smart key management systems track multiple keys to simplify visitor management


Offering a secure key storage solution is a must to successfully manage access at your property. Smart key management systems empower tenants to store keys when they’re away from a building. They ensure that authorized guests have easy access to approved spaces without needing assistance from staff.

In this post, we go over what smart key management is, including prices. Then, we outline the advantages of smart key management systems. Finally, we go over the four main types of key management systems on the market. We dive in especially close to key lockers — the best smart key management option.

This post covers:


What is smart key management?

A smart key management system is a device or collection of devices that stores and tracks physical keys. Part of a larger key management system, smart key storage tracks keys for all types of rooms throughout the property. This includes resident units, amenity spaces, offices, and show units for tours.

Key management solutions can be used by both residents and staff to ensure their trusted guests can retrieve keys to unlock doors and gain access.

They’re usually a locker, safe, box, or other storage space with one or multiple compartments where staff and tenants can safely leave keys, fobs, or keycards. Then, guests must use a credential to retrieve a key. Typically, key management solutions require visitors to scan a QR code or enter a unique PIN code to unlock.

What’s more, the best smart key management systems pair with software, through which property managers can keep an eye on the whole system.


smart key management systems are a great addition to your residential property


How much does a smart key management system cost?

The price of key management solutions varies depending on the vendor you choose and the system you opt for.

On average, complex electronic key management systems cost between $200 to $3,0000 for multi-compartment key storage.

On the other hand, simpler key management systems like key lock boxes cost between $10 to $40 each. However, this solution can store only one key at a time.


What does a smart key management system do?

Smart key management systems empower tenants and staff to store physical keys in a secure place. Then, guests can use the system to retrieve keys and gain access to the property or the rooms inside.

What happens when you implement a smart key management system:

  • Tenants can leave keys for family or friends, and even service providers like house cleaners or dog walkers.
  • During self-guided tours, prospective tenants can retrieve a key and access showing units.
  • Store keys for third-party property maintenance and service providers.
  • Security is boosted because residents don’t lend their keys out indefinitely. Instead, the status of the keys can be checked immediately. Plus, if they’re lost or stolen, you know who had them last.


Watch how to set up your ButterflyMX key locker for self-guided tours:


The advantages of smart key management systems

A smart key management system is a great investment for multifamily properties, gated communities, and commercial offices. Furthermore, smart key storage solutions benefit property owners, managers, and tenants.

Here are the top benefits of implementing smart key management systems:

  • Save time for building staff. Investing in a smart key management system eliminates the need for building staff to oversee visitor access 24/7.
  • This frees up their time to work on more important projects.
  • Easy visitor management. Visitors and guests can retrieve keys without bothering other residents or staff.
  • Improve security. Smart key management systems store keys in a secure location. So, only authorized visitors can access the system and explore the property.
  • Put visitor access into the hands of your tenants. Empowering tenants to easily provide keys to visitors will streamline your building operations. With a smart key management system, they can provide keys to pet sitters, house cleaners, family members, and other service providers without needing to be home. This is easier and safer than leaving a key under their doormat or lending out a key indefinitely.
  • Offer simplified self-guided tours. Prospects can tour your property on their own time without needing an on-site staff member to grant them access.


self-guided tours are a huge benefit of investing in a key locker


Key management systems: smart vs. physical

A physical key management system is typically a single-compartment key storage solution that can hold keys for visitors. While they put visitor access in the hands of your tenants and can simplify self-guided tours, they don’t bolster security the same way that smart key management systems do.

Here are a few examples of physical key management systems:

The hallmark of physical key management solutions is that they aren’t electronic. Conversely, smart key management systems are electronic and typically pair with software.

As a result, smart key management is significantly more secure and convenient.

The most common smart key management system is a key locker. Key lockers are key storage solutions that have multiple compartments controlled by an access device. Each compartment can be opened separately with a unique credential.


key lock boxes are a common physical key management system


The best smart key management system

The ButterflyMX key locker is the best smart key management system on the market.

Our key locker empowers you to have complete access to the key locker at any time from anywhere. Additionally, you can see how many keys are in use and track if they’ve been returned.

What are the features of the ButterflyMX key locker?

  • Sensors inform property staff when a key’s been retrieved or returned. Further, sensors note when a compartment has been left open.
  • Simple installation in a single day.
  • Key locker access is controlled by the ButterflyMX keypad and requires a unique QR or PIN code to unlock each compartment.
  • The ButterflyMX interface is user-friendly with over 20,000 five-star reviews.
  • Each compartment is padded to keep keys from clanging around.



  • Smart key management systems empower tenants and staff to store keys in a secure location for visitors to retrieve.
  • Investing in a smart key management system will save time for property staff, simplify visitor management, improve security, empower residents to manage visitor access, and simplify self-guided tours.
  • The primary difference between smart and physical key management systems is that smart systems are electronic.
  • Overall, the best smart key management system on the market is the ButterflyMX key locker. It has multiple compartments, can be managed remotely, and tracks whether or not keys have been returned.


butterflymx keylocker

Profile image for Katie Kistler


Katie Kistler

I’m a real estate fanatic based in Texas who loves discovering and writing about innovations in property technology.

Follow Katie on LinkedIn