Keyless door entry


Key takeaways

  • The best keyless entry system is ButterflyMX.
  • A keyless entry system empowers you to secure and access your property without using physical keys.
  • A keyless entry system increases security, enables remote access, and lowers operational costs.


The traditional lock-and-key method of gate and building entry has been around for centuries. In fact, the first key was invented in the 6th century B.C. Society has drastically changed since then, and door entry systems have evolved, too.

Today, our smartphones are the key to everything. So, carrying physical keys to gain entry to our gates, homes, and offices is becoming archaic. Read on to learn about the modern way of entering buildings with a keyless entry system, and why your property needs one.

In this post, we’ll discuss:


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3 best keyless entry systems

Looking to streamline access at your property with keyless access control?

Here are our picks of the three best keyless entry systems today:

  1. ButterflyMX
  2. Salto KS
  3. Yale Assure 2 WF1 Deadbolt


1. ButterflyMX

If you want a keyless entry system built for today and prepared for tomorrow, choose ButterflyMX.

ButterflyMX is a robust property-wide access control solution powered and easily managed through the cloud-based ButterflyMX OS. The ButterflyMX OS empowers property staff to remotely update tenant information, manage access privileges, and review each door entry event.

Here’s how ButterflyMX enables keyless entry throughout a property:

  • Vehicle access control. ButterflyMX offers convenient, hands-free entry to authorized cars with vehicle readers and windshield tags. These products empower tenants to enter gates without stopping. Likewise, the vehicle access control system also enables property managers to grant access to visitors as they drive up.
  • Video intercom for exterior entries. The ButterflyMX video door entry system is perfect for exterior entries, so guests can request access using the directory. The 156º wide-angle video camera lets tenants see who is requesting access. On the other hand, tenants may provide guests or delivery drivers virtual keys to use instead of requesting access. Further, the intercom is vandal-resistant and weatherproof.
  • Keypads for interior access. Keypads secure access to interior areas. ButterflyMX keypads also accept key cards and key fobs if you wish to keep a physical credential. Users may even access areas secured by keypads using the ButterflyMX mobile app.
  • Key card and key fob readers. Key cards and key fob readers are similar to keypads in that they work alongside the ButterflyMX mobile app. If users ever forget their card or fob, they can always utilize their phones.
  • Smart lock integrations for unit access. ButterflyMX integrates with a wide range of smart locks to provide property-wide access control down to the unit level.


2. Salto KS

From healthcare to commercial industries, Salto offers a range of scalable, flexible, and reliable keyless solutions.

Here’s what Salto offers:

  • Unlock any door from anywhere. Unlock your door remotely without needing to be physically onsite with the convenient remote unlock feature.
  • Easy to install. Salto offers hardware that’s easy to retrofit at any door, elevator, or emergency exit.
  • 24/7 Event reporting. Gain valuable insights and receive real-time updates on all activity and entry events.
  • Multiple ways to open. Unlock any door with smart keycards, PIN codes, or a mobile app.
  • Convenient integrations. Seamlessly integrates with cloud-based platforms like ButterflyMX for cohesive, smart building management.


3. Yale Assure 2 WF1 Deadbolt

Offering seamless, hands-free solutions for residential and commercial properties, Yale offers smart locks that are modern and easy to use.

The Yale Assure lock features:

  • Several ways to unlock. Unlock any door with a fingerprint, PIN code, or mobile app.
  • Auto-locking detection. Yale smart lock sensors detect when your door is locked for your peace of mind.
  • Simple to install. Easy to install yourself with just a screwdriver. So, there’s no installation costs.
  • Smart home compatibility. Compatible with smart voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google, and Siri.
  • Convenient backup key. In the event of a power outage or batteries dying, Yale offers a backup key that makes it easy to lock and unlock your door in emergencies.


How does a keyless entry system work?

Keyless access control works by reading a user’s credentials and determining if they’re authorized to enter a door or gate.

The method by which the credentials are accepted and applied varies depending on the type of keyless entry system. Regardless, these systems require wireless hardware at the entrance, often next to or on the door or gate. The appeal of keyless entry is that tenants don’t have to carry a physical key.

Rather, a keyless system may accept any of these credentials:

  • PIN code
  • Smartphone
  • Biometric scan

That said, some keyless entry systems for apartment buildings also accept physical credentials, such as a key fob or key card. However, with many wireless keyless entry systems, tenants can grant visitors access without physically going down to the lobby to open the door.

Instead, the visitor can use a PIN code, or a tenant may grant remote access using their phone. This way, the visitor can access the property even if the tenant isn’t home. And in office spaces, employees can give access credentials to job candidates and business partners to facilitate a seamless building entry experience.

With smartphone-based keyless entry, guests can use the on-site directory to request remote access from tenants. Then, tenants receive a notification on their phones. From there, they can see or speak to the visitor requesting access before accepting or denying their request. Upon granting access, the keyless entry system will send a signal to the lock for release.


Watch how ButterflyMX works:


Types of keyless entry systems

There’s a variety of keyless entry systems available. However, a select few stand out from the rest.

Here are the top types of keyless door entry systems:



Keypad entry systems have, as the name suggests, keypads instead of keyholes. The keypad either has a touchscreen interface or a numeric keypad. Tenants and authorized guests input their unique PIN or other access code on the keypad. Once the correct code is entered, the system releases the door, allowing entry.


Key card and key fob readers

While not technically a keyless entry system, key card and key fob systems for businesses are extremely common access control solutions. Key cards and fobs can still be lost or stolen, but replacing a missing fob is easier (and possibly cheaper) than recutting a new metal key.

Additionally, many key card and fob systems also provide an alternative form of entry. In many cases, key fobs or cards are the primary methods of access, but a smartphone or PIN code is an alternative method.

Instead of inserting a key blade into a lock, tenants scan their fobs or access cards with a reader located on the door or wall. Key cards and fobs use a technology known as RFID or radio frequency identification. This technology uses radio waves emitted from microchips in RFID tags to “speak” with a card or fob reader. If the user has authorized credentials, then the scanner signals the door to open.


Intercom systems

Intercoms are the most common type of keyless access control. They enable video and audio communication between guests and residents and offer various property access methods for both multifamily and commercial buildings.

An intercom can either operate with in-unit devices or residents’ smartphones. The newest models are typically cloud-based, allowing for remote management. They also offer several ways to open the door, such as with virtual keys, delivery PINs, and voice commands.


Smart locks

Smart locks are “smart” because they connect to the internet, allowing residents to use their smartphones instead of physical keys. Most brands offer a mobile app to verify credentials and allow door entry. Smart locks enable residents to easily provide apartment access to guests, package couriers, and service personnel even when they’re not home.

You can install them on doors to shared spaces—like fitness centers or community lounges—or to individual units. When paired with an intercom at the main entrance, smart locks eliminate the need for keys since residents can enter the building, amenity spaces, and their apartment with just their cell phone.


Vehicle readers

Another form of keyless access control is a vehicle reader. Vehicle readers are located at the entryways of gated communities, garages, and parking lots to let in authorized users. Rather than accepting a PIN code or mobile app, vehicle readers automatically detect and authorize access based on a windshield tag or license plate.

Vehicle readers work by scanning a windshield tag or license plate. Then, the reader sends data to a controller, which processes the information. If the credentials are approved, the controller will send a signal to the system telling it to open. Overall, vehicle readers are excellent for streamlining vehicle access.


Where are keyless entry systems used?

Keyless entry systems are used across all types of real estate.

Here are the top locations to use a keyless entry system:

  • Apartment keyless access control. You may wonder, “How can I use keyless entry systems at my apartment?” Well, with keyless door entry systems such as the ones mentioned above, apartment residents can utilize the freedom by letting themselves in with their phone or PIN code.
  • Keyless entry for businesses. Electric door locks benefit businesses as well by helping tenants and their employees enjoy a seamless building entry experience without the hassle of property owners handing out dozens of fobs or keycards.


keyless door entry system


How to enable keyless entry at your property

Above all, the purpose of a keyless door entry system is to allow property access without a user needing a physical credential. And while keyless entry systems vary, they all share the same primary elements.

Here’s how you can implement a keyless entry system at your property:

  1. Install hardware at entryways. The first thing you need is to install the system’s hardware at every entryway you’d like to control access to. Wiring requirements for every system vary, but the best require minimal connections.
  2. Configure the hardware. Next, your system will need to be configured with the appropriate settings and administrators. This process may vary depending on the system you’re using, but the best solution allows easy and simple management from one OS. That way, you can change settings and update information remotely.
  3. Onboard and train users. Lastly, you can begin onboarding tenants and training employees on the new keyless entry system. For an easy onboarding process, select a system that uses a mobile app for users. That way, they can edit their PIN code or credential information anywhere and anytime.


Benefits of keyless entry systems

Keyless access control for multifamily and businesses offers advantages over traditional locks and keys.

Here are the benefits of a multifamily keyless entry system:

  • Increased security. A keyless door entry system reduces the need to carry a physical credential, reducing the risks of a security breach.
  • Remote access. With the right keyless access control system, your tenants can grant access to guests, delivery drivers, dog walkers, maintenance, and more without being at home or in the office.
  • Easier management. With keyless entry, you can eliminate the need to manage physical keys by using a mobile phone or even a PIN.
  • Lower operating costs. Traditional metal keys and door locks require a lot of upkeep. Replacing one lost or stolen key doesn’t cost a lot, but it adds up when your building uses so many. Plus, you won’t have to spend money rekeying or repairing locks.
  • Multiple credentials. By giving users multiple credential methods, you can ensure they have the most convenient experience possible. For example, if a tenant forgets their key fob at home, they can still gain entry using a PIN code or their smartphone.
  • Future consciousness. Unlike a traditional lock and key system, a cloud-based keyless access control system stays updated for longer and can even receive new features.


mobile phone as keyless entry system


Keyless entry system FAQs

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about keyless entry systems:


What is a keyless entry system?

A keyless entry system for residential or commercial buildings allows you to secure and access your property without using physical keys. Instead, keyless door locks are activated and unlocked with keypads, smartphones, or even fingerprint scans.

One of the biggest advantages of having a keyless entry system is that building staff and tenants don’t need to keep track of keys. Therefore, property staff doesn’t have to waste time issuing replacement keys and rekeying locks.

In fact, nearly a quarter of Americans misplace their house keys at least twice a week.

Even worse, some people report missing essential appointments, flights, trains, and bus reservations because of lost keys. On average, people spend five minutes and twenty seconds each time trying to find misplaced keys – that time adds up to 2.5 days a year.


What is the purpose of keyless door entry?

The purpose of keyless door entry is to facilitate access into a building without requiring a physical key. With keyless systems, no one gets locked out because there’s always a reliable way to gain access without a key. Many keyless entry systems also allow authorized non-residents to enter the building with a guest door PIN code.

What’s more, most keyless entry systems record every door entry activity, so you’ll know each time a person enters your property. Overall, this door entry method offers a secure and straightforward way to access buildings.


How much does a keyless entry system cost?

The cost of a keyless entry system typically ranges from $3,000 to $7,000. The cost largely depends on the number of apartments your property has and the specific kind of system you want.

Also, consider the cost of installation. You’ll want to find a certified installer who specializes in installing and activating keyless systems.


What is the difference between a key fob and keyless entry?

The difference between a key fob and keyless entry is your credential. With a key fob, you have to carry a physical credential with you at all times. But with a keyless entry system, you don’t need a physical credential, freeing up your hands to carry other essentials.


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Jeff Granger

I'm a native Texan and tech guru who is fascinated by technology's impact on the real estate industry.