We’ve seen them at some point; as soon as you enter a building you need to sign a register to say you’re a visitor at the property.
Typically, at a communal reception point on, say, a multi-let property, or soon as you enter a large area like an office, i. It’s a way to keep track on who’s actually on the premises at any one point in time.
These are a great example in property management of something actually very simple and that everyone is familiar with, but not everyone is clear on exactly why it’s needed, and what’s the best way to implement.
The Basics of a Visitor Sheet
So, getting down to the bottom -line, there needs to be some form of sign-in sheet at the entrance point for visitors to sign as soon as they enter the property. This might include regular employees and occupiers at the property, although usually the emphasis is on visitors.
Now in terms of what information you need adding on this sheet, these fall into three broad areas.
Firstly, the name of the person, of course, that is visiting. This might go a little further and state the company they represent and then a signature box afterwards.
Secondly, the reason why they are there, often by stating a person or company they are seeing but may also have a short description box to say what exactly for.
And thirdly, to state the timing of this, particularly the arrival and departure time. The whole sheet may be already labelled for a specific date and day, otherwise this will need adding as well.
The 5 Little Extras
Going a step further, here are five other factors to bear in mind to then make sure a visitor-sheet actually works for your property and people. This not only includes what is on the sheet, but then how you actually deal and process it.
1. Extra Information Needed
You may well need additional information in order to deal with special requirements both day-to-day and in an emergency.
Two examples are whether there are any disabled persons visiting that may therefore require special access arrangements, and whether they have arrived by car and using any on-site parking provision.
2. Other Bits of Paper
In addition to the signature-sheet, see what other pieces are required as well.
So sometimes you visitors can be issued with a visitor badge to maybe clip on your clothes, and you may take unique details of the person writing on here, and returning the badge back when they leave.
There may be other important pieces of information that you need to make visitors aware of, for example induction for contractors carrying out works, and if no one is actually on the reception desk to manage the process then a standard sign on there asking for people to complete themselves or maybe phone someone who can help them.
3. How the Summary’s Shown
Getting really practical, see how these sign-in sheets will show, as first impressions do count.
Having them neatly typed out and printed in branding-paper says a lot, and even being attached to a clipboard and pen ready-to-go.
Taking a step forward, you may want to even go digital and have a form of iPad or screen for people to sign into, maybe even just on a stand without reception staff being needed.
4. The Background Purpose
Have a think through as to why on earth you are actually doing this, and therefore if it’s doing the job okay.
The main reason is often for fire escape, and in an evacuation process then, say, Fire Marshals and fire service being able to literally take these sheets and account for everyone. If that’s the case, you could have extra building-information tucked away underneath for them to grab at the same time.
The other popular one is security and knowing who’s been in and out of the property.
In reality there are probably numerous reasons, therefore make sure the one sign-in sheet is dealing with them all.
5. Filing the Right Way
And finally, be clear on how all this is filed away, particularly with data-protection issues and this needing to be in a locked environment with only authorised people processing.
When they need to be used in the future to check anything, then be clear on who does this, and how this is completed and copied.
Plus, think of taking digital scanned copies and so not needing to pile-up paper files, which can soon mount up.
Sorting the Visitor Sign-in Sheet
This is actually very straight forward, and something that everyone will understand needs doing. The issue though is getting this right and making it bespoke for each actual property and person involved.
So, whether you’re needing to overhaul this as part of health and safety procedures, or you’re just wanting to sharpen things up, once you have the basics covered then go through the above 5 factors to fine-tune this just right.
And then don’t forget to review this whole procedure, so after a few weeks ask those involved and look at the results to just check that there’s nothing else blaringly obvious that needs sorting out.
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