Page 6 - New England Condominium December 2020
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6 NEW ENGLAND CONDOMINIUM   -DECEMBER 2020    NEWENGLANDCONDO.COM  their administrative processes over to   digital and automated methods were able  steady increase in users even before the  “We’re seeing more and more buildings  tion is probably too expensive for resi-  to adapt as rapidly as the facts on the  pandemic began, especially with the rise  upgrade during this time,” he says, “es-  ground did.”   This was especially helpful during the  in the six months since the beginning of  issues or a malfunctioning intercom. For  ucts like CCTV, ways to secure property   depths of the first wave back in the spring,  the coronavirus crisis, from April through  example, in the six months from April  though key fobs and cards, also intercom   says Kestenbaum. “Think of a property  September, he says they’ve seen a 55.6%  through September, we’ve seen a 108%  products that work with smartphones—  manager who may be quarantined off-  site,” he says. “Instead of flying blind, they  of which have been handled by Carson’s  the Carson app. New inquiries are up and  technologies and will continue to evolve,   can log in, see everything that’s going on  24/7 Remote Doorman services. Remote  steadily growing. There are more in the  becoming more and more sophisticated.”  at  their  client  buildings,  leave  instruc-  tions for staff, review photos and service  who buzz couriers and other delivery  as access control and intercom apps. Ours  pens in the future when it comes to the   notes  of  a  broken  fixture—that  is  really  people into the building. They verify who  is a stand-alone app, and Carson is pretty  increasing use of technology depends on   empowering.”   “Technology for security and access  them in.  The delivery people leave the  terms of security, if there’s no doorman,  dents are more sophisticated today and   control systems, video intercoms, online  package in a designated locked area or  how are people getting in? Duplicate keys  have a higher level of expectation for the   payments, package tracking, communi-  cation tools, and virtual tours platforms  without interrupting the resident, which  ings phase these  out and  provide  access  op or condo dweller of even a decade or   already exist and are under refinement,”  is important now that so many people are  through the Carson app directly through  two ago. Access control for their front   says Neil Golub, director of sales for Car-  son, another provider of tech services for  rupted,” says Golub. “We instantly notify  comes a key.”  residential properties. “With COVID,  the resident that   property managers, staff, and residents  a package is there   need to operate remotely more than ever  by  whatever  their   before. With staff not in office, the Cloud  preferred  has become even more important for its   ability to make working online more ef-  ficient, and remote operations are es-  sential—especially for digital payments.  phone call.  We’re seeing expedited adoption of these   services  now.  Also,  anything  related  to  nage, permanent   cleanliness is a plus.”   “When we think about steps that ev-  eryone needs to take during the pandem-  ic,” says Larry Link, a real estate developer  increasingly  popular in  common  spaces  new Contactless Package Pickup. We’ve  port them.   in New Haven, Connecticut, “we think  in many Florida communities,” says Kra-  about  social distancing,  masks,  limited  vit. “For instance, digital signage units  app for residents, so they can gain entry  changing the way we lived as apartment   gatherings, etc. With this in mind, one  are an excellent option in mail rooms for  without needing a key or fob. We helped  dwellers before the COVID pandemic   thing that the technology we integrated  communicating with unit  owners.  Also,  buildings address their need to screen and  started, the arrival of the virus has both   into our building systems includes is ac-  cess through key fobs or cards, provid-  ing residents with access to the property  managers, and many have integrated with  ing forms. We’ve also just released a new  ease for residents and emerged as a practi-  both cleanly and remotely. \\\\\\\[Electronically  accounts payable software programs that  Inspections feature, helping properties  cal method to battle the silent enemy.  Ne-  enabled\\\\\\\] keys can be issued to any pre-  screened person who can then come to  checks and get their vendors paid.”    the  property  and  gain  one-time  tempo-  rary access—for apartment cleaning or  efits of remote access technology. “We   package delivery, for instance. However,  actually haven’t had a very big impact on  have installed touchless countertop or  seek needed solutions. And boards and   I wouldn’t limit this tech solution to just  management from COVID,” he says, “but  kiosk temperature scanners in their lob-  something that aided us during the pan-  demic; it’s something that makes manage-  ment easier overall, pandemic or not.”     And, adds Marcy Kravit, COO of Bro-  ken Sound Master Association in Boca  a net positive to be able to get someone  purify spaces and attack germs are being   Raton, Florida, “the coronavirus pan-  demic has posed serious issues for con-  dominium life. As a result of the crisis,  never have to be home. Limited key entry  communicate with their owners and an-  managers have been forced to shift gears  can be offered to anyone, and it is tracked  nounce guest arrivals and deliveries.”  in the way they are handling certain tasks  via timestamping. “We also have video   and operations—and technology has  evidence for confirmation and control,”   played an important role in delivering the  Link continues. “The package room is fit-  same level of services as were provided  ted with remote notification to recipients,  adoption of Cloud-based technologies,   in person before the pandemic began. E-  communications via various apps ranging  and common areas as well. If there are too  ity to operate remotely. While security   from conventional email to phone-based  many people in the space, we can man-  notification systems and text messaging  age it. Limiting in-person contact with all  become essential, I haven’t seen tempera-  are critical for announcements, especially  these video-based and other controls is  ture and thermal devices take off in the   when implementing and explaining an  very valuable in battling COVID.”   association’s COVID policies and proce-  dures.”    How Does It Work?   Golub says his company has seen a  at the building level, and the user level.  buildings going forward. Facial recogni-  in e-commerce in recent years. However,  pecially buildings that may have security  anyway, but security and visitation prod-  increase in deliveries per resident, most  increase in resident door openings via  these continue to be the most sought-after   Doorman enlists live remote operators  security  space  requesting software, such   they are by camera and code and buzz  much a software delivery company. In  who is using it. He maintains that resi-  a cage. “We get them into the building  are a good example. We are seeing build-  working from home and can’t be inter-  means  of communication   is.”  That could be   email, text, or a    “Digital sig-  screens with alter-  nating messages,   are also becoming   banks are offering online lockbox servic-  es for both unit owners and community  premises with brand new COVID screen-  make it easy for board members to sign  establish protocols around property-wide  cessity has been the mother of invention.    Link concurs with Golub on the ben-  having this technology has helped with  bies to protect their residents. High-po-  getting vendors into the building, which  tency  air  filtration  systems  that  include  on, “it’s our job to maintain the property   we would need in any event. Its benefits  germ-killing UV lights and the MERV-15  and  provide  a  positive  environment  for   are not COVID exclusive though.” It’s  grade/HEPA air filters used in hospitals to  our residents.”         like a cleaning service employee into the  considered, especially in fitness centers.   building or unit with remote access. You  Many associations are also using apps to   too. Our system also tracks use of the gym  giving  managers  and  residents  the  abil-  Accelerating Adoption  Golub stresses that COVID has expe-  dited the adoption of technology, both  need for this in high-rise \\\\\\\[residential\\\\\\\]   their phone to let you in. Your phone be-  “We’ve developed  newer buildings, as has fob or card access   solutions to  increase  to apartment and amenity space doors.   residents’  safety  and  Dedicated, integrated security systems,   convenience,  and  to  data and cable, and wifi access are all   help managers adapt  becoming standard issue, even in small   to new requirements,”  buildings.  Luxury isn’t limited to full-  says  Kestenbaum.  “Residents can now  expensive—staffs; small can be luxury,   pick up a package  too, if you can check all the boxes. Link   without touching  a  strongly recommends ‘future-proofing’   signature pad at the  your building by assessing both your cur-  front desk, using the  rent needs and future aspirations, and in-  resident mobile app’s  vesting in the tech infrastructure to sup-  built touchless access control into the   track visitors and contractors entering the  doubled-down on efforts to use technol-  inspections and routine cleaning of com-  mon areas.”  Kravit adds, “Many condominiums  and are integrating their technology to   What’s on the Horizon?  “For multifamily properties,” says   Golub,  “we’re seeing  an  increase  in the   and visitor communication products have   multifamily segment yet. Office buildings   have been adopting touchless systems and   dispatched elevators, and there may be a   dential communities, and may be overkill   Link points out that a lot of what hap-  technology they use than the typical co-  door without a doorman, for instance,   has become almost de rigueur in many   service buildings with extensive—and   While the technological revolution was   ogy to provide security, cleanliness, and   Providers have been quick to apply tech-  nology to the challenges of the pandemic   managers are getting on board; as Kravit   says, whether or not there’s a global crisis                                    n  A J Sidransky is a staff writer/reporter   for New England Condominium, and a pub-  lished novelist.   TECHNOLOGY...  continued from page 1  “With COVID,   property managers, staff,   and residents need to   operate remotely more   than ever before.”                 — Neil Golub

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