Banishing the Unmanaged Doors in Multi-family Properties

Brad Mushovic | February 23, 2021

Banishing the Unmanaged Doors

What is an “unmanaged” door? Simply put, it’s a door that hasn’t yet been connected to a modern electronic access control system. Depending on the size of your business, you may have a few, dozens, or even tens of thousands of these doors—doors that haven’t been given the chance to fulfill their life purpose—letting the right people in and keeping the others out, efficiently and effectively.

In multi-family properties, the sheer quantity of common doors, storage rooms, laundry rooms, mail rooms, and, of course, the multitude of unit doors present a real management challenge. By addressing them you’ll add operational efficiencies, improve the resident experience, and mitigate risks. So, how do you banish these unmanaged doors and reap those benefits?

To let that unmanaged door fulfill its greatest calling in life, you have to empower it to do just a couple simple things. Every door should, of course, be able to lock securely when needed. And it needs you, and anyone else you designate, to be able to grant access to whomever you like, at any time, no matter where you are in the world.

If you’re issuing and managing mechanical keys for any of your doors—and dealing with headaches like key cabinets, lost keys, rekeying, or people you don’t want to have keys/access any longer but who still do—then you have unmanaged doors. Mechanical keys don’t cut it any more. They have been the go-to solution for a long time—as in for thousands of years (wood pin locks have been found in Egypt from that long ago). Back then, losing a hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind, key might have been more than a fireable offense. Today, a lost key may not have such dire personal consequences, but it still can present real-life security risks as well as being annoying, time-consuming, and expensive. And traditional keys don’t leave an audit trail of who’s entered (modern software does).

Hard-wired access control systems ushered in the first “managed” doors. These systems serve a specific purpose well, but they cost between $2,500 and $4,000 per door. Because it can be expensive, time consuming, and disruptive to install these systems, they are only practical on a fraction of doors. Multi-family companies commonly use these wired systems for high-traffic perimeter doors such as main entrances and common areas such as pools or fitness centers. But that still leaves the majority of doors in a multi-family property needing to be addressed.

Fortunately, the right cloud-based access control software allows users to manage smart locks without being wired to anything. These smart locks can use a variety of communication protocols (e.g., Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, Zigbee) and can typically be installed by anyone who can use a screwdriver and connect a device to their network (if you want proof, read this blog about my then 11-year-old son who installed one on our home without any help at all). Smart locks shine when they are connected to cloud-based software so you can grant access to whomever you want, whenever you want, from wherever you are.

Which doors do you wish kept the right people out while letting the right people in on a day-by-day, or minute-by-minute, basis? To find your unmanaged doors, follow the trail of keys. How often have you or your colleagues had to deal with key transfers to let maintenance into a resident’s unit? Do you still have to be on site to allow a prospective resident to tour an apartment? Or to let cleaners in after a resident moves out? 

Fortunately, these challenges are easily solved with modern access control software. And that gets to my top advice for anyone choosing an access control platform. Choose  the software first. There are many excellent smart locks from many brands, and you’ll certainly find one that fits your needs. But buy the wrong software and you might seriously limit the lock brands and hardware available to you. Why sacrifice choice and flexibility when you can future-proof your selection? 

This is where RemoteLock’s software shines—and where it differs from other cloud-based software. RemoteLock is the only access control software that offers the ability to control any door, using any credential, with locks from every leading manufacturer. Should you tackle all your doors at once, or start with those that are particularly problematic, possibly a mail room or laundry room? We’ve seen customers take both paths with great results, so that’s really up to you. With the right software, you’ll be able to manage any number and type of doors on a single interface.

So, while there are millions upon millions of unmanaged doors, you don’t need to put up with them any longer. You can upgrade security, save time and money, improve the resident experience, and perhaps best of all stop managing keys—so you can spend your time and money elsewhere.

Get in touch with RemoteLock. We’ll help you banish your unmanaged doors.

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Brad Mushovic


Brad has over 26 years of experience in marketing management, strategy, business development, and operations. As chief marketing officer for RemoteLock, Brad is responsible for lead generation, brand building, and corporate communications. Previously, he was managing director of marketing and communications for Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—a global non-profit that advances clean energy solutions—and vice president of marketing, sales, and customer service for Outward Bound USA. Other leadership experience includes Registry-SafeRent—a service provider for the multi-family housing industry—Qwest Communications and Procter & Gamble.