It takes more than a static directory and buzzer to manage front door activity. That’s why many multi-residential managers and residents are seeking smarter and more secure ways of controlling building access. And with visitor traffic only increasing, old-fashioned intercom systems might not be up to the task.
The demand for smarter building access solutions is driven by several factors. Top among them is a rise in online shopping that is bringing more and more packages to the front doors of condos and apartments across Canada. In fact, a June 2021 study by PayPal reveals that Canadians upped their monthly online shopping spend by $2 billion during the pandemic, resulting in record-breaking activity for package delivery companies across the sector.
“Lately, we’ve seen some of our multi-residential clients’ intercom systems covered in dozens of notices from delivery services and couriers who tried to drop off a package but couldn’t gain access,” says Neil Denney, Executive Vice-President for Inlight Solutions, a GTA-based provider of smart, eco-forward solutions. “And because those systems require recipients to be in the building to ‘buzz them up’, there are a lot of missed connections.”
The volume of deliveries isn’t expected to slow down any time soon, Denney notes. As pandemic restrictions lift, multi-family buildings are likely to see even more visits from friends, family members, and service providers (e.g., healthcare workers, dog walkers, food deliverers, etc.). As such, dealing effectively with everyone seeking entrance, even when residents aren’t there, requires a more tech-savvy approach.
It’s a wireless, streaming, app-driven world. It only makes sense that intercom systems follow suit. Recognizing this, the proptech innovators at HIVE recently introduced the Hive Smart Video Intercom system as a way for property teams to stay ahead of the trends.
Distributed and installed exclusively in Ontario by InLight Solutions, the Hive Intercom enables residents to see and communicate with whoever is requesting access to their building through the Hive Intercom mobile app.
“Now, whether you’re home or not, you can answer that visitor request remotely through the HIVE app remotely from anywhere in the world,” explains Amin Damyar, President & Co-founder of HIVE. “From there, you can see exactly who is asking to be let it and decide to share a ‘digital key’ to the building or provide other directions.”
The benefits of a “smarter” intercom extend beyond remote access and real-time connectivity. The ability to see and track multi-residential visitors also embeds a welcome layer of security and accountability for property managers.
“Every time a visitor interacts with the Hive Intercom, the device takes a clear snapshot of the user and logs the details of their interaction,” Damyar explains. “That image and data is then recorded and stored so if there’s ever an incident, the manager can go back into those logs and find out who came into their building, their time of visit, and other key details.”
Of course, seeing who is at the front door adds also delivers peace of mind for residents. According to Jinesh Patel, resident and co-owner at Lofts St-James: “After using Hive Intercom, it only makes answering more secure, especially with a video camera to get a glimpse before unlocking the door.”
Privacy is also a priority within multi-residential buildings. To that end, Hive intercom users can choose to remove their names and personal details from the touchscreen directory and respond to requests anonymously.
Speaking to Hive’s value offering for unit owners and renters overall, Denney adds: “Not everyone can afford to have a concierge, so this is an inexpensive and user-friendly way for residents to know you’re letting the right people in and out.”
HIVE’s Smart Video Intercom offers a glimpse at how residential and commercial buildings alike are tapping into digital solutions to keep pace with modern demands. And thanks to its ease of installation, user-friendly design, and low cost of entry compared to traditional intercom systems, HIVE’s front door innovation is catching on.
“We launched Hive into the market in early 2021 and the interest has been very high,” Damyar reports. “Part of that early buzz is the fact that property owners and managers are looking for technologies that make their operations smarter and more streamlined, while building occupants are gravitating to any technology that keeps them more connected and in control of their environment.”
Certainly, says Denney, requests to install Hive among condos, apartments, and office buildings have been climbing, especially as property teams pursue ways to keep pace with modern demands.