CEO and founder of Zerv Access Solutions, Cody Horchak, works with David Thomas, director of innovations and portfolio management at Veritas Investments, to retrofit older buildings with the technology necessary for seamless access while making minimal changes to the existing systems.
Victorian, Edwardian, and other classical older buildings have a charm that new construction can never replace. So, retrofitting them for modern convenience while preserving that historic nature can be challenging.
Veritas Investments, a leading prop-tech enabled multi-family manager that specializes in these character-rich properties, is leveraging Zerv’s mobile-based solution that promises to let residents, company employees, and service providers have appropriate access -- securely. For residents, Zerv enables building access using just their smartphones, when their hands are full or to authorize dog walkers, babysitters, and other service providers they approve. For Veritas staff, maintenance professionals, and the like, Zerv enables access for specific needs under defined authorizations.
Horchak recognizes that there’s no shortage of modern answers to the access control experience of old; however, most solutions focus on fully replacing or updating the physical cornerstones of traditional multifamily building access. These include call boxes and intercoms, RFID readers and keys, security and hospitality desks, and more. For most property owners, fully replacing all the existing security and hardware is a huge challenge, inconvenience, and expense, especially in historic structures. That’s why Zerv has always followed a “keep what you have, get what you need” philosophy.
“The buildings we tend to purchase include small unit count, with 20 to 25 units on average, and are often 100-plus years old,” said Thomas. “The existing systems are outdated and clunky, but Zerv’s mobile access capabilities allow us to fill this void while keeping the structural and architectural integrity of the buildings.”
Zerv has stepped in as the mobile-enabled solution for Veritas in its buildings’ heavily trafficked common areas, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming rip and replace methods to upgrade outdated call boxes. Under the pilot program, Veritas buildings are being updated with Zerv technology, simplifying the process while also saving money.
“We set out four years ago to take all physical credentials and provide a digital clone, thereby allowing a person’s phone to become the access badge or fob for legacy systems,” said Horchak. “Any owner or operator in a multifamily or commercial space most likely has a mobile access system that facilitates opening and closing doors, gates, garages — you name it. That key fob is embedded into an iOS or Android device and, suddenly, your phone becomes your key. The phone communicates with physical assets natively, meaning there is no rip and replace necessary.”
With Zerv technology, building owners and residents no longer need to worry about building codes being lost or stolen. Instead, authorized users are able to “plug themselves” into a building and receive the information they need, directly at their fingertips via mobile device.
“Once you have that mobile access piece of the puzzle handled, it carries over and creates additional opportunities for leasing,” Thomas said. “Having a good mobile access system enables self-guided showings for prospective residents. They can access the building outside of structured business hours and see the amenities and efficiencies that the building provides firsthand.”
Now, Zerv and Veritas are working together to fill the white space of seamless communication by taking a call box intercom gate, amenity door, or whatever else may need enhancement or retrofitting so residents, staff, maintenance, and authorized visitors can come and go hassle-free.
Said Horchak, “Especially in some of the smartest cities in the world, it's no longer about who has the best rooftop or amenities as much as it is about services. People want superior services that make their daily life easier, and Zerv does just that.”