Keyless Entry Systems for Apartments- Essential Tips for Buying

Gone are the days of fumbling with keys to get into your apartment. Keyless entry systems are revolutionizing the way residents and landlords approach apartment security. By eliminating the need for traditional keys and fobs, these modern systems offer a range of benefits, from increased convenience and security to reduced operational costs for landlords. The ease of use and versatility of keyless systems make them an attractive option for both residents and landlords. With options like mobile access, face recognition, and unique PINs, residents can choose the method that works best for them, while landlords can manage access remotely and maintain a clear audit trail of who has entered the building. By adopting a keyless entry system, apartments can offer a more secure and convenient living experience to their residents. In this blog, we will take a look at some of the most popular keyless entry methods for apartments.

apartment keyless entry system
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What is an Apartment Keyless Entry System?

A keyless entry system for apartments is a type of electronic access control system that allows residents to enter their apartments without using a traditional key. Instead, residents can gain access using a code, a key fob, a smartphone app, or a biometric identifier such as face recognition access. This could be entry to the individual apartment units, the building entrance, elevators or garage access.

Types of Entry Points in an Apartment Building for Keyless Access

While choosing keyless entry options, it’s important to first think through all the access points inside a building.

Apartment Unit Door

This is the primary entrance to an individual’s apartment and is typically protected by a lock or key.

Building Doors

These are the main doors that provide entry to the building’s common areas such as the lobby, hallway, and stairways. They usually require a key, fob, or access code to enter.

Vehicle Entry Gates

These are gates that control access to the building’s parking areas and garages. They typically require a key, fob, or access code to enter and exit.


Elevators provide access to the upper floors of the building and are usually protected by a key fob, or access code. Some elevators may also have floor restrictions that limit access to certain floors, adding an extra layer of security.

keyless entry system

Apartment Keyless Entry Methods

PIN Code: A PIN code is a simple yet effective keyless entry method. It involves entering a unique code into a keypad to unlock the door. Property managers can assign a specific code to each resident, making it easy to keep track of who has access to the building. Residents can also change their codes as needed for added security.

Key Fob: A key fob is a small device that can be carried on a keychain or in a purse or pocket. It allows residents to simply hold the fob up to the keypad to unlock the door. Key fobs are convenient and can be programmed to grant access to specific residents.

Key Card: Key cards are similar to key fobs, but they are inserted into a slot rather than being held up to the keypad. This type of keyless entry system is often used in hotels and other commercial buildings, but it is becoming increasingly popular in apartments as well. Key cards can be programmed to grant access to specific residents, and they can be easily replaced if lost or damaged.

Mobile App Access: With mobile app access, residents can use their smartphones to unlock the door. This type of keyless entry system requires residents to download an app and create an account. Once they have done so, they can use their phone to unlock the door simply by holding it up to the keypad. This method is convenient and can be especially useful for residents who are often on the go.

Fingerprint Access: Fingerprint access involves using a biometric scanner to unlock the door. Residents simply place their finger on the scanner, and the door will unlock if their fingerprint is recognized. This type of keyless entry system is very secure and can be set up so that only specific residents have access.

Face Recognition Access: Face recognition access works similarly to fingerprint access, but it uses a camera to scan the resident’s face to unlock the door. This type of keyless entry system is convenient and fast, and it can be set up so that only specific residents have access.

Voice Access: Voice access allows residents to unlock the door using voice commands. This type of keyless entry system is still in its early stages of development, but it holds great promise for the future. Residents will be able to unlock the door simply by speaking a command, making it easy and convenient to gain entry.

Swiftlane Keyless Entry System
Swiftlane Keyless Entry System

Considerations for Individual Apartment Units

Wireless vs Wired Locks

When it comes to keyless entry for individual apartment units, the choice between wireless and wired locks can greatly impact the cost and ease of installation. Unit doors may require a wireless lock since cabling can be expensive to retrofit or install. However, common area doors like building entry doors, which are used frequently, may require a wired system to avoid having to change batteries regularly.

Battery Fallback

Wireless smart locks should include a “jumper” style functionality or a key override in case the battery dies or the lock malfunctions. This ensures that residents will still be able to access their apartments even if the lock battery is dead.

Key Override

A key override option is important for those who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use PINs. This allows residents to use a physical key to access their apartment in case of a lock malfunction or a dead battery.

Mobile Access

Being able to use their phones to open doors nearby over Bluetooth or NFC is a convenient feature for residents. Additionally, the ability to remotely unlock doors for guests is a great benefit for both residents and property management.

Battery Life

Battery life is an important factor to consider when choosing a keyless entry system. You should check how long the battery lasts on the lock with a common amount of operation, such as 10 unlocks per day for a single unit.

Fob Access

Key fobs are another alternative to keys and provide better control and management than keys. They are easier to store logs of access and can be chosen between traditional proximity fobs or encrypted smart fobs that cannot be cloned.

key fob door entry system
keyless fob reader

Remote Connectivity

The ability to connect to the lock remotely is an important factor to consider when choosing a keyless entry system. You should check if the lock has a wifi hub to connect to it remotely.

Ability to Program Visitor Access

The ability to create recurring and one-time guest PINs is an important factor to consider. This allows property management to grant visitor access to dog walkers, nannies, visitors, guests, and more.

Door Lock Hardware

Finally, it is important to make sure you select the right door lock type, such as a deadbolt, mortise, or interconnect lock, based on the current door hardware preparation, cost of upgrade, and local fire safety codes.

Read our blog on: The Best Smart Locks for Apartments

Considerations for Keyless Entry System for Your Apartment Building

Key Fobs

Key fobs are the most popular way to grant access to large apartment buildings. When choosing key fobs, opt for encrypted ones over proximity fobs as the latter can easily be cloned.

Cloud Access Management

Choose a system that can be programmed remotely without the need for a local onsite server in the leasing center or elsewhere. This allows for ease of access and management from any location.

Mobile App Access

Select a keyless entry system that provides access to doors via Bluetooth and NFC technology using a mobile app. This allows tenants and guests to enter and exit the building with just their smartphone.

keyless entry system
Swiftlane App

Remote Access

Look for a system that provides the ability to open doors remotely from any location for guests and visitors, without having to contact the onsite or offsite property management teams.

Connection to Property Management System

Choose a modern keyless entry system that integrates with your existing property management system (PMS). This will automate the process of granting and revoking access for tenants when they move-in and move-out, reducing costs and operational burden.

Garage Access

It’s important to find a keyless entry system that also provides options for garage access. This will allow you to manage everything through a single system, avoiding the need for multiple systems in place.

smart intercom system

Replacing Fobs with Modern Keyless Entry Options

Fobs are commonly used for building access control but can be an operational burden for landlords as they require someone to hand out the fob in person and revoke it. With the goal of reducing operational costs and managing properties remotely, landlords are exploring keyless entry options to replace traditional fobs. By offering multiple options, residents can choose the method that suits them best, reducing the likelihood of upset or alienation.

Mobile Access

One modern option is to use a mobile app. Residents can open doors by bringing their phone close to the reader. This is convenient and hassle-free, and can be granted and revoked remotely.

Face Recognition Access

For residents without smartphones, face recognition access is an option. With systems like Swiftlane’s face recognition access, residents can gain entry using only their face. This method is widely accessible, as it can be used by everyone without requiring technical skills, and is also hands-free and hassle-free.

Unique PIN

Another option is to assign a unique PIN to each user for building entry. This method is simple and can be used by all residents. Landlords may have concerns about PIN sharing, but newer readers, like Swiftreader X from Swiftlane, offer a photo audit trail of PIN usage to make it easier to detect and revoke shared PINs.

In conclusion, by offering multiple keyless entry options, landlords can reduce operational costs, manage properties remotely, and offer residents the convenience and flexibility of modern access control systems.

Top Benefits of Keyless Entry for Apartment Residents

  • No more worrying about getting locked when forgetting keys
  • No need to worry about copying keys for each member
  • Easily change PINs over time to maintain security
  • Give temporary access to visitors 
  • Better audit trail for door access to your apartment 
  • Easy to use your phone instead of always having to worry about carrying keys
  • Touchless entry like face recognition options become available
  • Remotely unlock doors for visitors even when you are not home
  • Continue to use key as a fallback or alternative option

Keyless Entry System: A Game Changer for Residents

Gone are the days when residents had to carry multiple keys to access different parts of the apartment complex. Today, keyless entry systems have made it easier and more convenient for residents to access their homes. Here are some of the benefits of keyless entry systems for residents:

No More Lockouts

No need to worry about being locked out when forgetting your keys. With keyless entry, you can easily access your apartment using your phone or a unique PIN.

Convenient Key Management

No need to worry about copying keys for each member of your household. Simply grant access to others using the keyless entry app or a unique PINs.

Improved Security

Easily change your PIN over time to maintain security and prevent unauthorized access.

Temporary access for visitors

Easily grant temporary access to visitors, guests, or service providers without having to worry about physical keys.

Improved Audit Trail

A keyless entry system provides a better audit trail for door access to your apartment, making it easier to track who has entered and when.

Mobile Accessibility

Easily use your phone to access your apartment, instead of always having to worry about carrying physical keys.

Touchless Entry Options

With keyless entry systems, touchless entry options like face recognition become available, providing a convenient and hygienic way to access your apartment.

Remote Unlocking

Remotely unlock doors for visitors even when you are not at home, providing greater flexibility and convenience.

Fallback Option

Keyless entry systems also often provide the option to use a physical key as a fallback or alternative option, providing peace of mind.

Benefits of Keyless Entry Systems for Landlords

Increased Convenience and Efficiency

Keyless entry systems provide landlords with the ability to grant and revoke access to the building remotely, without the need for in-person interactions. This makes the process much more convenient and efficient, saving time and resources for the landlord.

Reduced Costs

By eliminating the need for physical keys, landlords can significantly reduce their costs associated with key management, such as the cost of producing new keys, maintaining key systems, and paying for locksmith services.

Enhanced Security

Keyless entry systems provide an added layer of security to the building, as they allow landlords to monitor who is entering and exiting the building. They also provide a record of all access events, which can be useful in the event of a security breach or theft.

Improved Resident Satisfaction

With keyless entry systems, residents no longer have to worry about losing their keys or being locked out of their apartments. This can lead to higher levels of resident satisfaction and a better overall experience in the building.

Better Access Management

With keyless entry systems, landlords can easily grant and revoke access to specific areas of the building, such as elevators, vehicle entry gates, and common areas. This provides more control and flexibility over who has access to the building and when.

Easy Integration with Other Systems

Keyless entry systems can be easily integrated with other systems such as security cameras, intercoms, and lighting systems, providing a more seamless and efficient experience for residents and landlords alike.

In conclusion, keyless entry systems provide a modern and convenient solution for both apartment residents and landlords. Residents no longer have to worry about getting locked out or carrying around keys, and landlords can manage properties more efficiently with the ability to grant and revoke access remotely. The multiple options available, including mobile access, face recognition, and unique PINs, ensure that everyone can find a solution that suits their needs. With touchless options becoming increasingly popular, keyless entry systems are the future of apartment security. Investing in a keyless entry system can bring peace of mind and improved security to both residents and landlords alike.

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Contact us for a free quote of our keyless entry system for apartments

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