Whenever someone mentions key control, the first things that come to most property management professionals’ minds are improving the security of your units, protecting your residents and your assets, increasing accountability among staff and vendors, and reducing potential liability.
That’s understandable, since having a proper key control system in place does achieve all of those things and more.
But there’s a financial aspect to investing in key control for your community that many people overlook. The truth is, having an effective key control system in place provides a competitive edge over your competition. Incorporating that into your customer messaging and marketing could translate into a boost for your bottom-line.
Sound far-fetched? Consider the impact that reputation (both digital and word-of-mouth) plays in the success or failure of an apartment complex, condo, townhome, etc.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that being tagged as “unsafe” can carry the stench of death for a multifamily property. Once the label catches on, it’s only a matter of time before your current residents start moving out, and you could be stuck trying to draw in new residents by doing things — like slashing rent— that cut into your revenue, starting you on a downward spiral that’s hard to recover from.
On the flip side, investing in a proven key control solution achieves two things: It demonstrates your commitment to the safety, security, and privacy of your residents, and those positive results give you a track record of success you can point to in your marketing.
Putting Key Control to Work for Your Reputation
So how exactly do you put key control to work for you in a way that can bring in new residents?
The secret is leveraging your property’s security measures to create a consistent, relevant marketing message.
Send out a survey to your residents asking them if they feel safe, what they think about your community’s security measures, and so on. Then incorporate those responses into your marketing. Nothing is more powerful in drawing in new residents than real insights from real people living in your community.
Of course, for this approach to work, you must have a key control solution in place that does actually make your community consistently safer and more secure.
The old-school system of keys dangling from a hook in a public area, with management relying on the “honor system” that staff and vendors are using the logbook appropriately, simply isn’t good enough. Smart locks are a step in the right direction, but they can open up a separate can of worms since some require a phone app to gain access to the building, which could present a violation of residents’ privacy. Also, it’s worth noting that older residents generally prefer physical keys to digitized security measures.
Instead, the best bang for your buck is to invest in an electronic key control system that protects physical keys while creating heightened levels of accountability via tracking, auditing, and other automated features.
In addition to gaining a competitive edge over your competitors by touting your reputation as a highly safe and secure property, it’s also worth noting that a more effective system of key control could save your future self from expensive liabilities as well. That makes electronic key control the rare investment that can help generate new revenue while also cutting costs.
Don’t let your community get labeled as unsafe. Take charge of the narrative around your community and invest in a key control solution that puts you ahead of the competition.