With a substantial number of agents and many more staff across five communities, Calcagni Real Estate faced the challenge of providing streamlined access to these sites without constantly issuing keys and attempting to keep track of them.
Calcagni Real Estate offers a range of services, from residential brokerage to new construction marketing and representation to commercial sales. Spanning 50 years, Calcagni employs 120 agents across Connecticut working out of five physical offices located in Cheshire, North Haven, Southington, Wallingford and Guilford.
As with any bustling real estate office, a steady stream of visitors, agents and staff come and go throughout the day. Additionally, as many realtors can tell you, they don’t always work traditional hours. Often, their work takes them back to the office late into the night to write offers, contact sellers, answer critical questions from buyers and process large amounts of paperwork. With a substantial number of agents and many more staff across five communities, Calcagni Real Estate faced the challenge of providing streamlined access to these sites without constantly issuing keys and attempting to keep track of them.
“Although our office is open to the public during traditional hours, our agents often stop by the office in the early morning or in the evening to service our clients,” said Antonio Liguori, CFO, Calcagni Real Estate. “We wanted to secure our building and assets while also offering our agents a convenient way to come and go as their schedule permits.”
Traveling throughout the state, agents often require the ability to work from a number of the company’s locations, needing multiple keys for access or having to navigate the added challenge of contacting others to open the building for them after hours. A lock-and-key system became cumbersome and hard to manage for each of these facilities, necessitating a different avenue for increased efficiency.
A longtime customer of integrator and alarm monitoring provider American Total Protection (ATP), Calcagni considered cloud-based access control a couple of years prior. Then, Calcagni decided to close one location and open in another, prompting the discussion on best practices for accessibility. Calcagni learned more about the ability to incorporate mobile credentials in the system, which appeared advantageous for their agents and staff.
“When we first looked at updating the access control system, mobile credentials weren’t an option, but over the last two years, they’ve become more mainstream, which was appealing to the leadership at Calcagni,” said Joe Montini, President of Integration, ATP.
The use of mobile credentials fell in line with the real estate’s top priority of leveraging innovation and convenience to improve the experience for all involved. “Calcagni Real Estate is constantly looking for technology solutions to help our clients and our agents,” said Liguori. “We strive to be on the forefront of cutting-edge technology in order to offer a great customer experience.”
ATP recommended the Vanderbilt ACT365 cloud-based access control and video management solution, coupled with Farpointe Data Conekt™ Mobile-Ready Contactless Smartcard Readers and Credentials to streamline access to all five locations across the state for approximately 150 users comprised of agents and office staff.
Vanderbilt ACT365 enables Calcagni to remotely manage entry to its facilities from any device at any time and without the need for a dedicated IT department, giving the team the ability to deploy a robust security solution while saving money on significant infrastructure investments. ACT365 is a cost-effective option for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with multiple locations with a number of access readers and users. Oftentimes, these organizations lack the infrastructure and manpower to provide oversight of the system and having a cloud-based solution that facilitates automatic updates and remote management can save on time and resources.
ACT365 is integrated with Farpointe Conekt Readers, which read data from mobile credentials stored in a smartphone’s wallet app via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, allowing an agent’s smartphone to function as a contactless electronic access control credential. The readers communicate with ACT365 to provide real-time situational awareness to the Calcagni team, along with the ability to grant and restrict access to a door at any given time.
ACT365 was instrumental in simplifying access to the five office locations, allowing a single user the ability to manage the system in terms of schedules, onboarding and controlling access levels. ACT365 also offers Calcagni’s IT Development Director Heather Harwood the ability to streamline the addition of new cardholders to the system, which is significantly easier than having to issue and keep track of keys on a regular basis. Management of the system can also be spearheaded from either a web-based browser or a mobile application, bringing true flexibility to the users of the platform and a more organized approach to visitor and employee access management.
“We’ve discovered that with the installation of the new readers and the ACT365 solution, our facilities are more secure, and our agents have more flexibility with their schedules,” Liguori said. Agents can use both Apple iPhone and a range of Google Android devices as electronic access control credentials, supporting their movement through Calcagni’s offices. Each user downloads the Conekt Wallet App and then adds a new credential using a unique 16-character key from the certificate provided.
“Mobile credential use is on the rise in many of today’s SMBs as a way to remove the burden of key cards or a lock-and-key distribution, while embracing the power of smartphone technology,” said Thomas Piston, Eastern Regional Sales Manager, Farpointe Data. “For professional services companies, like Calcagni, this is an ideal solution because of the ability of agents and staff to come and go as they please by simply using a device they carry with them at all times.”
The readers connect automatically to the ACT365 solution, providing Harwood with information about who has accessed a facility, the ability to schedule doors to be open during office hours and the flexibility to alter access based on an agent’s status within the company. The solution also provides leaders with an audit trail in the case of an incident.
“Both Vanderbilt and Farpointe have been reliable partners, making this project between the two an ideal fit for the Calcagni project,” Montini said. “They went above and beyond with this use case, providing extensive support and integration between the readers and ACT365 solution, and have met all the expectations that the customer envisioned for the system.”
The functionality and reliability of the system provide Calcagni Real Estate with the flexibility it requires and the ability to scale as the company grows. “ATP and the Vanderbilt support team have been helpful in addressing our unique needs and requests, and it helps that Vanderbilt has been a manufacturer with a proven track record and reputation of being forward thinking,” Liguori said.