Managing apartment buildings isn’t the easiest business. Spending more money to keep your premises clean, safe, and inviting cannot always be offset by higher revenue. Most places have limits on how much rent can increase annually. Thankfully, live video surveillance designed with apartment building managers in mind can help keep your property safe within a reasonable budget.
Live video surveillance is a way to monitor your business remotely in real time. Remote monitoring uses a combination of commercial security cameras and advanced video analytics to keep an eye on your business. There are many benefits to using this technology, including enhanced security, lower operational costs, improved efficiency, and better relationships with law enforcement.
Indeed, while the improved security alone justifies the price of live video surveillance for your apartment buildings, the benefits go well beyond just better security.
13 live video surveillance benefits for apartment building managers
As mentioned above, being able to monitor your apartment buildings in real time has both security and non-security benefits. For example, real-time monitoring of apartment buildings can help keep hallways safe and emergency exits clear.
Here are 13 benefits of apartment building live video surveillance:
- Identify retraining needs
- Remote guarding
- Respond to issues in real time
- No more illegal dumping
- Health and safety improvements
- Cleaner buildings and grounds
- Remote monitoring
- Reduced labor expenses and hiring needs
- Better security
- Safer parking lots
- Alarm verification
- Better customer service
- Improved relationship with law enforcement
Note that these benefits often open up great synergies. For example, remote guarding can reduce labor expenses while improving security.
Identify retraining needs
Customer conflict can be particularly worrisome in the property management industry. Tenants facing eviction, rent increases, or anything else that could jeopardize their living arrangements might be inclined towards disruptive behavior.
How your staff responds to tenants in distress can either escalate disruptive behavior towards the potential for violence or bring calm to uncomfortable situations. When these events occur, it’s possible to review good and bad examples of interactions to help train and retrain employees on the best way to deal with disruptive behavior.
Time theft is another issue that might be costing property managers money. This is when employees or contractors are not working when they are supposed to be, and it can range from workers playing games on their mobile phones to landscaping crews billing for no-shows.
Large apartment complexes can also have many places for workers to hide from management. Custodial staff and others could be sitting around instead of working, forcing you to keep more salaries on the payroll than would otherwise be necessary.
Remote guarding is the use of live video surveillance equipment to replace on-site security guards or enhance their ability to patrol a large apartment complex. In either case, using your security system to replace or augment live guards can save a lot of money.
In addition, surveillance cameras never sleep, cannot be intimidated, provide objective evidence when an incident occurs, and can monitor your entire property at once. All of these added benefits are why many property management companies use remote guarding to protect their apartment buildings.
Respond to issues in real time
Cloud video surveillance gives businesses access to their security camera feeds from anywhere, 24 hours a day. Real-time monitoring of entrances and exits, hallways, and parking lots can prevent vandalism and keep tenants safe from violence.
Many groundskeeping duties are done on a schedule. For example, snow removal must happen between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m, that is after tenants leave for work in the morning so the parking lot is vacant but early enough that the afternoon sun has time to melt and dry out the remnant snow and ice. Using live video surveillance, a single person can review hundreds of snow-covered properties in an hour to make sure the snow plows have met their service agreements.
Weekly lawn cutting in the summer, hourly mopping during rainy weather, and more can be confirmed in the same way.
No more illegal dumping
One of the most common issues faced by property managers is illegal dumping. With cities increasingly charging homeowners to have extra garbage bags removed or to access the dump to throw away large items, apartment building dumpsters have become the sites of illegal dumpings.
Perhaps the perpetrators don’t realize it is illegal or costing the property managers money to remove waste. Either way, it cuts into the bottom line. Furthermore, when illegal dumping occurs without regard for the trash removal schedule, that garbage can build up for several days. At best, this is an unsightly mess. At worst, it becomes a breeding ground for pests.
Health and safety improvements
Keeping a safe environment is critical for apartment building owners. The fact is that the stakes are higher for property management firms, because any health and safety issues could mean someone’s home is unsafe.
Some common safety violations can be seen across apartment buildings. Blocked emergency exits can occur, which would be deadly if a fire were to occur. Similarly, parking, even for a few minutes, in a fire lane represents a major risk. Both of these issues can be rectified with multi-unit live video surveillance.
Motion search allows property managers to scan hours of footage in minutes to find the instance of someone blocking a door or parking in the fire lane. Another way that motion search can help keep tenants safe is by protecting against inclement weather.
Veterans of America-Michigan does just that. The head office checks that every store has wet floor signs out whenever the weather report calls for rain. They then conduct follow-up calls to stores that aren’t compliant.
Cleaner buildings and grounds
Buildings and grounds that are not properly maintained quickly degrade, costing property managers more money in the long run. Missing weekly lawn maintenance could mean re-sodding the following spring.
The issues don’t stop there. Wet floors, trash in hallways, and other common cleanliness issues can be safety concerns, lead to pest issues, and create an unpleasant environment that could make it harder to rent out vacant apartments.
With live video surveillance, it is easy to monitor scheduled tasks such as lawn mowing and hallway vacuuming. It’s also possible to check up on unscheduled maintenance, for example hourly mopping during rainstorms. When garbage is left in the hallway, you can review any motion in the location to find out who is responsible.
Remote video monitoring gives you the ability to audit your apartment buildings for company policy compliance without visiting in person. On-premises audits are not going away—and they shouldn’t.
However, for buildings in remote areas or those with known issues that need to be checked up on more regularly, multi-unit live video surveillance makes it possible to give them the care they need while saving time.
In fact, Spinx uses Solink to monitor all of their locations for cleanliness and company compliance. A single person is able to monitor about 100 locations.
Reduced labor expenses and hiring needs
Live video surveillance can reduce labor expenses in several ways. Most directly, the remote guarding function can replace live 24/7 on-site security guards. However, even when a full-time salary isn’t being removed from the books, video surveillance systems can be used to improve productivity.
When a security guard is patrolling an apartment complex, they aren’t everywhere at once. This leaves security gaps that could be exploited. Instead, someone using motion alerts can monitor several security camera feeds at once.
With proactive alerts, the security guard’s labor is also freed up to do secondary tasks. For example, they can accept packages for tenants, work the front door, etc.
Finally, if there are any on-premise incidents that the security guard has to report, they can include the video footage as part of any documentation they have to fill out.
Multi-unit live video surveillance is often about maintaining a certain level of security, or even improving it, while reducing costs. Especially in areas with rent controls, it can be difficult to increase rent on current tenants, which means profitability can require cost savings.
Installing cameras gives property owners an added layer of security without the need for hiring more security guards or signing an expensive outside security agreement for (usually too infrequent) security drive bys.
Solink Video Alarms Monitoring Service is another way to better protect your business with live video surveillance. Unlike traditional panel alarms, video alarms can monitor entire areas of your business for improved detection. You can also turn them on and off, one monitoring zone at a time, meaning tenants can use the main elevators while the service elevators are secured.
In a recent independent comparison of Solink Video Alarms and traditional panel alarms, video alarms led to multiple arrests while traditional alarms led to zero apprehensions.
Safer parking lots
There are a lot of liability issues associated with parking lots:
- Fender benders
- Hit and runs
- Smash-and-grab thefts
- Stolen cars
- Safety issues due to wet or snowy conditions
Without real-time monitoring, issues go unresolved. When a crime does occur, it’s important to be able to properly follow up so it doesn’t happen again. The Solink platform allows you to document every event to make sure it is resolved correctly and quickly.
In fact, this ability to document issues leads to our next benefit for apartment building owners.
Improved relationship with law enforcement
Property management firms try to build strong relationships with local law enforcement. They want responses to their apartment buildings to be prompt and appropriate. One of the easiest ways to build a strong relationship with police is to provide them with the evidence they need to help you.
When an incident occurs, Solink’s live video surveillance platform makes it easy to find, save, and share video footage of the event. Use motion search to find the incident, save the clips including multiple angles where necessary, and then send them to the police via email.
When police trust you to provide evidence, they are more inclined to fully investigate every incident. In fact, they might start coming to you looking for video feeds that have street views to help with investigations. This heightened police presence adds another layer of security to your apartment buildings as a strong deterrent to criminal activity.
Alarm verification gives trained professionals the ability to review in real time what is happening on a site before deciding whether an emergency response is warranted. Then, when law enforcement is required, the video feed is shared with the dispatcher to ensure prompt and appropriate response.
However, the value of alarm verification goes beyond better security. Verified alarms also save you money. Many police forces no longer respond to unverified alarms. In cities, where they do respond, false alarm fees are rising.
In the same head-to-head comparison mentioned above, Solink Video Alarms led to a 100% decrease in false alarm fines across multiple restaurant locations.
Better customer service
The fact is that property management is a very customer-facing business. Tenants, specifically, are also a customer group that has very high expectations. Your apartment unit is their home, and that can make it difficult to align your business goals with their life goals.
The Siegel Group uses Solink to make sure that customer expectations are being met at all of their properties. Whether it is documenting rent payments or making sure tenants get everything they need, live video surveillance gives The Siegel Group insight into every customer interaction.
Solink is the best retail live video surveillance system
Solink provides a customizable cloud-first video analytics platform. Productivity and training, health and safety, cleanliness, security, and customer service can all be monitored with retail live video surveillance.
This can improve profitability through both increased revenue and decreased expenses.
To see how Solink can help you monitor all of your stores, sign up for a demo today.
Timothy Ware is Solink’s Content Manager. He brings over ten years of writing and editing experience to the job. When he isn’t writing about security, loss prevention, and asset protection, he’s enjoying his newest board game. His work has appeared on many B2B SaaS websites including Baremetrics, Security Today, TeamPassword, Cova, and SignTime.