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Who Goes There? Kastle Systems Says Video Solution Improves Security For Short-Staffed Buildings


Multifamily operators have always needed to keep their residents and properties safe from intruders. This is an increasingly difficult task as the property management sector struggles with an acute shortage of workers.

The challenge came into stark relief when 74% of property managers told the National Apartment Association and AppFolio that human resources, staffing and recruitment were among their top challenges — and 50% said those were their primary challenge. This is understandable, considering that multifamily suffered from nearly 33% turnover even before the pandemic, NAA reported.

As property owners continue to search for workers, the question remains: Who is going to monitor those entrance doors and all the people coming and going day and night? 

NAA noted that many landlords are turning to technology solutions. Kastle Systems, in particular, believes the answer is a video intercom solution that enables visitors to contact residents via audio or video calls to gain entry. It also allows residents to issue temporary QR codes to guests and allows property management to issue PIN codes for trusted vendors.

According to Kastle, using a video-based access solution to control visitor and vendor entry traffic can cost up to 70% less than the operational expense of adding a live guard for the purpose. It can also avoid the costs and frustration related to employee turnover and reduce the time spent trying to find building employees who will stick around.

Bisnow spoke with Kastle Systems CEO Haniel Lynn to learn more about KastleVideocom and how it can address property managers’ concerns.

Bisnow: How does a system like KastleVideocom help multifamily operators and owners?

Lynn: Processing the entry traffic of vendors, residents’ visitors and prospective residents currently requires a great deal of effort and labor cost for multifamily properties. It also deprives residents of the ability to greet and manage their own guests in advance or as they arrive.

This user-friendly technology enables residents to either grant visitors entry in advance of arrival or visually verify and grant them access to the property as they arrive. It also alleviates the responsibility and time lost for the building staff.

KastleVideocom provides the system administrator with detailed information about when and how individuals are granted entry and by whom. For buildings that have a lobby entrance and front desk, KastleVideocom nearly eliminates the property staff’s need to manage vendors and visitors.

The system works indoors for lobby entrances and vestibules, and works outdoors for gated community entrances or garages. No personnel will need to be dedicated to monitoring the gate.

Bisnow: How does KastleVideocom differ from or improve on visitor management systems?

Lynn: First, KastleVideocom delivers the advanced technology performance for which Kastle is known, and is installed and maintained by our service team. If anything goes wrong, you know exactly who to call.

Second, while it is an outstanding standalone visitor management system, it can also be used as one part of a fully integrated, propertywide KastleResident access ecosystem that integrates the operation of visitor and resident access management into one platform, one app and one database. This makes it a delightfully convenient resident experience propertywide, while simultaneously creating a hyperefficient, streamlined management platform for staff. 

Bisnow: Please walk us through how the system works.

Lynn: A resident or property staff member can provide a QR code via smartphone to a visitor in advance of their visit, which then is scanned by the building’s KastleVideocom unit to grant them entry. The resident can specify the QR codes to work during a specific window of time.

Property management also can assign PIN codes to delivery and other vendors to enable them to easily access the property. Unexpected or first-time visitors will use the resident directory to contact residents or the office, depending on the reason for their visit.

Bisnow: Do property managers have access to the same data as residents?

Lynn: System administrators, who in many cases are the property managers themselves, can access a data record to inform them exactly when, how and by whom every visitor and vendor is granted access to the property. In many cases, the identity of the individual may also be reviewed by playing a short video clip from the report.

Bisnow: How does this system benefit residents?

Lynn: It provides a great sense of control and convenience to the resident, who is able to communicate with the visitor at the entry, visually verify their identity and grant or deny entry. This happens in real time, all from the smartphone app, even when they are away from home.

It's also extremely convenient to be able to manage the process without contacting the front desk or leaving your apartment. This provides a valuable experiential amenity to the resident.

Additionally, it is highly empowering for a resident to enjoy the freedom of granting access to a visitor they are expecting in advance by sending them a QR code to use for entry whenever they need to, as opposed to waiting for the resident to return home.

Bisnow: Tell us about a customer that uses KastleVideocom. What has their experience been like?

Lynn: A mixed-use urban apartment community in the Washington, D.C., metro area has been using KastleVideocom for more than six months. 

The property management team reports that residents find the system to be easy to use and very convenient for screening guests and food-delivery services. Management is pleased that KastleVideocom has virtually eliminated the burden of visitor management and is convenient for future resident visits. 

In fact, it is working so well that they have inquired about adding it to another one of their properties.

This article was produced in collaboration between Studio B and Kastle Systems. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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