Nowadays, it’s common for the on-site team to be running the show. A capable estate manager with a team of concierge reporting into them, has the opportunity to stay close to the residents, deal with repairs and maintenance, and focus on keeping everyone in the building safe and sound.
We are seeing more activity on-site than ever before, as residential schemes are conceived with a strong sense of community. But with this increased level of interaction comes the opportunity for compromised on-site security. Here we look at a few examples, in our direct experience, of just how alert on-site staff need to be, and now proptech is invaluable in keeping residents and their possessions safe.
Keys and visitors
The front desk of a residential building can be more akin to a high-end hotel. Keys, fobs and cards are borrowed and returned on a continual basis. Residents are willing to leave keys with the concierge for their cleaner or friends to use, which is why it is vital that access to their flat needs to be provided diligently with confidence. The right software and hardware will help manage the movement of keys, giving the front desk staff live data to show who is permitted access and whose access has been revoked. Controlled by the resident remotely through an app, key and visitor management can now resemble a more subtle version of airline security!
Similarly for contractors on site, ensuring they have the keys and fobs only for specific parts of the development, is vital to reduce the chances of criminal activity.
Unfortunately, estate agent spoofing has become a modern and brazen crime in residential buildings. Taking advantage of busy on-site staff using paper-based systems, “I’m from Marsh & Franks estate agents and I’ve come to view flat 106 that’s on the market with us at the moment” can fool the concierge into handing over keys and thus becoming an unwitting accessory to burglary. The right proptech will remove this threat.
Mainly as a result of GDPR, our sector is well aware of the consequences of a data breach, which makes it all the more surprising that we still see visitors’ books on display at the front desk of residential and commercial buildings, exposing current and earlier visitors’ identities. A switch to an electronic, GDPR-compliant visitor system using tablet technology is a simple one to make.
Online shopping deliveries
The Dwellant website displays a counter of the number of packages and parcels processed through our Concierge HV software since its conception (around 7 million and increasing at about 20% year on year). The relentless rise in online shopping was certainly evident by the number of courier vans dashing around otherwise empty roads at the height of the lockdown in April.
Whether they are dropping off or picking up, couriers are ubiquitous in residential lobbies, impatient to get in and out. Ensuring deliveries are safely received, assigned to a flat and a resident, stored securely and made available to that resident, is a full-on job for front desk staff.
Too often, we see packages piled up in lobbies, freshly dropped off and ready to be pinched! We all know the anguish when a package hasn’t arrived yet the courier company swears it was safely delivered. The right proptech package ensures your residents know immediately (via SMS) when their package has arrived and can use their smart phone to retrieve it. If they know they are going to be out of town and a package containing perishable goods is arriving, they can update their request via an app so the concierge knows which specific resident will do the neighbourly thing.
Putting the residents in control
One of the luxuries of living in a residential building is to enjoy the security and flexibility that front desk staff bring. Smart proptech that puts the residents in control of their own data and permissions for access and deliveries, also takes the pressure off the front desk staff without removing common sense from the equation. And that ultimately helps the property manager to focus on the bigger picture.