Advertiser Disclosure

advertising disclaimer
Skip to main content
smart Lock

Ways To Make Door Locks, Knobs, and Handles Safer

[Updated: Jul 27, 2020 ] May 09, 2020 by Erik Martin
Get our 43-Page Guide to Real Estate Investing Today!

Real estate has long been the go-to investment for those looking to build long-term wealth for generations. Let us help you navigate this asset class by signing up for our comprehensive real estate investing guide.

*By submitting your email you consent to us keeping you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe at any time. Please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.

If you're currently running or preparing to purchase a multifamily rental property, you've got a big problem on your hands. Or, better put, your tenants have a big problem on their hands: the locks, knobs, handles, and pulls in your building and units, which can easily transmit the coronavirus and other infectious agents.

And that's not the only threat -- keyed locks and older door hardware can be vulnerable to thieves and intruders, too. And there's always the risk of tenants' keys getting lost and falling into the wrong hands.

Open the door to safety

These are all great reasons to upgrade your doorknobs, handles, and locks with safer and more technologically advanced replacements, according to experts.

"It's important for landlords and property investors to prioritize flexible security for their tenants and visitors," says Bradley Sweet, the Indianapolis-based commercial marketing leader for Allegion, a provider of security products and solutions.

"Multifamily property owners and managers are looking for more efficient and flexible access solutions that will provide their tenants with the high-quality security and health safety they need and the convenience they want," Sweet adds. "The right solutions can help your property differentiate itself from competitors' while creating an opportunity to increase rental income and efficiencies."

Smart locks: A high-tech solution

Jason Williams, president of the US Smart Residential Group for ASSA ABLOY (OTCMKTS: ASAZY), the parent company of Yale Home lock products, says upgrading to a smart lock is a relatively low-cost improvement that can introduce a lot of value and safety to an exterior entry or unit door.

"Completely keyless smart deadbolt locks offer features like automatic locking and unlocking using your smartphone, remote access management, tamper-proof locks, and no more lost keys," says Williams. "There are smart locks designed to replace your existing lock hardware as well as retrofit smart locks that work with your current deadbolt."

Some of these smart locks use Wi-Fi, while others are operated via Bluetooth technology.

"What's nice is that, with a smart lock, you can create or disable dozens of codes from your phone, so that you can give your tenants and vendors each a unique entry code," says Richard Schoech, owner of Door Locks Direct, a door hardware online retailer based in Tomball, Texas.

Keyless smart locks may be more expensive initially. "But think of the time and money you save because you don't have to change the locks with every new tenant because the previous renter lost their key or didn't return it," Schoech notes. "And you don't have to worry about late-night calls from tenants who are locked out."

Other steps you can take

Hands-free arm and foot pulls and foot-operated door openers are becoming more popular lately, ideal for corridors, laundry areas, and restrooms.

"Paddles are also increasingly attractive to potential renters, too, since the paddle's design allows renters and guests to avoid high-touch surfaces like a door handle," Williams says.

Some door hardware today is manufactured with an antimicrobial coating, marketed as, for example, Microban and SecuSan. This coating safeguards against the spread of bacteria and germs.

One quick fix: Consider replacing stainless steel and nickel door handles and knobs with brass.

"Brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc, is naturally antimicrobial. Research shows that the coronavirus lives only up to four hours on brass handles versus two to three days on stainless steel handles," says Brian Davis, director of education for SparkRental, a rental property management resource based in Baltimore.

At the very least, make it more convenient for tenants to disinfect their hands.

"One of the easiest and cheapest solutions that landlords and property managers can implement is simply hanging a bottle of hand sanitizer next to the public door, on the inside so only residents can access it," Davis suggests.

When you consider that up to 80% of all infections are spread by hands, it's important to take measures like these to protect your tenants.

Unfair Advantages: How Real Estate Became a Billionaire Factory

You probably know that real estate has long been the playground for the rich and well connected, and that according to recently published data it’s also been the best performing investment in modern history. And with a set of unfair advantages that are completely unheard of with other investments, it’s no surprise why.

But those barriers have come crashing down - and now it’s possible to build REAL wealth through real estate at a fraction of what it used to cost, meaning the unfair advantages are now available to individuals like you.

To get started, we’ve assembled a comprehensive guide that outlines everything you need to know about investing in real estate - and have made it available for FREE today. Simply click here to learn more and access your complimentary copy.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.