It should go without saying that preventing crime at apartments and multi-family housing complexes is perhaps the most important function of property management. However, the reasons why are deeper than just keeping people and property safe. Poor crime prevention negatively impacts profits, business and professional reputations, and puts people’s lives at risk.
Recent U.S. crime trends report that residential burglaries, aggravated assaults, and robberies have increased by 6%, 4%, and 19% respectively in the first half of 2022 compared to the first half of 2021. These statistics suggest criminals have become more brazen, evading or simply ignoring traditional methods of security such as hired guards and surveillance systems.
Property managers looking to reduce and actively prevent crime on their properties need to first understand the true costs of inadequate crime prevention.
Starting with Poor Prevention
Guard services, access control systems, and video surveillance are all commonly used within multi-family housing communities in order to prevent and reduce crime. And while each of these solutions has its own unique benefits, starting with one or all of these prevention strategies is simply not enough to thwart the smart criminals of today.
For example, security guards are limited in the coverage and effectiveness they offer. Guards cannot be in multiple places at once, nor is it feasible to place a guard at one of the many entrances common of multi-family complexes. Moreover, guarding services are expensive and represent a significant cost investment for properties. Access control systems can control parking and building access, though such systems are easily thwarted by tailgating. Even video surveillance cameras do not seem to be effective these days with criminals realizing they are purely reactive solutions.
A Chain Reaction
Starting with poor crime prevention makes it easier for criminals to carry out harmful acts such as assault, violence, theft, vandalism, etc. What many property managers fail to realize is that any one of these acts sets off a chain reaction that can seriously damage business operations – and it begins as soon as tenants’ sense of safety is compromised.
Once tenants feel unsafe in their community, either through a crime committed against them, their neighbors, or the community as a whole, they are swift to voice their concerns. It is not uncommon for tenants to post negative reviews of their complex shortly following a security incident. Negative reviews hurt a complex’s reputation score, which in turn adversely affects the tenant retention and occupancy rates that keep property management companies profitable. With a reported 93% of U.S. apartment seekers using online reviews in their rental property search and a further 64% willing to pay more for a highly ranked or reviewed property, complexes simply cannot afford a reactive security approach.
Other Hidden Costs
Lost profits due to low occupancy are not the only costs associated with a reactive security approach. The cost to repair broken windows, damaged gates/doors, vandalized walls, and other damages attributed to a lack of security are unbudgeted expenses many complexes do not account for when assessing risk. Many complexes also find it difficult to settle disputes over suspected fraudulent claims. Without strong evidence to back up any allegations of wrongdoing, complexes and their management companies are subject to costly liability judgements and rising insurance costs.
An Effective Solution for Multi-Family Complexes
A remote guarding solution is one of the only proactive security solutions available that actively addresses the crimes that plague multi-family communities. A remote guarding solution is a unique combination of technology and manpower resources wherein criminal activity is prevented even before an incident occurs. By using military-derived AI technology, people and vehicles are automatically detected when they enter a property. If a suspicious person or activity is observed, highly trained security professionals at a state-of-the-art command center directly address the detected individual(s) over a two-way security audio system, alerting them they are being watched and issuing remedial commands. This ground-breaking solution also includes close partnerships with local police so if any alerted activity indicates that an imminent crime or threat is occurring, the police are notified to respond immediately.
Remote guarding is a proactive security solution, one that allows property managers to protect their people, property, and profits without the costs associated with ineffective security deterrents such as on-premises security guards. Recoded video gathered can be used to avoid fraudulent claims, improve property operations, and reduce their overall risk and liability. Remote guarding is also a proven solution with this multi-family housing community reporting the prevention of 90% of crimes, the elimination of false alarms, and 40% of police responses resulting in the apprehension of a suspect.
Contact us today to learn more about how remote guarding can improve security and reduce costs for your multi-family housing complexes!