By Mary Salmonsen (MultiFamilyExecutive.com Article) —
In response to difficulties surrounding the traditional call box multifamily community access systems, Phoenix-based Centralized Vision is offering the Virtual Greeting | Concierge platform, designed as an extension of its security and surveillance services specifically for call box management and front door security.
Virtual Greeting | Concierge is the most recent of Centralized Vision’s remote security and surveillance platforms, which include Virtual Guard, a live security camera monitoring service, and Virtual Engineering, a systems monitor and response service. Tom Vigilante, co-founder of Centralized Vision, devised the service six years after the company’s founding, when Centralized Vision was exploring the multifamily business and making contact with potential clients for Virtual Guard.
“I would go to these communities, and I would listen to the boards or the community managers talk about their pain points,” he says, “But what I found as I would go to these appointments was that I would have a hard time getting into the community to begin with. I would go up to the call box, I would follow the control prompts, and I would try to call the leasing agent or the community manager, but they would never answer. So I thought to myself, I can’t be the only one experiencing this pain, and if I can’t enter into the community how are visitors and vendors who can’t reach a resident getting into the community?”
This experience served as the starting point for Virtual Greeting | Concierge. “We collaborate with community managers,” Vigilante says. “We develop signage, we put the community logos on, and the signage becomes a call to action. It’ll say, “Locate Centralized Vision in the call box” or “Dial our call code to connect.” From there, callers are vetted and either granted or denied access, it’s that simple.”
Alongside the Virtual Guard security platform and Virtual Engineering systems monitor platform, the service is provided nationwide out of a 24/7 command center. Once connected to a call box, Centralized Vision will greet the caller by name and assess them based on their response to the call. Centralized Vision can decide whether to let the visitor in or keep them out, or forward the call to the community manager if desired.
Before starting services in a community, Virtual Greeting | Concierge will encourage residents to fill out a personal profile for Centralized Vision’s resident database. Using this profile, residents can set certain individuals as recognized visitors, including temporary or long-term visitors, VIPs, or vendors/housekeeping staff. If any of these individuals request access to the community, Centralized Vision’s monitoring team can grant access directly.
Additional Virtual Greeting | Concierge services include one-time verbal passwords, which residents can give out to provide guests with access to the building, as well as Virtual Escort and Scout Ahead. Residents can call Centralized Vision staff if they feel unsafe crossing a property—for instance, in the dark or a deserted parking lot—and ask them to “scout” their route through the property via security camera or watch them via camera until they arrive at their destination.
The Virtual Guard platform offers live, customizable monitoring services through any new or existing security cameras, live visual verification of burglars or other situations, and one- and two-way communication through security equipment. “[Virtual Guard] has greatly reduced our break-ins,” says Dana Blass, a property manager with Brown Management in Arizona. “We have some underground storage cages that residents rent out for themselves, and we had a lot of break-ins. Those are now monitored by cameras, so that has been almost completely resolved.”
Virtual Engineering leverages specialized employees to monitor a community’s utility systems, including lighting, HVAC, water, and gates, and deploy resources or assist on-site staff in emergency situations. All services may be operated through new or existing cameras, including installations provided through Centralized Vision’s network of integration partners.