With Census data showing that between 6-9 million US Residents live in gated communities, what are some of the benefits that drive folks to buy homes or rent apartments within the confines of gates, codes, monitoring, and cameras?
1) Perception of security and property values: Fenced and gated residential communities provide the perception of privacy, safety, and security which lends to the idea of exclusivity. By merely adding an automatic gate entry system, property values can jump $50,000 or more regardless on whether those gates are actually impacting the level of crime.
In apartment living, gates are offered as an amenity to attract new tenants and increase rental income.
2) To keep criminals off the property: Some gate systems offer more than just the perception of security….their main purpose is to act as barrier to unwanted foot and vehicle traffic in efforts to reduce crime and provide peace of mind to residents. Does this work? Absolutely- quality, working gate systems restrict access and provide both a physical and psychological barrier for criminals.
3) A tool for property managers: The gate system works in conjunction with many other property management systems as an effective tool to prevent crime, vandalism, and to put as much control on the quality of life of the community in the property managers hands. This works to keep residents happy, lower turnover and increase profits.
4) Gates that have accompanying video system support: Having these two systems working together can put some control in home owners hands. Video systems can be integrated with the gate intercom system and allow homeowners to view who is at the gate seeking permission to enter. Technically, video signals from a gate on a west coast property can be monitored by a security firm on the east coast due to the advent of digital and broadband technologies. They can even carry on a conversation with the person desiring access and open the gate remotely for them.
Gated communities generally work well to reduce criminal access, it is just impossible to guarantee 100% crime and vandal free communities. But with diligent HOA’s/POA’s and Property managers paired with top of the line, functioning systems, they can go a long way in providing a degree of safety that wouldn’t be there without them.