Lone Worker Safety in Multifamily Property Management
Working in the multifamily property industry can be incredibly rewarding, but it also comes with hazards, especially while working alone.
Whether it’s showing a vacant apartment, interacting with trespassers, speaking with frustrated tenants, or walking to your car in a poorly lit parking garage, everyday situations have the potential to turn dangerous for anyone who works in a multifamily leasing or management office.
As a property manager or leasing office manager, here are a few steps you can take to improve safety for yourself and your employees, even when working alone:
Make safety awareness part of the job
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While some safety hazards are unavoidable, situational awareness and clear procedures for addressing safety concerns can improve outcomes.
Be sure to establish clear safety and security procedures (e.g. making sure doors and gates are locked, reporting suspicious activity, scheduling regular check-ins) with your staff, and include them in your employee handbook. Go over these procedures both as part of the initial training process and in the form of recurring lone worker safety training for all employees.
Communication among employees can act as a safety measure, especially when someone will be alone while showing a vacant apartment or meeting potential tenants for the first time. Some offices even establish a shared schedule to keep track of everyone’s whereabouts.
Whenever someone will be working alone, they should let a coworker or supervisor know where they’re going, who they’re meeting, and when they expect to be back. Establish procedures for what to do if someone isn’t back in time (for example, try to contact the person if they are 15 minutes late, or inform a supervisor if they are 30 minutes late).
Supervisors or managers should also be alerted if a current tenant, prospective tenant, or visitor is behaving suspiciously or in a way that makes staff feel uncomfortable or threatened.
Provide lone worker safety devices
Safety awareness and communication are great tools, but unfortunately, they can’t always prevent emergency situations from arising.
Whether it’s a medical emergency or a criminal act in progress, it’s vital to get connected with local emergency services as quickly as possible — and sometimes, it can be the difference between life and death.
Offering your employees an easy-to-use lone worker safety solution like a personal panic button is one way to provide them with extra protection for those unavoidable scenarios. The Apartment Guardian personal panic button, for example:
- Clips right to your keys for a convenient, discreet safety measure
- Is activated simply by pressing and holding a button for 3 seconds
- Connects to 911 up to 8x faster than a smartphone
- Lasts up to 2 weeks on a single charge
- Has a sensitive microphone, enabling emergency services to hear anything within 10 feet of the device when activated
- Cannot be hung up by an attacker once activated
While people tend to think of smartphones as their number one lifeline, they’re not always ideal to use in an emergency. Rather than forcing your employees to rely on their phones, providing personal panic buttons demonstrates your commitment to their safety.
When it comes to multifamily real estate and property management safety, taking a multipronged approach is your best bet.
By training for safety and security awareness, encouraging communication, and providing lone worker safety devices such as panic buttons, you can prepare your staff for emergencies and help them feel safer on the job — even while working alone.