Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Electronic Key Control: What Property Owners Should Look For — Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed why it's important for you to make sure your multifamily key control system includes remote management capabilities and uses passive data collection methods. However, in order for you to have an optimal experience with electronic key control there are a few more things you need to look for.

Software Flexibility 


As your property management needs evolve, you want to have the freedom to use the software of your choice with your key management system. 

Abstract techno background
Some systems come with proprietary residential portal software, which can be convenient — as long as you’re satisfied with the software. In case you decide to switch to another type of software, however, you'll want to make sure the key control system is compatible with third-party programs.

Also be aware of any additional charges associated with the software you use (e.g., a per-door fee per month, which can become costly for large buildings).

Integration Capabilities


If you need to use your key control system along with a property management system, be familiar with what integration capabilities are available to you. For example, is the integration limited to simple functions such as emailing a resident when a key to their apartment has been checked out, or does it fully sync key data with the property management system's data? A full system integration is crucial for cutting down on manual data entry requirements and discrepancies between databases.

Support and Installation Options


Wrenches and hardware on metal surfaceMake sure you know what support options are available to you beginning with installation. Some key control providers offer complete on-site installation, while others only offer installation in major metro areas or require self-installation.

To make sure your keys are continuously protected after the system is installed, make sure you have support resources at your disposal to keep the system up and running properly. Find out the answers to the following questions:
  • Does the provider require a maintenance agreement? 
  • How much is it? 
  • What does it cover? 
  • Does the vendor provide support directly or outsource to a third party? 
  • What are the support hours?

Knowing up front what type of support you'll receive will help you avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.

Electronic key control is a must-have for your property, but evaluate your options carefully. It's vital to select a system that meets your needs, but it’s equally important to make sure you’re working with a vendor that can help you get the most out of your investment. For more tips on selecting a key control vendor, check out this post.

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