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Crime Prevention Tips for Multifamily Property Managers

crime preventionAnnual events such as National Crime Prevention Month and National Night Out have long served as valuable reminders that crime is ever-present, and apartment communities are certainly not immune. With the main drivers of crime in multifamily being drugs, firearms and gangs, property managers must be aware of the problem signs and put a sustainable crime prevention plan into action.

Here are 5 crime prevention tips for multifamily property managers that can help boost retention and promote resident safety.

Make community staff easily identifiable

Property staff including leasing agents and maintenance personnel should carry a picture ID badge at all times to ensure that they are easily identifiable by residents. Additionally, all maintenance personnel should wear the same uniform. In many cases, criminals who use tools and equipment to enter residences are mistaken for maintenance staff if attire isn’t standardized.

Improve security systems

Without an effective community security policy in place, resident retention and resulting damages can become costly. Security tools such as CCTV monitoring, restricted entry systems, and electronic key control systems can make a world of difference. If you already have security systems in place, make sure they are in working order and provide community-wide coverage. Additionally, give perpetrators nowhere to hide by ensuring public walkways and parking areas are well lit.

Screen potential residents and employees

If individuals with an extensive criminal record are denied access to your community from the get-go, the likelihood of criminal activity occurring in the future is significantly reduced. Screening residents and employees can also provide current and future residents with peace of mind knowing they live in a community that values safety.

Educate your residents

Your community can be a powerful ally against crime if enabled. Remind residents to keep doors and windows locked and to report any suspicious activity. Establishing a designated email address or telephone number for community crime tips can help in streamlining the process.

Partner with local law enforcement

A partnership with your local police department can be mutually beneficial. As a property manager, you know where the crime is and what problems exist in your community. Using a your insider knowledge, local law enforcement officers can quickly establish a presence and remove wanted individuals from the community. To maintain a crime-free community, multifamily crime prevention programs and local training seminars are also available.

What is Electronic Key Control?

electronic key control systemsBefore the advent and widespread use of electronic key control systems, key management was often a haphazard process. Many multifamily communities used an honor system to store and control building keys, while institutions such as correctional facilities or medical campuses used a more formal system requiring access activity to be hand-written in a log book. The procedures were often ineffective and laborious, leaving the organization exposed to unnecessary premises security liability.

Electronic key control systems resolved these challenges with the implementation of authorized user codes and automatic tracking of key access activity. The automated systems made it easy for users to access or return keys with designated key slots and online monitoring for tracking key usage.

Today, the most advanced key management solutions have even more of a convenience factor while maintaining simplicity of use. The HandyTrac Touch system, for example, features a user-friendly interface with large buttons, a touch screen display and integration features for Yardi and ResMan users. Compared to the old, dog-eared logbooks, today’s electronic key control solutions have made the task easier and more reliable.

Electronic key control systems that you can trust

All of our systems come with a stout 18-gauge steel cabinet, electronic key locking mechanism, and computerized datalog. Additionally, property managers can run activity reports, view work orders, and more from any internet-enabled device.

Our Classic system offers several features to customize your experience and help protect your investment at an affordable cost. Taking key control one step further, our Biometric system has all the features included with the Classic, plus a biometric fingerprint verification scanner. This provides added security as only authorized employees verified via their fingerprint may access the system. Lastly, the Touch system combines biometric technology and a large touchscreen display in a single unit to offer the highest level of security, reporting, and flexibility.

For more information about our electronic key control systems, contact us today.

HandyTrac is Coming to a City Near You

multifamily trade showsWith spring nearly upon us, we’re looking forward to another fantastic season of multifamily trade shows! Visit our booth at one of the shows below for a demo, and see firsthand how our systems uniquely manage keys and prevent premises liability. We hope to see you there!

Select an upcoming trade show below for more information:

Apartment Association of Greater Dallas – 3/20/2019

Texas Apartment Association – 4/10 – 4/12/2019

Washington Multifamily Housing Association – 4/17/2019

Apartment Association of Greater Orlando – 4/24/2019

Utah Apartment Association – 4/24/2019

Indiana Apartment Association Reverse Show – 5/9/2019

Bay Area Apartment Association – 5/9/2019

Arizona Multihousing Association – 5/9/2019

Atlanta Apartment Association – 5/15/2019

Houston Apartment Association – 5/16/2019

Austin Apartment Association – 5/23/2019

Apartment Association of Metro Denver – 5/23/2019


For over 20 years HandyTrac has been the low-cost leader in multifamily, student and military housing key security; managing keys for more than 3,000,000 apartment homes throughout the country. Our cloud based systems offer instant access to archived reports and provide the ability to manage community keys with a single login through a computer or smart phone.

To learn more about our key security systems, contact us today.

Customer Tip: Using HandyTrac’s Key Binder to Improve Property Security and Efficiency

When you pull a key from your key management system, it’s important to carry a similar security policy with you into the field. Here are three ways our key binder helps HandyTrac users improve property security and efficiency:

improve property securityKey Security, Outside the Box

When employees store keys in their pocket or vehicle, the likelihood of those keys landing in the wrong hands increases exponentially. Our simple yet sturdy key binder prevents key loss through the use of specially designed metal key clips. For added security and peace of mind, HandyTrac users can instead opt for our multi-key distribution pouch, offering a zip enclosure and space for up to 25 keys.

Added Convenience

Using our key management binder or multi-key distribution pouch, property staff can pull and securely carry numerous keys at the same time. So, instead of returning to the HandyTrac system for each individual key, property staff can conveniently accomplish a full list of work orders in the same trip. Additionally, our key binder and multi-key distribution pouch are light and versatile, making them perfect for staff always on the go.

Affordable

When compared to the cost of loss and/or replacing keys on a regular basis, a key binder quickly pays for itself. We offer three budget-friendly options so you can purchase only what you need. For more information about our key binder and multi-key distribution pouch, visit our online shop or contact us today.

3 Key Management Features That Improve Property Security

Effective key management requires set processes, organization and dedication. Utilizing these innovative key management features, property owners can conveniently improve security, reduce liability and gain valuable peace of mind:

key management1. Audit trail maintenance and reporting

Protecting and monitoring the use of keys is one of the most important parts of keeping residents safe — and also one of the aspects most likely to be targeted for negligence. Not only do the keys need to be safeguarded, their use needs to be tracked and documented. HandyTrac’s computerized key management system maintains a real-time log of all key activity and provides property owners with customized reports, accessible from any internet-enabled device.

2. Multi-step authentication

Recently implemented by IoT (Internet of Things) technologies, multi-step authentication protects highly sensitive information and equipment through the use of layered identification processes. With HandyTrac, users are required to swipe a badge and type in a code — or better yet, provide biometric identification before keys are made accessible.

3. Anonymization and automated rotation

Taking property security one step further, electronic key management systems from HandyTrac anonymize property keys, and utilize a state of the art bar-coded system. HandyTrac systems also prevent users from memorizing where specific keys are hung using “random rotation”. This automated process hangs keys in random locations in the box, making it impossible for users to identify specific keys.

With three secure key management systems to choose from, HandyTrac is an affordable and sensible solution for any community or facility.

For more information about our systems, contact us today.

New Features for Yardi and ResMan Users

YardiOver the past 20 years, we’ve discovered that property managers across the country are inheriting a variety of roles to satisfy their ever-growing list of property needs. With this in mind, we’ve teamed up with property management software companies, Yardi and ResMan to provide seamless work order delivery and simplified key management for property managers through consolidated processes.

Upon request, Yardi and ResMan users with a HandyTrac Touch system now have the ability to customize their experience through the use of a unique and secure work order system. Features like service order and staff data importation will allow managers to quickly review staff data and execute assigned work orders directly via the Touch datalog.

We believe that when provided with the right tools, property managers can do it all. By leveraging this partnership, managers will benefit from efficiency improvements, and ultimately, get the most out of their management products.

For more information, contact us today.


About Yardi:

Since its founding in 1984, Yardi has set the standard for real estate software solutions with a combination of responsiveness and technical innovation. Understanding the unique needs of the industry’s various segments, Yardi uses technical expertise and vision to translate that understanding into powerful solutions that meet and exceed those needs.

About ResMan:

ResMan provides property management software for multifamily property managers, owners, and operators. ResMan makes accounting, financials, resident engagement, and integration easy whether you’re onsite, in the field, or at the corporate office.

The Importance of Key Security in Multifamily Housing

key securityFound in nearly every municipality across the country, multifamily communities offer housing to millions of people from all walks of life. While every community is unique, each shares a need for effective key security.

The ability to track key activity is critical for maintaining a high level of security and reducing the chance of premises security liability. Designed as a replacement for manual tracking and storage of keys, electronic key control systems are virtually tamper-proof, monitor the access and return of keys through various online reporting features, and offer biometric integration options for improved security. With HandyTrac’s electronic key security systems, property managers can see who pulled a key, for what purpose, when it was pulled, for how long, and when it was returned from any interned-enabled device.

Key Security Options for Every Multifamily Housing Community

For over 20 years HandyTrac has been the low-cost leader in multifamily, student and military housing key security; managing keys for more than 3,000,000 apartment homes throughout the country. Our cloud based systems offer instant access to archived reports and provide the ability to manage community keys with a single login through a computer or smart phone.

To learn more about our key security systems, contact us today.

5 Essential Characteristics of a Secure Key Management System

key management systemA secure key management system is organized and formal, and addresses both access and control of a multifamily community’s keys. When deciding which key management system best suits your needs, keep these 5 essential characteristics in mind:

Secure

A truly secure key management system should do more than just restrict key access. With a secure key management system like HandyTrac, key transactions are instantly noted and reported in numerous insightful formats for review. For added protection, secure key management systems implement multi-step verification procedures, allowing key access only to authorized users with preset PIN codes, access cards, and biometrics, depending on the model.

Scalable

If your needs grow, your key management system should have the ability to accommodate more keys. At HandyTrac we offer both single and double cabinet options for all our key management systems.

Convenient

A secure key management system should be easy to use and accommodating. HandyTrac key management systems are capable of storing a variety of keys, and offer user-friendly features including: biometric fingerprint verification, touch screen display and lighted cabinets. Additionally, through the use of HandyTrac Online, property managers can review key activity reports from any internet-enabled device.

Reliable

No matter how secure the key management system is designed to be, it’s not actually secure if it breaks down, or if you don’t receive proper training and support in using it. HandyTrac provides customers with an ironclad warranty, as well as ongoing training and support.

Intuitive

Well designed key management systems make key control easy for all users. With three secure key management systems to choose from, HandyTrac systems offer a variety of features that streamline key management and provide maximum security.

To learn more about our systems, contact us today.

Press Release: HandyTrac Announces Participation in National Multifamily Housing Council’s OPTECH Conference and Trade Show

OPTECHHandyTrac Systems, a leading electronic key control company for multifamily, military and student housing, is pleased to announce its participation in the National Multifamily Housing Council’s OPTECH Trade Show. This three-day event will be held November 14th-16th at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida.

“Our annual attendance at the National Multifamily Housing Council’s Conference and Trade Show underscores our dedication to helping multifamily property owners and managers promote resident safety and prevent premises liability,” said John Lie-Nielsen, Founder and CEO of HandyTrac.

Throughout the show, HandyTrac’s knowledgeable team of professionals will be offering comprehensive key control system demos at booth #428. Additionally, HandyTrac will be showcasing their latest electronic key control system, the Touch. The Touch combines biometric technology and a large touch screen display to offer the highest level of security, reporting, and flexibility.

About NMHC OPTECH 2018:
NMHC OPTECH 2018 brings together the multifamily industry’s top solution providers and over 150 insightful speakers together in one place. To learn more about this can’t miss event, click here.

About HandyTrac:
For over 20 years HandyTrac has been the low-cost leader in multifamily and military housing key control; managing keys for more than 3 million apartment homes throughout the country. HandyTrac’s cloud based systems offer instant access to archived reporting and provide the ability to manage communities with a single login through a computer or smartphone. For more information, visit booth #428 at the NMHC OPTECH Trade Show, or contact us today.

Is Poor Community Security Scaring Off Your Residents?

community securityOffering modern amenities and updated units can be a great way to attract new residents; however, without an effective community security policy in place, resident retention can become a costly issue.

Here are 5 ways to boost resident retention through the improvement of community security:

Restrict Community Access

The easiest way for perpetrators to access your community is by simply walking in. To prevent this, install entry systems at your main entrances that require a compatible RFID keycard or security code to gain access. If your community has outdoor entrances to units, consider fencing the property and installing gated entry systems.

Protect Resident Information

Property managers are not only responsible for the safety of their residents and property, they are also responsible for their residents’ personal information. To prevent cybersecurity threats in your community, store all personal information (e.g. driver’s license and social security numbers, bank information) on secured, encrypted servers.

If physical copies are necessary, be sure to store all sensitive information safely under lock and key.

Implement Community-wide CCTV Monitoring

A vital security tool often overlooked by property managers is closed-circuit television monitoring, also known as CCTV. When implemented correctly, a CCTV monitoring system maintains a full video record of the goings-on in a community. Remember, the fewer “dead zones” – areas with no video coverage – the better.

Install Sufficient Lighting of Public Areas

Criminals are known to lurk in dark corners. Give them nowhere to hide by ensuring that your community’s public walkways and parking lots are well lit.

Improve Community Key Management

A community’s building and unit keys present the highest risk to resident safety if not properly monitored and controlled. If keys go missing and land in the wrong hands, your community could be held liable for the resulting damages.

With an electronic key control system from HandyTrac, property managers can improve key security through the implementation of multi-step verification, and view real-time reports to quickly identify unusual key activity. With three secure key control systems to choose from, HandyTrac is an affordable and sensible key management solution for any community or facility.

For more information about our systems, contact us today.