“Access Enablement” enables not only security but also positive user experiences
More and more property owners are turning to SmartHome technology. According to recent studies, the main reasons are improved security (74 percent), more comfort and quality of life (74 percent) and energy-saving potential (72 percent)[i]. And where does the intelligence for smart buildings begin? With access. In contrast to previous systems for pure access control, advanced solutions for access management (“access enablement”) allow numerous options for adapting the use of buildings not only in terms of security, but also to the current needs and comfort of the users. This applies to commercial real estate (CRE) or apartment complexes as well as to hospitals or fitness studios. Brivo, a specialist in access management, shows the advantages that modern access enablement systems offer property managers, security officers and users, and why they will play an increasingly important role in the future for the success of the real estate sector and the preservation of property values.
More system intelligence for individualised user experience
Access control systems regulate who is allowed to open a certain door, use a lift or gain access to a certain safe and thus primarily serve security purposes. Technically advanced access management systems, however, not only decide what an employee, resident or visitor is allowed to do, but also define how users experience these respective processes. Access enablement tries to improve the respective user experience and make security- or resource-relevant processes more and more familiar or individual – comparable to the experience when someone checks into a hotel for the first time or has their first day at a new job and still feels well taken care of there right from the start. The system can act like a good concierge and ideally provide the user with a unique user experience. Access enablement systems not only control access and thus ensure security, but also contribute to the comfort and well-being of employees, residents or guests. To this end, such a system can also integrate areas and services such as heating, lighting or air conditioning. For coworking spaces, the system can also be integrated into the booking management, so that users receive access rights to the meeting rooms and access rights to work equipment. Whereas in the past, for example, a highly paid external consultant had to spend 30 minutes of his working time to obtain his access authorisation and assign his temporary workspace, he can now sit in an office tailored to his needs within three minutes and start work immediately.
The goal is to make parts of buildings or the entire building smart(er). This approach helps companies and landlords to better understand their employees, tenants and visitors and to adapt more flexibly to their wishes and needs.
Transparency about usage patterns
Companies or building managers also learn more about visitor flows and movement patterns in their premises and can define routines based on the anonymised data. At the same time, the system also detects deviations to which those responsible can react. At certain times of the day, for example, the direction of escalators can be adjusted, air conditioning can be regulated or the number of parking spaces can be adjusted to the actual demand.
In a hotel, for example, the access enablement system can be linked to the lift control system and thus ensure that each individual floor with guest rooms in the lift can only be accessed by guests with access authorisation. In addition, it is possible to link the system with solutions for escape route control and voice alarms to ensure that all hotel guests are warned and rescued in good time in the event of a fire. Heating and air conditioning can be adjusted to the respective current needs and thus be operated in a more resource-saving way. Energy-saving possibilities and the idea of sustainability are thus promoted.
According to a recent study by the auditing and consulting firm PwC together with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), leading representatives of the real estate industry across Europe expect property values to decline in 2023. This makes it all the more important for property owners and managers to offer users the most positive and sustainable user experience possible. According to the ULI’s executive director, a strong focus on ESG criteria, operational skills and customer orientation are needed, in addition to the right stock selection, for the industry to weather the current tense situation well. [ii]
With the help of an access-enablement approach, companies and landlords can provide their employees and tenants not only with a safe, but also a healthy and comfortable working or living environment. In the future, many different types of buildings will need this type of access management system. Locks alone or simple access control systems will no longer be sufficient in the long run.