3 Things Property Managers Must Consider Before Hiring a Security Company

Living in a condominium building isn’t like living in a detached home, where it’s up to residents to install a security system or where they have the option to decide which security measures they want to enforce. A major reason why many people choose to live in a condo is because of the safety that living in a shared space can provide. That is why an important aspect of property management in Toronto is selecting a security system for your condominium building.

While Toronto has a considerably low crime rate of 36%, having security measures in place to prevent security breaches is necessary. A surveillance system is the foundation of a safe building, which not only helps ensure that your units maintain a high value but also helps residents know that they are protected even if they’re not in town.

While we know that’s a lot of responsibility on your shoulders if you’re in charge of property management for your building in Toronto, we’ve tried to make your job easier. We’ve highlighted 3 considerations you must keep in mind when determining what security solutions are best for your building so that residents know they’re in good hands.

1) Determine what type of security system your building needs:

Being aware of the security requirements of your condo building is an important first step to take. While installing CCTV security cameras presents clear footage and allows access to footage online, sometimes boards will also consider hiring a security guard, or just relying on access control systems. Most condo buildings do tend to have a combination of access control systems and video cameras in the lobby and shared spaces, but hiring a security guard for the building also has it’s benefits.

While this may seem like an unnecessary step, since security systems will send over someone as soon as there is a security breach, it can be helpful having security guards on site.

A security breach isn’t ideal for any condominium building because the idea is that while you screen through residents and buyers to know that they value the safety of the condominium community, you can’t guarantee that something won’t go wrong. It’s better to be prepared and have a plan in action in case of an emergency.

For example, if your building has a case of domestic violence or residents overhear a gunshot, a professional, armed security guard can immediately address the issue until the security company arrives. Guards can be a great tool to intervene during a security breach and are able to act and address the issue as soon as the problem arises.

TIP: Consider a combination of the two security options. It’s best to have access control and surveillance systems in place for condo buildings and hiring an armed security guard, especially overnight, is a great option along with the other systems you have in place. While most buildings do have building security staff, it may be the best to hire professionals for the job.

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2) Consider your building layout when discussing expectations with security companies:

discus expectations with security companiesThey layout of your condominium building is an important consideration that determines how many cameras you’ll need in place. If you’re considering hiring a security guard, the building design is important to consider what ground they’re going to cover.

Depending on which areas you want cameras in, security companies will be able to advise you on what systems will best suit your requirements, especially if you’re deciding between two companies and one has a more technologically advanced set of offerings and cameras.

It’s important for Toronto property management companies to have a clear idea of each building’s specific security requirements before you determine what solutions will best suit that building. Once you know what you’d like in terms of security, you can communicate this to the security company and they’ll advise you of a security plan accordingly.

TIP: Look at your condominium buildings floor plans before your consultation with a security company and mark areas that you want covered by security cameras. Use x’s to mark where you think cameras should ideally go, so that the security company can advise you on what cameras will capture better footage in hallways versus what products to use in elevators. While they will advise you on the best solutions for your building, knowing the layout can help ensure that you get a system that suits the security demands of your condominium building.

3) Consider your budget:

It’s important not to skimp on a security system. While installing a security system costing a quarter of a million dollars in a condo building can seem a bit expensive, you have to keep in mind that security systems are an investment that help protect hundreds of residents.

It’s important to consult with your condo board and determine what your budget is for your building’s security endeavor. Having a clearly defined budget and knowing what the board deems as affordable is something you should consider when you’re asking for quotes from security companies.

TIP: At a condo board meeting, discuss building security and present a shortlist of security companies you’re considering. Present the pros and cons of each and be sure to highlight what each company offers in terms of products and technologies.

Nearly 40% of residents cite their home being broken into as their top security concern in Toronto, so it’s important that residents feel safe within their condo community. As a Toronto property management company, you must ensure that your condo residents and owners are content with the security systems you have in place.

If your condo building needs to revamp security systems, contact ICC® Property Management. With experience managing condo buildings across the GTA since 1992, ICC® property managers know the best practices when it comes to choosing security systems for condo buildings. Give us a call today for a consultation.

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