The Office Guide to Visitor Management
The logistics around where, when, and how people work have changed drastically — especially due to the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. To triumph over constantly evolving health and safety regulations, landlords and property teams have had to navigate uncertain waters and ensure that buildings remain a safe workplace environment, as well as discover new and unique ways to retain and attract talent by focusing directly on the needs of their building occupants. A huge part of new-age building safety needs revolves around the visitor management system, which can help with modern contact tracing needs, as well as contribute to smart building trends by creating frictionless workplace experiences.
With over 8,000 proptech companies now available for the office sector — offering technology solutions ranging from visitor management software to mobile food ordering to even digital amenities — property teams face the challenge of discerning exactly which partners best fit the needs of their portfolio. When it comes to implementing the best first impressions, automated workplace experiences, and security for your office building, you can’t skimp out on the details. In the next section, we dive into visitor management systems and what they can achieve for any portfolio.
What is a Visitor Management System?
According to Envoy, “visitor management is any process that helps an organization keep track of the people that visit their location. Policies can vary by organization, facility type, industry, or geographic location. For some organizations, simply collecting the visitor’s name is sufficient, but others have higher security requirements — like badges, legal documents, employee escorts, and more.”
Old-fashioned methods of visitor management mainly involved physical sign-in sheets and physical copies of identification. The process was simple, but manual: visitors would enter a building, and upon arrival, have to jot down their name in a binder and let the security staff know who they were visiting. The process after this was also manual, since the front desk would then have to contact the host about the visitor’s arrival, prompting the host to leave his or her office in order to retrieve the guest from the lobby.
However, in the new digital era, visitor management for the office can look quite different. Managed through a visitor management app or more extensive visitor management software, today’s visitor protocols can go beyond the pen and paper to establish modern, touchless experiences upon entry. According to The Receptionist, modern visitor management systems — which include open source visitor sign-in system variations — can achieve all of the following to increase office productivity and safety:
- Maintain a cloud-based visitor log
- Take photos of your visitors to help you identify them
- Print visitor ID badges, customized with your company’s logo
- Capture signatures for NDAs and other legal agreements
- Accept deliveries from UPS, FedEx, and other courier services
- Send SMS, email, and Slack notifications when visitors arrive
- Allow two-way communication between employees and visitors
- Accept food deliveries and document drop-off
- Provide instructions for visitors
- Enable remote-controlled access for visitors when needed
Additionally, modern visitor management systems can even increase the security for an office in several ways, including: being a general crime deterrent through the registration process (which may include a visitor management system background check), granting property teams the ability to contract trace and investigate any activities after a guest leaves by downloading and exporting detailed activity logs, and general facility staff management to let teams know who is in the building at any given time.
Modern Needs for Visitor Management
Modern reception management systems, such as a visitor kiosk, all contribute to the increasing trend of smart buildings for commercial real estate. In general, smart buildings leverage technology to quickly disseminate information between building systems in order to optimize performance and create easy, seamless experiences for building occupants. These tech-enabled meccas are desirable for tenants and visitors due to their modern and unique amenities, as well as their custom solutions for any need. With so many ways to achieve results, smart building features vary — there is truly no one-size-fits-all solution for how property teams can take advantage of the various smart building services to create efficiencies in the workplace and enhance their tenant experience.
Especially in a post-pandemic world, smart building systems are likely to witness an even larger rise in popularity. The COVID-19 pandemic brought on concerns surrounding health and safety needs for the office to the forefront of many conversations, including the need for better capacity management and visitor management. According to MarketsandMarkets, “the smart buildings market […] size is expected to grow from USD 66.3 billion in 2020 to USD 108.9 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.5% during the forecast period. The major drivers for the smart building include the rising adoption of IoT-enabled building management systems, rising awareness of space utilization, increased industry standards and regulations, and increased demand for energy-efficient systems.”
Such technologies — of which a visitor management kiosk is a necessity in our post-pandemic climate, will become a true differentiator for the competitive CRE market — as both existing tenants and new talent will continue to look for workplaces that are modern, efficient, and safe.
The Best Visitor Management Solutions
Though smart buildings and digitally-enabled visitor management solutions can be found across any industry, they have seen a huge increase in adoption in the commercial real estate market. The recent modernization of office building technology has been used for a plethora of smart building ideas, including establishing more touchless experiences, increasing communications among various building systems, and creating outstanding and automated customer experiences.
Many visitor management solutions — such as the Lobby Track, Vizitor, Sine, and Raptor visitor management systems — exist in the industry. Fortunately, HqO’s growing Marketplace of best-in-class technology partners can help vet and aggregate these visitor management and smart technologies for any office building. Through its operating system, landlords and property teams can activate partners and features to meet any building’s needs. In no particular order, the following trusted partners can be found and implemented through our HqOS™ operating system:
- Envoy Visitor Management: Envoy can help any office welcome guests with a simple visitor management solution that keeps the workplace safe and saves teams valuable time. Their product can facilitate touchless sign-in, capture and securely store everything you need from visitors to remain in compliance with regulations, enhance direct host-guest communication, and more.
- Soloinsight: Soloinsight uses a mobile-first approach to create responsive environments deeply integrated into Physical and Logical Identity and Access Management systems. Their handheld badge readers and mobile apps perform most functions a Physical Access Control System (PACS) provides. They offer complete visitor lifecycle management at multiple locations with a cloud, on-prem, or hybrid visitor platform that uses an intuitive guest and host experience to deliver unparalleled security.
- Angus Systems: Angus Systems is one robust example of online property management software. They offer mobile and cloud-based work order and operations management solutions for commercial real estate teams. Though their core capabilities involve maintenance management and service management software, which include detailed and optimized work order lifecycle tracking, they also facilitate simplified amenity reservations for tenants and buildings.
- Building Engines: Building Engines offers Prism, one of the most innovative building operations platforms for commercial real estate. Their property management software for landlords, tenants, engineers, and CRE executives offers several core capabilities that make operating a building an easier experience for all. Through their online property management software, clients can file work orders, optimize building communications, carry out inspections, as well as address insurance, space management, and visitor access needs.
How to Test a Free Visitor Management App
Selecting well-suited partners eliminates long development timelines as well as misalignment on the end product, and helps create an overall frictionless journey throughout your portfolio. By leveraging our HqOS Marketplace to procure new partners, commercial office owners can shop for visitor management technologies and more that they know will be interoperable with the overall platform, and whose business relationships and deal structures are already in place. Additionally, they can even take advantage of technology partner profiles to access product demos and images — helping them determine if certain pre-vetted partners are a good fit for their business and existing technology systems.
We empower CRE leaders to quickly identify partners of interest, while our team of experts helps consult across tech stack implementation and interoperability; third party assessment, procurement, and management; evolving compliance frameworks; data capture and transparency; and building access and facility management systems. They can also take advantage of our budgeting calculator to give them a general price parameter for their building and its systems.
Access our growing ecosystem of office technology partners in HqOS™ — which includes multiple visitor management softwares — to create end-to-end, seamless experiences for tenants throughout your building. To learn more about where you can get a free visitor sign-in app for iPad, iPhones, and other devices, as well as comparative visitor management system prices, you can sign up for a free demo of the HqOS operating system today.
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