Safe, Sane and Cost-Effective: Using Video for Secure Property Management
As of January 2018, all U.S. residential properties had a combined worth of $31.8 trillion. That’s a $2-trillion increase from the year before.
For comparison, $31.8 trillion is about 65 times of Walmart’s revenues of $485.30 billion. It’s about 15 times the revenues of the top 10 largest companies in the country.
But that’s only for residential properties. The U.S. is also home to commercial real estate properties worth about $6 trillion.
With all that money involved in real estate, it’s no wonder they’re a premium target of criminals. It’s also why secure property management is now the top priority of property owners.
And much thanks to video technology, property security measures have become more effective.
But how exactly does the use of video improve property security? How can it help cut costs in managing their properties?
All that, we’ll cover in this post, so keep your eyes glued to this page!
A Quick Look at Property Crime in the U.S.
Almost 7.7 million property crimes occurred in the United States in 2017. Of that, 71.7% classified as larceny-theft, 18.2% as burglary, and 10% as motor vehicle theft.
True, these figures show a huge 21.3% decrease from the crime rate back in 2008. But these crimes still led to a whopping $15.3 billion in losses.
What many people aren’t aware of is that most of these crimes happen in the day time — between 10 AM and 3 PM. Especially home burglaries, which in most cases, end up with theft and larceny.
That time frame, after all, is when the kids are at school, the adults are at work, leaving no one else at home. That gives criminals the most freedom, as opposed to nighttime when people may or may not be asleep.
It’s even worse for vacation homes and other properties that don’t have any occupants, such as homes for sale or rent. Whether it’s day or night, these places don’t have any people living in them. The lower likelihood of encountering someone inside makes them more attractive to criminals.
In residential buildings, such as condos, criminals can go in and out acting as “guests”. They only need to flash some sort of ID and say they’re visiting a tenant. Or, they can even say they’re a repair technician or a utility company employee.
The Roles of Video Surveillance in Secure Property Management
While most burglars are opportunists, many property criminals plan their illegal acts. They’ve done their research, so they know which units have no occupants. They pose as someone else, with every intention to commit unlawful entry, theft, or larceny.
Property surveillance through video can help deter burglars and thieves in several ways. Let’s look at some of them.
Criminals Say so Themselves
80% of property criminals said they look for security first before committing a crime. So, seeing CCTVs on site can make them re-think their decision, as they know they’re on camera. If they see a sign saying “this property is protected by video surveillance,” they’re likely to back off too.
Catch Criminals in the Act
Property surveillance through video also gives you a way to catch criminals in the act. With remotely monitored video surveillance, someone will always be “watching” the property. This makes it an ideal choice for properties without security guards on patrol.
Real-Time, Non-Stop Monitoring
Speaking of security guards, we know that it’s not uncommon for them to fall asleep during their shifts. You only have to google “sleeping security guards” and it’ll bring up about 19,600,000 results.
Video surveillance technology doesn’t sleep — it monitors everything 24 hours a day. It tracks movement and activities, watching out for potential threats. If it catches something off, it will notify you and the surveillance staff right away.
Know What the Criminals Look like
Video surveillance for real estate security records everything in high-resolution video format. That means you have higher chances of seeing what criminals actually look like. You may be able to see discerning features, like hair and eye color, a tattoo, or even a mole.
This can then boost the chances of law enforcement finding the criminals. If they already have a criminal history, you’ll know exactly who you’re dealing with.
Where Property Managers Should Use Video Surveillance
Unsure how and where remote surveillance can help with secure property management? Then let’s take a look at some of the ways it can help you deter property crime.
Experts say one-fifth to one-third of vehicles are illegally-parked at any given time. One or more of these can already be sitting in an unmonitored property.
While that may seem like a minor concern, these cars are already leaving dirt and grease on the driveway. They’re also adding to the wear and tear of the driveway’s structure. All that can jack up property management costs.
Video surveillance can help you prevent illegal parking, especially in non-gated properties.
Areas with Greatest Risks for Vandalism
Every year, cleaning up graffiti and vandalism of public properties costs the U.S. $12 billion. The thing is, people’s taxes pay for these clean-up expenses.
If criminals vandalize private property, clean-up costs come out of the owner’s pocket. As for property managers, this can be a liability issue between them and their clients. After all, owners hire them to protect and safeguard their real estate investments.
With 24-hour security monitoring, you can catch criminals before they vandalize. That can help you avoid facing the huge bills that come with vandalism clean-up and repaint jobs.
Having a detached garage built? Adding another bathroom or bedroom to the main house? Whichever type of property construction project you have, consider using video surveillance.
For one, because it lets you track how contractors are spending their billable time. Are they really looking at blueprints or do they chat with each other most of the time? Do they start the day’s construction duties on time or do they come in late?
Another reason to use surveillance in construction is to catch potential internal theft. Inside jobs aren’t uncommon — it’s costing the U.S. up to $50 billion a year. It’s possible some workers are swiping materials from your site.
Areas with Frequent Maintenance Requirements
Consider investing in remote surveillance for scheduled property maintenance. These include routine gardening and landscaping, HVAC, plumbing, and roofing work. Remote monitoring is also ideal for scheduled house cleaning services.
Like with remote surveillance in construction, this lets you watch over your contractors. You’ll know what exactly they’re doing with the hours you pay them for. This can also help protect you from liabilities if someone gets injured on your property.
Lobby and Hallways of Residential Buildings
Apartment buildings and condos should have whole building monitoring measures in place. At the very least, remote surveillance cameras should be in the lobby and the hallways. This way, there’s always someone watching the flow of traffic in and out of the building.
Remote Video Surveillance Benefits Property Owners Too
Besides the obvious, how else can property security technology, benefit homeowners? Here’s how.
Lower Property Insurance Rates
Aside from greater security, property security systems can help lower property insurance rates. In fact, they can save up to 20% on insurance premiums with a comprehensive security system! As such, adding video surveillance in their security arsenal can help them cut costs.
Avoid the Complex and Time-Consuming Insurance Claims Process
Speaking of insurance, did you know that one in every 325 insured home files a theft claim every year? That seems small, but remember, there are about 127.59 million households in the country. That means around 392,500 of these homes file a theft claim each year.
And insurers don’t pay all these claims. Even if they do, it can take weeks, even months, for a homeowner to receive the payout.
As if that’s not enough, filing an insurance claim can result in an average of 9% increase in premiums! Make another claim, and insurers can jack rates up by up to 20%.
Homeowners can avoid these by making their home more secure in the first place. With video surveillance, they can lower their risks of getting hit by property crime. The more secure their property is, the lower their odds of having to file a claim.
Increased Tenancy Rate
For rental properties, having security surveillance can also increase tenancy rate. Because no matter how great the view is or how comfortable the beds are, no one would rent it if it’s not safe and secure.
That higher tenancy rate means more profits for the property owner.
Secure Property Management: A Win-Win Situation for Everyone
A robust secure property management policy doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg. It does, however, need to use the latest in technology, which helps reduce human error. Video surveillance, with its 24-hour monitoring, is one way to reduce such risks.
Besides, it benefits everyone involved with the property — homeowners, tenants, and managers. They even help protect contractors and other people employed to work on the property.
Ready to boost your property’s safety and security with video surveillance technology? We can help! Get in touch with us now so we can start protecting your investments!