front desk staff managing guest

 

Guest management is pivotal in maintaining security at your property. By managing and monitoring visitors who enter the building, you can keep people and assets safe. Additionally, you’ll find a visitor management system greatly benefits your business.

But first, you must know how guest management is used across various commercial businesses and what systems are best.

In this post, we’ll cover:

 

What is guest management?

Guest management is the process of monitoring and controlling visitors who enter a property. The best visitor management apps seamlessly integrate into your property’s access control systems and offer greater security without sacrificing convenience.

With a guest management platform in place, you and your tenants will have full control over who enters the property through various authorization methods. Plus, other areas of your property can utilize guest management systems, such as mailrooms, conference rooms, and coworking spaces.

Primarily designed for commercial settings like offices and businesses, visitor management solutions help ensure that anyone visiting a workplace has been vetted and authorized to enter. However, apartments and other multifamily properties also benefit from visitor management.

 

Check out how the ButterflyMX video intercom works:

 

Who needs guest management solutions?

Guest management solutions are needed at any property that allows visitors. While the type of system will vary, many different types of commercial and residential properties utilize this essential feature.

Guest management solutions are necessary for many different properties, including:

 

Apartments

Multifamily buildings utilize guest management systems so residents can safely and conveniently grant their visitors access to the property.

Apartment residents use a visitor management system to let in:

  • Visiting friends and family
  • Service providers, such as a dog walker or food delivery driver
  • Maintenance workers like plumbers and repair technicians

Furthermore, property managers and owners benefit from having a guest management platform because it allows them to maintain access to their buildings with ease. The system records every guest entry, which can be reviewed at any time. This helps boost security and provides an audit trail for staff to check in the event of an incident.

Common forms of guest management for apartments include a doorman, front desk staff, or an intercom system.

 

Gated communities

Granting visitor access to a gated community is tricky because visitors will need to access the property via a gate potentially located far away from residential units or staff offices.

Common guest management solutions for gated communities include:

  • Gate attendants: A gate attendant is a staff member stationed at the front gate who checks each visitor’s credentials before allowing them through. However, hiring a gate attendant can be costly, inconvenient, and lead to car stacking at the entrance.
  • Gate intercoms: An intercom installed at the front gate can serve as a form of guest management if it provides a way for visitors to call tenants and tenants to remotely grant access.

 

call box at front gate of community

 

Student housing

No matter if it’s a dormitory or campus apartment, managing who has access to the property is vital to ensure students’ safety. So, student housing needs a form of guest management!

Perhaps the most common visitor management solution for student housing is a security guard stationed at the entrance. The guard may call a resident to confirm they’re expecting a visitor. Alternatively, a student may have to be present with their guest to sign them in.

 

Offices

Many office buildings receive dozens of visitors every day. So, a guest management platform helps streamline those visits and ensure a positive experience for guests and tenants alike.

The most common visitor management solution for an office building is a staffed front desk. Traditionally, this front desk staff member would have to manually log the visitor. But some more modern software-based solutions allow for digital or automated guest check-in.

As an alternative to a staffed front desk, an office building could also benefit from a video intercom system as its guest management solution. That way, visitors can request building access directly from tenants, who can grant them access from their smartphones.

 

Coworking spaces

Coworking spaces see a lot of foot traffic from startup employees, remote workers, freelancers, and, of course, guests. So, a guest management system is a must.

Many coworking spaces use a traditional front desk with a staff member to vet visitors. But perhaps the best form of guest management for a coworking space is an all-in-one visitor management and access control solution such as a smart video intercom.

With a smart video intercom, you can assign recurring access codes to tenants for specific times of the day. Meanwhile, your tenants can send temporary digital keys to guests who need access to the property.

 

Mixed-use properties

Similarly to coworking spaces, mixed-use properties see a variety of different people on any given day. It can be challenging to manage residents and businesses in the same building. Coupled with all of the guests, it’s hard to find a solution that works well for everyone.

Visitor management solutions maintain security at mix-use properties and ensure that guests only have access to authorized areas. For a mixed-use building, it’s best to invest in a tech-powered guest management solution that can automate much of the process.

 

Types of guest management systems

When purchasing a visitor management system, you have a few options to choose from. However, they are not all created equal.

There are four primary types of guest management systems you could implement:

  • Pen-and-paper: While not used as much anymore, many visitors would often sign their name, date, and who they’re visiting in a logbook. This traditional method is riddled with issues: inefficient, poor handwriting, false information, and reduced security.
  • On-site software: Rather than using a physical pen and paper, on-site software logs guests’ information digitally, typically by a front desk staff member. While it’s a step up from a manual entry method, guest management software is still not the most secure solution. After all, the information provided by the visitor could still be false.
  • Cloud-based systems: As the best guest management solution, cloud-based systems easily connect to your existing technologies without requiring additional space. They easily provide guests the ability to access the property with an assigned PIN or QR code.
  • Cyber doorman systems: A cyber doorman is an alternative to having a staffed front desk. With a cyber doorman system in place, visitors request access via a device, and an off-site employee vets the visitor and remotely grants access.

 

visitor checking in at guest management

 

Why is guest management important?

Guest management is important for both property owners or managers and the tenants they serve. Without a proper visitor management system, nearly anyone can access the property. As a result, tenants may feel unsafe and decide to move elsewhere.

Of course, visitor management doesn’t just benefit tenants. Property owners and managers will benefit, too.

Visitor management systems are essential because they:

 

Increase safety and security

The most significant benefit for you and your tenants is increased safety and security. With the right visitor management solution, tenants and staff can vet who they’re letting into the property.

Your system will also log activity for you to review. Ideally, the log will show a timestamp, a picture of the visitor, and who let them in. In turn, you can rest easy knowing every guest who enters your property is authorized by a staff member or tenant.

 

Reduce operating costs

The process of vetting visitors is surprisingly time-consuming — and therefore expensive. But implementing an effective visitor management platform automates some or all of that process. In turn, staff save time and can focus their energy on other tasks.

 

Attract potential tenants

Prospective tenants looking for beneficial amenities when choosing a place to live or work.

For example, a company is more likely to rent an office space if the building has a guest management system in place. And a prospective apartment resident is more likely to sign a lease if the building has an easy way to grant access to guests.

 

Add convenience

When you have a guest management platform, tenants no longer have to walk down to the lobby to retrieve their lunch or greet a visitor. Ideally, the guest check-in process is automated and visitors can easily navigate the building to meet a tenant.

Subsequently, the right visitor management system allows commercial tenants to work more efficiently with fewer distractions. Every visitor a tenant may have can be given access without anyone leaving their office.

 

Increase tenant retention

A higher tenant retention rate comes with exceptional safety, security, and convenience features. Investing in the right visitor management system is crucial for not only attracting tenants but keeping them long-term. If your property doesn’t have the features or amenities a tenant wants, you can expect them to leave once their lease expires.

 

What is the best guest management solution?

Choosing a guest management solution is not easy when there are so many options available. Nonetheless, the best options have features you and your tenants will benefit from.

When looking for a guest management solution, look for the following features:

  • Cloud-based software: Don’t worry about making room for an on-site server when the right solution can store everything you need in the cloud.
  • Mobile app: A visitor management app is a must-have for the convenience of your staff and tenants. Being able to grant access to guests from anywhere in the building or the world makes for a highly convenient experience.
  • Guest access codes: Look for a solution that allows tenants and staff to send digital access codes to visitors in advance. That way, a guest can simply use this digital credential to securely and conveniently gain access to the building.
  • Video and photos: Ensure your guest management system stores video and/or photos taken during door entries. That way, you have proof of entry in the event they may be trespassing.

 

Try the ButterflyMX visitor management system

Author

Bryson Hile

Residing in Houston, Bryson loves learning about new technologies, specifically within the real estate market.

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