Under the Red Hat

How the Virtual Doorman® System Works

A visitor or delivery person arrives at a building entrance, sees a resident intercom system and a Virtual Doorman® module mounted at the door station, and presses the button for Apartment 9E. Everything that happens at the door station is under Virtual Guard 24/7 audio/video surveillance with time code.

Apt. 9E does not answer the intercom call.

After trying a few more times, the visitor follows the clearly stated instructions on the module to press the button for the Virtual Doorman®.

A live operator at the Virtual Doorman® off-site command center receives a signal from the building, pulls up the video of the visitor on a screen and answers immediately.

“This is the Virtual Doorman®. How can I be of real service to you?”

“I’m Claire Williams, I’m here to visit Marjorie Kramer in apartment 9C. She said that if she wasn’t home, her Virtual Doorman would help me get a key to her apartment so I could wait for her there.”

That’s fine, Ms. Williams. Give me a few seconds to check Ms. Kramer’s instructions and I’ll be right back.

As soon as the operator is given the name and apartment number of the resident, he accesses the resident’s account on his Operator’s Web Portal and validates the instructions to admit the visitor to the building and help her get a key to the apartment. If the instructions are in order, it all happens in a few seconds.

If the instructions are not in order, the Virtual Doorman® operator checks the resident’s preferences to see if she wants to be called, emailed or sent a text message when an unauthorized visitor appears – or courteously denied access.

The Virtual Doorman® operator acts according to the resident’s preferences.

Innovative Features. Proprietary Technology.

Virtual Doorman Web Portal

The Industry’s Only Interactive Web Portal

The centerpiece of Virtual Doorman’s® unique technology is the Interactive Web Portal. This web-based information management system streamlines the communication between residents, building managers, and the operators at our command center. As a cloud-based platform, the web portal allows residents to remotely access, review, and modify their account from anywhere in the world. With this feature, residents can manage their preferences and instructions online at your convenience.

Resident Portal

Residents are able to log in and manage their guest and delivery settings, as well as review logs and change their notification preferences. If residents need additional access cards or fobs, they can order them directly through the portal and pay via credit card using our secure order form.

The web portal ensures that the operators are able to provide customized service to each resident, whether the building has 6 units, 60 units or 200 units.

Operator Portal

Our technology makes the difference. But our operators make it better. Virtual Doorman® offers unparalleled customer service from the most professional, skilled operators in the industry. Armed with our proprietary Interactive Web Portal technologies, our operators are able to log on to the personal account of every resident in every building in our system just a few seconds after the visitor or delivery person mentions the resident’s name. Which guarantees that every resident gets truly personalized service at all times – regardless of the number of buildings we have online or the number of residents in a building.

Building Manager Portal

Building managers log on to our system to communicate with building residents, command center operators, or both simultaneously. The portal makes it easy to review and authorize resident accounts, look up resident contact information, post notices for the building, and manage deliveries and guests. Managers also use this portal for managing contractor access. Example: If a contractor is scheduled to work on the boiler, the name of the company can be added to the system and Virtual Doorman® will grant access and notify the manager when via email when the contractor arrives. Additionally, if the maintenance of the boiler requires the hot water to be shut off for a period of time, the manager, using the same web portal, can send all residents an email notification.

Access Control

Industry’s Only On-the-Go Mobile App

Now you can take your Virtual Doorman® with you wherever you go. The industry’s only Mobile App enables residents to stay in touch with their doorman with a few simple clicks. As with the Virtual Doorman® Web Portal™, the Mobile App.

Door Station

Virtual Doorman® incorporates these three main components at the front door of every building for Building Access Control, Visitor Management and Interactive Video Surveillance.

Building Access Control

Virtual Doorman insures that only authorized tenants and their guests can enter the building and specific areas within the building. Residents gain entry to the building by presenting an electronic access card to a reader at specified doors. This electronic access card can be in the form of a key fob, card, wireless remote, or even can integrate biometric identification so a finger or handprint can be scanned for access. The reader can also grant access to individual apartment units or to “members only” areas, such as the garage, pool or the gym.

An additional card reader or fingerprint reader is installed to protect the building’s package room to enable packages to be delivered to a secure location and only picked up by their intended recipient. A refrigerated storage area in the building can also be outfitted with access control to facilitate grocery and floral deliveries.

By incorporating building access control, Virtual Doorman® prevents intruders from entering the building, while also providing a time-and-date-stamped record of any tenants who use their cards for authorized entries. Video camera surveillance is utilized in combination with the card reader for additional backup and verification. Often, a burglar alarm panel is integrated into the system to provide additional security.

Visitor Management

If the resident is at home: Virtual Doorman® utilizes a video resident intercom system that presents the visitor with a digital list of tenants to choose from. When a resident is selected, the intercom connects the visitor to a specific apartment. The resident will then be able to see and speak with the visitor and use a button on the intercom to temporarily unlock the required doors, granting access to that specific visitor. In addition, the tenant will be able to follow the visitor visually via the building’s security cameras as they enter.

If the resident is not at home: The visitor is instructed to press the button on the Virtual Doorman® module. A Virtual Doorman® operator from our off-site command center receives the signal, sees the visitor on his computer screen, accesses the building on his Interactive Web Portal (see below) and says “This is the Virtual Doorman®”. How can I be of real help to you?” When the visitor answers by mentioning a resident’s name or apartment number, the operator accesses the resident’s personal account on the web portal and says, “I’ll see if you’re expected and be back in a few seconds”. Virtual Doorman® will remotely allow (or disallow) entry based on each tenants’ specific instructions for that specific guest. For deliveries, Virtual Doorman® will manage entry to the building and drop off in the package room, as well as notify residents via email when a package has been received and is waiting.

More Resident Features

24/7 Toll Free Contact Number
Tenants are provided a toll free contact number so that they can interface directly with the Virtual Doorman® operators in the event that they have a guest that must be let in on short notice.

24/7 Tenant Lockout Service
When a tenant loses their key card, they can use the Virtual Doorman® system to gain access to the building. If the tenant has lost their apartment keys and the building has an electronic key safe, the Virtual Doorman® can also grant the tenant access to the package room so that they can retrieve their spare set.

Party & Special Event Guest Lists
Tenants can provide a guest list for private parties in order to have the Virtual Doorman® service automatically grant access to their guests during their set hours. This way, tenants are free to enjoy hosting their party and don’t need to run to the intercom every time a new guest arrives.

24/7 Interactive Video Surveillance
Interactive video surveillance enables us to view activity at your property, interact with the premises, and take action as necessary and according to your specific instructions.

Virtual Doorman® carefully controls the cameras to track activity and secure the premises. Functioning as the eyes and ears of the system, Virtual Doorman® uses a proprietary combination of CCTV and interactive audio video monitoring to gain visual access to your property to perform their job.

For outdoor monitoring of the front entrance, roof, garden or other areas, we use high-resolution auto iris cameras – which provide clear, strong images. For monitoring of indoor areas, we utilize mini and micro dome cameras which deliver high-resolution images while remaining almost entirely hidden. Corner mounted, wide angle cameras offer full coverage in small areas such as elevators. All images are stored on the system’s digital video recorder. In the event of an incident, all video footage can be easily retrieved and exported to a CD or DVD, and given to the police or the management company.

All Digital IP Virtual Doorman® Door Station

Virtual Doorman is 6 months away from becoming an all-Digital IP system end-to-end with redundancy protection. Our next generation door station will integrate the resident intercom system and the Virtual Doorman in a single module. We are now creating the software that will integrate Virtual Doorman with the very latest digital IP intercom systems from Helios, Comelit, Fermax and Seidel.

Access Control

Off-Site Command Center
Staffed by 60 of the best trained, most professional and highly skilled operators in the industry, the Virtual Doorman® Command Center connects visitors with residents in every one of our buildings on a 24/7. Equipped with the industry’s only Interactive Web Portal and other advanced technologies, Virtual Doorman® Command Center Operators function with maximum efficiency and are able to offer truly personalized service for every resident – regardless of the number of buildings we have on line or the number of residents in a building. The Technology Makes The Difference. The People Make It Better.

Package Room Access Control

Package Room
Virtual Doorman buildings have secure, well-lit, functionallydesigned package rooms with day/night video surveillance that require card access by residents. The ideal package room has enough space to handle deliveries for all the units in the building – adequate shelving for packages, a clothing rack for dry-cleaning and a refrigerator/freezer for Fresh Direct and other food services.

Access Control

Electronic Key Safe
The Virtual Doorman electronic key safe enables residents to provide secured access to their apartment unit, and eliminates the possibility of being locked out. In the event that a resident is locked-out or would like one of their guests to enter the apartment, access to the building can be achieved via the Virtual Doorman module at the door station. Once inside, the resident or authorized guest will be directed to the Package Room where they will find the Electronic Key Safe. When the correct pass-code is entered on the keypad, the pre-assigned slot holding the resident’s key becomes illuminated signaling that it may now be retrieved. (No other keys can be removed because every key requires a different pass-code.)

Typically, the safe is used for apartment keys only, but it may also be used for a number of other purposes, such as leaving a spare set of car keys so that friends can borrow your car or leaving keys to rooms in the basement for building contractors.

Never Get Locked Out Again. Buildings with an electronic key safe provide their residents with the peace of mind that they will never be locked out of their apartment.

Grant Access Without Giving Out Keys

Virtual Doorman Lockout Protection

Residents concerned about the security of their apartment can place a spare set of keys in the safe so that their guests can gain access without actually possessing a copy of their apartment key. In the event that a cleaning person, dog walker, or nanny is let go, their electronic card can be deactivated and their pin code for the safe can be deleted, providing the highest level of security and convenience.

Reception Management System

How Virtual Doorman® Manages Deliveries

  • We admit authorized delivery people to your building.
  • We direct them to your secure package room under video surveillance – then unlock the package room remotely.
  • We monitor the delivery drop-offs, re-lock the package room after the event and monitor the delivery people until they leave the building.
  • We notify you by email every time a delivery is waiting to be picked up.

For larger buildings with 60 or more apartments, or for any buildings where the level of delivery activity is high, we now offer an alternative reception management system.

It requires that your building have Front Desk or Package Room building attendant equipped with a laptop and a Virtual Doorman® Scanning Wand. The attendant scans the package label, uploads the image to the laptop and emails it to the resident along with a message that the package is now available to be picked up.