How to Keep Your Commercial Property Safe for You and Your Tenants - Article Banner

Are you a real estate investor who is looking for ways to protect your commercial property, not just financially, but in terms of providing a safe environment for tenants and guests? This is a critical part of your success as an investor.

Keeping your property secure can feel complicated, especially with all the unknowns that cannot be controlled. You cannot be at your commercial property 24 hours a day, watching for threats from inside or outside. But, with the right precautions in place, you can reduce potential risk and create an atmosphere of safety. 

This will help when it comes to attracting and retaining commercial tenants. Business owners want to be in spaces that they’ll feel safe. They’ll want to establish themselves in a building where they know they can grow their own business without worrying about risks and liabilities.

Let’s take a look at some key steps that all commercial property owners should consider when it comes to keeping their spaces secure. 

Focus on Securing Entrances and Exits

Limit the number of entrances and exits into and out of your property. This allows you and your tenants to control access. If you can, upgrade your doors to heavy-duty materials that would be difficult to breach.

Consider installing controls that will ensure only tenants and their guests, visitors, or customers can access the building during business hours. Your tenants may be set up to see the front door clearly, and they’ll know who is coming and going. But, there’s probably a back door too, that doesn’t get much attention. There may be side doors. Can you keep them closed and locked to ensure no one comes in without detection? 

An access control system can monitor your doors and tell you who entered which door at what time. That way you can keep a complete log of all activity going into and coming out of your building. There are different types of access controls that a security company can help you install. We like to work with: 

  • Physical keys that tenants must have in hand in order to get in or out of a door.
  • Pin codes, which can easily be changed if there is a security breach. 
  • Key cards and fobs.
  • Mobile credentials that are managed by an app.
  • Biometrics.

Your building is safer when all doors have sturdy locks that cannot be easily broken or picked open by would-be intruders. Don’t forget the windows. Make sure that all windows are securely locked. You might want to install window bars for extra protection against break-ins, depending on the type of commercial space you’re renting out and the access that your windows might provide.

Regularly inspect entrances and exits to make sure they’re functioning properly and no one has tampered with them in any way. Check locks on a regular basis too, making sure they’re still working properly and haven’t been damaged. 

Security Cameras and Improved Lighting for Commercial Properties

Security cameras can secure your commercial property. These cameras provide an extra layer of protection by recording any suspicious activity on the premises, which can then be used as evidence if needed. They also act as a deterrent, making potential criminals think twice before entering the property or even approaching it. 

There are cameras available in a number of different ranges, complexities, and prices. Depending on your budget, you can choose from basic surveillance cameras up to more advanced models with night vision capabilities and facial recognition software. 

Lighting can also help you keep your commercial property more secure. Install security lighting in key areas around your building, including any garages or parking areas. Lights with motion detectors are ideal, as they save energy and can act to surprise and scare away anyone who doesn’t belong there.

Always replace burnt-out light bulbs as soon as you can. If your lights aren’t bright enough, you may need to upgrade your fixtures or bulbs. Talk to tenants about your expectations around lighting. If it’s their responsibility to replace light bulbs and fixtures, make sure they’re doing what needs to be done to protect the property. 

Protect Your Building from Fires and Floods 

You need a reliable fire detection system, and you need to make sure it’s always working. 

A fire detection system will let you know that there’s a fire almost as soon as it starts. This will give your tenants as much time as possible to safely evacuate. Make sure you have an emergency plan in place, and share it with your tenants. They’ll need to know where the closest exit is, and how to leave the building safely in the event of a fire. 

Some systems even alert the authorities for you, which increases their response time and helps minimize property damage. Make sure you have sprinklers in place and other preventative and restorative measures that will protect your property before, during, and after a potential fire. 

Plumbing needs to be inspected regularly. It is part of any preventative maintenance plan, and it contributes to the safety and security of your property. Water can be extremely damaging to property, and if you have even a slow drip that’s undetected for a while, you can end up with thousands of dollars in damages. 

Know Who is In Your Property and Check In Regularly 

To keep your commercial space safe and secure, you need to know your tenants and their visitors, as well as the customers and clients who may come to the property. You need to know how many employees may be coming and going, and what their hours typically are. 

Before you approve a new tenant, it’s always a good idea to conduct a thorough background check and screening to make sure they’re trustworthy and worth the risk of handing over the keys to your property. 

You don’t want to be bothersome to your commercial tenants, but don’t be afraid to check in regularly. Visit the property. See how it’s being maintained and used. A good relationship with your commercial tenants will allow you to feel better about your property and its security. 

Keep an Eye on Vacant Commercial Properties

A safe and secure property is especially important when tenants are occupying the space, but what about when it’s vacant? In many ways, the risks increase. How can you ensure your property is safe?

The obvious problem with a vacant building is that it’s not earning you any money. Beyond that, a vacant building is vulnerable to acts of vandalism and crime. You could have squatters take over the space. If there’s a slow leak occurring in a bathroom or a problem with an outlet, you’re not going to know it because there aren’t tenants to report it. That may lead to more expensive maintenance problems. 

Here’s what you need to do to keep your vacant High Desert commercial property secure:

  • Conduct Regular Inspections

One way to keep your vacant property safe is to inspect it frequently. Make sure everything is working and look for potential trouble spots such as leaks, deterioration, problems with electrical and plumbing systems, and security. Are the doors and windows locking? Is the smoke alarm working? 

Always look for potential maintenance issues that are difficult to detect while the property is vacant. Test outlets and run water in the faucets. Turn on the air conditioning. 

  • Update Security Alarms and Features

We talked about the necessity for security systems. When the property is vacant, installing a video or security camera and/or an alarm system is even more necessary. There’s a lot of great technology right now that provides cameras so you always know if someone is approaching or lingering outside of the property. These types of investments are a good idea when you’re worried about people breaking into your commercial property.

  • Be a Good Neighbor 

How well do you know your commercial neighbors? If you get to know the other owners in the area, or even the tenants in buildings close to yours, you can watch out for each other. Leave your contact information with people who are close to your property. If your property is in a larger commercial park or building, make sure neighbors and partners know how to reach you in case something goes wrong. 

Check in with Your Insurance Coverage

Insurance CompanyInsurance companies have different requirements for occupied properties versus vacant properties. You’ll want to check in with your insurance agent if your commercial space is vacant for longer than 30 days. You may need additional coverage or different coverage. 

Losing insurance is never a good idea; if something goes wrong, you want to make sure you’re covered and not scrambling to pay a large repair bill out of pocket. 

The best way to reduce the risks associated with your commercial property is to work with a resourceful property management company. We make sure your building and your tenants are secure, safe, and performing the way you expect them to.

If you have questions about how we can help, please contact us at Preston-Lee Management Company. We’ve been providing property management services in the High Desert for more than 30 years.