Residential Security Guard Characteristics for Success

residential security guard

One of the most exciting elements of the security guard industry is the number of career opportunities that exist. From safeguarding retail mega-centers to towering office complexes, your skills may be universal, but the environment you execute these skills in is a diverse landscape. If you’re searching for a security guard job noted for its calm and personable atmosphere, then securing employment as a residential security guard may be your ideal career option. While the exact job duties vary based on the type of residential neighborhood or complex you patrol, the characteristics of successful residential security guards are the same regardless of area or property type.

Top Characteristics for Residential Security Guards

Whether you’re considering a residential security guard position or are looking to increase your efficiency and effectiveness in your current job, the following information details top characteristics of the most successful residential guards.

#1 – Refined Communication Ability

It’s important to remember that as a residential security guard, your clients aren’t shoppers, industrial workers or office staff. They’re people enjoying a peaceful and much-needed relaxation at home. Few security guard careers position yourself in such an intimate and important role.

One of the most common misconceptions about security guard personalities is that they are dry and quiet people. While certain careers require more observation than communication, securing a residential community is a masterful combination of both seeing and speaking.

The foundation of maintaining security is distilling peace among residents and visitors. Community security officers are charged with the task of chatting with residents with the ultimate goal of establishing a sense of order and tranquility.

You should be able to build strong relationships with every resident. These relationships can prove invaluable during a security issue or incident. Focus on crafting solid trust among all residents by actively communicating and listening to everyone who crosses your path.

#2 – Above Average Memory

The ultimate goal of a residential security guard isn’t to solely maintain a safe and welcoming environment. Sure, this is the primary purpose of your work, but the ultimate outcome of your interactions is to establish trust among residents. This carefully crafted relationship is important should an incident occur. Residents are easier to secure if they trust you.

So, what does memory have to do with trust? Everything.

You should actively work on remembering not only resident names and designated addresses, but be able to remember faces and routines. The power of observation is the greatest tool for any security guard, and memory prowess optimizes this tool.

#3 – Master of Verbal Self-Defense

When it comes to the importance of speaking and verbal cues, a study performed by Rutgers University is often cited. Essentially, this study concluded that 97 percent of law enforcement interactions were primarily verbal. While researchers focused on police officers, according to the majority of security professionals, the same percentage is true for residential security personnel.

Physical intervention is a last resort, especially for residential security guards. In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be a need for deescalation tactics, but alas, even the most refined residential community is far from perfect.

When the inevitable happens, security guards should heavily rely on what’s known as verbal self-defense. Instead of using physical tactics, this characteristic attempts to deescalate a situation via language and body posturing.

The goal is to inhibit a physical altercation without relying on physical interventions. For example:

  • Calmly speaking with residents instead of shouting commands, even when the other parties present a high-energy posture.
  • Asking for a consensual conversation instead of demanding attention with harsh words.
  • Demonstrating an exaggerated form of physical empathy to help connect with those experiencing or reacting in crisis mode. This involves altering your face to show compassion and holding your body in a concerned, friendly and non-threatening manner.
  • Calling upon your memory of previous interactions or conversations to deescalate situations by demonstrating your trustworthiness and personal connections.

#4 – Optimized Body Language

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that body language is a powerful tool for security guards. While it’s easy to become engulfed in verbal communication techniques, humans perceive intentions and sincerity more from how your body moves than the words you say.

As a residential security guard, mastering body language is paramount for building credibility among residents and controlling potentially dangerous situations. Nonverbal communication can establish your authority without coming across as unapproachable or threatening.

The most successful residential guards demonstrate their authority and confidence via pristine posture, solid and thoughtful movements and strong eye contact. If you’re interested in bolstering your nonverbal communication skills, consider taking an online course in body language.

#5 – Physically Fit and Healthy

Residential security guards use their body throughout every shift. While some positions, such as entrance guards, stay in a confined area, the majority of positions require constant patrolling of community grounds.

Guards spend a significant portion of their day walking throughout complexes or driving to specific checkpoints. In apartment complexes or large condominium buildings, guards are often required to walk up and down staircases and maneuver through hallways throughout every shift.

Being physically fit is paramount as an unfit guard may not be physically able to respond to an incident if they’re winded from tackling a flight of stairs or exhausted from previous patrol routes.

#6 – Acute Observation of Small Details

Not every incident begins with a large event. This is especially the case for many residential area crimes. Because thieves and vandals need to navigate homes and neighborhoods filled with people, they’re often silent in movements. Therefore, it’s up to the security guard’s power of observation to notice these almost invisible disturbances.

Skilled residential guards know the small signs of trouble. More importantly, they understand how these minute details can either be coincidence or the result of a malicious attempt. If you’re searching for ways to boost your observations skills, consider enrolling in investigative certifications or coursework. The concepts taught by investigation-centric disciplines are often effective ways to refine the unique observation needs of residential security

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