Smart-home products aren't just for homeowners—renters and property managers, too, can benefit from the technology, especially when it comes to security.
According to a survey conducted by lock manufacturer Schlage and Wakefield Research of 1,000 U.S. multifamily renters, millennials, especially, are interested in home technology and are willing to pay more for smart upgrades. Specifically, the survey team found that 86% of millennials are willing to pay about one-fifth more for a smart apartment, defined as including automated or remotely controlled devices, such as a smart lock, automated thermostat, or lighting controls.
And Gen Y wants apartments with increased security—61% are likely to rent an apartment specifically because of its electronic-access features, including keyless entry doors, and 55% are likely to pay more for an apartment that has “high-tech” door locks, the survey reveals.
Here are six smart locks that are suitable for multifamily buildings.
Kwikset's Kevo Convert can turn any existing deadbolt into a smart lock. The lock installs on the inside of a door and connects with Bluetooth technology on a smart phone to lock or unlock the door. Using real-time notifications, the accompanying Kevo app shows who has locked or unlocked the door and allows users to activate virtual e-keys for visitors. The product also features an auto-lock function and the ability to disable e-keys and phone access if a connected phone is lost or stolen. Since the lock doesn’t replace the exterior hardware, users will always have a manual-key override if necessary.
The August Home Smart Lock Mortise Kit converts mortise-style locks, which tend to be typical in multifamily construction, into smart locks that renters can control from their smart phone. Both residents and managers can control access to units via Bluetooth and remotely via Wi-Fi. The kit includes a mounting plate and adapter that allow users to connect the smart lock to a mortise lock. The lock installs on the inside of the door so the existing exterior door hardware stays the same and occupants can still use a traditional key at any time.
Schlage Control Smart Interconnected Locks with the company’s ENGAGE technology use a cloud-based approach, enabling property managers to control access to units through a compatible app of their choice. Residents can control access to their individual units through a smart phone or a smart credential, such as a card or key fob. The keyless design is pick- and bump-proof for added security and can withstand forced entry from kicks, sledgehammers, and crowbar attacks, claims the company. The lock is available in four finishes.
With the Yale Assure lock, residents can lock or unlock their units on their smart phone or enter a four- to eight- digit PIN to open the door. When paired with Bluetooth technology, the system’s Twist & Go function lets users rotate the smart phone into landscape view, return to portrait view up to 120 seconds before approaching the door, and then tap the check mark on the keypad to unlock the door. Users can create up to 12 unique PIN codes through the Yale Assure app. The lock comes in both keyed and keyless versions of the touchscreen mode, or a push-button deadbolt option, and can be upgraded for compatibility with a number of smart-home systems, including Apple HomeKit, Z-Wave, and ZigBee.
Users can open the Latch M lock with a smart phone, smart card, door code on the lock’s touchscreen pad, or backup manual keys. Users can grant temporary door codes to those who need access. The system includes a camera that keeps a photo access log of people who've come to the door, complete with time stamps, and runs on Bluetooth technology. The lock’s AA batteries last for up to a year with normal usage, according to the company.
Using Bluetooth technology, the Bolt by Lockitron allows residents to control their lock from a smart phone through the Lockitron app. The app also features a proximity sensor that will unlock the door as the resident nears the lock, and can send notifications if someone has locked or unlocked the door. The lock can be retrofitted onto an existing lock, and the keys can be matched so that neither residents nor property managers have to get a new key once the lock is installed.