Smart Security

The Complete Guide to Smart Security Systems and PropTech

October 5, 2022

Real estate success depends on security. A commercial building security system must provide a variety of protection options to keep up with many visitors, secure storage of building data, and meet the ever-growing needs of tenants. This is the reason why so many companies are investing increasingly in smart security systems and automated technologies for real estate industry.

This article, based on our latest webinar about smart technology in CRE, will provide you with plenty of real-life examples, our know-how, and shared experiences about smart security systems and global proptech implementation projects in commercial and logistics buildings.

1. What Is Smart Security Technology?

Let's begin by defining smart security systems. The term "Smart Security Systems" covers a wide range of solutions, such as:

  • Surveillance technology
  • Monitoring technology
  • Security systems for public protection, public welfare, and commercial or government facilities,
  • Privacy monitoring
  • Systems against theft or vandalism
  • Inappropriate item or object detection
  • Access controls
  • Object tracking
Examples of smart proptech technologies

A smart security system monitors, collects, and processes data to determine the most effective actions based on analysis or after exceeding parameters that we define as extremes in the data set.

Smart security technology for real estate is a collection of proptech tools (technology for properties) designed to increase a building's safety and security.

That includes both the safety and security of your real estate as well as visitors, tenants, employees, and anyone who enters or exits your property. It also means protecting the privacy and security of the data gathered and analyzed by such systems.

2. Which Industries Can Benefit Most from Smart Security Systems?

The next question that arises is which types of properties can benefit most from smart security systems. The main industries are as follows:

  • Office Buildings
  • Retail Real Estate
  • Logistics Parks
  • Industrial Sites

The logistics industry is the first to prioritize trouble-free vehicle traffic automation. Since 2018, new warehouse leases and renewals of existing warehouse leases have been steadily increasing, mostly due to online sales and the relocation of production facilities to warehouses (source: Poland Real Estate Market Outlook 2022, CBRE)

From the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak to the present day, office facilities have changed significantly. A few years ago, despite the advancement of digital technology, tenants' apps did not allow bookings for meeting rooms or parking spaces. Now the scope of tenant experience mobile applications has expanded.

During this uncertain time, some companies have decided to incorporate hybrid models while others have opted to work remotely. The role of offices in the work ecosystem will not disappear, but only their importance for the organization will change. They will become its core. The number of people returning to the workplace today makes it obvious that we need a way to manage parking spaces and an efficient barrier and entry point system. (Source: How did the pandemic change office work?)

3. What Are the Examples of Smart Security Technologies for Real Estate?

Multiple integrated solutions can increase the safety and security of real estate, especially of commercial real estate.

In this article, we would like to point out the most important ones:

  • Vehicle access control and automation – vehicle automation thanks to integrations with LPR and RFID technologies
  • Visitor access management – front desk enabled visitor credentials and tracking of visitor history, pre-registration
  • Touchless visitor management – fully touch-free self-check-in with the use of QR codes and an iPad kiosk
  • Integration with QR codes in elevators
  • Video surveillance and CCTV monitoring)
  • Seamless system integrations
  • Remote video patrols – to perform live video patrols of dispersed cameras faster and more frequently than on-site guards
  • Control occupancy levels

Vehicle access control and automation are possible thanks to integrations with LPR and RFID technologies. We have already explained how LPR and RIFD technologies work in one of our previous articles.

We need an efficient system for managing parking spaces and managing traffic today as many people return to work.

There is nothing worse than waiting 15 minutes to enter, having trouble finding parking, or having to park 700 meters away from the office. The good news is – proptech and smart security systems can help! How?

4. Which Smart Security Solutions are Available and How to Increase Safety and Security of Real Estate?

Vehicle Access Control and Automation

In response to the idea of smart property management, Velis Real Estate Tech has developed Singu Smart Security System (SSD) for managing and automation of vehicle access control.

Its main purpose is to automate the opening of barriers and allow as many vehicles as possible to enter.

There are two possible identification technologies for vehicles entering the identification area (before the barrier).

One of these is the LPR camera, which reads the license plates of all incoming vehicles. In parallel with LPR, the second technology relies on scanning the RFID tag on the vehicle's windscreen, which is a small identification sticker.

LPR camera is reading the vehicle place number
LPR camera is reading the vehicle place number

The RFID technology works best for vehicles that visit the facility regularly, such as employees' cars. Permanent passes are issued to these visitors.

Vehicles without permanent passes can be identified by the LPR camera system. Entry requests are sent to the security desk managed by security personnel. Singu SSD's touchscreen interface simplifies the process of entering visitors' vehicles. Security staff can assign vehicles to specific companies, departments, or tenants with ease.

RFID antenna is reading the RFID tag attached to the vehicle
RFID antenna is reading the RFID tag attached to the vehicle

Visitor Management Tools and Touchless Visitor Sign-In Systems

Singu SSD is not the only smart security solution available, as there is also Singu Guestbook – a visitor sign-in system used in reception and lobby areas of primarily commercial buildings.

A previous article explained how visitor management systems work. Now let's talk about touchless registration.

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, touchless solutions became increasingly popular. As a response to the new demands, Singu Guestbook offers a touchless visitor management mode. The iPad kiosk allows visitors to sign in using either the QR code included in the invitation sent previously by the host or scan the QR code on the iPad screen to register on their own. As a result, an entry is saved, and a mobile badge is generated, which can be scanned at both entry and exit gates.

Singu Guestbook
Singu Guestbook - iPad kiosk and a mobile invitation

Integration with Elevators

In multi-level buildings, Singu's access system can be integrated with lifts. All visitors need to do is scan the QR code from their mobile devices. Afterward, the visitor will be taken to the floor of the tenant to which he or she was invited. Contactless solutions are not only a response to COVID but also to the growing needs of commercial property management. Certifications related to health and tenant wellbeing can be appropriately upgraded and innovated with Singu Guestbook touch-free solutions.

Video Surveillance, CCTV, and Remote Video Patrols

In addition to the smart security access control system, it is also possible to install a CCTV system. This is a great analytical tool for keeping an overview of what is happening on your premises.

With CCTV cameras integrated into the automation system, reception personnel and security staff can monitor other areas of the facility more effectively.

An advantage of such a solution is the ability to quickly access video evidence, which is useful in unpleasant situations such as collisions on the premises. With the CCTV system connected to Singu, we can easily find vehicle data.

Installing a CCTV system along with Singu solutions provides the possibility of performing remote video patrols. As a result, security patrols and rounds can be less frequent. Using this solution, you can enhance the security of the property by monitoring the entire facility remotely.

Singu SSD and CCTV Monitoring
Singu SSD and CCTV Monitoring

IoT Integration

Another way to increase security in a facility is to install IoT (Internet of Things) presence detection sensors. As a result of IoT integration, a high-priority ticket will be created in the Singu system that will automatically alert security staff that someone is in a sensitive area, such as a server room.

IoT Ticket

The use of CCTV surveillance footage can sometimes overwhelm, so installing an IoT occupancy detector on specialized premises is an additional safety feature. Singu automatically generates notifications informing the responsible person when someone is on the premises without permission.

Seamless Systems Integrations

Most properties already have an access control system in place, either during construction phase by the project's general contractor or after the system has been adopted. Sometimes, the existing access control infrastructure in the facility needs to be changed or upgraded.

Whatever the case may be, Singu SSD can be seamlessly integrated into the facility's existing infrastructure. Once several criteria are met, this kind of integration is possible - if you want to learn more, please contact us.

Management of Occupancy Levels

A benefit of introducing the Singu Smart Security Desk system is the ability to manage tenants' parking spaces. The parking space occupancy is determined based on the identification of vehicles in entry and exit areas. This applies to both cars assigned by security and those with permanent passes. In this way, we can monitor the capacity and occupancy of free parking spaces.

Management of parking spaces is flexible. In cases where there are no free parking spaces, it's possible to allow vehicles into the premises and to notify tenants by e-mail when the set parking limit is exceeded.

In the second method, vehicles exceeding the designated free parking space limit will be denied access. Even if the upcoming vehicle has a permanent parking permit, the barrier will not open.

5. Singu Guestbook and Singu Smart Security Desk – What These Systems Have in Common

There are some main features common to both tools:

  • Data storage security
  • An efficient and effective system, both on the software and hardware side
  • The system stores information about entries of vehicles and visitors digitally.
  • With real-time identification, it is possible to prevent access to the facility based on the watchlist managed with the help of the software.

A unique feature of both Singu SSD and Singu Guestbook is that the systems are supported equally on hardware and software levels. This means that the application is used for traffic management and access control, and the Velis team can be responsible for:

  • Building new infrastructure,
  • Replacement of the infrastructure,
  • Or integration with the existing infrastructure of the facility's system.

6.What Are the Benefits of Implementing Smart Security Systems

With smart security systems you can:

  • Enhance tenant and visitor safety – keep occupiers and their guests safer and more secure
  • Manage and assess risks more easily –  identify and assess the likelihood of security issues before they happen
  • Improve your ESG score
  • Get deeper insights from integrated data – get a better understanding of your building portfolio and improve energy efficiency, staff wellbeing, and more
  • Improve parking management
  • Cut down on operating costs – reduce staff shifts
  • Streamline the workload of property staff

Smart Security systems are first and foremost a significant improvement in security for both visitors and tenants in commercial properties.

Due to the open spaces of our properties and the increasing number of people returning to the office, there are noticeable communication problems between tenants regarding the management and use of parking areas. Parking spaces are more likely to be occupied by visitors not associated with our building when they are accessible to the public and located in outdoor areas rather than underground.

Using Smart Security, we only allow verified individuals access to the facility. In the case of permanent employees, tenants control access to the building and decide whether to grant it or deny it.

As safety improves, our ESG score rises. As well as improving the "S" - social part, we are also reducing carbon emissions - shortening the vehicle entry times. Vehicle entries with RFID tags on the windscreen are much smoother since the signal to open the barrier is already given from 4-5 meters away from the barrier, allowing vehicles to enter without stopping.

The generated data is another advantage of implementing the system. According to one of our case studies, the Singu SSD system has made it easier to identify trends among tenants regarding the use of property space.

Besides future statistics (trends, tenancy), the system also provides ready-to-analyze data packages about the occupancy of persons in our building, such as for individual floors or parking spaces.

Through our identification technology, we can determine how many parking spots are occupied when a person exits.

Final Thoughts

In response to new challenges in managing real estate, we continue to provide smart security solutions like Singu Smart Security Desk or Singu Guestbook that can be universally adapted to various types of properties depending on their expected use.

Are you ready to upgrade your buildings by implementing smart security systems and PropTech?

Velis Real Estate Tech will do its utmost to select the right solution for you and your property. Get in touch with us today.

Written by:
Kacper Troć
PropTech Expert

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