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Best Multifamily Keyless Entry Systems in 2023

An essential part of operating a multifamily residential community is providing reliable access control through a safe and convenient entry system. 

However, since there are several entry systems available in the market (all claiming to be the best), it can quickly become overwhelming to decide which system is the right fit for your property. 

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of apartment keyless entry systems including what they are and how they work to help you make the decision that will truly better the lives of your staff and residents.

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🐥 New to the access control world? Discover the 4 main access control models here & how they work.

What is a Keyless Entry System?

An entry system, also known as an apartment access control system, regulates and monitors the access of a property as residents, guests, or visitors come and go. 

By using a keyless entry system, managing access is more efficient and secure than using traditional locks and keys. 

With an entry system, property managers can streamline visitor management, enhance safety, and offer convenient access to residents. 

How Does a Keyless Entry System Work?

Entry systems typically consist of three main components: credentials, readers, and controllers. 

Together these three components work to ensure safe and convenient access for residents and guests. 

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Credentials are the physical or digital objects used by residents to gain access to a property or specific areas within it. 

They can take the form of keycards, key fobs, or even mobile apps. 

Each credential is associated with a unique identifier or authentication mechanism that verifies the user's identity. These are issued to residents, staff members, and authorized individuals, granting them access to the building.


Readers are devices that are installed at entry points and interact with the various forms of credentials presented by residents. 

The readers validate the information stored on the credential and transmit it to the controller for further processing. Readers come in various designs, depending on the type of credentials used on the property.. 


Finally, controllers act as the brain of the system. They receive the information from the readers and make access decisions based on pre-configured rules and permissions. 

Controllers are responsible for granting or denying access and can communicate with other security systems, such as alarms or surveillance cameras.

Types of Keyless Entry Systems

There are many different types of entry systems available for multifamily communities. 

Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand each system when deciding which is best suited for your community. 

The top keyless entry systems include:

  1. Proximity Card Systems
  2. Keypad Systems
  3. Biometric Systems
  4. Mobile Access Systems
  5. Video Intercom Systems

Proximity Card Systems

Proximity card systems use contactless smart cards or key fobs that communicate with the reader via radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. These systems are widely used and offer convenience, as users only need to present their card or fob near the reader to gain access. Additionally, proximity card systems are relatively affordable and easy to manage, making them popular among property developers.

Keypad Systems

Keypad or PIN entry systems rely on users entering a unique code into a numeric keypad to gain access. 

These systems are cost-effective and straightforward to install. However, they can be vulnerable to code sharing and require periodic code changes to maintain security.

Biometric Systems

Biometric entry systems utilize unique physical or behavioral traits to grant access, such as fingerprints, iris or retinal patterns, or facial recognition. 

These systems offer a high level of security since biometric characteristics are difficult to forge. However, they can be more expensive and require additional infrastructure for installation and maintenance.

Mobile Access Systems

With the rise of functionality in smartphones, mobile access systems have gained popularity. 

These systems use mobile apps that transform smartphones into virtual keys, allowing residents to enter the building using their personal devices. Mobile access systems offer an added convenience, as residents no longer need physical credentials, and property managers can easily issue or revoke access remotely. 

Video Intercom Systems

Video intercom systems combine audio and visual communication to verify and grant access to visitors. They often include a camera, microphone, speaker, and display panel. 

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Video intercoms allow residents to visually identify visitors and guests before granting entry, enhancing a sense of security and reducing the risk of unauthorized access.

What You Should Look for in Keyless Entry Systems

With so many options available on the market, it can be challenging to know what to look for in a keyless entry system for apartments. 

Here are some key factors to consider:

1. Reliability

The reliability of a keyless entry system is critical for ensuring the security and safety of your residents. Look for a system that has a proven track record of reliability and uptime, with minimal downtime or maintenance requirements.

2. Simplicity

A keyless entry system should be user-friendly and easy to use for both residents and property managers. Consider systems that offer intuitive interfaces and straightforward programming and management processes.

3. Scalability

As your apartment community grows and evolves, your access control needs may change. Look for a keyless entry system that can easily scale to accommodate additional users and units, without requiring significant upgrades or infrastructure changes.

4. Integration

A keyless entry system should integrate seamlessly with other security and building management systems, such as surveillance cameras, intercoms, and building automation systems. This can provide a comprehensive security solution for your apartment community while also enhancing the functionality and efficiency of your building management processes.

6. Security

The security features of a keyless entry system should be robust and comprehensive. Look for systems that offer multi-factor authentication, encryption, and other advanced security measures to protect against unauthorized access and data breaches.

7. Support

When evaluating keyless entry systems, consider the level of support offered by the vendor or manufacturer. Look for systems that offer comprehensive training and ongoing support to ensure that your property managers and residents can use the system effectively.

8. Cost

While cost should not be the only factor in your decision-making process, it is important to consider the total cost of ownership over the life of the system. Look for systems that offer competitive pricing and a positive return on investment over time.

By considering these key factors when evaluating keyless entry systems for your apartment communities, you can make an informed decision that provides the best balance of security, convenience, and value for your residents and property management team.

LittleBird’s Proptech Solution

LittleBird is the only all-in-one solution for access control, smart home, and resident engagement. Our innovative proptech can help you maximize your multifamily returns and set your property apart.

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Our video intercom is the new standard for entry system technology. Its durable design is easy to use and inspires confidence in residents’ sense of security.

Watch how it works in the video below:


The one-way video call feature maintains the privacy of residents, allowing them to see who’s at the gate or door from their personal mobile device— without ever leaving their apartment. 

With seamless connection with the LittleBird mobile app, empower residents to manage guests and visitors requesting access to the property. They can grant and revoke access at any time with just the push of a button. 

As a property manager, you have complete control of your property’s entry points via the LittleBird manager portal. With ease, you can monitor your residents’ accessibility to the property and designated areas all in one place.

Final Thoughts

Giving your residents peace of mind and a strong sense of security is one of your top priorities, so having a reliable entry system is what makes this possible. 

  • Keyless entry systems make managing access more efficient and secure than using traditional locks and keys. Property managers are able to streamline visitor management, enhance safety, and offer convenient access to residents. 
  • The three components of a keyless entry system are credentials, readers, and controllers.
  • There are many different types of keyless entry systems including proximity card systems, keypad systems, biometric systems, mobile access systems, and video intercom systems.
  • You should look for a keyless entry system that is reliable, simple, scalable, integrable, secure, cost effective, and has a support system.
  • LittleBird is the only all-in-one solution to your entry system problems with its access control, smart home, and resident engagement technologies.

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