Most property managers don’t view security as merely a “nice-to-have.” Most are asking themselves, “how much building security do I really need?’ or even ‘What kind of security?” How can you make sure you’re addressing all your biggest risks within what is probably a limited budget?
These are questions you’ll need to answer in the course of your security risk analysis. But along the way, you’ll probably feel bombarded by different options, prices, and levels of service. One way forward is to look to what your peers are doing.
To that end, we highly recommend you review the results of two focus groups conducted by Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies.
We’ll summarize their findings here and explain why we believe that, even nine years after those focus groups, their findings remain relevant for property managers who are trying to provide adequate building security in 2020 and beyond.
Determine What Building Security Means to You
First things first: what is building security? You can probably answer this question on a gut level, but what will security entail at one office location versus another? It will probably look different in different locations, depending on the use of the property, the employees and customers who will be coming in and out, and the neighborhood in which each building is located.
According to one focus group participant, providing cameras and a guard desk is pretty much a minimal requirement these days. But if you’re managing a building that has national or multinational tenants, they may demand a higher level of security.
There are other variables, of course. As your various tenants share their expectations, you’ll have to come up with building security solutions that address the most demanding requirements without hindering the way employees work. This is where it’s essential to have a healthy balance between security technology and security personnel.
Technology can automate many security processes and minimize errors or lapses. But if the employees in your building feel as if they’re on permanent lockdown, they’ll start to see security as a burden. That’s why there will always need to be a human element in building security, in the form of experienced security guards who can make judgments about what your security systems are telling them.
Avoid These Common Problems
Here’s one of the biggest struggles for focus group participants: when a property manager tries to implement building security systems, they don’t always integrate with systems that tenants have already installed. In other words, you’re trying to do the right thing for your tenants, but sometimes they’re working at cross-purposes with you.
What’s even more frustrating is to implement the latest security technology but then find that the security guards you’ve hired don’t know how to use it. This was a big problem for focus group participants. It’s an example of how taking a piecemeal approach to building security can lead to a final product that’s less than the sum of its parts.
The best way to avoid these outcomes is to work with a security partner that can provide not only the latest technology, but also the consultation you need to make it work with other technology—and then send you highly trained security guards who know how to use these systems.
What’s Your ROI on Building Security?
In an ideal world, property managers could provide the highest level of security without considering the cost. In the real world, there’s a relationship between how much security you can implement and how much you’re charging for rent. Beef up security, and you’ll have happy tenants who want to renew. But if you raise rent to pay for the security, you’ll chase away a certain percentage of your tenants.
Work with an Expert
How can you achieve the ideal balance? Again, a piecemeal approach is unlikely to deliver the consistent long-term results you seek. Don’t “wing it” on your building security strategy. Work with a consulting partner that can guide you through everything you’ll need to consider as you seek to maximize the ROI on your security program.
Creative Security is that partner. We can provide a thorough risk-assessment inspection for your Bay Area property so that you’ll have total confidence you’re making the best decisions for you and your tenants. Don’t wait to get started.