Rest easy, we’re on it

More buildings bringing in private security to ease burden on managers

By Heather Laura Clarke

This article was originally posted in the Chronicle Herald on October 1, 2018

Most building owners and managers agree that one of the toughest parts of the job is being the go-to person — the one on call for every little thing.

But as the province’s population ages, building owners and managers are recognizing an increasing need for hospitality security and concierge services.

“We’re starting to see the market change, and that’s leading to a cross-over where more buildings benefit from a combination of services,” says Liane MacAusland, Contracts Development Officer with Commissionaires Nova Scotia.

“Residents and tenants want the security of knowing someone is monitoring access to their building and providing emergency response, but they also want someone friendly in the lobby to make them feel welcome.”

Commissionaires Nova Scotia is a private, not-for-profit company employing more than 1,400 people across the province, with security officers ranging in age from 19 to 85. More than 60% of Commissionaires Nova Scotia’s employees are former members of the Canadian Armed Forces, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

MacAusland says some buildings have a reception desk staffed 24/7 with a commissionaire who also monitors their CCTV cameras, accepts mail and couriered packages, patrols the building and its property, and liaises with staff, contractors and repair personnel on behalf of the building’s management. Other buildings have Commissionaires as their alarm response provider rather than using the police or a facility manager.

This is because when middle-of-the-night emergencies are the sole responsibility of a building’s superintendent, MacAusland says it can negatively affect their quality of life — and it’s also a disservice to the residents relying on them.

“Let’s say it’s 3 a.m. and a transformer blows in the basement. The first point of contact needs to be someone who knows exactly what to do and how to answer the questions when Nova Scotia Power comes by to replace it,” says MacAusland.

“Building owners and managers want someone who can be an extension of them — a partner who’s going to be their eyes and ears, and give them peace of mind that everything is handled well.”

Commissionaires Nova Scotia does a lot of work in senior care facilities. MacAusland says residents and tenants rest easier knowing there are friendly, familiar faces looking out for them, and building owners and managers thrive knowing they have trusted professionals ready to handle any situation that might arise.

“It’s all about finding someone you can trust to make it easier to manage your building efficiently, effectively, and with positive outcomes for residents and visitors alike.”