With the rise of news reports infiltrating today’s many media platforms, hearing negative news is hard to escape these days. Equipped with a heightened awareness to their surroundings, residents are prioritizing safety more than ever, especially when it comes to their place of residence. As a property manager, it’s your responsibility to do everything you can to reduce risk and instill a feeling of security within your tenants while they’re under your roof, and under your care. We’ve prepared five pointers to help you better protect your property:
1. Communication is Key
Utilizing today’s technology, such as texts and social media, can create a direct line of communication between your tenants and concierge staff to increase safety awareness. Register for local police text or email alerts for your front desk personnel, so that they can be instantly informed of any crime occurrences in your town. Then share any relevant news with your residents via mass text or your social media accounts, so that they can feel prepared and aware of the happenings around them. Additionally, enabling 24/7 access to your concierge via phone, text, email, or a live chat feature will make your tenants feel as if they have an on-site resource at their fingertips in times of need.
2. Maintain Your Terrain
Make it a priority to maintain your property, inside and out. When your property is routinely taken care of, it sends the message to outsiders that someone is watching and supervising the property daily. By keeping an eye on small issues, such as removing weeds in-between the sidewalk cracks, it will be implied that you also keep an eye out for bigger issues, such as preventing unwelcomed visitors. Additionally, ensure that your maintenance staff checks your building’s utilities and safety measures every day, such as making sure all doors and windows are locked at all times, porchlights or other common area lightbulbs are on at night and replaced as needed, and broken windows or screens are fixed immediately.
3. Safety in Numbers
One of the most effective ways you can protect your property is by creating a sense of community amongst your residents and tenants. The more often they see each other, the more they will recognize who is – and who is not – a familiar face within your building. Turning strangers into acquaintances (and ideally, friends) will allow and encourage a “neighborhood watch” to form, and your residents will quickly multiply the sets of eyes out to prevent and identify trouble on your property. Plan monthly or quarterly gatherings for your tenants, such as a happy hour or potluck, to encourage mingling and provide opportunities for friendships and a community to form.
4. Step Up to the Gate
A gate can be a great deterrent and an extra layer of security at your property, if executed properly. For instance, you may opt for a gate with a code system, so that residents may enter and exit at their leisure. However, keep in mind that a code can easily be shared with others, and may find its way to someone who may exploit or misuse it. Instead, consider investing in 24/7 gate patrol, who will check residents and guests in and out, as well as act as a shield for unwanted or unexpected visitors. To expedite the process for residents, consider a photo ID badge system that can also be quickly scanned by your guards, allowing for equal efficiency and safety.
5. Safeguard with your Staff
Synergy between your staff is vital when it comes to keeping your property secure. There should be constant communication between them regarding everything from new visitors to abnormal activity to maintenance issues. For instance, your gate patrol and concierge personnel should both keep a sign-in and sign-out sheet, and compare the two constantly to ensure that when visitors leave the building, they also vacate the property within reasonable time afterwards. Any significant lag time may indicate suspicious activity. If you have security cameras, ensure that you have security staff monitoring them in real-time to catch issues as or before they occur, instead of helplessly watching them hours or days later. Additionally, make sure that your maintenance or janitorial staff alerts your concierge of any issues that may be a safety hazard, such as wet floors or icy sidewalks, so that they can share this information with residents to prevent unnecessary accidents.
Do you have any personal tips to share when it comes to protecting your property? Please comment below; we encourage and value your opinion!
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This article was written by Jillian O’Connor (Marketing Communications Manager) for Planned Companies, the industry leaders in janitorial, maintenance, concierge/front desk, and security services in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Catering to both residential and commercial properties, we proudly provide services throughout New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. For more information about our services, please visit our website at www.plannedcompanies.com or call us at 888-706-8600.