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Key Tracking: Security vs. Convenience

Tenant security is a main priority for landlords and property managers and key tracking is one way to help accomplish this. But convenience and efficiency are also prime considerations, so it becomes necessary to weigh safety against convenience when completing tasks as a landlord or property manager.

The potential exists for security objectives to come into conflict with matters of convenience. But there are strategies and technological solutions available that can be effective in reducing the prospect of a clash between security and convenience.

Key management provides a real-world example of how security, convenience, and efficiency can be satisfied all at once. This can be accomplished consistently and effectively by incorporating key tracking into a CMMS, like the solution created by NetFacilities.

Strategies Must Maintain an Appropriate Level of Convenience While Enhancing Security

Before diving deeper into balancing security with convenience and efficiency, a look at a broader spectrum of steps that can be taken to maintain convenience and enhance security is helpful. There are numerous specific strategies that a landlord or property management company can (and should) employ to improve security at a residential rental property. When properly executed, these security enhancement strategies not only increase safety but rarely impact convenience and efficiency in a noticeable way.

These strategic tactics include:

  • Systematic key tracking
  • Meet or exceed state and local housing safety and security standards (including any requirements addressing locks and peepholes)
  • Provide adequate exterior lighting
  • Keep bushes and hedges suitably trimmed
  • Get a security appraisal from local law enforcement (many police and sheriff’s departments do this at no cost)
  • Consider retaining the services of a security guard (for larger, multi-unit properties)
  • Maintain open communication with tenants

An Overview of Key Tracking Using a CMMS

As previously mentioned, the most effective way of key tracking is to take advantage of the solutions available via a CMMS. Through a CMMS, a landlord or property manager can immediately access information about the location of any key and why a key has been distributed to that individual.

For example, if a maintenance request is made, the location of all keys to a particular property can immediately and securely be ascertained. Arrangements can be made to distribute a key to the appropriate worker. The use of the key can be tracked, including its return when the request has been resolved.

Another example involves tenant move-ins and move-outs. A CMMS accurately tracks the specific keys that were tendered to a tenant at the time of move-in and again track the return of the keys at the time of move-out.

Time and again, property managers are plagued by issues with keys going missing at the time of a move-out. If the missing key involves a property in a multi-unit building, the keys to the specific residence are likely to be changed, but not the keys to the building itself. Having a CMMS with key tracking capabilities in place can make sure keys are accounted for at the time of move-out. In these ways, a CMMS effectively serves the objectives of both security and convenience.

Lack of Key Tracking Hampers Convenience and Security

The absence of a CMMS with key tracking will have an overall negative impact on convenience, efficiency, and security. With a CMMS, you have real-time tracking of all keys. You know who has them and why they have them. Without a CMMS, you have none of that. And as a result, keys can “fall through the cracks” and end up in places and with people that could potentially jeopardize the safety and security of a tenant.

Tenants Who Feel Safe are Happier Renters

In general, tenants who feel safe and secure in their homes or offices are happier and more satisfied than those renters who worry about crime and other security issues.

There is a practical side effect associated with tenants who feel safe and secure in their home or office. A satisfied tenant takes up less of a property manager’s limited time. Property managers must be prudent in how they expend resources, including their valuable time.

When tenants feel safe, content, and happy, landlords and property managers are able to tend to other important tasks. This creates a positive cycle wherein when a property manager has time to address items that may have been put on a back burner, tenants are likely to reap benefits. And this possibility has the potential to create even more satisfied tenants.

By using a CMMS with key tracking, a landlord or property manager never needs to sacrifice security for convenience, nor do they need to short tenants on convenience. In fact, with the right CMMS, both vital objectives of efficient property management can fully be realized.