Safety is one of your top priorities as a property manager. There are many ways to provide a safe community: solid doors, extra locks, lots of lighting around the property, security guards, a gated entry, etc. Our goal is to list a few safety tips that you might not have thought of yet.
These five safety tips will help give your tenants peace of mind.
1. Don’t let prospects enter units unattended
One of the most important rules in real estate is to know who is supposed to be in each unit. If strangers are walking around your properties, your residents might get uncomfortable.
Some property managers leave keys in a lockbox and give prospects the code. This isn’t a great way to show a property because you don’t know these prospects and can’t be there to answer their questions. If something were to happen to the property or a resident, you could be held responsible.
Bonus safety tip: Unless you’re using advanced self-guided tour technology, it’s safer and smarter for you or someone on your staff to be there.
2. Place cameras in publicly accessible places
Modern technology has made it easy and affordable to record video on your properties. If there’s a trespasser, break-in, mugging or someone notices suspicious activity, cameras can provide the evidence needed to keep your community safe.
Obviously, cameras should only be placed in public areas. They can’t be secret or hidden, because you’re not a spy. However, some property managers point surveillance cameras at laundry facilities, parking lots, public walkways, mailboxes, etc.
Consult a lawyer before putting up cameras and always follow local laws and regulations.
3. Don’t advertise your rent drop-off policy
If you use Yardi Breeze, collecting rent is a cinch. Residents simply set up automatic payments or log in to their tenant portals to pay each month. However, some tenants prefer to pay by cash or check.
If you have a rent drop-off location, do not advertise it. That would practically invite strangers to break in. Text or email tenants where they can leave their payment.
4. Have a uniform policy for your staff
Some property managers are lucky enough to have staff. Small business owners will sometimes have a dress code, but we recommend going one step further. Have a uniform policy. It could be as simple as a company polo with jeans or khakis.
Your tenants should be able to identify your employees. It’s scary to have a stranger come up to your door, asking to be let in to look at something on the property. Put your staff in uniform, so everyone can tell immediately that they belong on the premises. Follow this safety tip to instantly bring peace of mind to your tenants.
5. Post your own safety tips in a public space
Can tenants contact you or a dedicated after-hours staff member at all times? If they get locked out of their apartment or have an urgent maintenance issue, someone needs to take that call. Post your after-hours contact information around your properties.
It’s a good idea to keep a safety tips bulletin board in your laundry facilities or front office. These are areas with high foot traffic, and a bulletin there will increase the odds that your tenants get the information.
In addition to after-hours contact information, post safety information that will help tenants take care of themselves when you can’t be there to assist. Post a natural disaster preparedness plan if your properties and residents could be at risk.
And of course, use your property management software to send important information. Create a document of local emergency numbers. Include a number where you and/or an appropriate staff member can be reached as well. This is a great document to upload to your tenant portal if you have one.