There will always be safety concerns in apartment and multifamily buildings no matter the location. The simple truth is that a location with that much activity is extremely difficult to protect and unfortunately becomes an easy target for criminals. Lack of security, or worse, cases of burglary and crime in your property landing on the news are huge deterrents for future residents and can cost you thousands of dollars in broken leases and empty units. Taking safety precautions for your property or properties is not only the right thing to do for your residents, but is also helpful for your revenue stream. Here are 5 tips to keep your apartment secure.
- Conduct Thorough Background Checks
Safety begins with who you are purposely allowing to come and go on your property every single day. It is imperative to complete a thorough background check on every single resident in order to ensure the safety of yourself and all other residents by making sure you only lease to quality individuals. A reputable security firm will cross-references through multiple databases for better accuracy and vetting of potential residents. Conducting an external background check for every individual who applies gives the residents themselves peace-of-mind knowing that their credentials will be vetted by a trustworthy, professional source that respects their right to be treated seriously and to be considered without prejudice.
Vetting also protects you as a property manager in terms of liability. In terms of verifying if someone has a criminal background, these separate databases can help mitigate your potential liability in the long-run.
2. Installing Security cameras that WORK
Nothing is worse than having an incident on your property, and going back in to look at the footage only to find the cameras were not working or the DVR was full or even broken by the vandal. Invest in security cameras that provide a good picture, and ensure they are correctly placed throughout your property. In order to make sure the cameras are constantly working, always go with a video surveillance company that provides routine checks of offline cameras and of full storage. Remote guarding services can also be utilized to protect your property overnight while reducing on-site guard costs. Remote guards cost 60% less than an onsite security guard.
3. Install Proper Lighting
This goes hand-in-hand with making sure your cameras are on. Security cameras are basically rendered useless if they are not on, or if the picture looks like a black screen at night due to improper lighting of the environment meant to be surveilled. Parking garages, sides of buildings, outdoor stairwells, parking lots, entrances and exits of heavy traffic areas, and dumpster areas are all areas that need to be well lit in order for the security cameras to properly work. Ensure the light is illuminating the entire area as bright light in one area and low light in the other area in a camera view can cause problems with focusing and proper light detection in modern cameras.
4. Resolve Maintenance Requests Quickly
Keep a central system where residents can submit and track their work orders, maintenance requests, and complaints. Automation or maintenance vendor services are perfect for these situations. Not tending to maintenance issues will not only leave you with unhappy residents, but some requests are serious safety issues as well. All multifamily properties should have a centralized space for the residents to reach management at all times for service requests.
Residents can often highlight areas on your property where they feel unsafe or think need more security. Use this outsider’s insight to make your property feel safer overall.
Make Security a Top Priority
Property managers have a plethora of jobs and responsibilities when it comes to ensure the best quality of living for their residents. The number one priority should always be safety and protection of the residents, the property, and all assets.