Emerson Mills - Access Considerations: Case Study

Updated 2 years ago by Thomas Berg

Emerson Mill Ave is a challenging building to manage access for.
  • The building is separated into two distinct portions; west of the garage firewall, which we'll refer to as building A and east of the garage firewall, which we'll refer to as building B.
    • Please note the designation of Building A and B are not official terms.
      If you were to mention A or B to building management they would not understand what you are referring to.

Two of our units are are in building A.
  • Building A has three access points for tenants and guests.
  • Two of these access points are key-fob only and one is key-fob/callbox.
  • The callbox at the third access point of Building B does not accept a gate code and it must be used to dial the host.
  • It is unlikely we will be able to have the callbox programmed to accept a gate-code.

The rest of our units are in building B.
  • Building B can only be accessed via key-fob.

There are limited options for lockbox locations
  • Emerson Mill Ave management is very precise when it comes to decor and design, the hallways and stairwells are immaculate and there is no ornamentation to be found.
  • Additionally, the building owners (Goldman Sachs) visit frequently and disprove of having short-term rentals in the building.
    • The Sachs rep who visits the building frequently is not aware we are in the building and Danielle, the property manager, intends to keep it that way as long as possible.
    • For this reason we are limited to two locations where we may place lockboxes, both are in locations which are OK to get to and thankfully both are en-route to the apartments they would service.

Key fobs are tightly managed
  • Danielle likes to run a very tight ship, this means 1 key-fob per apartment and $50 replacement all the time.
  • It was a hard-won negotiation to increase this to 2 key fobs per apartment plus an additional 2 backups in a common lockbox.
  • Given she likes so much control we may even be able to leverage some of her staff to ensure the backup lockbox is always stocked with 2 key-fobs (small up-side).
  • We cannot make our own duplicates, Danielle specifically forbade this and she has a history of evicting people she doesn't like.
    • If you read out lease closely, you'll find a portion of it which gives her an easy way to kick us out if we misbehave.
    • Normally we can make keyfob duplicates pretty easily with our service (and even keep digital copies for re-ordering) clone-my-key.com.
  • Steps to utilize replacement keyfobs:
    1. The backup keyfobs will be labeled "Backup 1" and "Backup 2."
    2. If a guest loses a key-fob they will take one of the key fobs from the backup lockbox.
    3. Following this we will inform Danielle which keyfob they took and the backup will become the new keyfob for that apartment, so the fobs remain associated with our apartments.
      1. Fobs must always be accurately associated with our units.
        Danielle and her security people will be closely monitoring our guests usage of the common areas of the building.
        Which entrances are being used and what time they are being used by each unit's guests will also be closely monitored.
      2. There have been a few horror stories around property damage inflicted upon the building by misbehaving short-term-rental guests at other Mark Taylor-managed Properties.
    4. Danielle will then provide us with a new backup keyfob for the lockbox.

We should not use the Private Resident-Parking Garage
  • The resident parking is located on floors 2-6, the only way to enter this area is with a valid RFID tagged access key.
    • The key costs $550 to replace and you only get one per reserved space, we will NOT be utilizing this option.
    • Having the private parking would have been nice as it would allow us to be more creative with our lockbox locations.
      • For example we might have been able to put the lockboxes on the same floor as the units are.
        These locations could have been uniform floor-to-floor.

We should use the Public Parking Garage
  • The first floor of the garage is public parking at $2/hour and $12/night
    • this is the option we will be utilizing.
  • Danielle has assured me there will always be enough room to house the cars of our guests.
    • She is likely incorrect.
    • Eventually we'll have all the units booked at 1.5 cars a piece and I believe we will have an issue there, especially during the heavy season in Tempe.
    • Thankfully there are plenty of other parking areas around but it's a shame we won't be able to proudly claim we have reserved parking.

Conclusions
  • We need to get better at weeding out property choices where managing access is complex and time-consuming.
    • Or we need to get better at managing key-fobs and other access issues
  • The ideal solution is to choose buildings which are code-entry only.


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