The Ins & Outs of a Guest Management System for Commercial Properties

No matter what type of business or building you own, you need to be prepared for visitors to come to your property. Guest management systems, also called visitor management systems, help keep your property secure and make the visiting process easy for your guests. 

We’ve all visited a building with a tedious pen and paper sign-in process. These archaic systems can waste time for both employees and visitors, and they don’t increase security nearly as much as a modern guest management system.

Here, you’ll learn more about what a guest management system is, how guest management systems work, and what features are commonly available in guest management systems. 

receptionist is giving card access as guest management system in commecial building

What is a Guest Management System 

A guest management system gives visitors temporary access to your property, and it allows you to keep track of who is coming into your buildings. In a modern guest management system, digital management takes the place of paper and pen, and it automates a lot of tasks for your employees, thus freeing up their time. 

Why is a Guest Management System Important? 

If you’ve never used a guest management system, it might not seem important to develop an entire system just for guests that come and go. However, traditional access control can make it more difficult for visitors to enter your building. This can get frustrating even for buildings that don’t have a large number of regular visitors because every building is going to have some amount of visitors, even if it’s just people coming in for interviews. Without modern visitor management, you would need somebody to be able to manually open doors for visitors and to take care of any paperwork and sign-in processes. In some cases, you might also need to keep track of visitor key cards, which could present a major security risk. 

A guest management system also provides you with a detailed log of who was in your buildings and when they were there. This is incredibly important to refer back to if there is a security event in your building. 

Other benefits of a digital guest management system include keeping track of the number of people in the building so you don’t exceed occupancy limits, freeing up staff, and creating an easy and streamlined process for visitors. This can create a great first impression and helps guests feel at ease when they know exactly where to go and what to expect when they arrive as a visitor. 

guest management system access control at elevator

How Does a Guest Management System Work? 

Guest management systems can work in a variety of ways, but many provide digital permission via the guest’s phone that can grant them temporary access to your property. Some systems also use an iPad or tablet that you keep on-site. 

As a system administrator, you’ll have a dashboard or app platform you can use to manage visitor access. From there, you can control what each visitor has access to and how long they have access. From a setup perspective, adding a visitor is like adding a new user; you can choose what permissions they have and when they have those permissions. 

Guest Management Systems for Visitors 

Once you invite a visitor to your property, they get a link, typically via email. This will take them to a webpage they will use to gain access to your property. They won’t need to download an app or create an account. You can also add a specific time for their access to end so they don’t have indefinite access – in case you forget to go back and revoke access.

You can fill the email with any information the visitor will need to know, including directions, information about their visit, any criteria they need to meet before entering your building, safety requirements, and links to submit any necessary documents. 

When the guest arrives at your building, they can sign in with a tablet or touchless with their phones. The door will automatically unlock for them when they use the credentials from their email. Once your guest arrives, the correct person will get a notification so they know to come to greet the guest. If necessary, you can capture a photo of the visitor, review their sign-in documents, and print a visitor badge. 

rfid access control

Guest Management Systems for System Administrators 

When you’re setting up a new visit for a new visitor, you can include requirements they need to meet to be able to visit. This might include health screenings or documents they need to upload. You don’t need to do this manually every time you set up a visitor to enter your building. You can create general registration questions that are specific to your needs and make templates for different sign-in flows for different types of visitors. You can also choose custom questions or sign-in flows for different buildings and locations in your guest registration software. 

Doing all of this digitally beforehand saves a lot of time for your employees and visitors. Digitizing guest access also saves your front office staff time because they don’t need to write out visitor passes or manually keep track of who is coming and going. 

Guest management systems can help you learn more about your visitors by tracking who comes, when they come, how often they come, and what type of visitor they are. Depending on the guest management software you use, the dashboard may even be able to show you overall trends. This is very helpful for audits or reports. You can also get a notification any time a guest is given access to the building. 

The system ensures that only approved guests enter. You can choose to block specific visitors and check guests against lists of people. The system can also check your guests’ information and ensure their ID is valid. 

Once you have the system set up and sign-in flows created, you’ll find that you don’t have to spend much time inviting visitors to your building, and you can feel safe knowing your building is more secure. 

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