Proptech is one of the biggest trends for security in 2022, according to the Security Industry Association’s 2022 Megatrends Report1. Proptech, or property technology – also known as real estate technology – is technology, software platforms or applications designed for the management, sale and rental of buildings. Within proptech, security technology is a fast-growing segment as building owners and managers seek the best ways to keep tenants, employees and visitors safe and secure.
As is often the case with technology trends, the loudest noise is around the newest and flashiest products. With proptech identified as a growth area within physical security for 2022, there is sure to be a tidal wave of new apps and other buzzworthy entries to the market. Many of these new products are costly, and may be too new to have truly demonstrated their effectiveness and ROI.
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As property owners and managers, as well as security managers, consider the new technology flooding the industry, it is important not to lose sight of the security mechanisms that are already in place. It is a certainty that virtually every building still employs keys – sometimes hundreds of keys – to secure every door in the facility. Whether or not new proptech software, platforms and products are deployed, many if not all of those keys will still be in use.
This could create a gap in security if there is no technology in place to control the usage of these keys. However, with key management systems, each key is securely locked into a key cabinet, and can only be removed or returned by an authorized user. It’s the best way to safeguard the keys in use now.
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Beyond security, particularly in the current pandemic environment, there is a need for information about building usage and occupancy. Tenants need to know if their space requirements have shrunk now that so many people are working remotely. They need to understand which rooms, offices and other areas are no longer being used enough to warrant keeping them rented, heated or air-conditioned and otherwise in service. Building owners and property managers have a need for data around usage of shared amenities, as well as overall density of traffic in facilities.
Here too, key management systems provide a wealth of insights. Each key or group of keys is attached to a “smartkey,” which tracks every time the key is removed from or returned to the cabinet, along with additional data including which key was removed/returned, who removed and returned it, which cabinet it came from and was returned to etc. All these data points can deliver useful insights about occupancy and traffic.
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One of the goals of proptech is to help deliver better experiences for property owners, tenants, employees and visitors to buildings. Key control solutions can help ensure that this is as true for legacy keys as it is for all security technologies.
1Source: 2022 SECURITY MEGATRENDS, published by SIA