The Real Estate Investing Authority®

Rental Property Safety Starts With Key And Lock Management

THE BEST WAY TO MANAGE DOOR LOCKS AT YOUR RENTAL PROPERTY 

Locks are a critical, yet often overlooked, component of ensuring your tenants are safe and feel safe. It’s important that you, as a landlord, have an efficient system so you don’t cut corners at some point and endanger anyone’s lives or property. With over a decade in the property management business and over 1000 units under management, Nexus highly recommends that our clients switch their key locks over to Kwikset’s Smartkeys. They might cost a little more up front, but this investment in your property will pay dividends over the long term and will allow tenants and landlords alike to sleep much better at night. 

HOW DOES IT WORK? 

With Kwikset’s Smartkey you simply put a new key into the lock, along with a programming key, and the lock will reset itself to fit the key you’ve chosen [ FULL INSTRUCTIONS HERE ]. It can be pretty much any key you’ve got, which can make things easier as well. In this way, you can change your locks easily and in a timely manner each and every time you need to. These will cost a couple bucks more than a standard lock, but it’s well worth it when you need to change those locks, and you really should be changing your locks often. 
 

LEARN MORE: HOW TO CUT A KEY WITH A NEXUS MAINTENANCE TECHNICIAN 

 

DOES IT REALLY MATTER? 

As much as safety and key durability is important, the biggest margin of improvement with Smartkeys is the ease with which you can change the lock when the need arises. When a tenant vacates a unit, they’ll typically give you a 30 day notice and upon physically leaving they should be returning ALL of their keys…but it doesn’t always work out that way. If keys are not returned, it is then your responsibility to change those locks, which can be a pain and time consuming. Even if the keys you issued were all returned, you still don’t know if any duplicates were ever made and if those might still be out there [ due to rising rent prices, more and more people are sharing units these days ].  

If you’re changing locks every time a tenant moves out and you multiply that by the 25 years or so that you might own this property, you’re talking about dozens and dozens of lock changes, depending on the size or your rental property. All too often we see landlords decide to keep the locks they’ve had for many years, and then when a tenant leaves, he or she assumes there are no other keys out there and they cut corners by renting to the next tenant without making a change. You could either take the easy step of investing in a Smartkey, or you can cross your fingers and hope that your tenants will be safe
 

LEARN MORE: WHY TENANTS PREFER PROFESSIONALLY MANAGED RENTAL UNITS 
 

ANOTHER OPTION: TOUCHPADS 

We’re also seeing more and more touchpads that provide a keyless option altogether. These offer the same convenience of being easy to reprogram often. That being said, they’re more commonly used on exterior doors and if that is the case, they’re more susceptible to their one weakness: the dead battery. 

Batteries get low and die pretty quickly, which can be a major inconvenience and is even more likely if you own a property with 4 or more units. These typically still offer the option to use a key, so it’s not like tenants would be locked out, it just makes it more difficult for this to be a more passive (maintenance free) option for you as the landlord. 

 

LEARN MORE: THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING UP WITH RENTAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 
 

CONCLUSION: YOU’RE AN INVESTOR, SO INVEST 

If you got into real estate investment to cut corners and save a couple bucks up front on cheap keys and locks, you’re not going to last very long in this business. You need to provide value for your tenants and continually work to add value to your property. Installing Smartkeys that are easily reprogrammed satisfies both of those central tenets.  

If you’ve got any follow up questions or want to talk real estate investment or property management, reach out to our teams at any of our four franchise locations.  

Nexus Property Management®…your locks and keys, managed! 
 

WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE CHECKING OUT: 

  1. NEXUS ONE STEP CLOSER TO RENOVATING CHURCH APARTMENTS 

  1. FIRE SAFETY ITEMS THAT MUST BE TAKEN CARE OF 

  1. UNDERSTANDING RENTAL PROPERTY INTEREST RATES 

 

Mick Lefort is the Vice President of Operations for Nexus Property Management®. A National Property Management Franchise that manages all types of rental property from single family homes or condos to large apartment buildings and complexes.

 

 

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