How COVID-19 has changed security for landlords and some of thethe solutions that are solving the problems it has caused.
By Saurabh Bajaj
Property management requires landlords to be constantly accessible to address physical security matters at their properties. Whether accessibility, mitigation of risk, maintaining security protocols, or promoting safety practices, landlords need to be ready and present.
COVID-19 has created a major barrier to complete these responsibilities in property management, and the consequences have left a gap in physical security that has raised an even bigger issue of business continuity and facility resilience.
Visitor Management and Access Control
With social distancing a necessity, landlords and property managers have had to find new ways to manage tenant and guest access from a distance – this includes replacing lost key cards, changing locks or access permissions after a tenant moves out, and giving consistent access to cleaning staff who need to access the facility more often due to the need for more frequent cleaning.
This becomes complicated with legacy access-control and visitor-management systems that are network-based, meaning they operate onsite at the property. Management gets all the more complicated when landlords have more than one property or a high-occupancy property to manage. Without the ability to be flexible with in-person operations, property security can falter.
The rise of e-commerce from months of stay-at-home orders has increased opportunities for package theft. Consequently, that is exactly what happened. During COVID-19 however, package theft goes beyond the usual headache and frustration it typically incites, because the pandemic has forced people to turn to home delivery of essentials like prescriptions, food, confidential work-related documents, and more.
Landlords have had to address the high stakes and high volume of package theft at their property. This is easier said than done if protocols were not already in place.
Renting an apartment typically requires face-to-face interaction for touring and access to different parts of the buildings. In-person showings also allows the building to be seen while respecting the safety and security of current tenants. COVID-19 has completely eliminated the ability to show properties to prospective tenants. So, landlords have needed to find ways to continue business and bring in tenants to their buildings.
Many have adopted virtual apartment tours and viewings, but it has underscored an ever bigger issue that landlords need to address for the future. If they can’t rely on their current operation for business continuity, what is the solution in order to future-proof their property?
Rental Property Security During COVID-19 and for the Future
Onsite network security has its setbacks in regards to flexibility. Transitioning to a cloud-based management system gives landlords and property managers the flexibility to manage the security of their property remotely. Cloud-based access control, for example, allows landlords to manage tenant permissions and remotely unlock access points within the property without the need for any face-to-face contact. The landlord doesn’t even need to be present to do this.
In addition, remote-management cloud-based systems also offer integration options so that all aspects of facility security can be managed under one platform. Video surveillance can be integrated with access control, for example, so that landlords can get a more holistic idea of the security operations within their property.
The Edge and AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) on edge security such as video surveillance cameras can learn images, patterns, behaviors, and so on. This type of holistic surveillance offers better security for tenants and allows landlords to better understand the physical security behavior in their property.
Contactless and Touchless Solutions
Frictionless security systems are a great solution to combat the risk of COVID-19 and for the future. Granting remote access for authorized visitors reduces the burden on landlords without sacrificing the quality of security, while also keeping physical distance. Touchless solutions eliminate the need to touch high-use surfaces, which mitigates the spread of viruses. Health-conscious solutions like these, which prioritize safety and security, will prevail as a best practice throughout COVID-19 and into the future of rental property security.
About the author:
Saurabh Bajaj is the founder and CEO of Swiftlane, a modern touchless-access control system for facility security. Before Swiftlane, Saurabh built machine-learning infrastructure at Lyft, specifically working on ML and computer vision for self-driving cars. Prior to Lyft, he worked with Facebook and Instagram.