The current COVID-19 pandemic has placed front and center the absolute and urgent necessity of proper sanitation to ensure public health safety. What used to be the inconsequential practice of pushing doors to enter a property, especially one with a lot of foot traffic, has become a serious health risk.
Finding a solution to this problem has become an unprecedented challenge for residential rental property managers. Even though airborne transmission of COVID is the most common, touching a contaminated surface and then touching your face is also a source of infection. Fortunately, the solution has been around for a long time: touchless entry/access technology.
Touchless Entry/Access Technology
Touchless entry is a smart technology that eliminates the need to touch an object or surface with your hands, such as a door handle, to enter a building. The technology uses a device, such as a smartphone, or a sensor to automatically, and sometimes remotely, open doors.
An essential smart home tech that has been around for many years, touchless entry has mostly been used by hospitals and other healthcare facilities, luxury hotels, and other modern commercial buildings and offices. Many new residential rental property developments have also opted for the touchless entry upgrade to increase property value and appeal by offering high-tech and more convenient amenities, as well as better security.
What are the benefits of touchless entry?
The benefits for healthcare facilities are apparent; its use in other buildings mostly serves the purpose of improved convenience and security and provides a certain degree of luxury for some businesses. But touchless entry has become a critical necessity even for residential properties, and even more so for rentals.
Especially in properties that see a lot of comings and goings, touchless entry helps improve health safety by minimizing the spread of germs. Door handles are considered high-touch surfaces, which, in turn, contribute to the transmission of certain diseases. With touchless entry, residents of rental properties can worry less about getting exposed to coronavirus or other pathogens every time they enter the building.
Residential rental properties carry a higher risk of virus transmission because of the higher number of people living in the same building and using the same main entries. Any solution that reduces this risk is a critical step that property managers and owners must take, particularly during a pandemic and flu season.
Improved security is one of the main advantages of touchless entry. Consider programmable features, such as automatic locking and limited access to specific people or areas where the virus has been traced. There is always the risk of the lock being picked or keys being swiped or copied with traditional locks and keys. Touchless entry significantly reduces the risk of unwarranted access and, therefore, provides better security to the property and its residents.
No longer having to turn a door handle and push the door may seem like a minor convenience. But getting used to having a door that automatically opens for residents with practically no effort on their part actually makes the “old way” of entering a building seem like a lot of needless work.
For people with disabilities, touchless entry also provides more user-friendly access. For building staff, touchless entry means fewer high-touch surfaces that they need to sanitize frequently.
Touchless Entry Options
There are a number of touchless entry options suitable for residential rental properties. The most common is the motion-activated automatic door openers, often used in hospitals, hotels, big box stores, and malls.
A more recent type of touchless entry technology is smartphone-based access. With more than 81% of Americans owning a smartphone and users checking their phones once every 10 minutes on average, it is not an exaggeration to say that most people hold their smartphones in their hands most of the time. Tapping into smartphone technology and integrating it into smart home tech, including touchless entry, is a predictable development.
Smartphone-based access uses the phone’s Bluetooth or wi-fi signal, which is detected by a door sensor or smart intercom, to allow a person entry onto the premises. There are no buttons you need to push on your phone. You simply hold your phone up to the sensor or intercom, and the door automatically opens in response.
Touchless Entry/Access – A New Normal Necessity
The obvious benefits of convenience and improved security aside, touchless entry is a technology that has now become critical to implementing health safety measures in practically all types of buildings. There is no telling when the current pandemic will end, and even if we will ever go back to the old normal, but using touchless entry technology is no longer just for the new normal; it’s here to stay.