The Growing Popularity of the Virtual Doorman Service

Some New York City apartment buildings are no longer relying on tenants needing a key fob to enter their secured building. Instead, tenants are finding themselves being cheerfully greeted by a human voice as soon as they approach the door, instructing them to enter and enjoy the rest of the day or evening.

Although virtual front door services have been utilized for nearly the past decade, the technology employed to facilitate its usage as well as enhance the security of such a device has increased, causing them to be more dependable, accurate and progressively popular with many New York City apartment building dwellers. The virtual front door service is essentially simple, consisting of video cameras and Wi-Fi internet connections which transmit pictures to a service center where trained individuals monitor the apartment building entrance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Operators working for a virtual front door service in New York City are also able to receive packages meant for residents of an apartment building by allowing packages to be dropped off in a small, secured room located near the lobby. Additionally, these operators can see who is trying to enter the building and immediately call law enforcement if images transmitted by the cameras reveal problems resulting from the actions of unwanted visitors.

Tenants living in apartment buildings that employ a virtual front door services enjoy the benefits of such a security system, which include:
  • Establishing a one-on-one relationship with a real person
  • No more worrying about losing a key fob containing a button to unlock the door
  • Added security of knowing that someone is watching you as you enter your building
  • Ability to receive packages when they are arrive, which relieves a tenant from having to go to the post office to pick it up
  • Security of a virtual front door remains during power failures because of power backup systems
  • Ability to immediately lock-down an apartment building in the event of an emergency
Additionally, images captured by virtual front door cameras are kept for about 100 days, allowing for any past possible criminal activity to be viewed by police.

Virtual Doorman Information for NYC Apartment Building Owners

Apartment building owners can purchase basic virtual front door security systems employing two or three cameras that permit security operators to view the front door and accept deliveries. More expensive virtual front door systems involve biometric readers or electronic tags that tenants can leave in their purses or pockets while being scanned. Cost of these services can range from $10,000 on up, with annual prices for employing virtual front door operators around $5000 to $30,000, depending on the number of operators utilized to secure an apartment building.

Property values of a NYC apartment building providing tenants with virtual front door services increase as well, as much as 12 percent according to Radar Logic's director of research and vice president Jonathan Miller. Mr. Miller states that a "virtual front door is halfway between having a fully tended lobby and not having a doorman" which elevates the value of a building over apartments not having any kind of doorman services.

Recently, a New York Times report stated that a typical apartment building located in NYC pays around $80,000 each year for doorman services. If a building employs four doormen for year around services, the owner will pay between $300,000 and $400,000 annually for doormen to monitor the building. Installation of virtual front door services costs about 20 percent less than it does to pay doormen to perform the same duties. Apartment building owners can provide the same security and accommodations to tenants but pay much less by using a virtual front door.
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