Alert Solutions Blog

Increase Tenant Safety This Winter Season - 3 Tips for Property Managers

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, Dec 14, 2017 @ 13:12 PM

The winter season provides many opportunities for cold-weather hazards and safety threats to property managers and tenants. The good news is that many winter-related issues can be prevented through ample preparation and efficient tenant communication.

Consider the following tenant safety tips for your property this winter season:

1. Establish a Snow Removal Plansnowremovalproperty.png
Snow and ice are perhaps the biggest
tenant safety winter hazard, especially if you live in the 
Northeast. However, even small amounts of snow in uncommon areas like the South and West Coast have proven to shut cities down due to lack of preparation. No matter your geographic location, being prepared for snowy conditions at your property will keep tenants safe and increase tenant satisfaction. Have a plan in place and inform residents ahead of time how snow and ice removal will be taken care of throughout the property.

2. Educate Tenants on Winter Property Guidelines
Sometimes the winter sneaks up on us, seemingly appearing out of nowhere and leaving many property managers scrambling to prepare. At the the first sign of chill, be proactive and provide your tenants with some winter tenant safety reminders. Threats like carbon monoxide, power outages, bursting pipes, and issues due to open flames from a fireplace or candle are all common tenant safety issues during the winter. Consider communicating with tenants about your guidelines surrounding these hazards, and provide advice on what they can do to prepare.

3. Have a Tenant Notification System in Place
Having a tenant communication plan in place during the winter months will alleviate a lot of stress for both property managers and tenants alike. Especially during the winter, the ability to reach all tenants quickly in case of an emergency or to provide updates during a storm is essential to tenant safety, tenant retention and tenant satisfaction. The best way to ensure tenant safety is to clearly communicate all rules, guidelines, and updates to your tenants through their preferred communication methods.

Alert Solutions can help you automate tenant communication easily and effectively through email, voice, and SMS text messaging. To learn more, download our best practice guide today.

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Topics: property management, tenant communication, tenant safety, tenant satisfaction

3 Tenant Safety Tips for Property Managers this Halloween

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, Oct 26, 2017 @ 10:10 AM

Halloween often brings fun and excitement into most homes, apartments, and neighborhoods – But it can also bring concerns of increased tenant safety risk to many property managers.

You don’t have to ban the festive celebration from your rental properties all together, but some advanced preparation will help you increase tenant safety and reduce the risk of property damage to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable Halloween.

Here are 3 areas property managers can focus on this Halloween season to ensure tenant safety:

1. Increase Tenant Safety by Preparing for Large Gatherings
Between trick or treating, costume parties, and spooky attractions – the foot traffic in most neighborhoods skyrockets on Halloween night, bringing additional tenant safety halloweenblogimage.jpgrisks. A little extra preparation will not only minimize risk at your property, but will also help increase tenant satisfaction. Ensure all areas of the property are well lit and pathways are cleared for trick-or-treaters. The risk of fires also increases on Halloween night, meaning you should check that all property units have functioning smoke detectors and fire alarms.

2. Increase Tenant Safety and Minimize Damage by Inspecting the Property
Inspecting your property areas before and after Halloween is an effective way to demonstrate your commitment to tenant safety. It also sends a message to tenants that they’ll be held accountable for any damage they cause to the property and surrounding areas. While instances of vandalism or theft may not necessarily be the fault of your renters, a property inspection will encourage them to be a little extra vigilant on Halloween night and hopefully improve tenant safety and minimize damage to their belongings and your property.

3. Increase Tenant Safety by Having Good Tenant Communication
Effective tenant communication is a must around Halloween. The best way to ensure tenant safety is to clearly communicate all rules, guidelines, and restrictions to your tenants prior to the holiday. Send a friendly reminder that outlines policies on parties and gatherings - including any curfews, parking restrictions, or noise ordinances. Clearly state any regulations regarding candles and use of open flames. And ensure that no confusion exists regarding use of shared or common areas within your property.

Preserve the festive nature of Halloween while promoting tenant safety and property regulations. Alert Solutions can help you automate tenant communication easily and effectively through email, voice, and SMS text messaging. To learn more, download our best practice guide today.

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Topics: property management, tenant communication, tenant safety, tenant satisfaction

4 Tenant Safety Tips for Property Managers this Summer Season

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 @ 15:07 PM

The summer season often results in more activity within rental communities. With an increase in community gatherings, BBQ’s, pool time and recreational facility use – it’s imperative that property managers are prepared to communicate and enforce appropriate tenant safety measures throughout the summer.

Here are 4 tenant safety measures property managers should be sure to consider each summer:

1. Grilling Safetysummersafety.jpg
Cookouts and barbeques are a summer pastime, but one that must be handled with care. Property managers should always have grilling regulations in place for each of their properties – both large and small. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there is an average of 8,800 fires per year caused directly from grilling, and nearly 17,000 people visit the ER due to grilling accidents. Make sure you provide tenants with clear guidelines of what’s allowed at your property.

2. Outdoor and Recreational Area Safety
If you manage a property with any community areas such as outdoor patios, swimming pools, tennis courts, or playgrounds – they will certainly be utilized more in the summer months. To increase tenant safety, you may consider hiring additional staff in the summer for larger properties such as lifeguards and activity coordinators. For smaller properties, you’ll want to be sure you clearly communicate what regulations will be enforced and how.

3. Large Gatherings
Your tenants should already be aware of your regulations surrounding guests and visitors, but summer months are likely to bring even more gatherings (and more challenges) to your property than usual. Early summer is a great time to remind tenants of your policies surrounding things like parties and events, noise levels, alcohol consumption, fireworks, and curfews.

4. Maintenance is Key
Since Summer sees your property getting a lot more wear and tear than winter months, don’t wait until summer is in full swing to start important maintenance measures. Things like air conditioning units, patios, playgrounds, and pool filters should all be assessed for function and safety prior to the start of the season. Also consider that things like crosswalks, stop signs, or safety signage on your property should all be well maintained and clearly visible to ensure tenant safety.

Aside from the above precautions, the best way to ensure tenant safety is to clearly communicate all rules, guidelines, and restrictions to your tenants through their preferred communication methods. Alert Solutions can help you automate tenant communication easily and effectively through email, voice, and SMS text messaging. To learn more, download our best practice guide today.

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Topics: property management, tenant communication, tenant safety

5 Tenant Safety Tips for Property Managers this Winter Season

Posted by Nina Caliri on Thu, Jan 12, 2017 @ 12:01 PM

Winter weather can be very unpredictable for property managers, especially those located in colder climates.  Now that the season is upon us, keeping tenants safe should be a top priority.

We’ve listed five action items your property management team can take to improve tenant safety this winter.snowremovalproperty.png

1. Prepare snow removal and other equipment so that it’s ready to go before the next storm hits.  If snow removal services are contracted to someone else, make sure there is a clean-up agreement so tenants don’t get stranded.

2. Maintain the buildings and the surrounding property.  There may be loose branches and clogged gutters that could endanger tenants and visitors or lead to costly repairs down the road.

3. Identify residential tenants who may have difficulty getting around during the winter months, such as the elderly.  This information will be vital in the event of an emergency situation or evacuation.

4. Provide instructions to tenants about what they can do to keep themselves safe.  Examples could be closing storm windows, securing outdoor furniture or setting thermostats to proper temperatures so pipes don’t burst.

 5. Update tenant contact information and review your tenant communication plan.  This should include strategies for keeping in touch before, during and after inclement weather.  Remember that effective tenant communication leads to better tenant satisfaction.

Concerned about your tenant communication strategies?  Alert Solutions has the answers! Click here to download our Property Management brochure to see how we can help.

Alert Solutions' Resident Reach Download the Brochure!

Topics: property management, tenant communication, tenant safety, emergency preparedness

It’s Hurricane Season – Are You and Your Tenants Prepared?

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 @ 10:09 AM

Hurricane season, from June 1st to November 30th, is defined as the period of time when 97% of Atlantic tropical activity occurs.

Even though we’re well into that time frame, it’s not too late for property managers and their tenants to prepare in case a strong storm is forecasted.

Some measures property managers can consider are:

Double-Check Buildings and Groundshurricane.png
With the potential for strong, gusty winds, tropical storms and hurricanes pose a risk to property managers.  Reduce the chance of damage from flying objects and secure trash cans, outdoor furniture and weak tree branches, to name a few examples.

Share Evacuation Plan
If an evacuation is ordered, tenants and staff need to know exactly how to get to higher ground.  Share these details with your community in advance so that everyone knows what to do in the event of a storm. This will help improve tenant safety.

Establish a Tenant Communication Plan
Tenant communication will be essential leading up to and during inclement weather.  How will you deliver updates and notifications during an emergency?  How will tenants be reached?  These are things to think about for your tenant communication plan.

Additionally, here are more tips from Property Management Insider that property managers can share directly with their tenants:

  • Prepare an Emergency Kit
  • Know the Evacuation Plan
  • Secure Valuables

For even more hurricane preparedness tips for property managers, check out this previous blog post.

Ready To Go Digital? Click here to learn more.

Topics: property management, tenant communication, tenant safety, emergency preparedness

Summer Tenant Safety Tips for Residential Property Managers

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jul 07, 2016 @ 10:07 AM

Summer is officially here!  You know what that means – there are some important safety considerations for residential property managers.

Whether it’s having a BBQ, lighting off fireworks, or relaxing by the pool, residential property managers need to instill safety and security to their tenants and staff.  Here are some tips:communitypool.png

For Residential Property Managers with Community Pools:
Of course, pools should be secured, chemically treated and tested according to local regulations and codes.  Children should never be left unsupervised around a pool and lifeguards should be staffed to keep a close eye on everything.

For Residential Property Managers that Allow Grilling:
Your tenants may have their own outdoor grills or share a communal one.  Regardless, educating tenants on safe grilling tips could cut down on mishaps.  For starters, grills should be cleaned regularly so there’s less chance of a grease fire.

For Residential Property Managers Whose Local Laws Permit Fireworks:
Even if they’re allowed in your city, county, or state, many residential property management companies forbid firework use on apartment complex grounds.  If so, make sure your tenants and staff are aware of these rules.  For the safety of everyone, property managers should report unsafe firework use to local authorities.

If none of the above apply to your specific residential property, there are still general tenant safety tips all residents should be aware of: keeping doors and windows locked, staying vigilant for suspicious activity, and so on.

Most importantly!  Make sure all of your summer tenant safety tips are effectively communicated using tenant-preferred contact methods.

Alert Solutions makes it easy for residential property managers to have an effective tenant communication strategy using the most widely used channels: email, voice and SMS text. 

Ready To Go Digital? Click here to learn more.

Topics: property management, tenant communication, tenant safety, tenant notifications

Property Managers: Are You Prepared for the Next Snow Storm?

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 @ 11:02 AM

Here at our offices in Rhode Island, Alert Solutions dodged snow for the first several weeks of winter.  But now that February is upon us, we’ve seen one snow storm after the next!

This makes us think about all of the property managers in snowy climates. Are you prepared for the next snow storm?

We’ve put together some helpful tips for property managers to keep nearby for the next snowfall, if your area is affected by it.

1. Check your buildings and grounds ahead of time.  Even if you’ve already had accumulating snow, it’s not too late to take a look around your property in advance of the next possible storm.  Experts recommend:SnowRemoval.png

  • Unclog gutters
  • Tie-down potentially airborne items
  • Trim loose tree branches
  • Give heating systems a tune-up

2. Have a snow removal plan.  The more prepared property managers are, the better off you’ll be to remove snow after it falls.  This means stocking up on snow and ice melt products and maintaining snow removal equipment such as snow blowers and plows. If you have a property maintenance team, make sure they’re aware of the plan.

3. Keep tenants informed.  Are you confident in your ability to effectively communicate with tenants in the event of a winter weather emergency?  If not, it may be time to look at your tenant communication methods.  Think of the following:

  • Are there parking restrictions during snow removal and cleanup?
  • Do you know how to communicate with tenants in the event of a power outage?

Alert Solutions makes it easy for property managers to communicate with their tenants in the event of a winter weather emergency. 

Download our Property Management brochure today to learn more.

Topics: property management, tenant communication, tenant safety, tenant notifications, emergency preparedness

Keeping Rental Properties Safe During the Holidays – Helpful Tips

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Dec 04, 2014 @ 13:12 PM

The holiday season is upon us! And in this time of year property managers need to be especially vigilant, according to an article by propertymanager.com. Why, you ask? The reason is because of unique risks that increase around the holidays – theft, fires, and for many of us, chilly temperatures.

Check out the tips below to keep your rental properties safe this holiday season…and all year round!

Basic Tenant Safety Measurestenantsafety1

Your tenants might not need a reminder, but it’s always good to offer one! Some basic safety measures include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Don’t leave lit candles unattended.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets.
  • Keep heat sources clear of flammable objects.
  • Keep Christmas trees watered regularly.

Identify tenants travelling out of town for extended periods:

Are any of your tenants leaving town for the holidays? If so, keep an eye out for unfamiliar people or vehicles on the property. Parcel deliveries shouldn’t be left outdoors, and indoor light timers can reduce the risk of break-ins. Lastly, in colder climates, remind your tenants to regulate their thermostats appropriately so the pipes don’t freeze!

No matter how many units at your rental property, keep the lines of communication open between you and your tenants. Everyone at your property can work together to ensure a safe and secure holiday season for all.

Looking for more tips and tricks? Download our Tenant Communication Best Practice Guide today!

Topics: holiday, property management, tenant communication, tenant safety

Promote Tenant Safety during Hurricane Season - 6 Guidelines to Follow

Posted by Erika Scialdone on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 @ 14:09 PM

Promote Tenant Safety during Hurricane Season - 6 Guidelines to Follow

September is National Preparedness Month, and with good reason as Hurricane season is upon us. Property managers need to be prepared for such intense circumstances.

Are tenants aware of evacuation procedures or communication methods the property managers will be using? If not, here are a few guidelines you should follow to prepare your tenants and property before a storm arrives.

1. Create an Emergency Preparedness Kit
Make sure to have the necessary supplies such as first aid kits, several gallons of water for each tenant, flashlights, blankets, batteries etc.rainoutside

2. Be Aware of the Surroundings
Understand the nature and the elevation of your property. Can it withstand flooding and high winds? Note hurricane routes and evacuation plans throughout your community.

3. Establish a Tenant Communication Plan
It is important to maintain continuous tenant communication during an emergency of any kind. Multi-channel messaging is one of the best ways to provide your tenants with notifications during emergency circumstances using the communication channels they prefer. Using tenant-preferred communication methods allows you to send messages simultaneously to all your residents via email, voice, SMS texts and desktop alerts.

4. Secure the Property to Minimize Damage
Since hurricanes can cause massive amounts of destruction to your property, minimizing damage by purchasing plywood to conceal widows is important. Securing all apartments, offices and common areas is vital to saving money and frustrations after a storm has passed.

5. Prepare the Exterior of the Property 
Secure all outside furniture, garbage cans and decorations. Ensure all trees and shrubs are not falling or are about to fall prior to any storms.

6. Get your Tenants  Ready
Distributing newsletters and flyers is one way to communicate with your tenants about evacuation plans, but using automated messages to update the tenants with the latest coverage about the storm or hurricane approaching is essential for your tenant’s safety. Whether there are evacuation plans that need to be changed or property damage during the storm – this can all be communicated fast and efficiently with a multi-channel messaging system.

Tenant safety is essential for property managers to maintain. They are obligated to keep their tenants informed and aware of what is happening within their living spaces.

To learn more about implementing a tenant notification system, download our Residential Property Management Brochure today.

Topics: multi-channel messaging, property management, tenant communication, tenant safety, tenant notifications

Rental Maintenance: What Property Managers and Landlords Should Know

Posted by Cassie Breen on Thu, Jan 09, 2014 @ 14:01 PM

Property managers and landlords understand the importance of maintenance when it comes to their rentals.  But what does that mean?  Some property managers and landlords think of rental maintenance as fixing something when it goes wrong and looking over the apartment before a new tenant moves in or after a previous tenant moves out.  The truth is, however, that rental maintenance is much more.

Although taking care of rental maintenance issues are important, waiting until these moments to do any and all maintenance on the rental property could be a larger issue.  Incorporating all types of rental maintenance can help reduce the number of “spur-of-the-moment” maintenance problems for property managers and landlords.

Here are some important aspects of rental maintenance according to PropertyManager.com that property managers and landlords should be aware of:

1.       Routine Maintenance – This area contains maintenance jobs that are to be scheduled (typically daily, weekly, or monthly). These include items such as regular landscaping and cleaning.

2.       Preventive Maintenance – Preventive maintenance can be easily neglected, so it’s important for property managers to keep track and schedule preventative maintenance jobs. Changing an air filter or inspecting a water heater are examples of preventative maintenance.  Preventative maintenance can help fix smaller problems that could potentially turn into larger issues if ignored.

RentalMaintenance resized 600

3.       Corrective Maintenance – Most property managers and landlords spend the majority of their time responding to calls to fix a problem. While a necessary part of property management, many corrective maintenance issues can be avoided through the implementation of a preventative maintenance schedule.

4.       Cosmetic Maintenance – Cosmetic maintenance is most often performed during the make-ready and post-tenant move out process. This includes cleaning or replacing carpets, fresh paint, etc..

5.       Deferred Maintenance – Deferred maintenance is often found in properties with little to no funds available for needed repairs. While deferring some rental maintenance can provide property managers with greater funds for the time being, larger issues could arise if the maintenance is put off for too long.

All rental maintenance, no matter its type, should be documented and tracked.  By implementing an automated notification system, property managers and tenants can easily communicate about maintenance issues, scheduled maintenance routines, etc. 

Learn more about implementing an automated notification system for your rental community.

 

Alert Solutions' Resident Reach Download the Brochure!

Topics: property management, tenant communication, tenant safety

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