The Hidden Costs of Bad Access Control

July 15, 2020

Mechanical keys get lost and cost you money.

As a property manager, it’s your job to not only keep your multi-family property fully occupied and running smoothly, but also to do it as affordably as possible. Maintaining a lean operation that still provides a premium tenant experience requires a thoughtful approach to budgeting and an eye for cost-saving opportunities. But if you’re not using an access control system to control doors throughout your property portfolio, you could be wasting money. Let’s look at some of the hidden costs of bad access control (and no access control at all), and how you can streamline your operation by upgrading to a more powerful, easier-to-use system.


The costs of no access control

Let’s start by looking at what it costs to have no access management system at all. This means you have no smart locks anywhere in your multi-family property, and still use a mechanical lock and key for all of your doors. Perhaps the most obvious question then is: How much do you spend on locks and keys each year? Tenants lose or break keys all the time, and continuously replacing that hardware can create a higher bill than you might expect. But there are other costs associated with physical keys as well.

Let’s say a tenant lost their key and needs to access his or her apartment at 2 a.m. What does it cost you to send someone over to let the tenant in? If you force the tenant to call an emergency locksmith, what does that cost you in terms of the tenant experience you provide to your residents? If you use shared keys for your maintenance or sales staff, you run the risk of keys being lost or even falling into the wrong hands. This could prevent maintenance staff from processing requests in a timely fashion or delay the start of apartment tours. If things aren’t getting fixed quickly and you have difficulty even showing open units in the first place, what impact is that going to have on your bottom line?

Homesharing can be a great revenue source as it allows property managers and their long-term residents to offer short-term rentals and share those profits. But with physical keys, the logistics of managing access can make homesharing an unrealistic prospect, potentially representing a missed revenue source. If you decide to pursue homesharing anyway, multiple keys in multiple hands represent increased liability for your company.

Overall, how much time does your property management staff spend managing access for various tenants and visitors? From letting in maintenance workers and delivery personnel to scheduling apartment tours, every second you spend manually managing doors is time that could be spent on profit-generating activities.

While it can be difficult to quantify some of these opportunity costs, it’s important to recognize all the ways that not having any sort of access management system could be costing you time and money in your operations.


The costs of poor access control

Having any access management system is certainly better than having no system at all. But there can still be hidden costs if you’re not using an updated system that utilizes the latest technology. The first cost comes from a lack of system interoperability. In other words, if your access management system doesn’t work with all of your hardware, you’ve got a problem. Replacing hardware to standardize locks is a significant investment, and tasking IT to integrate all of your systems can mean yet another cost. By investing in one system that works across your entire enterprise and is hardware agnostic, you can eliminate this complexity and install a system that increases efficiency in multiple areas of your operation.

Another potential cost can come from a lack of system sophistication. For example, outdated systems may present additional costs associated with onsite servers and infrastructure maintenance. But a more modern, cloud-based system eliminates those maintenance costs while giving you access from everywhere so you can be more agile in your operations.

An unreliable system that experiences frequent outages could create costs in any number of ways, from preventing maintenance personnel from stopping emergency leaks to canceling apartment tours. Also, if your system doesn’t provide detailed entry records so you can analyze your operation and find opportunities for greater efficiency in your maintenance processes, you could be leaving money on the table. Taking time to create those kinds of reports by-hand is yet another example of time wasted by office personnel that could be put to better use.

When thinking about the costs associated with access control systems, you need to truly consider how something as simple as managing access to doors can impact your operation. When you add up all the hours you spend managing access for both your employees and outside personnel, what are the true costs to your operation and your tenant experience? By investing in a superior system that employs the latest technology available, you will cut many of those costs while making your entire enterprise more efficient.


Ready to improve access management and cut costs at your multi-family property? Contact RemoteLock today to learn how our innovative solution could help transform your business.

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