If you want to control access to a residential development or even a commercial space, a security guard is an obvious investment. Around the country, more and more housing developments are deploying security guards to ensure the safety of their residents.
But in many cases, a virtual security guard can do as well or better than a physical, in-the-flesh guard. Not only that, but they can often provide a superior value, with fewer dollars spent for the same service.
So, should you change to a virtual security guard? Here are some reasons many property managers have already made the switch.
What is a Virtual Security Guard?
In most housing developments or businesses with a security guard, the guard sits in a shack or behind a desk, where they take people’s information and allow or deny access.
A virtual security guard follows the same basic principle, but instead of a physical guard, there’s a custom-designed kiosk that allows our remote guards to see, hear and speak with visitors through high-quality audio and video. The actual guard is working remotely and controls your door, gate, and other functions from their computer.
When you hire your own security guard or even subcontract out the service, you’re turning over responsibility for your development to a lower-level employee.
Now, are there plenty of lower-level employees who are great at their jobs? Yes! Can you stumble upon someone who’s unqualified, or even rude to your customers? Also yes! The point is that with traditional on-site security, you’re relying on one employee who may be inexperienced.
A virtual security guard, on the other hand, works in a separate building, under the direct supervision of an experienced manager. This allows them to provide both better security and better customer service.
When you hire your own security guard, you’re paying a flat rate. Whether or not this is a good bargain depends on how much work they’re actually doing.
But you can only hire one guard, or two, or three. You can’t hire one-and-a-half guards just to meet a specific level of capacity. A virtual security guard, on the other hand, can be as busy or as idle as they need to be. They can also handle sudden surges in traffic, which could overwhelm an individual guard.
As you can see, it’s not always apparent that hiring an in-person security guard is the best option — or even a viable one. In most cases, a virtual security guard is both more affordable and more effective.
The point is, you’ll pay for exactly the amount of help you need, and not a penny more. And because the system is virtual, you won’t have to worry about a single guard getting overwhelmed by a rush of visitors.
Remote Monitoring and Thorough Documentation
With a virtual security guard, everything is recorded and documented for your records. If there’s an issue — say, a burglary in the neighborhood — you can give the police information on who entered and exited.
Of course, this assumes you’re gathering good records in the first place. Look for a service that includes video recording, like Securiteam. Not only can video evidence help you in the aftermath of a problem, but it can also help prevent issues in the first place. With a camera, a virtual security guard can record, document, and make accessible every bit of information presented by that visitor.
Securiteam stores pictures of every car, driver, driver’s license, and license plate that enters your property. A live guard simply doesn’t have the capacity to gather all this information, much less document everything in a searchable manner.
You Remain in Control
With Securiteam, you don’t have to sacrifice control of your security just because you’re using a remote service. In fact, a virtual security guard can offer the same quality of service as if you hired your own employee.
When you set up your account, you can choose exactly how finely you want to balance security, privacy, and convenience. For instance, you can opt to let Uber and Lyft drivers into your development automatically. Similar exceptions are common for delivery drivers.
On the more secure end, you can choose to let no one in at all without photo identification. If you want your property to be this secure, a virtual guard can actually be preferable to an in-person guard. A physical guard might be threatened, or feel intimidated. A virtual security guard is miles away, and will not open the gate no matter how much someone tries to bully them.
All interactions with your virtual security guard can be handled via an easy-to-use app. You can admit people to the property from anywhere, just by responding to a notification. You can also add people as temporary or permanent guests, or even create custom lists of people with different levels of access. You can add people to multiple lists, and switch them between lists with ease.
You Can Share Access
Imagine you’re a property manager for a residential development with 1,000 households. All of those households have visitors, and all of those visitors will need access. If you’re micromanaging the security on your own, you’ll spend your entire day fielding a non-stop stream of calls from residents.
Thankfully, professional virtual security companies like Securiteam have already considered this. You can use the web portal to share access with residents, so they can provide their own lists of approved people. You can even allow people to provide temporary barcodes that guests can scan at the kiosk.
Of course, you don’t want people abusing this privilege and spoiling things for the whole community. To make sure things remain under control, you can limit what kind of access people can give. Can they let in 10 guests for a party, or 100? Can they provide a week-long pass, or a day pass only? It’s up to you.
Zero Human Contact
In the age of Covid-19, every interaction comes with added risks. These include risks to health, as well as complications for your business.
For one thing, having to interact with an in-person security guard might put some customers and residents off. For another thing, any kind of lockdown gets more complicated the more “essential employees” you have on staff.
With a virtual security guard, lockdowns and other Covid restrictions will have zero impact on your business. And because there’s no physical contact, there’s no risk of spreading disease.
Should You Make the Switch?
So, should you change to a virtual security guard? A lot depends on your business and your particular needs. But a lot also depends on who’s providing your security.
Securiteam services customers throughout the Tampa, Clearwater, and Saint Petersburg areas of Florida. Schedule a call with a security expert, and find out if using a virtual security guard is right for you.