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If you’re considering adding smart locks to your commercial real estate property, particularly a multiunit development, you’re not alone. Statista states that the global market size for smart locks is projected to reach more than $4 billion by 2027. Statistics show the worldwide market at $1.74 billion in 2019, which means the prevalence of smart locks will more than double over the next six years. Smart locks can enhance the security of both occupied and unoccupied units.

What Is a Smart Lock? 

Just like “smart” speakers, refrigerators and televisions, a smart lock is an internet-connected device. It may be connected to a building’s Wi-Fi network or to your smartphone via Bluetooth technology. Your smart lock replaces a traditional key, offering a seamless and convenient way to gain passage into a building. 

How Do Smart Locks Work? 

Some sophisticated smart keyless locks integrate with a cellular communication gateway that gives the user control of not just the lock but other smart home solutions that are part of the system. That means these solutions, such as Z-Wave smart locks which integrate with PointCentral’s cellular hub, don’t rely on the building’s broadband network to function. This improves reliability and reduces strain on network resources. 

Rather than using a traditional key, a smart lock might use fingerprint technology, facial recognition, voice commands or simply a numeric code to allow people into the building or apartment. The property manager or building owner can grant access to anyone by either opening the lock remotely through their smartphone app or by giving someone — such as a prospective tenant, real estate agent, contractor, building superintendent or tradesperson — the code to open the lock. 

Tenants, as well as landlords and property managers, can benefit from the security, convenience and efficiency of smart locks. Tenants should be able to program the smart lock to open for who they want, when they want. For instance, if a tenant is going on vacation, they can set up a temporary passcode for a friend who is checking on their pets or bringing in their mail. They can change the passcode as soon as they return for maximum security. 

3 Key Benefits of Smart Locks for Apartments

There are some important reasons smart locks continue to grow in popularity, especially for property managers of multifamily units. Most landlords and property managers recognize the convenience of smart locks since you don’t have to worry about losing keys or changing locks when tenants leave. But here are some additional benefits you may not have considered. 

Increased Security

While not a replacement for a security system, today’s smart lock technology offers enhanced security. No one can steal a key and duplicate it, gaining access to a property when no one is home. Users can provide access to those they are expecting, giving them unique codes that can be changed and revoked. Additionally, users can remotely check if your doors are locked from their phones, giving peace of mind from far away. The doors will also automatically lock if the renter forgets once they get far enough away.

Convenience and Ease 

Changing locks when tenants leave is a time-consuming and costly hassle. Lockboxes with passcodes to hide keys so that real estate agents can show an apartment can be subject to break-ins. Plus, real estate agents may forget the code or have trouble opening the box, which can delay showings of the apartment. 

With remote access to apartment locks via the smart lock app, property managers can remotely open doors for real estate agents or prospective tenants. It’s also easy to change lock codes and parameters when a tenant leaves or a new tenant rents the unit, providing consistent security without the costs and time of changing locks. 

Cost Savings Over Time 

Over time, the installation of a smart lock can save money by allowing you to allocate resources for showing properties elsewhere. It can be especially beneficial when it’s integrated with a full building property automation system that allows you to monitor and better control not just locks but also thermostat, HVAC and lighting remotely.

Are Smart Locks Safe and Secure?  

With threats of cyber-crime and hacking on the rise, property managers may worry that smart locks aren’t a safe, viable alternative to traditional keys. But with advanced monitoring capabilities, security protection and encryption technology on the app, your smart lock is as secure as any other electronic device in your home. 

Because PointCentral’s smart home keyless lock solution doesn’t live on the building’s network, it’s not subject to the network being hacked. PointCentral’s cellular communication gateway uses state-of-the-art security protection to help keep your property safe and secure. 

What To Look for in a Smart Lock

When you’re purchasing a smart lock for your multifamily property, consider the features that will add convenience and security to your property management. Your lock should allow you to create unique codes for real estate agents, tenants and contractors to enter the property. You should be able to delete codes once they are no longer needed to maintain security. Ideally, your lock should integrate with other elements of your building’s security and property automation systems for easy control. 

Your smart lock should notify you via the app whenever someone enters the property, so you can track activity. Finally, it should blend in seamlessly with the building’s decor for a classy look that is not out of place on your property. PointCentral, an company, works with Yale locks to deliver secure and stylish smart home locks for property managers and building owners. Get an exclusive free demo of our system here. 

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content strategist specializing in commercial real estate and smart home technology. Her vast list of writing credits includes Crestron, the Home Technology Association and LoopNET. 

Sources – Forecast Comparison of Global Smart Lock Market Size in Selected Years From 2016 to 2027 – What Is a Smart Lock and Why Would You Want One?