Throw away the keys

August 5, 2020

Whether you manage a single rental property or thousands, you should have a plan in place to throw away the keys and implement a keyless entry system and smart lock. For anybody doing the math, the return on investment is abundantly clear, and the experience for residents if far better.

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Why every home should be a smart home

Many property technologies and services generate little tangible value to low scale property managers and rental owners. Without large sample sizes and geographic diversity, the return on investment simply isn't there, which has led many owners and managers to eschew technological solutions in favor of traditional, often manual, approaches.  However, keyless entry is the one major exception to this rule. For anybody doing the math, the return on investment is abundantly clear. Whether you manage a single rental property or thousands, you should have a plan in place to throw away the keys and implement a keyless entry system and smart lock.

Keyless entry: more than a Smart Lock

Sure, no keyless entry system can work without smart locks, but a smart lock on its own is not the same as a keyless entry system.  A keyless entry system needs to:

  • Allow one management interface for multiple devices at multiple properties
  • Allow for creation of temporary entry codes for tenants, vendors, and staff
  • Work with or without WiFi
  • Work with or without Power
  • Sync to scheduling software for showings

While a smart lock connected to Wifi can accomplish a small of these requirements,  no existing smart lock will itself cover all of our needs.  We don't need a smart lock, we need a true keyless management system.

Benefits of smart entry management

Smart entry systems offer a number of benefits to owners, managers, and residents and easily justify an initial capital investment, even at a scale of just one or two properties.

For Owners

  • Reduce re-keying expenses between moves
  • Increase rent revenue due to increased consumer demand for smart entry
  • Track vendor entry/exit compliance to limit liability and hold vendors accountable

For Managers

  • Self showings dramatically increases the number of vacant properties you can simultaneously manage per employee  (5-10x)
  • Reduce lock out costs and drive time
  • More secure, less expensive process for changing locks between tenants
  • Remote vendor access management saves time and money
  • Handle lockouts remotely

For Residents

  • Residents are willing to pay a premium for the better rental experience of living in a property with keyless entry
Choosing the right solution

While the space is evolving quickly, there are three primary leaders you should evaluate, all of which support multiple device types: Pointcentral, Rently, and  SmartRent.  All three of these solutions can generally solve for keyless entry, with Rently and Smart Rent specializing specifically in keyless entry management.

Given the positive reviews and pace of innovation, our current preference is Rently, as they offer the best combination of price and functionality for an all-in-one platform. That said, any one of these three solutions will offer an immediate upgrade and a tangible return on investment for owners and property managers at just about any scale.

About Elara

Elara is a full-service, technology-powered property management solution that handles acquisitions, renovations, ongoing management, and strategic disposition of residential rentals. With a combination of data-driven decision-making and world-class operating experience, we deliver efficiency and quality at scale to help you get more out of every home. Schedule a meeting with our team.