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Property Management and Security

March 15, 2022

New Approach to Residential Security

Residential security is important. Yet, most of the advice on enhancing security is not on intelligence and prevention. Instead, the focus is the sale of expensive security cameras and staffing services — often unaffordable for most residential landlords.

Tenants have a lot to be concerned about in 2022 and given the prices they’re paying for rent, they should feel safe in their surroundings.  Yet, although big security systems for buildings, facilities and HOA communities are the go to resource, they’re costly and create an environment that erodes tenant comfort and lifestyle satisfaction.

Is there any other route than outsourcing rental property security?

In Friendly, Care Free Living, Security Can be a Weakness

Nice communities inherently are built on trust, which today’s business activities may erode. As an example, with Airbnb and VRBO type rentals, neighborhoods and buildings of all kinds see rising traffic and threats from non residents, business usage and package delivery.  And since 2020, crime in urban neighborhoods has increased.

Most apartment buildings as well as single family homes weren’t designed for what’s happening today. For instance, with gasoline prices so high, criminals are drilling into tenant’s vehicle plastic gas tanks to extract gasoline. That presents a fire hazard, ruins pavement, raises insurance costs, and tenants must replace the gas tanks (can’t be repaired). And having tenants delivered packages stolen is a top annoyance in the last few years.

Security at what Cost?

Crime often happens under the cover of darkness, obscurity, or anonymity, or via unregulated access. Criminals leverage opportunity. When crime happens, trust disappears and then the living space has its beauty and appealing features removed so that clear lines of sight are made for security systems.

Renters today are demanding more livability, comfort, and life in their surroundings, and they’ll move to obtain that.  So their response to security threats is to end their leases and that leads ultimately to lower rent prices and lower operating budgets.

Accessing an Alternative, Less Costly Security System

Before you commit to investing in a complete, expensive security service, you may want to assess your actual requirements:

  • what are the threats to tenants and the targeted asset?
  • what damage or crimes/infractions are being committed currently?
  • where is the threat coming from and how are criminals accessing the property?
  • are tenants committing the damage?
  • how costly would a security service be to patrol your properties 24×7?
  • how costly would installed entryway and home security systems be?
  • can you use your property management system as a hub to report activities via tenant mobile texting?
  • will tenants react to ubiquitous security cameras in every area?

Conclusion: Hiring a security firm is likely unaffordable for most property management companies and landlords.

Neighborhood Watch is a well known association of residential community members who join together to be the eyes of their security system. Is it good enough on its own? Are warning signs an attractive feature in a neighborhood?

What if we combine security technology, restricted access signage, with tools that enable residents to stay watchful and ready to report issues?  Could your property management system play a key role?

Leverage Your Property Management System?

You may be able to set security as a separate channel in your property management platform (tenant portal can allow the renter to report anything suspicious which helps you record events and build a security related history. Tenants can report suspicious activities and theft, graffiti, submit videos and photos of damage, and offer feedback. Being able to text these issues encourages greater participation, privacy and confidence. Tenants always have their mobile phones with them.

This is vital to creating the ideal tenant experience, ensuring lease signing, and allowing you to achieve higher rent prices. Another benefit may be lower landlord insurance and tenant insurance costs.

The point of the system is to help tenants tell you where the problems are so you can take action to implement good security systems with more precision and ensure threat resolution (door entry access, cctv cameras, patrols). This system can help build a sense of community, lessen fear and apathy, and make tenants feel confident.

Good luck in planning your own affordable, electronic property security system.

Take a closer look at the full feature set of ManageCasa’s amazing cloud-based property management system.  Few resources offer comparable, overall value, and our system is easy to learn and use.  Your staff and tenants will appreciate the ease and convenience.

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