As a property manager at an apartment community, you wear a lot of hats. You have to keep the apartments and public spaces maintained, advertise for new tenants, collect rent, and screen new residents. One responsibility that is sometimes overlooked amidst the mayhem is keeping the community safe and secure. Yet, a safe, secure community will make all of your other jobs easier. You'll attract more tenants, they will stay longer, and you won't have to clean up after as much vandalism and mischief!
Here are five ways to make your apartment community safer and more secure.
Have locks replaced whenever someone moves out.
Each time an apartment is turned over to a new resident, have the locks changed. This way, anyone who the previous residents may have given a key to cannot gain access to the apartment. Let your new residents know that you made this change to the locks. It will make them feel safer and more secure in their space.
Having locks replaced so frequently can add up, but if you work with a commercial locksmith in the area, they might give you a bulk discount. You may be tempted to attempt changing the locks yourself to save money, but if you have a lot of other things to get done, it's probably worth it to just pay a locksmith and let them do it. Contact companies like The Locksmith House to learn more about having locks replaced.
Have a locksmith on call for lockouts.
Tenants are sure to lock themselves out from time to time. If you do not provide lockout services, they might resort to measures like picking the lock and breaking in through windows to gain access to the apartment. If you have a locksmith on call to come let them in, then you can at least avoid having your locks and windows accidentally damaged.
Make sure you give your locksmith a list of names corresponding to each apartment, and update them when a new resident moves in. Require them to ask for ID before letting someone into the apartment late at night. You do not want them to accidentally let someone into an apartment they do not reside in.
Put up video cameras in public spaces.
Residents should not just feel safe in their own apartments, but also in the shared facilities like the gym, pool, and community center. To ensure safety, consider installing video cameras in these spaces. Post signs letting residents know they are on camera when in shared spaces. They will feel more comfortable knowing that if a crime is committed against them, there will be video evidence. Knowing they are on camera will also keep more mischievous tenants from causing any trouble.
Ensure your lighting is up to par.
Good lighting also deters a lot of crime and mischief, especially at night. Residents will feel safer walking to their doors at night if the path there is well illuminated. Make sure your lights shine brightly on each front door and that they also light up any parking lots. If you are worried about the energy such lights will consume, upgrade to LED bulbs, which are a lot cheaper to operate.
Have a neighborhood crime watch.
Ask your residents to all be on the lookout for any suspicious activity, both in and around their own apartments and in the community in general. Have them report anything strange to you. Then, once a week, you can compile the complaints or comments that you feel are worthy, and send them out in an email. This will keep all residents alert to the latest security concerns and updates in the area. Some residents may even be able to calm others' concerns. For example, if one resident reports a strange red car parking on the street each night, another resident may be able to reply, "That's just my dog sitter!" and put worries at ease.