While property management may not make anyone’s ‘Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs’ list, the fact is that there are some dangers invoiced with the profession. Many managers think nothing of scheduling appointments with people that they have no information about, leaving a sole employee in the office to handle calls, or arranging late appointments to suit applicants. Rarely does this become an issue, but problems can arise that can prove to be costly, or even deadly, to property managers.
There are a few precautions that property managers can take to lessen that risk, while helping to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of their employees.
Always know who you’re showing an apartment or a home to. While many multi-unit managers have already instituted precautionary measures, those managing single family homes frequently place themselves in potentially dangerous situations. Get as much information as possible prior to any showings.
If possible, have interested applicants come to your office prior to showing a property. A more formal setting has a tendency to spook those looking for something other than a place to live. Holding a drivers license, or simply having the applicant fill out an application can often deter criminals.
Go on your intuition. Many people who deal with the public on a regular basis have developed a fairly solid intuition about people. If something feels a little off, take a little time to do some additional checking.
Consider teaming up with a co-worker. While this may not always be an option for property management companies with lean staff, it can do much to discourage violent acts.
Don’t leave an employee alone for an extended period of time. Although it’s almost impossible to have a fully staffed office throughout the day, an employee left alone at a property is a red flag.
Don’t ever accept cash or keep cash on the premises, and make that fact well-known. Encouraging on-line rental payment can also cut down on the number of checks in the office at any time.
Don’t ever agree to show a property after hours or in the evening. While there may be exceptions to this rule, such as showing a property to a current tenant, or someone you’re well-acquainted with, it’s best to wait until morning.
Again, property management is basically a safe occupation, but like anything else, it never hurts to take the proper precautions to thwart problems while ensuring your safety, and that of your employees as well.