New Solutions for Multifamily Access Control

Cloud platforms and mobile credentials offer convenience and security

Jennifer Lytle headshot
Jennifer Lytle is vice president and general manager, emerging business at LiftMaster.

Access control systems for apartments, condominiums and gated communities have evolved from traditional methods such as keys, cards and fobs to more advanced solutions.

Smart access control presents an opportunity to foster new client relationships, and security integrators who are serious about growing their business should get in front of the transition from traditional legacy approaches.

The new standard for convenient and secure entrance control is a cloud platform that automates entry requests and gives residents an app that controls every entrance.

What to Know About Cloud Access Control Systems

For multifamily property managers, it can be time consuming to grant entry to large numbers of visitors, including delivery drivers, service people, maintenance crews, and guests. Whether the entrance to be secured is a gate, an outside door, an interior door like a package locker, or a resident’s front door, there are too many people and deliveries for managers to oversee on top of other responsibilities.

A cloud access control platform automates entry management for busy multifamily buildings. The benefits of such a platform are many and include the following.

  • Scalability – It is flexible, accommodating changes in the number of doors to secure and the number of users, as well as adjustments to access levels without having to update the software.
  • Flexibility – It can be accessed and managed from anywhere using a web browser, tablet or laptop for property managers and a smartphone app for residents. Property managers can grant or revoke access to anyone from anywhere.
  • Cost effectiveness – It is sold “as a service,” with a monthly subscription, which avoids large capital expenditures.
  • Security – It uses encryption and authentication protocols to protect the data and communication between the devices and the servers.

What to Know About Mobile Credentials

A cloud entrance control platform enables mobile credentials and allows residents to use a smartphone app as a digital key. Using wireless technologies such as Bluetooth or near-field communication (NFC), mobile credentials communicate with either smart card readers or video intercoms installed at property entrances. They are a convenient and secure alternative to physical keys, cards and fobs, especially for Millennials and Gen Z, who use their smartphones for everything.

According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global market for mobile access control is expected to grow from $1.2 billion in 2020 to $3.6 billion by 2025 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.9 percent.

The report cites the increasing adoption of smartphones, the rising demand for contactless access control solutions, and the growing awareness among property managers that today’s renters value entry control apps and will pay higher rents to get them.

Mobile credentials provide multiple benefits, chief among them convenience and security. Encryption and authentication protocols prevent unauthorized access and card cloning and allow property managers to revoke or send new credentials remotely and receive notifications of access events.

Benefits of Cloud-Based Solutions and Mobile Credentials:
Enhance appeal and value of property with modern and convenient features
Improve operational efficiency and cost effectiveness by eliminating keys, cards and fobs
Increase security and compliance through real-time control of access

Demand Drivers

Three trends are contributing to the increasing use of mobile credentials.

Demand for smart home technology and security

According to Statista, the global smart home market reached $141 billion in 2023. More renters want smart home features that enhance comfort, convenience and security, such as voice control hubs, smart thermostats, smart video intercoms and smart locks.

Shift to contactless solutions

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the interest in contactless solutions to reduce the risk of infection. Although surface transmission is not the threat it was once thought to be, a preference for touchless solutions remains.

Rise of remote work

The pandemic also increased the number of people who work from home or have hybrid schedules. According to a report by Upwork, 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025, an 87% increase from prepandemic levels. As a result, more residents need to manage access for guests from their home office.

Choosing a Trusted Access Control Brand

Not all cloud access control platforms and mobile credentials are created equally. Security integrators add value to their business when they recommend products that are designed for a flawless customer experience and are built to last in high-traffic areas. It is essential to provide customers with a trusted brand that will deliver the best solutions and support.

Cloud platforms and mobile credentials are the most important security trends shaping the future of multifamily access control. By improving and expanding their service offerings and encouraging the adoption of these solutions, security integrators can add value to their business through bundled product purchases, installation and maintenance support. At the same time, they are helping property managers increase their property’s appeal and value, improve operational efficiency, and increase net operating income by attracting renters who value smart tech and will pay more to get it.