Mini Storage Gate Access Systems

12 Replies

Here’s my second of what will likely be quite a few mini storage questions! 

The property I’m purchasing currently has a fence on 3 sides, but no gate(s). The drive is a horseshoe shape around the back of the building (only one building on the property). We plan to put in an entrance gate on one side and then an exit only gate on the other. 

What do you all use for access? Key fob? Key code? Key card? I would appreciate advice on any systems and brands you are currently using for a gate opener and for tenant access. There seems to be a million out there! 

My partner is skeptical of using key cards (which I think would be the easiest/best route) as he thinks they have too much potential to be demagnetized and cause us a lot of work. 

It’s only an 82 unit facility, so not a huge one. I’m trying to be smart economically, but also get something that won’t cause us problems with low quality. 

Numeric key pad! You can program from remote location, key cards have to be done in person. I just switched all of mine over as it uses the same controls, just different head unit.

@Mark Byrge , you’re one of my favorite people today! Thanks for responding to my questions!

So I guess you just assume you’ll never run out of numbers?! Haha 

Do you have a favorite brand of keypad, Mark?

I guess I have 300 units spread out over three properties and 10,000 unique codes to choose from so the chance is minimal. I currently use Linear Access Controls just because I’m familiar with them. There are several to choose from that all work well, depending on your needs. 

Wait til we start talking about management software and call centers!

definitely recommend a key pad system that integrates with your property management system. This way if the Tenant is delinquent it will suspend their gate code automatically. We use Sentinel or PTI systems at our locations and they integrate well with our management system

congrats on your new deal!

I use Alltec keypad and access control system. It's a bit old school but the price is reasonable. there're better systems out there but you pay for the premium. 

I'd suggest you to make decision on which management software/website and which gate access system together! Not all of them are compatible! you don't want to choose a gate access system and it limits which management software you can use, or vice versus. Plus, some management software even offer their own access control hardware. And that's where I learnt my lesson hard way... I use Easy Self Storage as my management software and Alltec for my gate access system and they're compatible. they talk to each other and automatically lock/unlock tenant access based on their account status in the management software. However, I just found out Easy Self Storage started to sell their own access hardware, and then it released a new feature on their software/website that you can see gate access activities/log live and can even open/close the gate remotely simply through the website (even on your mobile!). I'd love to have that!! but then I'll have to reinvest and replace the gate access system with their new hardware which I probably won't do..... 

Sheesh! Sorry for being MIA, I have been running around doing the inspection, getting bids, and doing the dreaded taxes. 

So I actually read one of the other threads about software where people were talking about Easy Storage Solutions, @Brandon Yuan ! We called them and I think that's who we are going to go with. @Mark Byrge , I can't remember, were you also singing the praises of Easy Storage Solutions?

I'll have to look into that new hardware, Brandon! One thing I wonder about though--will that only work with ESS? As in, if for some reason in the future I decided to do something else, would it not work? I think with something like Alltec, it would obviously work on it's own. 

One more thing about that, is your actual physical gate opener the same brand or does that not matter? (technology is obviously not my bag! hah)

I DO use Easy Self Storage, and while I do have automatic gates, I do not use Easy Self Storage to control them as my gate controllers are not compatible. I use ESS for the call center and then they notify me of a move in and I login into my systems using a remote desktop and program my new customers. I do any  lockouts and such the same way. Its a little less convenient but they DO charge an additional monthly fee for the gate control service and I just don't see enough value in it to change everything over. I can literally do the remote desktop from my phone, in fact I'm on a beach in Mexico right now and just moved two people in!

😎

@Wendy C. PTI is a good name in the industry and we have used the Falcon software. It is a bit on the higher end and their software support service package is an additional expense. We prefer the Sentinel product ourselves because the software is included as part of the purchase and it is a bit more economical. 

I highly recommend one that integrates with your management software. When we purchased our first facility, the keypad was not compatible for the property management system and we had to manually enter and remove codes. It made it easy to forget to take them out on move outs and there were a lot of duplicate and expired codes in there before we switched systems.

Originally posted by @Wendy C. :

Sheesh! Sorry for being MIA, I have been running around doing the inspection, getting bids, and doing the dreaded taxes. 

So I actually read one of the other threads about software where people were talking about Easy Storage Solutions, @Brandon Yuan! We called them and I think that's who we are going to go with. @Mark Byrge , I can't remember, were you also singing the praises of Easy Storage Solutions?

I'll have to look into that new hardware, Brandon! One thing I wonder about though--will that only work with ESS? As in, if for some reason in the future I decided to do something else, would it not work? I think with something like Alltec, it would obviously work on it's own. 

One more thing about that, is your actual physical gate opener the same brand or does that not matter? (technology is obviously not my bag! hah)

Sorry Wendy I haven't been on here for a while. for the ESS's gate control hardware, I'd assume it'd primarily (if not exclusively) work with ESS software as that's their product specifically, but you need to confirm with them if you do go that route. I have Alltec and it's fine with ESS software. Only thing to consider again is the price/value. Alltec is cheaper options out there, works fine with basic functions but certainly has limitation compared to other fancier ones. For example (I may have already mentioned before), Alltec software doesn't have remote access function so you will have to go to the office to log on to computer if there's any issue occurred after hour (you can get around this by doing remote access to your office computer but the new Windows 10 system makes it not so easy and I still haven't done it successfully...). Alltec also rely on actually computer in office to run (you leave the computer on 24/7) and not cloud/internet based, so you have certain issue if say office loses power or the tedeous Windows 10 automatic update (whatever scenario that shuts down computer after office hour).... You'll need to get creative to have some process in place and it can address those issues, and it may still be a good price/value option.

I get by the Windows 10 issue by using Google Chrome Remote Desktop. Its incredibly easy to setup and relatively stable. I get around the updates by changing the settings to say I have a metered connection to stop the auto updates. 

I do 95% of my gate code programming and cutoffs (nonpayment) from my phone using the remote desktop. 

Oh my, all this remote desktop and Windows 10 stuff is so over my head! Hahahah 

I should maybe just call ESS and say “JUST TELL ME WHAT TO BUY FOR MY TECHNOLOGICAL ABILITIES!” Hahah

Originally posted by @Mark Byrge :

I get by the Windows 10 issue by using Google Chrome Remote Desktop. Its incredibly easy to setup and relatively stable. I get around the updates by changing the settings to say I have a metered connection to stop the auto updates. 

I do 95% of my gate code programming and cutoffs (nonpayment) from my phone using the remote desktop. m

hmm I'll try the google chrome remote desktop see if that works on my computer. thanks Mark!

as for the auto update, I don't see option to choose "a metered connection"..I'll look again. I've exhausted my effort there.. I ended up set active hour to be when the office is closed so that any windows update won't be auto executed during "active hour".. but windows only allow a certain length as active hour and I think I still have an hour or two of gap there ugh....

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