6 Key Takeaways from Multifamily Tradeshows

Spring time always brings a world of new life with flowers blooming, graduations, spring sports and just people getting outside more in general (at least here in the northeast!).  So it should be no surprise that that there’s a lot of new life in the tradeshow world happening this time of year as well. Our team was most recently at the Bay Area Apartment Association annual trade show on April 13th as well as the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando annual trade show on April 26th and the Atlanta Apartment Association annual show on May 18th.

With around 1,000 attendees at the first two and almost 5000 in Atlanta, they gave us a lot of opportunities to connect with property managers, maintenance teams, owners and others to talk all about access control and visitor management in multifamily properties. Below is our list of the top 6 takeaways from these events:

  1. Unauthorized visitors: This one is pretty obvious of course and always rises right to the top of pain points for property managers. But what’s interesting is that the types of unauthorized visitors are evolving.  You still have residents harboring additional roommates who never filled out the application and living there illegally. But a new one presenting some unique challenges are unauthorized Airbnb or VBRO rentals – an influx of temporary renters using the space for shorter amounts of time.  When apartment buildings use physical keys, keypads or card system – these can be hard to track. The  registered resident meets the guest renter on day one, shares the physical keys/cards with them and typically has them leave them on the table or counter on the last day as they leave and lock the door behind them. A lot of the individuals we talked to were surprised to learn that smartphone access can be a solution to the problem. Because VIZpin credentials are unique to a user’s phone, they’re not easily shared with others.  In March we also announced a Residential Fraud Alert System – so property managers can be notified when unethical residents try to transfer Smartkeys back and forth.
  2. Property managers are done with cards/fobs: Just the mention of these access devices tends to elicit and audible “ugh”, the shoulders slump forward and we typically get a response – “I’m so done with dealing with these!”. Why have these become such a dreaded topic?  It’s simple.  Managing cards/fobs takes time, effort and contributes to other concerns on this list because they can be easily shared, lost or even stolen. Dealing with turn each month can be the source of a large headache as well.  We’ve reviewed the process with several property managers and estimate the average turn eats up about 120 minutes of their valuable time!  With Smartkeys – you can eliminate the hassle and save both time and money.
  3. Pool access is a headache: It’s coming soon – pool season! And with it comes the challenge of dealing with unwanted guests using the pool facilities.  With residents often paying an HOA fee or facility fee to use this amenity – they’re not happy when a bunch of unauthorized visitors become regulars at the pool. When credentials can be easily shared, like in the case of cards, fobs or keypad codes – they can and they will. When VIZpin Smartkeys are used they are unique to a user’s phone so handing off your access card to someone else to use is no longer possible.  Plus – if you need to do unexpected maintenance on the pool, property managers can easily login to their cloud portal from any browser to update a role and automatically adjust access for all residents with the click of a button.
  4. Maintenance teams are ready for smart access: While they may not be the primary decision makers in most apartment buildings, they’re certainly one of the largest influencers. Several of the maintenance team members we met with shared their frustration with locks outs, changing locks during turn, and managing vendors coming in for repairs or updates.  Every time you have one of these situations, these team members are pulled from other projects to step in and assist.  They’re getting bogged down with changing locks or managing keys.  Since Smartkeys can be revoked at any time for residents who move out – no need to change locks anymore.
  5. Product quality is critical: Whenever multifamily owners and property managers are evaluating hardware for their projects, seeing, touching and feeling those products first hand is a step that can’t be overlooked. It’s one thing to see the specifications in writing on a website or in a quote, but they want to evaluate it in person. It was surprising how many exhibitors don’t actually bring products with them to these events. We had our Entegirty Smart Locks and Bluetooth controllers on hand and users could see personally inspect them as well as see how they work in real time. (not to mention using the VIZpin Smart app to unlock our liquor locker!).
  6. Property managers and building owners need real quotes: While the world is at our fingertips with all the information on websites, it’s clear that information can often be misinterpreted. We heard a lot of frustration around the process to evaluate new projects. While gathering information on particular products or services is generally easy – getting the true cost to purchase them is not always the case. We let those we talked to about this know that VIZpin can turn around an official quote the same day that clearly outlines any hardware and services and can even provide future renewal costs. We want to make it simple for your team to find the right solution and we know that costs are one of the most important aspect of that.  We have a “Request a Quote” option on our site – property managers can fill this out and get connected with us right away.

If you find yourself nodding in agreement or saying “Yep.  The struggle is real” – we hear you!  We’ve provided access control options for building doors, apartment homes and amenities for apartment owners and managers across the country.  We would love the opportunity to share more about how our Entegrity Smart Property Systems can offer a solution that not only alleviates the daily stress of property managers and maintenance staff but can contribute to higher NOI and resident satisfaction.  Contact us today to get the conversation started.