Cost of different security options for apartment communities.
In the multifamily world, it is vital to make efforts to ensure the community is safe and that all tenants have peace of mind as it can directly affect the number of vacant units. A safe and positive community can attract more quality tenants. While no one can guarantee a crime free community, an apartment community known for criminal activities will experience higher vacancies and losses from property damage and/or vandalism.
In this article, we want to discuss the different security options that exist and their costs for apartment communities and the potential crime deterrence results you can expect from them.
Keep in mind these are different security options. Employing multiple security options in tandem will improve the effectiveness of your overall security plan.
Cost of Gates – $500 to $12000
“The cost of a gate in a gated community can range from $500 to $12000.”
Gated communities will always be in high-demand amongst tenants.
A gate acts as a barrier or line of defence that restricts access to non-residentials.
It can also help control the traffic and speed of vehicles coming in and out of the community.
While it can be fairly expensive to get one, it is a great investment as it benefits everyone in the community by providing an extra layer of security.
Keep in mind that a budget should be created for an annual or semi-annual maintenance check-up and unforeseen repairs.
Gate repairs can cost upwards of $1000.
While the intentions of a gate is good, there are still reckless drivers be it visitors or tenants.
Cost of Access Control Systems (Intercom, Key Card, smartphone) – $450 to $10000
With today’s technology, access control systems can do much more than act as a basic intercom system, if wanted. They now have the capability to log door entry events, take photos of every person who enters, and residents can visually verify visitor’s identities before letting them in. In the higher-end spectrum of access control systems, there are biometric scanners, high quality video communication, and virtual reception features.
With access control systems in place potential criminals are less inclined to act, due to increased difficulty of entry and exit.
Depending on the type of access control system and the features you opted for (anything above a keypad access control system), will have service and maintenance fees that can cost $1000 or more per year.
Cost of Security Guards – Over $10000 per month for 1 guard and 24-hour coverage
“The average cost of hiring a security guard can be between $15 to over $100 per hour, depending on your needs.”
The presence of a security guard is very effective in deterring crime. However, the size of apartment communities typically requires more than 1 guard. Security guards can patrol the property and parking lots, respond to emergency situations, and help with access management.
Security guards are, in most cases, employees of the property management company. As a result, it is possible for the property management company to be liable for potentially harmful actions or injuries of their employees. Most guards on property, usually unarmed, only have the authority to make a citizen’s arrest, meaning they can only arrest an individual who is conducting a felony in view of the guard.
While security guards can immediately respond to emergency situations, they can only do so if they are patrolling that area. If no supervisor is on premises, guards tend to skirt the rules by sleeping or slacking on patrols.
Cost of Security Camera – IT DEPENDS
The average cost of security cameras can cost between $100 to $450 each, not including the set-up, installation labor, and the NVR/DVR. The price of each security camera is dependent on the type, quality, and technology it has. While the average price of a complete security camera system with 12 cameras can cost between $3000-$6,000, we know that it is typically not enough for a standard multifamily community.
Security cameras positioned strategically throughout the community can help to prevent crimes and break-ins. A good security system like security cameras with high-visual presence shows the tenants that you care about their safety and security and can help to improve the overall perception of your community.
While owning a security camera system may seem like a great idea, there is an overlooked headache that comes from the maintenance and management of it. The system does not operate itself. You will be required to assign personnel to be responsible for managing and operating the system.
Make sure to create a budget for unforeseen repairs and operating expenses.
Managed Video Surveillance – A more cost-effective solution
With today’s technological advancements, a new cost-effective security solution was born known as Managed Video Surveillance.
Managed Video Surveillance (simply explained) is a rented video surveillance system that puts the responsibility of monitoring the surveillance system performance and reliability on the service provider. There is also an array of video surveillance services available when your system is managed, such as video investigation and evidence chain of custody.
Managed Video Surveillance gives your multifamily community as much coverage as you need, records 24/7, and is more affordable than employing security guards or purchasing a security camera system.