With the growing digitalization of rental properties, smart locks are becoming a popular upgrade among landlords and tenants. These locks increase safety and convenience, allowing tenants to unlock doors with smartphones, PIN codes, key cards, or fobs, replacing the need for physical keys. Importantly, smart locks can also be utilized to grant remote access to brokers, simplifying the process of property showings and inspections. They offer the ability to monitor access remotely and get notifications on lock usage, enhancing the tenant experience and saving time for property staff.
Types of Smart Locks
Smart locks come in various types and can either replace existing door lock hardware or be installed on top of an existing deadbolt. They can be activated via a mobile app, a PIN code on the lock's keypad, voice activation, or even fingerprint scanning. Some models still offer the option to use a traditional key. Choosing the best type of smart lock depends on the specific needs of both the landlord and the tenant12.
Connectivity and Functioning
Some smart locks operate as part of a larger, WiFi-based system, requiring additional hardware and software setup in the rental unit, we will cover locks that require a consistent connection and others that use the user's mobile phone for performing updates and do not require a consistent internet connection. Connectivity options include WiFi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee, or cellular networks. Some smart locks can connect directly to the internet via the building's WiFi, while others may require a separate hub. Depending on the connectivity type, there can be implications for battery life, updates, and control of the lock.
Popular Brands in the United States
There are several top-rated brands in the smart lock industry, each offering unique advantages. For instance, Schlage's Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt is one model that stands out due to its advanced features and connectivity. This lock uses built-in WiFi to connect directly to your home's internet, eliminating the need for additional hub or gateway devices. It also features a built-in alarm and programmable codes, adding an extra layer of security. Moreover, it allows you to manage access remotely, including granting temporary or permanent access to guests, and can accommodate up to 100 users.
Another highly-rated brand is August, known for its Wi-Fi Smart Lock. This lock stands out due to its seamless integration with home automation systems and its simple, retrofit installation design that attaches to existing deadbolts. The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock also provides keyless entry and enables you to keep track of who comes and goes in real-time. Additionally, it supports voice commands through Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple's Siri, allowing for hands-free operation.
Latch smart locks are a cutting-edge addition to the home security market, offering users a seamless integration of technology and security. These innovative locks stand out due to their advanced features and versatility, making them a valuable component of any smart building setup. Designed with both aesthetics and functionality in mind, Latch locks blend seamlessly with various architectural styles and provide numerous access methods like keycards, smartphone applications, and even codes, ensuring that homeowners can always gain entry in a way that suits them.
Latch's dedication to advancing building security doesn't stop at merely unlocking doors. The Latch smart lock system also provides a suite of advanced features that allow users to track who is entering their property and when which is particularly useful for property owners and managers. With the integration of their application, users can grant temporary access to guests or service providers, all from the comfort of their smartphones. Additionally, the Latch system is compatible with other smart building devices, thereby offering users an encompassing, interconnected smart building experience. This level of convenience and security truly positions Latch as a leader in the evolving landscape of smart building technology.
Pops Tip 💡
Worried about battery upkeep for your smart lock devices?
Purchase this hardwired battery set and snake a wire through the door frame that connects to an outlet and your lock will have a consistent source of power, removing the inconvenience of lockouts due to dead batteries and costly battery replacements (especially for large buildings).
While the cost of smart lock hardware is relatively inexpensive, landlords need to consider installation costs, the number of smart locks needed, and the possibility of additional discounts for bulk orders. Despite the upfront costs, the long-term benefits of smart locks can outweigh the initial investment, making them a smart choice for modernizing rental properties.