5 things to look out for in a digital visitor management system

Security gate at an estate

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Category: Smart Technology, Update

5 things to look out for in a digital visitor management system

The demand for property inside schemes exceeds that of free-standing property, and security is probably one of the main reasons for this. But are community schemes really safer?

Although community scheme living certainly provides an extra level of security, criminals are opportunistic and would take advantage of any weak links that would allow them access. Sadly, this includes soliciting information from workers inside the scheme. According to Network24, most incidents of burglary in gated estates are committed by insiders. Therefore access to the scheme needs to be monitored carefully to keep track of everyone who enters your community.

Does your scheme still do pen and paper check-ins and check-outs?

Hopefully, your community scheme is not making use of the old-fashioned version of visitor management; a sign-in sheet or guest book. We probably all agree that this is not a particularly effective system, and the disadvantages are numerous. Manual access control is:

  • administratively intensive
  • prone to human error
  • susceptible to security breaches
  • not compliant with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA)
  • unhygienic (how many hands touch those pages and pens?)
  • environmentally unfriendly (just think of all the paper)

These considerations illustrate the need for an effective digital visitor management system (VMS) to control, manage and keep track of visitors to your community scheme. Apart from checking in visitors, an electronic visitor management system helps combat challenges related to data security, visitor privacy, regulatory compliance and even emergency evacuation.

What to look out for in a digital VMS?

We know that numerous systems are on offer in the market. They may all be able to perform the rudimentary task of checking in visitors, but are not all equal with regard to the features and functions they provide. Here are just a few of the factors to consider when acquiring a VMS:

  1. A customised check-in process and visitor welcome service

The system needs to allow the management of both planned visitors and walk-ins efficiently and consistently. An effective VMS requires visitors to be pre-registered, either by the host or security personnel to streamline the process. Receiving a welcome SMS or email message creates a good first impression of your community scheme. A modern approach showcasing the use of cutting-edge technology brings peace of mind and improves desirability and property value for potential investors.

  1. Notifications via multiple channels

 An automatic notification gets sent to the host once visitors arrive. Residents may have different preferences, be it email, text message, a smartphone app or an online portal. Sometimes, the visitor’s primary contact is unavailable, and a notification may need to be sent to an alternative contact. The system should also allow for contacting residents on their mobile devices when they are not home, rather than only linking to a landline.

  1. Two-way communication

VMSs need to provide an open, two-way communication channel between residents, security personnel, visitors or contractors. Residents may not only wish to receive messages from the VMS, but may need to also send invitations or messages to their visitors or security personnel. Visitors would also need to be informed if an evacuation process is initiated due to some emergency.

  1. Data privacy

 Good privacy practices aren’t just a courtesy, but a legal requirement since POPIA came into effect in July 2021. Measures need to secure the integrity and confidentiality of the personal information the community scheme has in its possession.

  1. Secure and accessible digital visitor log and cloud-based solution

Digital logs enable visitor tracking for security purposes or exporting lists of visitors meeting certain criteria. Storing the information in the cloud adds convenience, keeps data secure and places all necessary information at your fingertips when needed. Residents have access to the system regardless of their location. Data needs to be collected in real-time, including information on visitors, entry and exit times, who they are seeing and any additional information.

In a few years, digital VMSs are likely to become the norm, and paper systems will hopefully disappear completely. You don’t want your scheme to be left behind. Ensure the safety of your community scheme now and in the future.


Usually, a top-end security system would come at a higher cost and subsequently higher levies. However, STS can help you ensure a cost-effective, secure and user-friendly visitor experience from check-in to check-out. In proud partnership with VOX Telecom, we offer an integrated cloud-based VMS to ensure the safety of your community scheme.

Our VMS allows community schemes to streamline the visitor management process through pre-registration, ID verification, visitor/vehicle identification and customisable notifications for hosts and security personnel. Clients can manage and control visitor access via a smartphone app or online portal. Other features include:

  • Panic button alerts for unit owners
  • Video and license plate integration
  • Push and PIN access notifications
  • Scanning options
  • Built-in reporting and workflow management tools
  • A bulk messaging platform

As with all of our solutions, we offer each community scheme a tailor-made product fit for their unique requirements and existing infrastructure. With our PIN access and CCTV feature, you can also save costs by reducing the need for security guards in smaller estates and townhouses.

Contact us today to upgrade your security system and increase the investment value of your property.