“I’ve encountered a lot of the security systems including some that do things like Solink, but nobody does it as well as Solink does. I love it. It’s fantastic.” ~ Andrew Vale, Director of Information Technology, The Siegel Group
- The previous property management surveillance system did not meet the needs of a large and growing enterprise.
- Different data sources were not integrated into one platform.
- There was a lack of protection as well as accountability for employees.
- Solink provides a scalable, easy-to-use surveillance system.
- Solink built a new integration to work with their property management tool, Gearco.
- Video of events can be quickly searched to protect employees from fraudulent behavior as well as find opportunities for further training.
The Siegel Group is a diversified property management company
Ross Siegel (Chief Information Officer), Andrew Vale (Director of Information Technology), and Christal Harman (Operations Support Director) met to discuss how The Siegel Group is using Solink.
The Siegel Group is a diversified and growing property management company. They currently operate in 14 states, and their two major brands are “Siegel Suites” (32 locations) and “Siegel Select” (26 locations), which are short- and long-term residential properties.
“We first heard about Solink from someone working at PrimoHoagies [another Solink customer], and to be honest we didn’t know something like Solink existed. We were already looking for a more enterprise-level security camera system, and I was immediately interested.” ~ Ross Siegel
When looking to improve security at The Siegel Group properties, Ross Siegel inquired about a custom integration with their property management solution Gearco.
“We asked Solink whether it would be possible to integrate with our property management software Gearco. When we found that was possible, we asked if Solink would be interested in working in our residential properties.” ~ Ross Siegel
Solink is currently protecting 63 of the properties in total with plans to expand to their entire portfolio.
Provide remote access to all properties with custom permission levels
The Siegel Group owns and operates many properties. They need to have remote access to the security camera feeds at each property. In addition, each layer of management, from local to the VPs of Operations, needs to have custom permissions.
“We had a basic problem with our surveillance system. We lost the ability for property managers to view cameras remotely. We also have layers of management that require access to different property groups. Property managers, regional managers, and the VPs over them all need the ability to either watch in real time or pull video from specific properties. At one point, our previous surveillance system provided that, but even then it was never close to as robust or easy to use as Solink.” ~ Ross Siegel
- The Siegel Group found themselves locked out of key cloud security features in their previous surveillance system and took that as an opportunity to upgrade to a more enterprise-level solution.
- Ross Siegel has worked closely with Gearco Inc. to ensure their property management software meets all of The Siegel Group’s needs and wanted a surveillance system that could integrate with Gearco.
- Rent and loyalty point fraud had occurred, and there was a need for accountability. Conversely, Christal Harman wanted to make sure that their high customer service standards are always being met and tenants never miss out on any of their benefits erroneously.
Solink offers cloud video surveillance services that meet the high standards of businesses. This includes remote monitoring options for companies running multiple locations and time-saving search functions that help businesses hone in on video clips they need to see without spending hours reviewing footage. In addition, an unlimited number of users with custom permissions can use the Solink platform.
The Siegel Group had specific issues with their previous surveillance system that necessitated a change. In addition, Ross Siegel was interested in seeing whether Solink could integrate with their property management software Gearco.
"Our business is fairly unique, and we do things quite differently from most other companies. Roughly eight years ago, we had a large need for a custom property management system. Just like we heard about Solink from networking with owners at PrimoHoagies, I was referred to Gearco through another business partner. Christal and I together came up with all the requirements for Gearco and started to roll it out. We have a great relationship with Gearco, and it was important for us to maintain this relationship and have a security system that can work with Gearco." ~ Ross Siegel
Solink provides better security with a custom property management software integration
The Siegel Group wasn’t satisfied with their current security system. It didn’t provide the integrated enterprise-level security that their growing business required. When sudden issues arose that locked them out of their remote monitoring capabilities, they decided to look for a new security solution.
“We had needs that weren’t being met by our security system. It couldn’t really do everything that Andrew and I would have liked to do from an enterprise solutions perspective. Then, when our security system started having some issues with their cloud portal, we decided to move on. When you offered to build a Gearco integration, we decided to put Solink in all of our properties.” ~ Ross Siegel
There had been some instances of rental fraud where finding the exact video footage would be difficult and time consuming without such an integration.
“I asked Solink ‘what do you think about doing the residential stuff and could you potentially integrate with Gearco?’ I was already really familiar with Solink, and Gearco is a really good partner that is always open to building and integrating for us, so it seemed like a pretty natural fit. We started with a test property and have expanded from there." ~ Ross Siegel
In addition to integrating with Gearco, Solink is compatible with The Siegel Group’s existing cameras. While their long-term security plans include upgrading all of their old cameras, being able to spread out that expense is an additional benefit of the Solink platform.
“There would be a lot of capital expense replacing all of our cameras. It was a huge deal that we could keep using the older cameras. If we had to go back and replace all of our cameras, it would have been a challenge. Instead, it was a much easier decision to use Solink. In the long run, we don’t want to be using those previous cameras, but being able to replace the cameras with new ones slowly as they go offline really cleared a major hurdle. That we can proceed slowly with the evolution of our security hardware really matches how we like to operate.” ~ Ross Siegel
The Siegel Group considers protecting employees and customers their top concerns. They want to be able to provide video evidence of anything that happens on their properties.
“Solink gives us the capability to search transactions and watch the corresponding video. If there’s a cash discrepancy, with the Gearco integration with Solink, we can look at all the transactions throughout the day. For example, let's say a cash shortage occurs, we can go into Solink, put in the dollar amount, find all transactions on that day that match the amount, and then watch any video associated with them. Solink helps us with security issues.” ” ~ Christal Harman
It’s important to find instances where mistakes have occurred and provide follow-up training for the staff member.
“We also use Solink for training purposes. When our staff isn’t doing their due diligence, for example, properly explaining our rewards program and benefits to our tenants, we can use video to show them this issue. If we have people who are habitually making the same mistakes, we can reach out to their regional managers and get them signed up on Solink just to prevent the issue. It’s a more proactive way to handle customer service issues.” ~ Christal Harman
The Siegel Group has better accountability and efficiency
Overall, the two words that kept coming up during the conversation were “accountability” and “efficiency.”
“I agree with Ross that Solink provides accountability and efficiency. It’s really great that we can support our staff in these situations. From an accountability standpoint, it is very useful.” ~ Christal Harman
Another Solink feature that is providing accountability is the automatic health checks for cameras.
“From an IT perspective, Solink is providing accountability and efficiency as well. We’re constantly seeing notifications of cameras being offline now. Our conclusion is that, since moving to Solink, cameras aren’t going offline more often but we just know when it happens. Now we get the notification and can react to the cameras going offline. We’re able to address things more quickly.” ~ Ross Siegel
In The Siegel Group’s words
“With Solink, I feel like we matter as a customer, and that’s very important to us. It’s so reassuring to know that, when there is an issue, we matter and it will be resolved.” ~ Christal Harman
“Having Solink is lucrative. It really has helped our business a lot. Andrew oversees the IT department on a day-to-day basis, and he can most certainly tell you that it has helped the IT department greatly.” ~ Ross Siegel
The Siegel Group’s three favorite features
The Siegel Group uses many of Solink’s features, but their three favorite features are event-based search, camera health monitoring, and the hands-on approach of the Solink Team.
“The ability to search for keywords is one of my favorite functionalities because it makes research so much faster. I like how detailed you can get in research too. I can plug in multiple keywords, which really narrows down the number of potential video clips I have to watch to get the answer that I’m looking for. I love, love how efficient the system is. It takes so much time out of the research process, whether it’s myself, my team, or the property managers. ~ Christal Harman
The Solink Team
“I really enjoy working with Shawna [Director of Sales at Solink] and the entire Solink team. I think that everybody that I’ve dealt with has been very helpful, and very optimistic. It’s just a really wonderful group of people to work with.” ~ Christal Harman
Camera health monitoring
“Sometimes things are not a problem, until they show you that they are a problem. Nobody was looking at our cameras to confirm they were online until an incident occurred and we needed the footage. Since we started working with Solink, we have visibility into when cameras are offline. Camera health was in fact always an issue, but we didn’t have a way to know about it or deal with it. Now IT gets camera issue tickets and can solve them quickly.” ~ Ross Siegel
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.