September 23, 2019

Case study: Smart access gives residents peace of mind

Based in Los Angeles California, Empire Property Group’s mission is to develop vibrant boutique residential properties for modern, urban renters. Empire at Norton, a sophisticated apartment community in West Hollywood, brings their commitment to innovation and luxury to life.

This boldly designed multifamily property provides residents with a variety of in-unit and community amenities, including a rooftop terrace with sweeping views, stylish business lounge, fully equipped fitness center, gated dog walk, and electric vehicle charging stations.

The property also features Latch devices at every access point, from shared amenity spaces to apartment doors—giving residents new ways to open, manage, and share their spaces, and helping Empire at Norton’s property management team unlock time and cost-saving efficiencies while maximizing safety and security.

The Challenge
Balancing Access Management and Property Security

As residents increasingly depend on service providers for everything from on-demand grocery delivery and house cleaning services to pet-walkers and caregivers, developers and property managers have had to rethink security and traditional key and access management.

“Access management can be time consuming and costly. Additionally, it directly affects the security of your property, making it a critical component of effective property management,” said Douglas Libby, Empire Property Group’s Director of Operations. “And, it’s not just keys that pose a management challenge. There are other access devices to consider, like fobs and remotes which provide residents with access to shared community and amenity spaces.”

“The management of all access devices, including keys, has become increasingly important when considering security and ease of use,” Libby continued.”We are always looking for ways to maximize efficiency and reduce costs without sacrificing the unique resident experience that we are so proud to provide.”

The number of shared common areas and amenity spaces poses a particularly complex problem—the more keys and access devices that exist for a property, the more complicated the management of those access devices becomes. For Empire at Norton, the challenge then became how to ensure security throughout the property without limiting access for residents or their guests.


The Strategy
Smart Access for Security and Privacy

Empire at Norton sought a solution that would allow them to create a secure environment for all their residents, and make it easier for them to safely share access with visitors and service providers.

“Even though they say do not duplicate, keys can be duplicated. And, fobs and remotes are inevitably lost or damaged,” said Libby. “Once a resident shares copies of keys or fobs with friends or service providers, our management team loses visibility into who has access to the property.”

Additionally, keys are often lost which necessitates rekeying for security purposes. “Residents lose keys—it happens frequently. Plus, when they move out you have to rekey doors as part of the turnover process,” said Libby. “And fobs and remotes need to be collected, inventoried, and replaced when they are damaged or lost, which is a time consuming and costly process.”

The Solution
A Full-Building Access Platform that Prioritizes Flexibility and Security

Using the Latch Manager web-based management platform, Empire’s property management team can more quickly and cost-effectively manage access across apartments, common areas, and amenity spaces, avoiding the headaches associated with lockouts, turnovers, unattended deliveries, and more. They can do it all from a desktop or smartphone, providing them with unprecedented flexibility and convenience.

For residents, flexibility is also paramount—which is why Latch makes it possible to use a smartphone, door code, or keycard to unlock their door.

“Access management for our properties becomes much simpler and straightforward using Latch Manager. Everything is consolidated into one tool, providing visibility and flexibility for managing security and access,” said Libby. “Not only has Latch helped to simplify a critical component of property management for us, it has helped to elevate the resident experience at our communities. The partnership with Latch for our access management needs just makes sense.”


The Results
Increased Peace of Mind for Residents and Management

At Empire at Norton, the use and adoption of Latch has improved the overall experience for residents and the property management team alike. “Latch provides a level of security at our property that we would not have had with traditional keys, fobs and remote controls,” said Libby. “There’s much more visibility into access. And, thanks to the visual logs that Latch provides, residents also have visibility into who enters their space that would have been lacking otherwise.”

The policy of sharing data with users is unique to Latch, which is the only access solution to provide residents with a visual log of anybody who walks through their door (from their dog walker to their cleaning service), and to keep their usage history completely private.  

On the management side, the ability to view access events for common areas like the fitness center, rooftop, and garage promotes the safe and appropriate use of shared amenity spaces.

As Latch continues to serve the property management team and residents at Empire at Norton, Empire Property Group is looking to bring smarter access to additional developments throughout their portfolio. “We’ve already seen how successful Latch can be at our Empire at Burton Way property, and now our latest project Empire at Norton. It only makes sense to look at retrofitting our other properties with Latch to help streamline access management at those properties as well,” said Libby.

“Without question, Latch has been a great fit for Empire Property Group. We are excited to incorporate Latch into our upcoming developments, and look forward to seeing how Latch continues to enhance and expand the field of access management.”


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