Contactless Access Technology for Commercial Real Estate
Contactless access technology, also known as Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology, is a method of securely allowing users to enter secure areas or unlock doors. It’s fast becoming the standard for commercial real estate users and developers alike. A major benefit of using contactless access is that it is highly interoperable—that means any property you buy will work with any other properties you own. Because of this interoperability, most property management systems now support contactless access technology. You can use it to remotely unlock doors and gates so that maintenance personnel can enter your building at any time. This article outlines how you can get started with contactless access technology for commercial real estate today.
What is Contactless Access?
Contactless access refers to technology that allows users with NFC-enabled devices to make contactless transactions, through radio waves, between two devices. This contactless access system typically consists of a transmitter that is attached to a secure door or gate and a receiver that is attached to a smartphone or tablet. When users hold their phones near the transmitter and gate, the device receives a signal and opens the gate or unlocks the door.
How Does Contactless Access Work?
When users make contact with the transmitter, the device receives the signal. The amount of time it takes the signal to reach the user’s phone depends on the distance between the gate and the user’s phone. If the distance is less than one centimeter, the signal travels between the transmitter and the user’s device almost instantly. Once the device receives the signal, the user’s phone attempts to open the appropriate software to gain access.
Advantages of Using Contactless Technology
– Interoperability: The greatest advantage of using contactless access technology is that it is interoperable. This means that any property you buy will work with any other properties you own. This is particularly useful for commercial real estate users who are often buying and managing properties across multiple states or countries. It also means that anyone with a compatible device—for example, a homeowner with a smartphone—can use the same access system. – Security: Another advantage of using contactless access technology is that it is highly secure. Most systems use 128-bit encryption to prevent hackers from opening the door. These systems also employ two-factor authentication to make it even harder for hackers to gain access. – Speed: One of the biggest advantages of using contactless technology is that it is much faster than traditional access systems. This is especially useful for high-traffic areas such as airports, corporate campuses, and retail locations. With traditional access, it can take up to 10 minutes for a person to access the building. With contactless, the process takes only seconds. – Paper Reduction: Most buildings use physical keys to open doors. This means that a large amount of paper—approximately 100,000 keys per year—is generated. With contactless technology, you can use an electronic key that requires no paper. In some cases, you can even use a smartphone app to create an electronic key. – Reduce Costs: Another way to reduce costs with contactless access is to use one access system for multiple buildings. With mobile key fobs, you can easily transfer keys and manage multiple buildings. This reduces the risk of copying keys and inadvertently duplicating keys.
Disadvantages of Contactless Access
– Hardware Requirements: Another disadvantage of contactless access is that it only works with devices that are equipped with NFC technology. While this is true of most smartphones, it’s important to note that some smartwatches and fitness trackers also come equipped with NFC technology. – Software Requirements: Another potential disadvantage is that most software is only compatible with one property manager. Some systems will allow you to manage multiple properties—for example, by creating a “master account” for the entire portfolio—but you’ll need to take that into account when planning your transition. – Ease of Use: One of the advantages of contactless access technology is that it’s extremely easy to use. However, if a user incorrectly touches the transmitter or enters the wrong PIN, the system could be open for fraudulent access. This means that you’ll have to remain vigilant and ensure that users know how to use the system properly. – Re-entry: As with all access systems, re-entry is required. This means that you’ll need to keep physical keys or an electronic key fob on hand or in a safe place.
Research Before You Buy a Property with Contactless Access
Before buying a property that has the potential to use contactless technology, you’ll want to research the installation options available for the property. This includes the ability to add new transmitters or receivers and to make them compatible with different software. You’ll also want to ensure that the technology works with existing software and that it can be easily integrated with other systems.
Install the Equipment and Software You Need for Contactless Access
The first step in installing contactless access is to decide if you want to use a transmitter or a receiver. A transmitter is typically placed near the door or gate, while a receiver is attached to the smartphone. When you buy the property, you’ll need to make sure that the equipment is installed by a contractor. Next, you’ll need to make sure that the software is compatible with contactless access technology. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to connect the transmitter or receiver to the computer.
Contactless access technology is a great way to gain access to properties remotely and save time. If you decide to give it a try, make sure you research the installation options available for the property, install the equipment and software by a contractor, and pay attention to any user guidelines that come with the system.