Finding the Right Access Control Installer: 5 key Insights

Unlock essential tips for choosing the right access control system and installer for multifamily buildings. Our guide simplifies the selection process, focusing on key considerations and questions to ensure secure, efficient access control solutions.

Choosing the right access control installers (Key Considerations)

In this post, we’ll go over the most important questions you should ask yourself when choosing your access control system and installer.
There are many choices, both in access control systems and installation companies.
To make the right choices for your multifamily building, you should be aware of the most important and relevant parameters.

Why install an access control system at all?

Regardless of the size of a business or premises, installing the best access control system is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways for business owners to create a safe, secure and protected environment.
Proper access control is essential for protecting you, your tenants and your facilities.

What are two of the most common types of access control?

Remote vs. on-site

An on-site solution is installed at your physical location – generally in the same building as the security systems.
On-site servers collect and store data from your access control system’s sensors and transmit it over an internal network.
Remote security systems, on the other hand, collect and store data from the same sources, but reside in a secure data center in the cloud.
The data is transmitted over the Internet. You and your team can access and review the data over the Internet using a variety of fixed and mobile devices.

Why you should opt for remote access control vs on-site

Unlike other security systems, not using keys or fobs is a great way to ensure that your organization’s access credentials do not fall into the wrong hands.
With physical keys or fobs, not only do you have to ensure that keys are reclaimed by former tenants, employees and vendors, but you will likely have to make duplicates if they are lost or stolen. This increases the risk of keys getting into the hands of unauthorized people. A remote access control system ensures that you have complete control over the main gate and facilities of your apartment building and who has access to them.
With the Gatewise system, you can take advantage of all the benefits of a remote, cloud-based system without losing your existing clicker/key fob system as it is no longer used over time.

Access control

How to choose the best access control installer?

How can you choose the best access control installation company to work with? The following tips will help you understand the role of an access control system installer and what to look for when choosing access control system contractors for your business.

Questions to ask before choosing an installer:

  • A company with an access control license – please ask to see the license. It is not a guarantee of anything, but not having a license most likely means they are not in compliance with the code (the access control code mainly defines security issues)
  • Ask about COI and W9, if the company can not show insurance of at least $1 million, it’s not a good choice
  • Access control installers – size of company: you don’t want to deal with a one man company that will always be busy when you need them, but too large a company can be extremely expensive, probably X2-3 times more than a smaller company if not more – find a middle ground, somewhere between 2-5 technicians is a good size of company
  • Ask them to make sure your access control system is well connected to your fire alarm system. Many small installers ignore this and don’t even mention the need. If someone addresses this up front, it’s a good sign of a reliable and professional provider. Integrations with property management systems (e.g. Resman) is also an important feature.
  • Ask if the access control installers are certified with other management companies (e.g. Windsor). The more companies they are certified with, the more likely they are to know how to work with your system
Access control installer

General questions about access control installation:

  • How much will the entire installation process cost?
    For most of the systems out there you have to have the installer come to your premises and evaluate before giving a quote. Usually the installation costs between $3,000 – $5,000 per access point.
  • What doors or entries should I secure? Are there any specific areas in the building that require high-end security?
    Every access point that requires permission should be secured. With Gatewise system you can easily control who can access each gate/door (these can be tenants, employees, vendors like laundry services & delivery companies) and in what times during the day. You can also install smart locks in order to have a fully smart & secured property
  • What is the life expectancy of the hardware and software recommended?
    Usually the life expectancy of such systems is around 7 years, it’s always better to find a solution with life time warranty (usually this will be a subscription based solution)
  • Will the access control system installed be capable of upgrades in the future?
    When working with a cloud based system like Gatewise you enjoy free updates & upgrades both to your management portal, and the access mobile app.
  • What about maintenance service? How much will regular maintenance cost?
    This depends of-course on the selected provider. What’s important is to have a steady and predictable maintenance cost with no surprises. Many access control company will have some kind of a service plan for a yearly amount paid upfront (usually 6%-8% of the initial job)