Managing office buildings isn’t the easiest business. Spending more money to keep your premises clean, safe, and inviting cannot always be offset by higher revenue, especially during the current low occupancy period. Thankfully, live video surveillance designed with office 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 office buildings, the benefits go well beyond just better security.
16 live video surveillance benefits for office building managers
As mentioned above, being able to monitor your office buildings in real time has both security and non-security benefits.
Here are 16 benefits of office building live video surveillance:
- Identify retraining needs
- Enhanced access control
- Virtual 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
- Safer parking lots
- Improved relationship with law enforcement
- Better security
- Faster police response
- Alarm verification
- Better customer service
- Added service to boost occupancy
Note that these benefits often open up great synergies. For example, virtual guarding can reduce labor expenses while improving security.
Identify retraining needs
Customer conflict can be particularly worrisome in the property management industry. An employee who has been dismissed or the owner of a failing business facing eviction might be inclined towards disruptive behavior.
How your staff responds to tenants in distress can either escalate disruptive behavior 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. It can range from workers playing games on their mobile phones to landscaping crews billing for no-shows.
Large office complexes can have many places 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.
If your office buildings have door staff, complacency might set in when checking credentials of people entering the building. When your tenants are receiving hundreds of packages and/or visitors per day, the assumption is that everyone entering the office building is there on legitimate business. However, staff still need to confirm that each person has a good reason to enter the building to minimize potential liability if something does happen.
Enhanced access control
Businesses are increasingly looking to improve their security. Since 2014, violent crime rates have been on the rise. Different tools are being implemented to keep people safe.
One way property managers keep their tenants safe is through access control. Access control is a system that restricts entry into a location by requiring people to use a badge, type in a code, or otherwise prove they have permission to enter the premises.
The one issue with access control is that people could share badges or passwords, or someone can steal a badge to gain entry. In this situation, the access control system could even lead to further security complacency by relying on the technology to maintain the security perimeter.
Office building live video surveillance can help here. Solink integrates with Brivo, an access control system. That way you have paired video to each entry into your buildings. If an event occurs, it is easier to confirm who entered the building, that they had permission to be there.
Virtual guarding is the use of live video surveillance equipment to replace on-site security guards or enhance their ability to patrol large spaces. In either case, using your security system to replace 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 managers are using remote guards to protect their office buildings.
Virtual guarding is particularly effective for office building live video surveillance. Since on-site staff usually need to be available at the front desk, they can’t actively patrol the building without ignoring other core duties. Using live video surveillance, the front desk staff can simultaneously monitor the entire building for suspicious activity while greeting visitors as they come and go.
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 theft, as well as keep tenants safe from violence.
Many groundskeeping duties are done on a schedule. For example, snow removal must happen before 6:00 a.m. for parking lots to be clear before early risers start their work day. Using live video surveillance, a single person can review hundreds of northern 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 unique 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, office 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.
Solink’s Motion Search allows you to scan hours of footage in minutes to find illegal dumping events. You can then save the video and share the information with law enforcement by email. That way, issues have consequences, and you can try to recoup the costs of illegal dumping.
Health and safety improvements
Keeping a safe environment is critical for office building owners. The high occupancy rate of office buildings means any fire, theft, or violence risk is multiplied.
Some common safety violations can be seen across office buildings. Blocked emergency exits can occur, which could 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 office building 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 uses Solink to reduce the liability caused by snow or rain. 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 resodding the following spring.
The issues don’t stop there. Wet floors, refuse 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 office space.
With live video surveillance, it is easy to monitor scheduled tasks such as lawn mowing and floor cleaning. It’s also possible to check up on unscheduled maintenance, for example hourly mopping during rainstorms. For example, when refuse is left in the hallway, you can review any motion in the location to find out who is responsible.
Video remote monitoring gives you the ability to audit your office buildings for company policy compliance without visiting in person. When you are managing multiple buildings, being able to check up on all of your buildings in real time from anywhere on your laptop or mobile device is a major time saver. It also means keeping the same level of control on operations whether you are on-site, at the head office, or at home.
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 office complex, they can’t be 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, check visitors are authorized to enter the building, help people find their destination, etc.
Safer parking lots
Offices are often filled with expensive equipment, from computers and laptops to printers and industry-specific hardware. However, live video surveillance sometimes brings the greatest benefit outside.
The sprawling parking lots surrounding some office buildings can be major sources of liability. Indeed, the following can all lead to legal liability for the owner and/or occupant of the office building:
- 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 in your office parking lots to make sure it is resolved correctly and quickly.
In fact, this ability to document issues leads to our next benefit for office building owners.
Improved relationship with law enforcement
Property management firms try to build strong relationships with local law enforcement. They want responses to their office 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 office buildings as a strong deterrent to criminal activity.
The largest Cookies retailer uses Solink to build their relationship with law enforcement. Here’s what their Director of Loss Prevention, Ryan Dzwigalski, has to say:
“I’ve been in loss prevention for 20 years. I wish I had something like Solink before because being able to share video with the police so easily is huge. It was always such a hassle before. You’d have to find a USB stick, get their address, put it in a bubbled envelope, and drop it off at the police dropbox. Then, the police might not be able to open the file. If you get a reputation of not providing the needed evidence, police can become less responsive to non-emergency calls like theft. Now, Solink has helped me create a good relationship with law enforcement. It is such a huge benefit.”
Faster emergency response
When it comes to protecting the valuables inside of an office, outdoor cameras can help here too. With video alarms, you can catch people trying to break-in to your building before they even gain entry.
In the same comparison of Solink Video Alarms and traditional panel alarms, Solink alerted law enforcement to a potential break-in at an office building, the police arrived on the scene, and the suspect was arrested all before the traditional panel alarm was triggered.
Office building live video surveillance is often about maintaining a certain level of security, or even improving it, while reducing costs. In the current period of lower office occupancy rates, it can be hard to improve profitability through higher revenue generation, so cutting costs is paramount.
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 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.
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 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 office space is their workplace, 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.
Added service to boost occupancy
Most property managers install live video surveillance at their office buildings to protect their bottom line from unexpected expenses. However, enhanced security is also a selling point to a lot of tenants.
Business managers want to know that their staff are safe. Highlighting the security level of your office buildings can help improve your occupancy rates.
Solink is the best office building 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 office building live video surveillance.
To see how Solink can help you monitor all of your office buildings,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.