Unlocking the Partnership between Property Managers & Security Providers

This article was originally published in the FLCAJ May 2024 issue

Property management for community associations is a crucial aspect of maintaining a safe, organized, and thriving neighborhood. Given that many associations consist of various residential properties or units, shared spaces, and amenities, diligent oversight is necessary to ensure everything is well maintained and secure. Often this oversight includes communicating and coordinating with community service providers and partners who specialize in the fields that address the needs of the association. For most communities, this includes a security vendor. That much may seem obvious, but what many do not see is the specific ways a property manager and security provider work together on the typical systems installed and utilized throughout an association.

Community Access Management

Access management plays a vital role in controlling who can enter the community and its facilities. By utilizing technologies such as key fobs, access codes, or radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, property managers can regulate entry and monitor who is coming and going. This security system is frequently viewed as the first layer of protection throughout a neighborhood to prevent trespassing and unauthorized access. It not only enhances security by preventing unauthorized individuals from entering the premises but also provides residents with a sense of safety and peace of mind.

Once an access control system is installed, regular database management is necessary to maintain the integrity of the system. This includes activating and assigning credentials to each resident or property as well as deactivating credentials when a resident moves out of the community. Then there’s additional management when residents report lost or stolen credentials.

Beyond the database, the system may need occasional adjustments to revise the days or time frames when access is allowed to those with the correct credentials. For example, some communities have the system set to lock all doors and gates to a pool between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. during the off season. However, this can be adjusted for the summer when the community wants to have the pool open longer, allowing access to residents until 8:00 p.m.

Some property managers choose to manage entire access control systems on their own, but given their number of other responsibilities, many CAMs will turn to experienced security companies to handle the database management and system changes. It’s just one of the many ways that community security vendors partner with community managers to maintain a secure access control system. This partnership also simplifies the process for tracking visitor activity and assisting with investigations when the security provider is able to easily retrieve access activity reports, allowing the property manager to focus on the other elements of a security event.

Video Surveillance

In tandem with access control, video surveillance is another essential tool for ensuring the safety and security of an association. Surveillance cameras strategically placed throughout the property can deter criminal activity, monitor common areas, and provide valuable evidence in the event of vandalism, theft, or other security breaches.

Once cameras are in place, the property manager is able to remotely view video footage through each camera included in the surveillance system. This also gives access to retrieve video footage of any incidents or security events, but it’s no secret how time-consuming that task can be. Many turn to a security partner for those needs and more.

Provided it’s an included service, some vendors will have teams and experts dedicated to retrieving video footage on specific dates and times for a community manager. This can include vehicle owner information if footage from a specialized license plate camera is needed. One of the main reasons for having video surveillance throughout a community is to have evidence accessible when needed, and a team to support the process of identifying the necessary footage simplifies the steps for management and boards.

To always keep a watchful eye on a community without having to physically do so, property managers turn to modern video surveillance systems with remote monitoring capabilities. No one enjoys a midnight call about trespassers on the pickleball courts, and an active video surveillance solution takes care of that issue. Virtual guards or agents can see and speak with individuals in monitored areas during the overnight hours, and a follow-up of what took place can be provided to the manager to maintain oversight of the system and operations.

As a property manager for a community, maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for all residents is a priority. However, that’s just one piece of the complete puzzle of managing the entire association. Collaboration with a trusted security partner is key to receiving expert guidance and support in implementing and maintaining these security measures, ensuring that the community remains a desirable place to live for all residents. By partnering with a reputable security provider, community associations can benefit from professional installations, maintenance, management, and monitoring of their security systems, further enhancing the overall security posture of the neighborhood.