Key fob entry systems are an efficient and reliable business solution for property managers looking for added security. Our holistic guide will cover the essentials of keyless entry systems and what kinds of key fob or keyless entry tools are right for you.

Read Time: 10 minutes

What are the Benefits of Having a Keyless Entry System?

Control Access Remotely

Grant or remove access to tenants or visitors through a mobile or desktop app. Keyless technology is wherever you are.

  • Easily change a fob or keycard’s access to avoid replacing or rekeying a traditional lock after a tenant moves out.
  • Change the access pin code to a lock after a short term vacation renter checks out.
  • Provide limited access to store & package rooms.
  • Provide temporary access to common rooms.
  • Allow potential tenants to tour a property.

Increases Safety & Security

Added security is guaranteed with a keyless entry system as each individual has their own virtual credential instead of a physical key that multiple people have a copy of.

Audit Trail of Visitors Coming and Going

An application-based timeline of entrant activity helps managers keep track of who is entering the building, and when.

Grant Temporary Access to Visitors and Vendors

Property managers can adjust time windows of access, which is great for managing staff, maintenance teams, cleaning crews, or short term tenants like vacation rentals.

Remove Access Easily With Just a Few Clicks

From a mobile phone or desktop app, managers can adjust the access granted to a fob or modify the access pin code that opens a lock.

Who Could Benefit from Having a Keyless Entry System?

Apartment Property Managers


Vacation Property Owners (Airbnb, Vrbo, etc.)

Business Offices


Types of Electronic Keyless Entry Systems

Keyless entry systems can be a functional and reliable way to navigate your building security. With modern technology by our side, there can be many options to choose from when assessing your preferences. Depending on who will enter a building, what kind of building, and why, your needs may vary depending on those unique interests. Here are the types of electronic entry systems and their full-spectrum elevations.

Key Fobs

How Key Fob Entry Works

Using radio wave communication, fey fobs work by sending electronic signals to a lock reader when in close proximity. Similar to the barcodes we use on store products or credit cards, each lock is programmed to grant building or room access to the individual holding the fob.

Pros of Key Fob Entry

Key fobs are an extremely convenient way to provide entry access without having to manually open or reconfigure physical locks.

Cons of Key Fob Entry

Depending on who your fob provider is, replacing a fob can cost more than replacing a traditional key. This all depends on who provides your fobs, and how many you use.

Best Use Cases for Key Fob Entry:

  • Apartment Complexes.
  • Multifamily Housing.
  • Student Housing.
  • Senior Living.


How Keypad Entry Works

With a numerical pad placed at the entry, all entrants have to do is punch in the pre-written code into the system and the deadbolt lock will come undone.

Pros of Keypad Entry

Keypad entry is a simple way of keeping your home or apartment secure without having to deal with the hassle of replacing individual locks. They are also ideal for letting others enter without the owner needing to be there in person to exchange keys. It is simple to change the code as you see fit.

Cons of Keypad Entry

One con of keypad entry is that it may not be the best solution for those who have trouble remembering codes. If you lose track of the code, there is potential for there to be a hassle to create a new code.

Best Use Cases for Keypad Entry:

  • Vacation Rentals (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.).
  • Supply Closets.
  • Package Room Access.
  • Self-Guided Tours.


How Wireless and Mobile Entry Works

Mobile access control entry operates by using your phone’s credentials to verify the identity of the access reader. Often, mobile phones communicate with a smart lock through Wifi or a Bluetooth connection.

Pros of Wireless/Mobile Entry

When using mobile entry systems it is contact-free, easy to set up, and easy to lock in an emergency. You can access your management system from anywhere.

Cons of Wireless/Mobile Entry

The biggest cons of mobile entry are that users typically have to open and launch the app associated with the lock system every time they need entry. Depending on your phone service provider, this could take slightly longer than a key fob.

Best Use Cases for Wireless/Mobile Entry:

  • Vacation Rentals (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.).
  • Student Housing.
  • Offices.
  • Storage Rooms.

Key Cards

How Key Card Entry Works

Using a magnetic encoder, key cards function by authorizing users with the specified magnetic strip code to unlock individual doors. Once the magnetic signal is sent to the door in close proximity, the deadbolt is unlocked.

Pros of Key Card Entry

The ease of use and cost-effectiveness are what draw many people to key cards. Key cards are also an excellent solution for property managers looking to streamline their security measures to be more efficient & are less expensive to replace than fobs.

Cons of Key Card Entry

Key cards, unlike mobile systems, cannot be accessed remotely. This can make temporary authorization difficult and more time-consuming.

Best Use Cases for Key Card Entry:

  • Hotels.
  • Parking Garage.
  • Gym.
  • Apartment Complex.

Biometric Technology

How Biometric Technology Works

Biometric technology captures physical characteristics of individuals such as fingerprint scans, voice measures, or face readers. The individual characteristics are secured in an authenticating software system to ensure ongoing access to specific people in a building.

Pros of Biometric Technology

Using fraud-resistant technology, biometrics are highly convenient and safe. It is harder for outside parties to falsify credentials that are singular to a specific person.

Cons of Biometric Technology

While biometric technology is quite secure, it can be an expensive option. It can also be a privacy concern for individuals who do not want to consent to their physical data being scanned and stored in software systems.

Best Use Cases for Biometric Technology:

  • Hospitals, Clinics.
  • Banks.
  • Government Buildings.
  • Office Spaces.

Types of Key Fobs

Proximity Key Fob

Proximity key fobs are the most popular key fob as they are cheaper and easy to administer. Using a simple credential system, the fob only has to be in close proximity to the lock for access to be granted. Proximity fobs also are easy to replace if they are lost. Their cost is low, and they have cross-compatibility with existing entry control systems.

Encrypted Key Fob

Encrypted keyfobs are perfect for vacation rentals like Airbnb, or any instance in which you would want to make multiple copies of a key in a way that remains secure and stable for mixed usage. The capabilities of encrypted key fobs mean they are harder to clone than a typical proximity key fob.

Dual Frequency Key Fob

Dual frequency fobs encapsulate both long and short-distance signal range for entry into a car, apartment, or garage. Their long-range frequency is the key difference when choosing between a proximity fob versus a dual-frequency fob. Dual frequency fobs help lighten the number of fobs you may require by enabling multiple signals in a single small chip.

Types of Key Cards

Swipe Card

Similar to a credit card, swipe cards have a magnetic layer that can be swiped in a magnetic reader for identity verification. They are an affordable option for property managers and can be convenient for the everyday user.

While swipe cards are convenient, they do have limited levels of security. Swipe cards have less authentication, meaning they could be more easily compromised by an intruder.

RFID Cards (Radio Frequency Identification)

Radio frequency identification cards utilize a range of radio frequencies to authenticate entry into a building. An RFID reader on a wall can pick up the identification chip in the card to let someone in. With embedded identity configuration, a benefit of RFID cards is that they are highly secure.

Some cons of RFID cards is that despite their high security, they are less easy to understand. Due to this, RFID cards can be less reliable long-term and stack up in ongoing management expenses.

Smart Card

With a microprocessor chip living within the card, smart cards have the ability to transfer important data and update your system with ongoing changes. Smart cards do not need to be replaced as often as a card that uses a magnetic strip, and they can be programmed to be read with different technological tools.

Smart cards, like other physical cards, can be stolen. There is an inherent risk of theft, however, their high level of security mitigates the risk of any serious consequences.

NFC Cards (Near-Field Communication)

Similar to Bluetooth, near-field communication cards use short-range magnetic field communication when two devices are near one another. The benefit of using NFC cards is that it is extremely safe, and difficult for any outside hackers to change the magnetic field communication.

Since NFC cards are heavily encrypted, they can be more expensive to use in large quantities. Depending on how many cards you would need for a property, the high cost associated with near-field communication may outweigh the security benefits.

Wiegand Card

Wiegand cards use a magnetic wire or coil that can be read electronically by a control panel to enable a door to unlock. The benefit of using Wiegand cards is that they are highly adaptable to different electronic key systems. Access can be changed with ease.

One problem with Wiegand cards is that they are not as advanced as readers that use a Bluetooth system like NFC cards. This means that the card reader and the encrypted credentials cannot both be changed simultaneously.

Investment and Cost Analysis of Installing Keyless Control Systems

There’s no doubt that installing a key fob or keyless entry system can have some upfront costs. Paying for server setup, software upgrades, and maintenance from access from control companies should all be included when deciding what is right for your overall budget. Ultimately, however, having keyless entry could save you money over time.

Once a keyless entry system is chosen based on your unique property or circumstances, it can enhance security and efficiency.

Cost savings:

  • Reduce labor cost associated with tenant onboard and moveout.
  • Eliminate rekeying or lock replacement costs.
  • Lower property risk through increased security.
  • Spend less money money spent traveling to and from a property you manage means you can easily problem-solve from anywhere in the world.
  • Earn more business by offering renters an easier and more secure access system.

Summary: Keyless Entry Fobs and Control Systems

The future of building entry and security is here. If you’re ready to integrate your systems and evolve your technological solutions, keyless entry fobs and other control systems can give your building a modern, professional exterior while keeping the people of the interior feeling safe and secure. Whether you manage a large housing property or own a vacation rental home, a keyless entry system could be the solution to saving time and energy down the road.

To learn more or receive a quote for your key system preference, contact the Prempoint team today.