Why Access Control Is Critical to Your Proptech Strategy

“Proptech.” It’s all the rage in commercial real estate right now, but do your homework before you run out and deploy technologies to attract and retain higher-paying tenants., Be sure to take some time to evaluate the growing number of tenant experience apps against what tenants actually want.

Contrary to popular belief, a recent survey of office workers by Propmodo found that on the whole, office workers do not prioritize socializing at work. Instead, most workers want amenities that save them time and reduce headaches.. Topping the list of services that employees would use at least once a week via an app: mobile access control credentials, food ordering, visitor management, and service requests.

It’s not surprising that access control cards topped the list since passing through doors into conference rooms and other secured spaces happens frequently in the daily activities of a typical office employee. As our culture moves increasingly toward on-demand availability and instant gratification of every need via a smartphone, even the act of carrying a badge to swipe seems cumbersome and outdated.

The Rise of Mobile Credential Apps

As demand increases, so will adoption. Gartner expects that 20 percent of organizations will be using mobile credential apps in place of access control cards by 2020. Many schools have already rolled out mobile-only access control to their young, tech-savvy user base. As those young people move into the adult world, they will surely begin demanding the same amenities in their offices and apartment buildings.

Fortunately, mobile credentials are a win-win for employees and property managers. Employees love the convenience of having their credential in their pocket, and property managers benefit from the increased security built in to phones’ two-factor, increasingly biometric authentication processes. Mobile credentials are also cheaper and easier to assign and revoke than access control cards and can be used even for short-term visitors.

A number of security systems manufacturers have been offering mobile credentials for the last few years. However, if your properties have aging access control systems, including mobile credentials in your proptech strategy might require an upgrade to a mobile-friendly, cloud-based access control option.

To achieve the most seamless tenant experience possible you’ll also need to ensure that your access control system offers an open API. An API allows you to integrate access control with the food ordering, visitor management, and service request apps your tenants are also craving. Getting this part of your proptech strategy right might seem daunting, but it will pay off down the line by reducing costs and attracting more desirable tenants to your properties.

For inspiration on your proptech journey, check out how Lifestyle Communities, a residential real estate development and asset management company with properties in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, used mobile credentials to transform the experience of their residents. Click here to see our case study.