Posted on 4th of June, 2020
Sydney’s universities and colleges attract a large number of overseas students. This generates a demand for council approved, safe, and secure accommodation, like the Ultimo Terraces student house-shares. Ultimo Terraces has three adjoining terraced houses, each with several bedrooms, a shared lounge, kitchen, bathroom and courtyard, and a communal laundry.
The owner and operator of Ultimo Terraces explain that managing access to the houses and rooms was quite a headache before the decision to switch to a SALTO KS electronic access control (EAC) system. “We had key cards for access to each house, via the front door”, he says, “and bedroom doors were accessed via a PIN pad with an individual code.”
“If a student lost their key card, a building manager had to come onsite with a new card, and physically reprogram it (which meant accessing the space under the stairs). Resetting a PIN code was a 10-minute process per door, involving taking the PIN pad apart”.
This was not only demanding on Ultimo Terraces’ management time but inconvenient for the students, who had to wait for access.
Added to this, was a lack of visibility for the owner and operators who had no real-time clear view of who had access to which houses, doors and bedrooms.
With SALTO KS, we’ve turned Ultimo Terraces into smart houses.
After seeing SALTO Key as a Service (KS) at an expo, Ultimo Terraces’ owner decided it offered the perfect solution. The student’s phone becomes their ‘key’ for access to all parts of the house and is linked to a central management system via the cloud.
“All student door access arrangements are easily set up by us through SALTO’s online management system, and students can use their smartphone to open the front door through the SALTO KS app,” he says. “SALTO’s remote unlock function means that if a student has a problem with access, they simply ring the building manager, who can let them in without having to be on site.”
Bedroom doors still have PIN pads or Keypads, as a backup option (in case students leave their room without their phone), but these SALTO Keypads can be programmed remotely from the central control system, rather than having to be physically taken apart. Changes and updates to access can be made on the fly, with no waiting for a manager to get to the house.
Using their phone is an attractive and intuitive option for students, who are far less likely to lose the phone than a keycard; A flat battery is a potential risk, but Ultimo Terraces has a simple and practical solution, with a charger kept outside the front door.
For us, the real benefit of the SALTO KS system is that access is so easy to manage and change. Door access is such an important part of our service and we’ve been able to de-risk our processes and make ourselves more competitive.
MAIN BENEFITS OF IMPLEMENTING SALTO KS FOR ULTIMO TERRACES:
SALTO KS has delivered exactly what Ultimo Terraces hoped:
It is much more convenient for the students to use, and ensures that students always have rapid and easy access to their home away from home.
Ultimo Terraces relies on the universities to promote them, and have found that becoming ‘smart houses’, with a modern, phone-based access system makes them more attractive, increasing recommendations from the universities.
The SALTO KS system has significantly reduced management time and overhead needed to manage access. Permissions are managed from a single, centralised system, and there’s no need to replace and reprogram key cards and PIN pads. That means that managers can focus on other, more valuable tasks.
The owner/operator now has easy oversight of all access: “We can check that all door systems are online”, explains the owner, “and who has access to which areas.”
SALTO KS not only makes managing Ultimo Terraces more efficient for its owner, but has made the accommodation an even more attractive option to the overseas students who have chosen to make Sydney their temporary home.
With SALTO KS, we can make access changes very quickly. For example, when we were having some painting repairs carried out, a student studying from home during the COVID-19 time was bothered by the smell of paint. We suggested she could temporarily study in the living area of our student accommodation next door and were able to give her access literally within seconds.
Curious about Ultimo Terraces? Check out their website!