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Last updated: August 25, 2023 • Home Improvement

Security Tips for Managers of Residential Properties

A residential property manager has a critical role in the operation, maintenance, safety, and security of residential properties. These managers are entrusted with the well-being of residents, the upkeep of the property, and the showing of the residences to potential tenants. Residents pay substantial sums of money to live in these complexes, so they expect the property to look nice, the services to run smoothly, and that they are listened to when there are problems that need resolving. 

But the commitment isn’t limited to appearances and services, security is at the top of any list of priorities. Nobody wishes to live where they do not feel safe.

What Do Residential Property Managers Do?

business woman doing real estate online

These professionals run the property and are responsible for both daily operational tasks and long-term necessities. A manager will:

  • Fulfill security needs inside and outside the residential property.
  • Collect rental payments.
  • Pay the staff.
  • Manage property maintenance and pay for maintenance services.
  • Manage maintenance requests and complaints.
  • Manage parking spaces.
  • Ensure customer service.

Managers must maintain the property and offer excellent service so that renters will renew their leases when they expire. The manager must protect the property owner’s financial investment by providing excellent services.

Common Residential Property Security Challenges 

close on white no loitering

There are a variety of issues that a property manager may have to contend with. Potential security issues might include:

  • Burglary and thefts

A priority for residents anywhere is not having to worry that their property will be stolen. They also do not wish to have their personal space violated.

  • Loiterers 

No one wants undesirable or unauthorized persons hanging around a property. This can create uneasiness for residents, especially the elderly, or residents with children.

  • Physical assaults

Residents and their guests as well as staff need to be protected from bad perpetrators. Monitoring internal property and outdoor perimeters becomes essential; background checks for staff, potential residents, and service professionals will contribute to keeping everyone safe.

  • Vandalism 

Acts by vandals are always problematic because they can ruin the property’s appearance and make upkeep a challenge. From broken windows to graffiti painted on the building walls, the appearance of the residential property will suffer. Another risk is vandalism to residents’ property such as cars parked in communal garages or parking lots. Again, security monitoring can prove to be essential when contrasting these acts.

A residential property manager must be able to spot things that create security challenges and have solutions ready to meet those challenges. Ensuring a property is secure and safe from threats is a part of excellent customer service.

Tips for Keeping a Residential Property Secure

cctv security camera system

There are a variety of things that property managers can do to enhance property security. Here are some of the top tips for maintaining property security and safety for residents.

  1. Communicate regularly with residents

A property manager must communicate with residents to inform them of what is happening within the residential property. This might include alerting residents to the presence of maintenance, construction, or landscaping professionals on the property. This will prevent residents from panicking or feeling uneasy if they see unknown individuals in the area. Any type of work or activity on the premises should be conveyed to residents.

Remind residents to lock doors and windows as well as report any type of suspicious activity. Create a procedure for reporting any safety concerns. Create a specific email or a phone hotline.

  1. Install video security cameras

It is much easier to monitor properties through video monitoring, especially in blind spots that would be difficult to observe. If a residential property is large, security cameras will permit managers or security personnel to keep the property under observation. Video cameras can also record incidents that provide a record of what happened and who was involved. In the event of criminal activity, these records can be essential for arresting and convicting perpetrators. Compare bullet cameras vs. dome cameras and decide which option is best for your property.

  1. Install a live CCTV monitoring system on the premises

CCTV is another method for property surveillance to ensure security. It can be particularly effective when used in garages or parking lots both to protect residents, guests, and staff from aggressions as well as for protecting vehicles and property from acts of vandalism. With dedicated security personnel monitoring, intervention can interrupt aggressions and acts of vandalism in real time.

  1. Install access control systems

Access control systems are one of the strongest deterrents for keeping unauthorized people out of a property. This will help residents feel more secure when entering or leaving their homes. This type of system can eliminate the risk of trespassers, undesirable salespeople, solicitors, etc.  Residents will also be able to authorize entrances for guests while refusing undesirable visits. Consider placing a guard or gate attendant on duty as an ulterior deterrent. Video intercom systems can also be programmed to record faces and even license plates.

  1. Install an alarm system

Alarms afford a sense of security in the event of dangerous incidents. Alarms connected to smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, and flooding detection devices will increase overall security operations. Residential properties should also have a fire safety system and evacuation procedure and tenants should be informed what to do. 

An alarm can also be connected to your video monitoring so that security personnel and authorities are alerted to anomalies rapidly and can intervene.

  1. Install deadbolt locks on doors and sensors on windows

Deadbolt locks are much stronger than standard locks making it much more difficult for burglars and thieves to enter. Sensors and locks can be installed on windows for the same reasons. Locks and sensors should be inspected at regular intervals and have periodic maintenance. Defective locks should be replaced.

  1. Install motion sensors on the building exterior

Sensors can be installed in building exteriors to alert security personnel of the presence of intruders on the property. When the sensors are activated, lighting or alarm signals can be set to trigger alerting authorities. Both lights and alarms act as deterrents and may dissuade bad perpetrators from causing them to flee. 

  1. Install and maintain proper lighting

Lighting can compromise your video security monitoring as well as create low-light areas. Install proper lighting and check it frequently.

  1. Install safety railings

Balconies and decks should always have safety railings. Check local laws for residential codes and make sure that railings are compliant with code regulations.

  1. Screen potential tenants thoroughly

One way to ensure property security is to thoroughly check out who wants to live there. Proper tenant screening with criminal and background controls is one way to prevent criminals from taking up residence. Consider including interviews in the screening process.

  1. Install security signage

Placing signs inside as well as outside the residential property can act as another deterrent. Signage will announce that there is a security presence on the property. Effective signage might include:

  • Neighborhood watch area
  • Active security systems such as “this area is video monitored.”
  • Security personnel on patrol
  • Beware of guard dogs
  • Emergency exit
  • Emergency evacuation route
  • Emergency numbers (police, fire, poison control, ambulance, etc.)

Signage will reassure residents that there is an active security presence and warn violators to avoid this property.

  1. Use professional security personnel

Regardless of location or type of residence complex, all homes are at risk for burglaries. While video systems can record incidents and alarms will sound and alert authorities, nothing can react more quickly than a trained professional. When using a security team, it’s important to identify key vulnerable areas for patrolling. Include entrances and exits, parking lots, and garages.

Security professionals are trained to protect locations and the people within. Their presence at residential properties functions as a visual deterrent to bad perpetrators. They recognize suspicious behavior and can intervene appropriately, and they are specifically trained to handle emergencies. Knowing that trained security personnel are on site helps tenants feel safer and know that there is someone they can call in the event of an emergency.

If a full-time trained security team is too expensive for your budget, consider using temporary guards, or security company services.

Personal Safety for Property Managers

safety first sign

Be aware of what’s going on around you. As a property manager, you may be faced with all kinds of security challenges. Domestic arguments, unsecured canines, or aggressors may all be in a day’s work. Establish an escape route within your property should you find yourself in a dangerous situation.

If you must show a property or answer a tenant’s call for help, let someone know where you are going. Also, establish a safe word or code if you need to call for help. Also, wear appropriate footwear. If you need to run or move quickly, you need shoes that will aid you and not hinder movement. Footwear should also protect you from hazards like nails, glass, and anything that might penetrate normal shoes.

Finally, consider using personal safety apps on your smartphone or tablet. These can be programmed to contact a designated person if you fear you are in a dangerous or compromising situation.

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