phone in your pocket or purse, and then wave or touch the reader to activate the door.
So what?You can use your phone - how will that help? These systems are cloud based, in other words they are connected to the internet, but again, so what?
Well, once they are connected to the internet, you can start to connect them to other connected products.
What would you be able to do if your access control system was connected to the property management software? How about a reservation system for the club house or pool? How about cameras or lights?
Let’s look at a couple of items, like club house reservations and property ownership transfers.
How do you handle access now? What if someone loses the key/card, or gives out the code? How do you get the clubhouse key back, or how often do you change the code? What if someone moves into the community, and they want access to the pool the same day? What if you have 2 or 3 reservations on the same weekend? Who is responsible for the cleanup if there is a mess? How would you limit the number of people at the pool or gym? How do you address package delivery or vendor access?
With a smart system connected to other services, these questions are easily addressed.
Connecting to the management software then allows you to control who has access to the pool, let’s say. So, if the owners wanting access to the pool are delinquent or have an outstanding violation, then access would be removed (in accordance with the governing documents and policies). Once the delinquency was corrected or the violation satisfied, access would then be reinstated. This could all be done without any intervention by the manager or anyone else.
With smart access controls, you have the ability to enable a self-service reservation portal for residents. Users would then be able to schedule the date and time they wanted, receive access to the clubhouse during their reserved time slot, all without talking to the management company or having to deal with keys, cards or codes. With this type of system in place, you could accommodate more reservations without the worry of double-booking the space.
For vendors, you can schedule them for specific times, or they can call in when they are on the property and the manager can remotely open the door from anywhere, or you can provide them with a self-service vendor portal where they can manage their own access.
You can also connect cameras to smart access controls to record a quick video clip of who opened the door once it’s activated. You also have the option to have lights activate when the door is opened.
With the Smart access control systems that are now available, you can throw away your keys and fobs!
With the utilization of smart phones, you will receive better control and reporting, especially since people are less likely to let someone borrow their phone to go to the pool, then they are to loan a key or card.
Cloud-based reporting is part of some smart access controls systems that gives the manager and the board better insight as to who and when the facilities are being used. They can now find out exactly how many people are using the pool, gym, or clubhouse. They can find out what time of day and how many times a day it is being used, or how many times it is being used in a week or month. With this type of information, boards can now make more informed decisions about expenditures and upgrades to the existing facilities.
Clint Larson the CEO of Saddle Rock Security has more than 20 years of service to management companies, managers, boards, and communities. For more information, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.