Best security camera system for a 12 unit 3 Story Apartment

9 Replies

We're considering putting up 4-5 cameras interior and exterior for our rectangular shaped apartment. It's 3 stories, with 12 units in Kansas City MO. 

Right now we are in the middle of stabilizing this complex and there are a lot of trespassers and un-wanted guests coming in and out. We are in the process of installing a steel door with a lock code for entrance but need a complete security system.

Right now, we don't have internet but we want it to be cloud based, we do not want to have it saved in a DVR. Since we are out of town, our PM and ourselves would prefer to review the footage remotely. We prefer not to have to pay for internet, is there a hot spot or ability to put in a SIM card? Also, this is a C- class property so I am also afraid they will knock down the cameras, does anyone have experience in this or suggestions? I am hoping that over time, we can see who is letting in the unwanted guests identifying the code and also reviewing the camera. 

Any thoughts or suggestions on cameras or companies in KCMO that can install this?

Hello Suzanne, 

Real-time video surveillance cameras can give you better peace of mind about the safety of your property. They can not only deter break-ins in progress but also do so without potentially putting a guard’s life in danger. I think they have ADT Business plans that you might be interested in, I recommend setting the cameras high and in all corners so this will be unreachable to bad people,

Hope this helps,


@Claudio Salvatorelli thanks, yes I looked into cloud based cameras but they were really expensive and the properties just don't warrant that cost. I did get the sturdier shatter-proof cameras that need a key to access and remove the camera so hopefully that helps. No choice but to set up the internet but will be better in the long run. Yes placement is huge, and also doing the metal piping fittings for ethernet lines externally. 

@Claudio Salvatorelli yes we needed it hardwired to ethernet so we don't lose any connection, plus it's 3 stories and we wanted each camera to be on all the time, so we are running it throughout the building. Something that sold me as well is that's shatterproof dome and the additional security measures for accessing the camera. It's really tricky with power as well, so the camera itself was not the expensive part it was the labor and installation. I did decide to just install 3 so far and add the additional 4 once I know that the tenants won't smash it or destroy it. 

@Suzanne Chan

I went through similar to what you are right now with a 5 plex from hell. Adding the security doors with codes will definitely help alot with people coming in who shouldn't be. Here are some other things I did if this helps you.

 I got high speed internet throughout the whole building (cost was $65/month) and then I offered it as a perk to all the tenants. Over time this helped me attract better tenants to the building cause other buildings don't offer this.  Then I bought Wyze cameras and put them up everywhere & linked it on the new building 12 cameras...everywhere I could stick one I put it inside and outside. They cost about $25 each on Amazon so if someone steals them who cares. They do need to be plugged in to an outlet.  So for most of them I put in those special light bulbs that you can plug a cord into and ordered long cords & hung them up high...not the most attractive way but it is a lower income rental building so doesn't need to be pretty. You can also just have your PM handyman install them. You don't need to pay a specialist.

Then I shared the camera codes with my property mngt and also with 2 of my best tenants there so they could help keep an eye on the building and if any riff raff came on the property they could yell out at them through the cameras to go away without being put in a dangerous situation. The tenants actually kept a better eye on the cameras then I was able to & were invested in it.

The other thing I did was to offer discounts on the rent whenever a unit came vacant to anyone who is/was a cop or in the military. I got 2 ex marines in the building now and they took care of the leftover hoodlums the first couple weeks they moved in. Plus now there's American flags everywhere in the windows which also sends a signal to people thinking to break in.

Good luck with everything and hope it all works out ;)

@Suzanne Chan I have experience with cloud based and DVR based camera systems. We use Ring cameras at our AirBNB and have NightOwl DVR system at home. The cloud based camera only records when motion is detected. It works ok but it also misses a fair amount. We see cars leave, but never saw them arrive. The Ring uses a battery which requires charging and the cloud service costs $99 a year with security system. That works for our AirBNB because we wanted monitoring on the security system. At home we use a DVR based system, but it is connected to the cloud. I can get motion based notification. It has 8 channels of recording, although I only use four. The nice thing is that the DVR continuously records, so you can view footage even if the motion wasn't triggered. The other advantage is the cameras are powered from the base unit, so no batteries. There is no monthly or yearly fee for cloud connect, because the cloud connection is just a portal into the DVR. 

For an apartment building that size, you want multiple cameras, so I would go with a DVR based system that can be remotely accessed. Less up front cost, less recurring cost and full time video capture.

Either type of system requires an internet connection. 

I would call a security company and have them walk you thru what is best for the property.  It may require getting internet but its just the cost of doing business and securing your property.