In a perfect world, a college or university campus should be a safe space. It’s a place for hungry and curious minds to learn and live peacefully. The reality, however, is when you have large groups of people moving about in a large number of buildings, each with hundreds of rooms, you’re left with thousands of potential vulnerability points — access points for criminals to steal or otherwise do harm. So, how do you properly manage student housing keys in a way that minimizes risk and helps keep students, and their belongings safe?
Restrict Access to Campus Keys
When you think of every door as an access point, you realize that your campus keys are either your best tool for security or your greatest point of risk. How you manage those keys determines which is which. Keys, whether mechanical or electronic, should always be secured and issued to staff only as needed. Installing a key control system can help this process. This way, only authorized staff can access lock boxes by use of their IDs (or even fingerprints), and keys can be checked out as needed and returned when the staff is finished. For electronic key systems, you can take this a step further by programming the system to allow staff access only to their authorized areas on campus.
Keep Tabs on your Keys
Every key that gets misplaced becomes a security liability, and with thousands of keys roaming around campus, they are remarkably easy to misplace. Key control systems not only can restrict access to authorized staff — they also create a documented audit trail so can track which keys are checked out to whom, and for how long. The system can also alert you of unusual patterns or behaviors. You’ll know immediately if a key goes missing, and you’ll know who had the key last.
Implement Robust Security Measures
On large campuses, even with strong vetting and background checks in place, sometimes bad guys slip through the cracks. Although you’ve restricted keys to authorized campus staff, how do you protect against violations from within the ranks? Answer: you create additional security features in your key tracking system, implement multi-step security protocols for people accessing keys, keep keys barcoded and placed in randomized positions within the box, and pull reports frequently so you can quickly detect suspicious activity.
If you’re serious about properly managing your campus keys, HandyTrac can provide a secure key control system perfect for your organization’s needs. To learn more, contact us today!
We are pleased to announce our participation at Apartmentalize 2019, the largest multifamily conference and exhibition in the country. This three-day event is hosted by the National Apartment Association and will be held June 26-28 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
Our knowledgeable team of professionals will be attending the show, including President, Larry Kratz; VP and Partner, Steve Alvarez; and National Sales Executives, Bill Pierce and Eric Overhage.
Throughout the show, we will be offering comprehensive key control system demos, as well as games and prizes at booth #439. Additionally, we will be showcasing our electronic key control system, the Premium Touch. The Premium Touch combines biometric technology and a large touch screen display to offer the highest level of security, reporting, and flexibility.
About Apartmentalize 2019:
Apartmentalize is a paramount multi-housing industry event, featuring inspiring speakers, targeted education sessions, and a diverse product showcase. For more information, visit the Apartmentalize 2019 website.
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. Our cloud based systems offer instant access to archived reporting and provide the ability to manage your communities with a single login through your computer or smartphone. For more information, contact us today!
For organizations both large and small, the ongoing expense of lost keys can be glaring. In addition to incurring unnecessary replacement costs, missing keys leave properties exposed to various security threats that can result in costly premises liability settlements. As the low-cost leader in key management, HandyTrac offers a number of budget-friendly key management systems and features that keep costs to a minimum while drastically improving property security.
Our electronic key management systems help to eliminate the problem of lost or misplaced keys through automated management. Keys are stored in tamper-proof cabinets that can only be accessed by authorized users with pre-programmed PIN codes, access cards or biometrics. All access activity is automatically logged including time, date and identity of the individual accessing the cabinet. Additional information such as when a key is scheduled to be returned or the location of a stored key (i.e. which key cabinet in the system) is also available.
The use of physical keys is exceptionally cost effective; therefore, the ability to store and track said keys provides an immediate and affordable improvement to a property’s security policy, while reigning in management costs – an important factor when preparing or reviewing budget costs.
Does your property use RFID key cards? No need to worry, HandyTrac can accommodate keys of all types.
Our key management systems can also be integrated into an overall security system for additional savings and protection. With HandyTrac, administrators can access, program and monitor the system from any internet-enabled device. This convenience allows managers to access reports, change users, establish permission levels, and more from virtually any location. Additionally, upon request, Yardi users with a HandyTrac Premium Touch system 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 allow managers to quickly review staff data and execute assigned work orders directly via the Premium Touch datalog.
With a budget-friendly key management system like HandyTrac in place, operational expenses can be better controlled and budget planning can be made easier. Contact us today to learn more.
HandyTrac Systems is pleased to announce the promotion of Larry Kratz to President. Larry joined the company twenty years ago as a Sales Executive and in that time, has advanced to Sales Manager and Executive Vice President. He has also qualified for the HandyTrac Million Dollar Sales Club.
“Larry’s drive to succeed, leadership and commitment have played a vital role in our growth and success over the past twenty years. We are absolutely thrilled to see him fill this integral position,” said John Lie-Nielsen, CEO at HandyTrac Systems.
Prior to joining HandyTrac, Larry worked in technology sales for both Nextel Communications and AT&T. Larry also worked for Dean Witter Reynolds in New York City for 5 years and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Syracuse University.
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. Our cloud based systems offer instant access to archived reporting and provide the ability to manage your communities with a single login through your computer or smartphone.
For more information, visit www.handytrac.com or call 800-665-9994.
Annual 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.
Before 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 Premium Touch system, for example, features a user-friendly interface with large buttons, a touch screen display and integration features for Yardi 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 Standard Touch system offers several features to customize your experience and help protect your investment at an affordable cost. The Premium 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.
With 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.
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:
Key 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.
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.
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.
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:
1. 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.
Over 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 to provide seamless work order delivery and simplified key management for property managers through consolidated processes.
Upon request, Yardi users with a HandyTrac Premium 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 Premium 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.
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.