Student Housing Business

JAN-FEB 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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Page 82 of 88

SMARTER OPERATIONS January/February 2018 82 Amenitizing Security High-tech access and security products are becoming a sought-after amenity. By Amy Bigley Works W While access and security are basic aspects of any residential community, for student hous- ing communities, high-technology access and security features and solutions are becoming a sought-after amenity for residents. "Safety and security have always been at the forefront of student housing, from the earlier years of controlled gate access for vehi- cles to electronic key systems for the units," notes Sean Devine, director of operations for Denver-based Cardinal Group. "However, we have now entered the next phase of access and security and that requires the student housing industry to keep up with new technologies — students are moving toward an environment where key access will be exclusively through mobile apps." Scott Buehrle, director of MDU market sales for Single Digits, agrees. He notes that students are tethered to their smartphones 24/7/365, so integrating technology advances that utilize that device as the access creden- tial is a natural evolution for student hous- ing. "Not surprisingly, this solution is readily embraced by students when it is deployed and offers long-term cost benefits to our real estate partners, who no longer have to expend dollars on lost keys or fobs," he says. Operators and vendors, alike, are looking toward the future and gradually overhaul- ing access and security systems to meet the demands of student residents. "We are at the leading edge of a trend to get away from traditional unit locks and focus on electronic smart locks," says Brian Miller, executive vice president of Atlanta-based Haven Campus Communities. Miller explains that beyond the long-term cost benefits of removing keys, fobs or other credentials from the lock system, and the inherent marketing benefits associated with using smart technologies in Haven's proper- ties, the company has found that access via mobile device is an amenity that students truly desire. "It provides the ultimate ease-of-use and convenience factor for these young adults, many of whom may now enjoy those con- veniences at home and want their student housing to mirror their home experience," he continues. Polina Popova, director of business devel- opment - education in the Stockholm, Sweden, office of ASSA ABLOY, echoes Miller's com- ments, noting that student residents are exten- sive mobile users and early adopters when it comes to technology for fast-paced lifestyles. "As a result, student housing residents increasingly demand services that are mobile- friendly and personalized to meet their indi- vidual needs," says Popova. "Operators also recognize this and are taking advantage of the opportunity to offer better experiences and interactions with the use of mobile applica- tions that look to offer residents an ecosystem of integrated services." Smarter Approaches As interest increases from student housing owners, vendors continue to provide smart technologies and solutions for access and security for operators and property manage- ment teams. ASSA ABLOY offers a comprehensive range of security solutions, including its full line of VingCard electronic locks, Elsafe in-room safes, integrated software platforms and advanced mobile access solutions. Created with residents and operators in mind, the company's Mobile Access solution allows residents to quickly and conveniently enter their residence immediately with an easy-to-use mobile access, and reduces costs and time for operators by removing the pro- cess of preparing new cards for incoming students each semester by allowing students to use a smart device to gain entry immedi- ately upon arrival. Additionally, the platform streamlines operations with a fully accessible online system, user-friendly reporting and a variety of integration capabilities. Haven looks to provide cutting-edge tech- nologies to its residents that provide the ame- nities that students desire while simplifying the living experience. To accomplish this, the company has partnered with Single Digits (formerly Airwave Networks) to provide a suite of cutting-edge smart unit technologies. Single Digits is a global provider of ultra-fast high-speed internet, network management and integration solutions, HD video program- ming, VoIP, IP surveillance and innovative Internet of Things (IoT) smart apartment solu- tions engineering to meet the needs of student communities, explains Buehrle. One product that Haven Campus utilizes at its properties are smart locks for every door through Single Digits' IoT platform. Students can open the locks using their smartphones, providing true ease of entry and eliminating any extraneous key or FOB credentials. On the management side, property person- nel receive several benefits from the technol- ogy, including all lock interactions (entry/ exit) by a resident logged in the Single Digits software; remote management of all locks via app and PC software for lockouts, mainte- nance entry, inspections, etc.; and reduced turnover costs due to ease of electronic lock programming. In addition to Single Digits products, Haven also uses ButterflyMX, a smart video intercom system, that provides heightened levels of information to the management team regard- ing non-residents entering buildings. "With time-stamped facial images of each guest and logging of guest records, our staff is able to manage visitors and promote building security," explains Miller. "Likewise, students are able to verify via their mobile phone all guests that they allow to enter the property." Manufacturer dormakaba makes electronic locks and access control solutions that extend from the popular and economical RFID elec- tronic dead bolts to the Grade 1, full-mortise The iPhone displays a photo of a guest accessing a Latch property after using the R Series model, where the photo is stored as part of the access log, adding an extra layer of security and information to an audit trail.

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