Residential Access Control Systems vs Visitor Management: What Is the Difference?

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As a property manager, you are responsible for creating a safe and secure environment for your tenants. Fortunately, technologies such as residential access control systems and visitor management systems help in carrying out this responsibility. Thanks to these tech-enabled tools, your tenants can rest easy knowing that you have the means to protect their privacy and keep them secure.

There are lots of security tools in the market today, with residential gate access control systems and visitor management systems first coming into mind. On paper, these tools might seem similar, but are actually quite different. If you’ve been shopping around for a gated community security solution and you’re unsure what these are and their differences, we’ll break it down for you in this article.

Visitor Management System: Tracking the Visitors

Visitor management systems track a visitor’s arrival and departure in your property. The system is basically a virtual visitor log book containing all relevant information about a visitor, including their names, type, what host and property address they’re tied to, the license plate number and the purpose of their visit. 

Visitor management systems come in different types: it can be a cloud-based or on-premise software, a self-service kiosk, or integrated into residential estate access control systems. For properties and gated communities, visitor management systems offer these benefits:

  • Compile and store visitor data. This helps you meet HOA compliance goals and requirements when it comes to visitor data.
  • Reduce overhead costs. By automating the process of checking in, you can reduce overhead costs from unnecessary workload on security.
  • Accountability for those on site. Sophisticated visitor management systems are even able to account for visitors and vendors that are still onsite and haven’t left yet. 
  • Boost on-site security. More importantly, these systems provide you with visibility of the visitors on the premises.

Residential Access Control Systems: Preventing Unauthorized Entry

Residential estate access control systems, on the other hand, enhances the functions of a visitor management system by preventing unauthorized entry to a property through doors and gates. While visitor management keeps track of visitors, the access control component layers over it by the use of access codes, QR Codes on printed or ePasses, and devices such as RFID transponders, smartphone mobile credentials, and traditional fobs and key-cards. Access control keeps unauthorized people out.

Tech-enabled residential gate access control systems have the following components:

  • Readers, which enable access to a resident or visitor through physical devices, QR codes, and mobile credentials.  
  • Software, which processes the information and ensures that the system works perfectly and without delay; and
  • Infrastructure, the combination of hardware and networks that connects everything together.

Similar to visitor management systems, residential access control boosts the security of a property and protects people and property. This, in turn, can bring peace of mind to both property owners and tenants knowing that they are in a safe space.

Today, residential access control systems can also be maintained and operated through the cloud. These cloud-based systems are actually more efficient and less costly than traditional access control systems. Since you can deploy almost everything through the cloud, you no longer need to invest in expensive IT infrastructure.

You can rely on cloud-based access control systems to boost the security of your property, and we can show you how. Book a demo with our experts at Proptia to learn more about what makes our solutions better and more reliable.

Are you a property manager or HOA board member looking to upgrade your community access control systems ? Learn more about Proptia’s features by booking a demo with one of our consultants.

“Visitor Management Systems: Ultimate Buyer’s Guide (2021)”,

“Guide to Access Control”,