3 Major Mistakes You Could Make When Choosing an Access Control Solution — and How to Avoid Them

Chrissy Priest | December 15, 2020

3 Major Access Control Mistakes

Investing in an access solution requires time, money, research, and resources. With so many options on the market today, the search can feel overwhelming: How can you be sure you’re taking the right approach for your properties? And perhaps a more concerning question: What happens if you make the wrong choice? Whether you’re just beginning to explore an access solution or looking to upgrade an existing system, watch out for these three common mistakes you may encounter during the process — and learn how to get around them with a few tips from our team. 

 

Mistake #1: Installing the wrong lock hardware

Perhaps you’re on-the-fence between investing in smart locks or sticking with your current locking solution, whether that’s managing physical keys or programmable, stand-alone electronic locks. And maybe what’s keeping you on the fence is the age-old adage of if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. But let’s be real: Those keys have been costing you time and money for years, whether they’re lost, stolen, or copied. Re-keying can become a significant expense for you and a nuisance to your team, and the same goes for stand-alone electronic locks that can’t be managed remotely. We highly recommend choosing cloud-based smart locks to replace dated hardware on your properties, and to save you time and money — but not all smart locks are created equal. While the cheapest smart lock or, on the other hand, the best-looking smart lock may seem promising at first, determining which lock meets the needs of each entry is critical to making the right choice.

Depending on where you’re installing the lock and who will be using that door, you will likely need an array of smart locks with varying network capabilities — like Wi-Fi and Z-Wave — and credential types, such as PIN codes, key fobs and proximity cards, or locks that support mobile and bluetooth credentials. For example, a multi-family property most often uses a different smart lock on common area entries as compared to internal unit doors based on usage, location, and the profile of users interacting with the door on a daily basis. Installing a smart lock that doesn’t meet the needs of its users or its environment could result in a quickly-drained battery, multiple expensive replacements, and disappointed residents or employees. And if you’re securing a busy main entry or a common door, looking beyond smart locks to a hardwired access control system (ACS) may be a beneficial avenue to explore. Click to learn more about when and where to use a hardwired ACS.

Solution: Instead of basing your priorities on cost or aesthetics, consider the user profiles and environments of each door you’re securing.
 

Mistake #2: Settling for an access control platform

While you’re replacing hardware and upgrading your property’s access system, you could also be unknowingly choosing access control software: A number of access platforms require the use of proprietary smart locks, restricting you from more robust, more flexible, and more effective options. An access control platform can centralize all of your properties, doors, and locks onto one dashboard, allowing you to manage all aspects of your property from your mobile phone or laptop — but many software providers offer limited capabilities when it comes to smart lock compatibility and integrations.

Software that’s difficult to use and requires an IT team to manage should also be a red flag: An access control platform should be simple — no matter who’s using it — especially in the case of emergencies or issues that require swift attention. Instead, focus your search to a universal access control solution, such as RemoteLock, which offers compatibility with the leading smart lock brands like Schlage, August, and Kwikset, and can also support hardwired access control systems like Mercury and HID. RemoteLock’s open API also connects you to 3rd-party integrations you already know and trust, such as Airbnb, Guesty, Pynwheel, and more, and can adapt to your access needs across all of your properties.

 

Solution: Avoid the limitations that come along with proprietary providers. Instead, choose a flexible, intuitive, and scalable software platform that works with all locks and doors, and can also support additional integrations your team is already using. 

 

Mistake #3: Sourcing a short-term fix

Don’t select hardware and software that simply get the job done today. For now, it may seem easiest and most cost-effective to install a basic, stand-alone electronic lock without software capabilities — but what will you need in a few years? No matter where you are in your access control journey, considering the future of your business is key to choosing the right solution that will consistently support your properties. The smart locks you choose today may not fit the needs of your guests, your residents, your employees, or your properties five years from now — and the same goes for software. Selecting an adaptable and future-proof access control solution will ensure your system’s sustainability, particularly if (and when) you choose to change hardware down the road.

In addition, consider how much your business may need to shift in the coming years to accommodate new technologies, such as progressions in IoT (Internet of Things), new cloud-based solutions, and new integrations. How flexible is your software platform today? Does it require proprietary locks? Can it be integrated with 3rd-party platforms? These questions may help determine whether your current solution will be the best option in the long-term.

Solution: Imagine your business in 5-10 years, and consider how much your access control needs may change. Invest in a scalable system that can support the growth of your properties as well as the shifting trends in technology.

 

Ready to explore the transformative capabilities of a universal access control platform? Contact RemoteLock today to see how our solution can work for your business.

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Chrissy Priest

Senior Writer

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Chrissy Priest is RemoteLock's Senior Writer and Editor and specializes in bringing complex topics in tech to life. Prior to her roles in SaaS, Chrissy worked in account management and branding at a digital agency supporting brands like ADT Security, Mr. Coffee, and Sports Authority. Inspired by the power of human potential, Chrissy’s writing helps enterprise innovators identify cutting-edge technologies capable of driving meaningful business impact.