Chris S. Smith

Nick Sachs remembers the old days of multifamily access control well.

“It could take a week to get a resident fully activated,” the vice president of property management for Baltimore-based David S. Brown Enterprises recalls. “You’d have to enter the resident information three, maybe four times. You had to enter it for the gate, unit, fitness center, and the pool, and then wait on dial-up confirmation.

“Now the same activation takes just minutes.”

A good thing, too. Research shows three in five millennials are more likely to live in an apartment with mobile access control. Nearly 70% of baby boomers say they’ll pay more for automated or remotely controlled devices. Fast, secure guest and resident access is now the norm across the 40 multifamily communities DSB owns and manages.

Chris S. Smith

Package Delivery Flood

Automated access control is also a boon for another group—growing legions of package delivery people. “Most guests now are delivery people,” Sachs say. “Almost every resident gets a delivery every day. It’s good our access control system records motion at the front door. Now we can verify the delivery person stopped by if there’s a dispute over a missing package.”

Sachs implemented advanced access control about five years ago. That early investment now looks prescient given the role of package delivery and residents’ reliance on mobile apps. Sachs says he looks for at least four features in guest and resident access control:

  1. Future-Proof Technology. “It should be flexible, robust, with a 10-year or longer product life cycle,” Sachs says.
  2. High-Tech Look. The DSB senior executive says renters feel at ease around the latest and greatest technology, especially one with a great looking front end. “Our system presents a large glare-proof touchscreen monitor with our logo colorfully displayed. It should look cutting edge,” Sachs advises.
  3. Software Integration. “The more we automate, the better it is for everyone,” Sachs observes. “We’re always looking for ways to minimize data entry by bundling services together.”
  4. Demonstrable Value. Sachs makes it clear winning internal acceptance is often just as important as earning tenant approval. “We have to prove to folks on the commercial leasing side as well as the residential side that the technology is absolutely the right product,” Sachs says.

“There are a lot of companies out there pushing new products, claiming a better mousetrap. We believe long-term product consistency is the best mousetrap.”

Chris S. Smith

Sachs singles out an access control system called CAPXLV from LiftMaster as the better mousetrap. The scalable, cloud-based video intercom system delivers the mobile app convenience and high-tech hardware styling residents like. Integration with property management system RealPage was recently implemented, with more expected by year’s end.

Sachs says peace of mind counts for a lot in his role, something he now has with the LiftMaster CAPXLV system. “Rebuilding the wheel over and over is not something we need right now, especially with good help so scarce.”

Learn more about how the latest in cloud-based guest and resident access control can benefit your residents, guests, and leasing staffs.