Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Safety is always a top resident concern, but security initiatives don’t have to drain the budget
Why did “This is a safe place to live,” score so high? That’s what I asked my property manager client when she shared the results of her latest resident survey. Her “safety and security” score was higher since her previous survey, and here’s how she did it…
First she contacted neighboring communities and HOAs to establish a zone of interest. Then she contacted the police and fire departments and asked for any resources and property inspections that could help foster safe communities.
Within the first six months of her safety initiative:
- She installed additional lighting in the parking area and common walk ways.
- She revised her lock and key change program.
- The fire department held a fire safety and CPR training event at her complex.
- The police department helped the communities set up a neighborhood watch system.
She also sends residents severe weather alerts and notifies residents to give them a heads-up to help them stay safe. She shared a few recent examples:
- “This month, we’ll be conducting routine seasonal maintenance in many of our units. Service personnel will not come to your unit without an appointment. Our office will always contact you to schedule any maintenance activities.”
- “A large raccoon has been invading our dumpsters. Please be careful when using the dumpsters at night. Make sure your children know to never, under any circumstances approach any wildlife.”
- “A resident in one of our neighboring communities experienced a car break in. So please make sure you always lock your car doors.”
Her attention to safety issues has increased awareness in her community. That alone heightens the perception of security. In addition, her residents are now more security conscience and most of the children in her complex know what to do in an emergency. In a very short period of time, her residents got a strong message that their safety and security were community priorities.
As an added bonus—and this is big—she accomplished this without draining her budget. Her budgeting strategy is, “Keep your eye on the prize and don’t skimp on the most important things that affect retention: maintenance services, safety and security, and good customer service.” I think she’s got it right.
Read On Call Now article here