5 Reasons Property Managers Need a Key Management System

If you're a property manager tasked with handling your clients’ properties, looking after their keys in an organized manner is likely a top priority. A modern key management system doesn't just simplify administration, it also increases the overall efficiency of your business.

Here, we're going to talk about why any multi-family property management company needs to invest in a sound key system. Read on to learn the basics of modern key management and why it's important for you to make the switch ASAP.

Keep Track of Key Inventory

Traditionally, property managers used boxes, lockers, or safes to physically manage keys. Staff and tenants could put keys into these compartments. However, this is not secure since unauthorized individuals can easily pick locks and steal from lock boxes.

Cloud-connected key management systems are a modern alternative. They let you track the keys to your clients’ properties from an online dashboard. Each key is tagged with a unique fob that is scanned when the key is picked up and dropped off.

From any device, you can get a clear view of every key's status. You can see who last took a key out and what the chain of custody for each key is. You also can organize keys into groups and manage multiple locations to ensure that you can keep tabs on all your clients’ keys.

Greater Control

Tracking your keys affords you and your clients peace of mind. It also ensures that you do not lose keys and that they do not fall into the wrong hands. It's a great first step toward managing keys efficiently because of the knowledge that it gives you.

However, this knowledge would be useless without the control that a property key management system affords. You can control who has permission to keys from your desktop or mobile dashboard. This means that you can assign keys to specific tenants, short-term guests, or maintenance staff to provide them with exclusive access to rooms and restricted areas.

One-Time Access Capabilities

You also can give time-restricted access to certain individuals. Some contractors such as cleaning staff and maintenance professionals only need access to the building at certain hours. You can set permissions so the keys can only be accessed during their predetermined time slot. There is no need to worry about keys being used outside of working hours.

A fully cloud-connected service lets you control your key inventory in real-time. You don't need to worry about being blind-sided by a sudden and urgent request for access and have to rush back on-site. Complete control is one simple click of a button away.

This also means that it's easy for you to provide one-time access to a space for certain people. For example, if you have someone coming to repair an issue on a property or replace appliances, they may require a key for easy access to the area. You can create the access with little to no notice, and the contractor can pick up the key by themselves without the need for staff on site.

When they complete their work, they can drop the key back off themselves, again without the need for staff overseeing the handoff. This is a simple and effective way to know who has access to your property at all times.

Simpler Property Showings

A good key management system also allows for self-guided and contactless property showings. This has become extremely popular in a post-COVID world. Considering that contactless tours limit the spread of germs and allow prospective tenants to tour the property on their own schedule, this can be an excellent feature to offer.

With Keycafe, pre-screened tenants can pick up keys themselves. You as the property manager can approve keys for use by tenants and/or their realtors touring the apartment. They can then view the property at their own pace before returning the keys on their own.

Prospective tenants can see the property in person rather than online. This increases your satisfaction rates and the likelihood of finding good tenants. People will be more confident in their decisions to sign a lease.

Since you'll receive an alert when the key is returned (or when the key is not returned on time), you can make sure property showings are moving on schedule from anywhere in the world.

Increased Accountability

Organizing keys for property managers is important for many reasons, but it also can be a legal issue. When you work with a key management system, you eliminate the need for individual lock boxes. In many cases, these boxes aren't just unsightly - they're also illegal in many municipalities.

Key management systems increase your property management company's legal accountability. Keys are stored, managed, and distributed within legal confines.

They also hold staff and guests accountable for the keys they are permitted to use.

Staff and visitors can't wander off with keys without recourse. If they do, you can see that they were the last user to access a key. Every key pickup and dropoff is necessarily logged with the time and location that it took place, along with the identity of the user who took the key.

The user information is also clearly accessible from within the Keycafe dashboard. This means that those who pick up keys will always be held accountable for dropping them off. You don't need to worry about theft or people accidentally taking them.

Invest in a Key Management System Today

A key management system is essential for all property managers. Now that you know the basics of these systems, it's time to begin looking for the top solutions for your property management business.

Keycafe is committed to managing fleets of keys for your building, tenants, and staff. Contact our experts with any remaining questions you have and get a quote for your new key management system today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do key management systems handle lost keys?

Key management systems handle lost or stolen keys by offering various security features such as automatic alerts and audit trails. When a key is reported missing, the system can quickly track its last use and identify who accessed it last. This helps in not only tracing the key but also in taking prompt action, thereby maintaining security integrity.

How does a key management system integrate with property management software?

Key management systems typically integrate with property management software through APIs or built-in integration features. This allows for seamless data synchronization and functionality, enhancing overall property management efficiency.

Are there any examples of property management companies that successfully implemented a key management system?

Your Place Property Management, a full-service property management company in Illinois installed a key management system to store and distribute emergency backup keys for its residents and contractors.

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