Steeplechase | Our Client’s Story

Steeplechase | Our Client’s Story

Community Snapshot:

  • Odessa, FL
  • 70 homes

This private community was using a standard telephone entry system, or call box, that allowed guests to dial a number on the key pad to enter. However, this system was problematic in many ways for the residents, visitors, and vendors that regularly needed access to the community.

For residents, the telephone entry system was inconvenient because it only dialed one number per home. The system was also problematic for frequent vendors who didn’t have a number to dial but still needed to make simple deliveries. Plus, the telephone entry system lacked security. The community would often have unauthorized drivers approach the gate and know how to operate the system. On top of those issues, there was a lack of dependability with frequent interruptions in the system. Between 60 and 70 days each year, the box would be inoperable, and the community gates would have to remain open.

Solutions Explored:

  • Install an updated Telephone Entry Box – However, even modern call boxes are antiquated. Steeplechase wanted to provide a more convenient entry system for both residents and guests.
  • Hire an onsite guard – A manned gate was considered as the community does have a guard house. However, that guard house was not ADA compliant. Therefore, it would need to be remodeled in addition to the cost of a guard. This was not practical for the community. Residents were also concerned about the risks associated with human interaction at a gate.
  • Envera Systems Virtual Guard Technology – Envera offered a Virtual Gate Guard for the guest entry lane, a more convenient Access Control resident lane, as well as other cameras to make the community more secure.

Community Decision:

Steeplechase had Envera Systems install these solutions for the community:

  • Virtual Gate Guard system
    • MyEnvera Resident Portal for Registering Guests
  • Access Control
    • Access Control lane for residents using RFID
    • Access Control at pedestrian gates

The Virtual Gate Guard was installed at the front gate to identify each vehicle as it tries to enter the community. When a guest first arrives, a Virtual Gate Guard is expected to greet the driver and record their vehicle information. The Virtual Gate Guard will cross-reference the driver’s name with the community’s list of approved guests. If the name matches, the guard will open the gate. If the guest is not on a resident’s list, the guard will call the resident the guest would like to visit and verify that the guest is allowed access to enter. This system keeps record of every visitor transaction, and accompanying cameras give the community the resources to look up specific vehicles and time periods if a problem ever arises.

While guests use the Virtual Gate Guard in the visitor lane, residents have easy access through the resident lane. Each resident’s vehicle has a windshield sticker or external tag for Access Control. This system uses radio-frequency identification, or RFID, similar to SunPass. This is expected to be a simple and secure method for resident entry.

Residents living in Steeplechase have access to Envera’s website portal and app called MyEnvera. This allows residents to register their own guests and look at their visitor history. They have the options of registering visitors as permanent or temporary, or they can deny entry to certain guests as well. This expedites the entry transaction process by having most guests pre-approved by residents. The residents at Steeplechase also have the option to receive “push” notifications when a visitor arrives. They can have a text message and/or email sent to notify them when a guest enters the community.

The pedestrian gates at Steeplechase also have Access Control installed. This is expected to deter trespassers who do not have the appropriate credentials to enter the community.

The Results:

Since installing Envera Systems’ Virtual Gate Guard system in 2009, Steeplechase has had a consistent gate control system that is convenient for the residents, guests, and vendors who need access to the community. The system has very few outages compared to the prior telephone entry system, and any issues are resolved in a timely manner.

On the occasions of gate damage or crime in the community, Envera has assisted in providing video footage, including license plate information, to help the community find the culprit and recoup damage costs. The president of the board, Steven Josias, says “the system has also served as a significant deterrent for stopping trespassers.”

“The quality of technology has eliminated the need to consider other options that are more costly and less efficient. “ – Steven Josias, Board President

Josias goes on to says that with Envera, the community has the benefit of human interaction without risks. In addition to the convenience for all who need access, the portal has been very beneficial for the residents to register regular guests and occasional guests. This helps the community with general security by having the option of registering some guests as temporary so they cannot have automatic access after a certain time.

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