Communities increasingly consider using a cellular electric gate when converting their neighborhood into a gated community because modern access solutions can provide enhanced access control. Until recently, gated communities would have to rely on either expensive human security guards or highly insecure solutions, such as 4-digit pin pads or physical keys. Nowadays, you can control access to a gated community using your cell phone. You can grant and revoke access easily on an app and never worry about pin codes again. Cellular access provides a modern and easy method of gated community entry. Many new gated communities use these cellular entry systems in the USA. 

If you want to convert your neighborhood into a gated community, read on to learn the steps you will need to take to get a gate installed.

Discuss Community Gating With Community Members

Suppose you want to succeed at getting a community gate approved in your neighborhood. In that case, you should start by speaking to those community members who can work with you to convince your entire community to agree to your plan. Instead of going straight to your homeowner’s association (HOA), you should start by discussing the possibility of installing a gate with a few respected community members who you already know.

Interest in community gates is growing, so many of your neighbors and community leaders will likely have similar ideas. Now, over nine million Americans live in a gated community. Once you’ve found a few supporters, you can form a team to research the benefits of installing a gate and select the right solutions that could be advantageous in your community. After you’ve come up with a strong plan, including benefits and drawbacks, you can approach the wider community. It’s essential to focus on why you think the community needs a smart gate. When your reasons are clear, you will have a better chance of convincing your entire community that it’s time to install a smart security gate in your gated community.

Know Whether Gated Communities Are Possible

Communities that stand to benefit from having a gate are often left ungated because of local ordinances that make having a gate difficult or costly. Some local governments also have a ban on gated communities. Although there are clear social advantages to using gates, some local governments ban gates for a wide variety of reasons.

You should review local ordinances to understand what you will need to do to get an electric gate approved. Then, have someone else read over this with you too. It’s easy to make a mistake and misinterpret something that can cost you money. 

In most areas that are open to community gating, you will need to get the approval of a couple of local officials, submit detailed plans for your proposal, and comply with a wide range of zoning laws. However, in other cases, you might have to restructure the ownership or management of your community to obtain the necessary approvals. For instance, you may need first to make your community’s roads private property. In rare cases, community gating might not be possible without changing local laws or getting exceptions that require extensive investment with no guarantee of success.

Checking this at the absolute outset is essential. Missing this step can cost you a fortune. It’s usually quite evident at first simply by viewing how many existing gated communities there are in your area. If there is a lot, it’s probably going to be okay. If you can’t find the ordinances in question, you might need to pick up the phone and speak to city hall or a local politician. 

Decide Which Gate Access Technologies You Will Use

Today, the technology you will use to provide residents with secure access is one of the most important considerations when installing a community gate. Some of the access technologies you can choose from include:

It would help if you researched all of the available technologies to decide on the best access solution for your community, but smartphone-based solutions are favorable in most situations. Smartphones ensure that access is linked to an individual resident or guest. It is also easier to take advantage of the latest technologies when access is based on smartphone technology. For instance, a leading gate entry system will have partnerships that provide seamless access to first responders and delivery providers. Taking advantage of the best gate access technologies can get your community ready for the future while maximizing the return on investment of your gate.

Remember, everyone has a smartphone in this day and age. It makes access a cinch. While all access methods have pros and cons, it’s crucial to weigh up what works best for your community. For example, although license plate readers sound pretty seamless, it only takes a smear of mud on the lens or the plate to render them unusable. It’s also easy to share wider access with a pin code without other residents knowing. So a smartphone access system, in today’s busy environment, has the most pros and the least cons. 

Decide On Gate Placement And Gate Type

Will the gate slide left or right? Is it going to open outward or inward? There are more decisions to make than you probably realize. Gate placement might be logical and decided on after talks with local officials but you might need to think out a logical placement yourself. Most communities go with whatever saves the most space. Some communities need to be more careful than others due to lack of road space. It’s certainly something you need to think about when placing your electric gate.

Know the Cost of Your Proposal

Many communities are wary of using a smart gate because they are unsure about the cost of installation and controlling access. In some cases, community leaders falsely assume that a human security guard will be needed. A minimum of three full-time security guards are usually needed to provide 24/7 access, so the cost of staffing a gate usually exceeds $100,000 per year. Many communities are unable or unwilling to spend $1 million or more over the next decade to keep their communities secure. Instead, communities can rely on modern automated solutions that provide better security than human guards can offer while eliminating the high cost of staffing.

Additionally, you will need to consider the cost of your gate. Many gates can be purchased and installed for less than $20,000. However, highly secure automated gate solutions can cost $50,000 or more. Although these costs may seem high the reality is that gates have been proven to increase the value of each property in a neighborhood by an average of $30,000.

If you already have a gate present, it’s easy to upgrade the security method to smart, keyless entry. Any existing gate can be made into a smart gate.

Get Approval From Your HOA and Community Members

In most situations, obtaining formal approval from your homeowner’s association is the most crucial step for getting a gate installed in your neighborhood. Getting approval may be easier if you are already active in your HOA. As mentioned earlier, working as a team can also help to ensure that your proposal is taken seriously.

When proposing a gate to your HOA, you should start by approaching individual leaders of your HOA. These leaders can then invite you to present your idea to the community simultaneously. You can then prepare a brief presentation that includes why a gate is advantageous, an estimate of costs, and specific solutions that could be beneficial. When you give this presentation, be sure to invite influential community members to win as much support as you can.

Make sure you’ve got your facts and figures straight too. There will undoubtedly be questions from the residents present, and you need to be able to answer their questions comfortably. If there’s a question you can’t answer, politely tell them you’ll get back to them about it as soon as possible. 

Many communities are highly supportive of a gate installation initiative that an active community member is willing to lead. Usually, gates are not installed simply because no community members have taken the initiative to get a gate proposal approved. Therefore, you can be confident that your efforts to propose a gate in your community have a high chance of being successful and are likely to improve your image as a community leader.

Not part of an HOA?

There are communities out there that aren’t part of a HOA. In these cases, it can be harder to call a general meeting as there isn’t a body of people to summon. Instead, speak to the members of your community to garner support and then invite the wider community together so you can present your ideas to them. You don’t have to be part of a HOA to get a smart electric gate. All you need is a consensus on the idea and you’re good to go. There might be a local facebook page or a whatsapp group you can join to help rally support. If not, just go door to door. The likelihood is that you’re looking at installing an electric gate for a reason. They’re probably annoyed by whatever it is that’s led you to look at an electric gate too. 

If you’re interested in installing smart cellular technology, please visit the contact page. If you want to know more about electric smart gates in general, you can check out our blog. The testimonials can give you an insight into how others have benefitted from smart gate technology.

Open your gate or building with your phone