Visitor Management in Apartment Complexes: Still In Stone Age?

In a survey conducted by ApartmentADDA, more than 65% Apartment Residents responded that Security is the main reason that they chose Apartment Living.

While more than 25% of the Maintenance Expense is budgeted for Security, the Gate Management in a Gated Community happens using the earliest of tools – The Register.

The information of every outsider coming into the Apartment Complex are captured in The Register.

manual register12

Issues with Register based Visitor Management:

  1. The handwriting is often illegible making the information captured useless.
  2. Apartment Visitors often provide invalid phone numbers, which again renders the information useless.
  3. The Information captured in the Register is very difficult to search in case an Incident Investigation needs to be done.
    1. CCTV camera footages are only stored for 7-14 days. So in case any criminal investigation is to be conducted beyond that, the manual register is the only source of information. Authentic visitors might be giving their correct details, but visitors with any wrong intentions would definitely write down incorrect information. During any investigation this becomes a major roadblock.
  4. The information in the register is not interfaced with the Apartment Resident so they can raise an alert in case there is an anomaly (e.g., a Visitor daily enters taking the name of a locked flat)
  5. Capturing the Visitor data in a Register with full history available right at the Gate makes the data vulnerable for misuse. This is also another reason that many Visitors do not provide their genuine details.
  6. Typical Gated Communities can have anywhere from 5 to 35 Registers! With regular change in the Security Team personnel there is high training effort to ensure the Guards know who to be entered in which Register.
  7. MC members or Estate Manager have no way to quickly audit if all Visitor Details are being captured, following the right process. They can only do so by physically sitting next to the Security Guards, at which time they will do their work well.
  8. With no surprise audit feasibility for Registers, gaping holes are left for mis-utilisation related to material movement e.g., Water Tanker or Diesel Supply.
  9. While piles and piles of Visitor Registers are created, it is impossible to get any intelligence from the movement trends at the Gate which can be utilised towards Security optimisation.
  10. While one Security Agency may place a certain set of Registers with certain processes to be followed, the handover of all these details becomes cumbersome to the subsequent Security Agency. As a result the Management Committee may also be unaware about the specific reasons behind setting up of certain Registers and look for Best Practices in complexes with similar security requirements as theirs.

These are the some of the reasons why more and more Gated Communities are packing off their Registers and moving to a App-Based Visitor Management system.

What is a Visitor Management System?
visitor management

Visitor Management Systems are quite common in corporate setups and commercial buildings, where many have done away with the obsolete pen and dog-eared registers for gathering visitor information.

These smart systems do away with writing in a visitor book, calling employees to inform about visitor’s arrival and ensures that unattended visitors are not left in crowded receptions.

Visitor Management Systems in Apartment Complexes

In Apartment Complexes, the age-old practice of using manual registers for capturing visitors information still carries on.

Whereas in commercial premises, what security protects is physical assets like data, servers, etc. security in complexes is supposed to safe guard lives of family – the elderly, the children. Therefore, security in apartment complexes is much more important.

Thankfully, today apartment complex security is being taken seriously. Many forward thinking apartment and villa communities are looking at transforming their security with the use of technology.

Realising the importance of security in residential complexes, and also equipped with our 7+ years of experience in apartment management domain, we focussed on developing a product which provides better security, and also at the same time giving the management committee in apartment complexes, better visibility into the lakhs they are already spending on security.
security guard using gatekeeper app

Do consider doing an audit to check if your security infrastructure is truly serving its purpose. And before spending any more on it, like increasing the number of security guards, do take an informed decision whether you really need to spend any more, and if technology can provide you a better option.

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