Luxury Resort Community Goes High Tech

July 14, 2015
Morse Watchman’s’ key management system decreases liability

With approximately 300 sunny days per year and an annual average temperature of 72 degrees, the greater Phoenix area attracts visitors from all over the country and the globe. Along with the City of Phoenix, the surrounding communities of Scottsdale, Chandler and Mesa offer an attractive winter alternative to the snow and cold of the northern climates, while the resort communities appeal to a wide range of winter residents.

 One of the premier living communities in the area is Gainey Ranch, situated in the heart of Scottsdale. More than 1000 homes are located in the walled and gated resort community, with manned entrance gates leading to the residential neighborhood. Within the community, security personnel are on duty 24/7 and each residence contains an alarm system for protection against intrusion and to alert fire, police or medical services.

 Key Control Moves from Manual to Automated

Gainey Ranch is continually renovating facilities and upgrading technology to maintain their reputation as a luxury resort community, and to ensure the ongoing safety and security of its residents. Most recently an automated key control and management system from Morse Watchmans was installed to provide an additional layer of security for the residents as well as an added level of convenience. Now, residents no longer need to leave a spare key with site operations to be stored in a folder and possibly lost. Instead, the homeowner’s key is secured to a locking device and held in the KeyWatcher tamper-proof, locked cabinet. The system’s automatic tracking of key access activity provides important accountability.

 Keys in the system may be used if management or emergency services need to enter a resident’s premises in the event of fire, medical emergencies or other suspicious activity. Residents also often hire the services of outside contractors and require that, in their absence, a key be provided to a contractor for on-site work.

 The KeyWatcher system from Morse Watchmans meets all of the community’s security and convenience needs and more, according to Jim Funk, Executive Director at Gainey Ranch.

 “The previous system of manually storing keys was a huge liability for Gainey Ranch because of the potential for misplaced or lost keys,” says Funk. “We had no reliable way of tracking the keys or even securing them. The KeyWatcher system removes that liability by ensuring that all keys are securely stored in the cabinet and are easily accounted for.”

 High Tech Solution that’s Convenient and Secure

Access to the key cabinet is controlled by Mr. Funk’s Security department. Security staff or other authorized users can only remove keys through biometric fingerprint recognition. If the criteria entered matches the information stored in the system database, the key cabinet will unlock and the necessary key can be removed or returned. The time, date and identity of the individual accessing the cabinet are all logged, as well as any notes added by the user, and the data is available to Mr. Funk with a few key strokes using key control data management software.

 In addition to the improved security and accountability, Mr. Funk explains that the key management system provides significant benefits to the homeowners as well as to Gainey Ranch operations. As an example, if a resident is not going to be at home when an air conditioning service is scheduled, they can easily make reservations to have the key released to the contractor by simply going to the Gainey Ranch web portal and entering the information (who, when, for how long, etc.) in their account. When the contractor arrives at the gate, security verifies the request from the information submitted by the homeowner. If the request matches the reservation, the guard enters the individual’s name and phone number into the notes field for that key and then releases the key to the contractor.

 The system is programmed to notify the homeowner by email or text that the key has been released. If it is not returned as scheduled, security follows up with the contractor, and both the homeowner and Mr. Funk’s department are advised of the situation.

 “The feedback from homeowners on the key management system has been extremely positive,” adds Mr. Funk. “They’re all quite tech savvy and they like the convenience of making arrangements through the website for key reservations and how it triggers notifications and follow up control.”

 He also says that because of the improvement in securing keys with the KeyWatcher system, many more of the residents are willing to participate in the voluntary program. Several of the commercial properties in Gainey Ranch have also indicated an interest in storing emergency keys in the KeyWatcher cabinet.

 “Whatever we decide, it’s good to know we can configure the system to our exact needs or expand it as more participants sign up,” concludes Mr. Funk.

 About the Author:

Fernando Pires is Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Morse Watchman.