Surveillance vs. Onsite Guards: Multifamily Properties

by | Apr 7, 2023

Deep Sentinel vs. Onsite Guards for Multifamily

If you manage an apartment or condominium complex, protecting tenants (and your property) is serious business. One option that most people consider at some point is hiring a security guard team to patrol the property. As appealing as having your own guards onsite might be, this option also has notable drawbacks. Live video surveillance enhanced by AI and remote security professionals offers robust protection without the disadvantages you’ll find with onsite guards.

Live Surveillance vs. Onsite Guards: Overview

  Deep Sentinel Live Surveillance Onsite Security Guards
Service Cost

Average: $300 – $500 per month

$100/month for the first camera
$50/month for each additional camera

Average: $6,000 – $8,000 per month

$25-$50/hour per guard
Benefits, supplies, and more

Coverage Every inch of your property
Indoor administrative areas
Depends on the number of guards
Humans can’t be everywhere at once
Speed 10 seconds to intervention
30 seconds to police contact
Depends on guard reaction time

Does not require user input

Requires time to recruit, hire, train, and manage employees

Satisfies legal requirements
Provides evidence for claims

Satisfies legal requirements but adds new liabilities (use of force, workplace safety)
Accuracy AI with human verification means no downtime or false alarms Human guards make human errors
Appearance Visually reassuring
Clean, subtle look
May create a frightening or unfriendly environment for tenants

Examining Major Factors

Let’s dig a little further into each of these categories. How do onsite guards stack up with Deep Sentinel’s live guard surveillance solution?

Service Cost

An undeniable fact: hiring security guards is expensive. One highly trained guard could cost upwards of $100 per hour. And it’s not just salary or wages. Also consider the costs of recruitment, training, benefits, uniforms, and supplies. Or you can outsource to a third-party service, which is even costlier. Your property needs constant protection, so you cannot simply reduce hours or staffing to cut costs, either. Guards cost money. Good guards cost good money.

Deep Sentinel uses motion-activated cameras, AI, and a scalable team to make security guards more affordable for property owners. Your investment is determined by the number and types of cameras protecting your property–a reasonable, predictable line item in your monthly budget.


Security guards can’t be everywhere at once. The larger your property, the easier it is for a threat to slip by unnoticed. To protect your business completely, your only option is to hire more guards, which increases your costs.

What can be everywhere at once? Cameras. A Deep Sentinel security expert will work with you to determine how many cameras you need and where to place them in order to cover your property completely.


How fast will onsite guards stop a crime? There are several factors in play, like how long it takes them to notice an intruder and whether they can stop the perpetrator themselves or need to call in backup. It might be a matter of seconds, or it could be much longer. Having “boots on the ground” is certainly advantageous… if those guards react and act quickly.

Deep Sentinel boasts the fastest response time out of any security system. From the moment an intruder steps onto your property, it takes the Deep Sentinel guards less than 10 seconds to intervene and less than 30 seconds to contact your local police. And, because the guards visually confirm the crime and provide real-time details, police prioritize the call over non-specific alarm calls.


If you employ your own guards, you (or someone on your team) must spend time recruiting, training, and managing them. That’s a big undertaking, especially for a function that isn’t central to your business operations. You could hire a third-party service, but once again, you pay a premium to be hands-off.

At Deep Sentinel, our goal is that security is never a burden on your time. Though you’re, of course, free to watch camera feeds and respond to people yourself, the guard team is happy to intervene on your behalf. And because the system’s AI filters out harmless activity, you will never have to deal with annoying junk notifications. That’s hands-off security done right.


Liability control is crucial for multi-tenant property owners. Onsite guards might satisfy your reasonable care requirements, but they can also introduce new sources of liability. What happens if your guard must physically subdue someone? Even if the action is justified, any use of force could injure the guard and the accused party, resulting in a worker’s compensation claim or even reparations to your potential burglar.

Live video surveillance offers protection that’s more than enough to satisfy tenants, insurance companies, and legal requirements. At the same time, you avoid the potential pitfalls of a guard resorting to force. Comprehensive security coverage protects you from claims and lawsuits. And, if there is an issue, you also get video evidence to substantiate an insurance claim or aid a police investigation.


Security guards aren’t infallible. They’re real people, subject to exhaustion, illness, boredom, distraction, and plain old human error. Even with the best intentions and training, guards can completely miss a crime.

Deep Sentinel’s AI identifies potential threats in seconds, without fail, every minute of every day. The technology never takes a day off, falls asleep at the desk, or makes a costly mistake. And you don’t have to worry about a constant stream of false alarms, either. The unique combination of smart technology and human intelligence makes Deep Sentinel the most accurate security option on the market.


It’s a minor factor, but how do you want your apartment or condominium complex to look? Would tenants and visitors be put off by a patrolling security guard? There’s a delicate balance between making tenants feel safe and making them feel like they live in a maximum-security penitentiary.

Especially in a luxury building, cameras offer gentle visual reassurance that the building is safe and protected. Deep Sentinel offers several camera designs that can blend into the background and complement your property’s aesthetic.

What Are You Actually Paying For?

When selecting multifamily security solutions, getting a valuable return for your investment is an important consideration. But what is your money actually getting? It might not be what you think.

With onsite guards, you’re paying for time. A guard’s work is measured in hours and shifts, not effectiveness. You essentially pay for a warm body to be around at all times, regardless of whether the guard is actually protecting you.

With Deep Sentinel, you’re paying for protection. The LiveSentinel guard team is optimized for efficiency, with work performance measured in interventions, not attendance. Deep Sentinel’s cost-effective solution ensures that you get exactly what you pay for: real protection during the moments when you need a guard’s help.

About the Deep Sentinel Surveillance Guards

At Deep Sentinel, we do surveillance differently. Our cameras are manned by real security professionals day in and day out. You get the same human touch that onsite guards provide, plus a whole lot more.

Deep Sentinel understands that only professional guards can provide professional protection. That’s why our LiveSentinel guard team comprises industry specialists with extensive experience and training. Our surveillance guards come from backgrounds in physical security, law enforcement, military, customer service, and more to provide unmatched protection.

Before they begin their duties, the guards undergo more than 40 hours of specialized training in areas like de-escalation techniques and dispatch communication. Then, they receive ongoing training and evaluation, so the entire team stays well-versed in current best practices.

Deep Sentinel: A Better Solution Than Onsite Guards

Secure your multi-family residential property with the smartest apartment security system on the market. Call 833.983.6006 for more information about Deep Sentinel and to get your free security consultation.

Need a Solution that Prevents Crime?
Deep Sentinel is the only security technology that delivers the experience of a personal guard on every customer’s home and business. Visit or call 833-983-6006

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