Make More Money Monitoring Multifamily Market

Although relatively few security dealers focus on it, the multifamily residential market is a segment offering significant RMR growth opportunities. It consists of middle- and upper-class residential multifamily buildings (condos, co-ops and apartments) seeking security and convenience for their residents, and affordable housing including government-subsidized buildings. The needs of these multifamily customers are different but the RMR opportunity is real and dramatic.

One of the best offerings for the many middle/upper residential market buildings without a doorman is a remote solution that can provide real security and the convenience of receiving packages when tenants are not at home. An example of a product well suited to this application is called Video Doorman. Among other things, it offers emergency panic button connection to live operators 24/7 who can see and speak to tenants who may be in trouble in the lobby and elevator areas. Such a system is cost effective for the building owner and increases property values.

Here is how it enhances security and facilitates deliveries:

  1. A courier presses a button that summons a central station operator who allows entry via a remote link. All activity is recorded, both audio and video.
  2. A series of cameras within the building, supplied with speakers and microphones, allow the live operator to monitor and escort the courier through the building to the secured package room. The tenant is then notified via E-mail or text.
  3. The operator then escorts the courier out of the building.
  4. If the front door is held or left open, central station operators are notified, and alert the building manager of the person who left it open.
  5. Video clips of door “offenders” are available to management for quick identification.
  6. If the door is ever forced open, a live operator will dispatch police along with an attached clip of the perpetrator.

The RMR potential can run from $500/month for a small five-unit multifamily building to in excess of $2,000/month for a building with 100 or more units. As an additional benefit, such a system can act like a magnet to draw increases in the installation of all types of security systems.

In the affordable housing niche, securing the front door and ensuring safety in lobby areas is a primary concern. An example of a solution is the Video Doorman Safe Lobby system to provide remote monitored security and surveillance 24/7 just like an actual guard. With an integrated card reader and front door contact, cameras, speakers and microphones in the lobby and elevator, if desired, the system limits access to tenants; makes sure the front door is closed; detects forced entry; and it prohibits loitering.

Such a system allows security dealers and monitoring firms to offer building managers and owners benefits including: reduced liability/lower insurance rates; decreased unwanted access and loitering; higher occupancy and retention; and higher rents.

The examples of multifamily solutions here enable a security company to provide a differentiated product to customers that enhances the value proposition.

Larry Dolin is Founder/CEO of American Security Systems ( He can be contacted at

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