When looking to hire a security company, condo corporations want to know that they’re in good hands. Boards or managers generally look for a company that is experienced, has a proven track record, and can offer good service at an affordable rate.
Specialized security guards from a reputable firm can add to the overall value of a condo corporation, and keep vandalism and crime to a minimum. However, it can be tough for corporations to know which security company is the best choice for them.
Making your company stand out will be key to securing new clients.
Great security companies have a lot of things in common
You know what makes your company shine, but your future clients probably don’t – at least not yet. Part of the challenge is that quality companies tend to share many similarities. For example, most reputable companies hire licensed professionals, offer competitive rates, and have prior experience working for a condo corporation.
Organized security companies always submit formal proposals to corporations that are interested in hiring them. This proposal describes the services that the security company will provide. A clear analysis and summary of your pricing policy should be included in this proposal as well.
A well-organized security company functions under a practical management structure, and the company ensures that staff have all of the necessary permits, and the licensing, necessary to do their job. While there are condo managers who hire independent or self-employed security guards, it’s a risk that most want to avoid. Self-employed guards may not be licensed, they may lack insurance, or they might not have received proper training.
Guards who have prior experience working in condo communities are generally more attractive to boards or condo managers. That’s because they are familiar with the particular challenges and issues condos face, and therefore, they may be better equipped to effectively solve those issues. Companies that work for condos tend to offer the services that condo managers are looking for, including full-time security patrol. Incidents often occur at night, which is why it’s so important for guards to be on duty at all times.
Security companies that can offer these things are more likely to be hired by a condo corporation, however, these services/qualities won’t make you stand out from a top competitor. The key is to provide something of value to prospective clients that differentiates you from other companies.
Assemble a strong team
More often than not, it’s the staff that separate a good security company from a great one. Licensed security guards all go through the same training, but that doesn’t mean they will all interact with residents in the same way, or resolve issues using the same procedures.
When assembling your security team, make sure to hire people that have good interpersonal skills, strong communication skills, can think critically and quickly.
Security guards should possess many of the following attributes:
Strong communication skills – security staff should be able to communicate well. That includes writing clear and detailed reports for management, and talking with potentially hostile individuals. Clear, courteous communication can be the difference between defusing a situation and “adding fuel to the fire.” The majority of a guard’s interactions will be with other employees and building residents; courtesy and respect go a long way when working with others.
Punctuality – Arriving on time matters. It shows clients and coworkers that they care about their job, and protecting the property that they were hired to keep safe. Security guards have a demanding job, and if they’re working a long night shift, the last thing they want to do is work overtime because the guard who is supposed to relieve them of their duties is running behind schedule. Furthermore, your clients won’t be happy if your team is consistently late.
Critical thinker – Working as a security officer can be an exciting job because guards never know what will happen on their shift. However, that also means they must be prepared to handle the unexpected. If a guard is witnessing a car theft or called to break up a physical altercation, they must be able to rationally analyze the situation, determine what threats could arise, and identify the appropriate course of action. It can be a high-stress job, and but a calm and quick thinker will thrive under these challenging circumstances.
Detail-oriented – During patrols, guards may be tasked to check for multiple things, such as ensuring entrances are properly locked and machines are functioning normally, while registering checkpoints and watching for anything out of the ordinary. They must be keenly aware of their surroundings, know their routes, and be able to detect if something isn’t quite right. A quick sweep of the property isn’t going to cut it.
Simpler, smarter security solutions
Security tools and tech can never replace a security guard, but they can be excellent assistants.
Providing your clients and your team with a security guard tour system, for example, can add an additional layer of protection and stability, and make your company stand out.
Security guard tour systems are designed to improve and streamline security patrols. Some of the best systems use cloud-based NFC technology, and allow guards to register checkpoints using only a smartphone or tablet. The tags that the guards scan during a patrol are durable, discreet and affordable, and they can help demonstrate that your guards are completing thorough patrols of a property.
Some systems can even function without wifi or data. This is incredibly helpful if parts of a patrol are conducted in a parking lot or stairwell, or an area that does not get reception. The patrol information is stored locally on the smartphone or tablet until a connection is available, and once it is, the information, including patrol timelines, and the exact route that was taken, will go live.
Comprehensive data can reveal security-related patterns or trends that would be hard to identify with paper reports. Boards and management love to see numbers, and reports give your company a competitive advantage without having to make a significant investment. Patrol Points, for example, comes with a Reporting feature, making it easy to compile and share key data with staff and clients.
Security tools and systems can give your company an attractive advantage. Providing an additional level of assurance and transparency to clients may be exactly what it takes for them to enter into a trusting relationship with your company. The right system will compliment your team, and make their job a little easier, too.
Not all security companies have a strict uniform policy, but clients will appreciate the fact that you do. First impressions aren’t everything, but residents may respond better to a guard who is in uniform. Guards should look well put together and portray themselves (and the client) in a positive manner.
Distinctive uniforms allow residents to easily spot a guard, which in turn makes it easier for them to ask for help if they need it. Moreover, people tend to feel safer around security guards who take pride in the way they look (which another reason why you want to hire someone who pays attention to details).
When your team is working in a condo building, they represent that community. As such, guards need to present themselves in a way that mirrors the values and qualities of the community.
Condo corporations have a lot of choices when it comes to selecting a security company, and it can be tricky for them to identify what differentiates one business from another. Showcase your strongest assets, be honest and clear about what your company has to offer, and make sure you can deliver something that your competition cannot.