Gates offer maximum security for tenants and residents, whether it’s a multifamily property, a gated neighborhood, or a commercial space. A gate keeps trespassers and unwanted visitors out. However, you need a gate access control, such as a virtual gate guard, to ensure security while also managing access to the property.
How Do Gated Communities Work?
Before explaining how gated communities work, we must first define the term “gated community.” This term refers to any property with controlled access with a physical barrier, such as a gate. Sometimes, there may be a booth with security staff to manually check identification before allowing them through the gate. Others have a virtual guard with an automatic gate that opens when an access card or fob is scanned.
Over the years, this has become a security amenity desired by tenants of residential and commercial properties. Typically, a gated community will have a name and a clear perimeter that separates it from other areas. Also, they are found in a variety of locations, suburban towns, rural areas, and cities and range in size from a few homes or buildings to hundreds.
However, a gated community is not just a neighborhood with homes or an apartment complex. It can also be a college dorm, hospital, nursing home, secondary school, and many others.
How Can Visitors Enter a Gated Community?
There are two ways a visitor can enter a gated community:
Gate intercom/telephone system
With this method, a visitor can call a tenant through the intercom or telephone system to let them in. Typically, these systems will have a directory of tenants that visitors can scroll through to find the resident they are looking for.
Some communities will have a security booth with a gate attendant. They will check the visitor’s credentials and then contact the tenant to verify the guest.
It’s essential to keep in mind that first responders, such as firefighters, police officers, or medics, have unique credentials and are not required to request access. First responders typically have designated access keys that they can use to enter the gated community if there is a virtual guard.
Some access control systems have a unique feature that will only work when the first responder turns on the strobe lights or keys up their emergency radio. This feature will override the gate and open long enough for the emergency vehicle to enter the premises.
What Are the Benefits of Gated Community Access Control?
Now that you understand how gated communities work and how visitors and emergency vehicles can enter, we’ll explain some benefits of having a gated community access system.
By adding an access control system at your gated property, you will retain renters and attract new ones when you have vacancies.
Frees up staff
When you have an access control system with a virtual guard, you free up your staff from working overnight shifts, which will reduce your expenses. During the day, staff can focus on addressing the needs of residents, which will keep them happy.
Makes it easy for tenants to enter
If you have a smartphone-based system, your tenants will be able to use their phones to open the gate. Therefore, they can allow themselves or their guests access from anywhere. The “key” to the gate is right at their fingertips in an app.
Keeps traffic from becoming congested
When tenants enter or leave the property, the last thing they want to do is wait in line. If you have an inefficient access control system, it can take up to five minutes to verify each vehicle before allowing them access. If you have an effective access control system, such as a virtual guard, tenants and visitors can request and gain access within a few seconds.
In this context, tailgating refers to an unauthorized vehicle following an authorized one so closely that it can pass through the open gate. By installing a security camera as part of your access control, you can capture those unauthorized vehicles on video and immediately have them leave the property.
Are Virtual Guard Access Control Systems Worth It?
As you can see by the above benefits, a virtual guard access control system for your gated community is worth it. Your property is protected at all times, which gives your tenants peace of mind. They know that only authorized people will be able to enter. Plus, they know that they won’t have to take the time to authorize the emergency vehicles should they have an emergency. They will pass right through and deal with the emergency without delay.