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HandyTrac Key Control Interfaces with Popular Property Management Software

resmanHandyTrac Systems, a leading electronic key control company, is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with property management software companies, ResMan and Yardi to provide seamless work order delivery for multifamily, student and military housing customers nationwide.

“Over the past 20 years, we’ve discovered that multifamily property managers are inheriting a variety of roles to satisfy the ever-growing list of community needs,” notes Larry Kratz, President of HandyTrac. With this in mind, we’ve teamed up with ResMan to simplify key activity management through consolidated processes, and simplified access procedures.”

Upon request, ResMan and Yardi users with a HandyTrac Premium Touch system now have the ability to customize their experience through the use of a unique and secure work order system. Features like service order and staff data importation will allow managers to quickly and easily monitor key activity and work orders through their ResMan dashboard.

“We believe that when provided with the right tools, property managers can do it all. By leveraging this partnership, property managers will benefit from efficiency improvements, and ultimately, get the most out of their management products.”


About ResMan:

ResMan provides innovative technology solutions to the property management industry by making property investments and operations more profitable and easier to manage. For more information, visit myresman.com.

About HandyTrac:

HandyTrac likes to consider itself the low-cost leader in multifamily and military housing key control; managing keys for more than 5 million apartment homes throughout the country. We offer three unique cloud-based systems that provide instant access to archived reporting and provide the ability to manage your communities with a single login through your computer or smartphone. For more information, contact us today.

Using Computerized Key Control to Prevent Mail Theft

mail-theftTasked with the handling and delivery of nearly 188 million pieces of mail each day, postal workers have become prime targets for criminals seeking bank statements, social security numbers and other personal information. Mail theft and subsequently identity theft are increasing at an alarming rate, and property managers can never be too careful.

Recently, a disturbing video was taken inside a Chicago apartment community showing an unnerving trend: thieves with a key. In the video, two men are seen using their own key to not only gain access to numerous apartment buildings, but also the mailbox units inside.

“That feels like such a violation,” said Kathleen, a Chicago resident. “It could lead to identity theft. It could lead to checks being stolen. So I think it’s really disturbing that someone has the key to get into my mailbox.”

This, unfortunately, isn’t just a one-off either. Key thieves have struck multiple parts of the city in recent months with no signs of slowing. Authorities also report an increase in the number of postal carriers “confronted with force” to hand over their key on their routes.

In addition to posing a direct threat to postal employees, mail theft results in stolen personal information which can wreak havoc on the lives of those affected. And if a key is stolen, the solution isn’t as simple as making a new key. That process, referred to as ‘re-keying,’ requires considerable time and money.

Using Computerized Key Control to Prevent Mail Theft

Using a computerized key control system, property managers and postal employees can instantly reveal who checked out a specific key using a secure audit trail. Additionally, users can implement multi-factor authentication procedures, requiring users to offer information such as a pin code (something you know), access cards (something you have) or biometric fingerprint readers (something you are) before gaining access to the system.

Taking property security one step further, computerized key control systems from HandyTrac anonymize property keys and utilize a state of the art bar-coded system. This system prevents users from memorizing where specific keys are hung using random rotation: an automated process that hangs keys in random locations in the box.

With two secure key management systems to choose from, HandyTrac is an affordable and sensible solution for any community or facility.

For more information about our computerized key control systems, contact us today.


References:

Para, Marissa. 2019. Postal Workers Worried About Safety As Mail Thefts Are On The Rise. CBS News Chicago. Retrieved from https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/12/31/postal-workers-worried-about-safety-as-mail-thefts-are-on-the-rise/

Case in Point: Smart Key Management Matters

When property management companies operate without a smart key management system in place, they invite unnecessary liability onto the property; putting residents, staff and the company at risk.

Last October, authorities in St. Francis, Wisconsin responded to a multifamily community main office break-in that resulted in the disappearance of 11 separate unit keys. Two residents later reported items missing from their apartments but their doors had been locked.

smart key managementWithout a smart key management system, lost or stolen keys are untraceable. As a result, no suspects or clues were identified in this case, leaving the property management company with eleven compromised locks needing replacement, premises security liability, potential damage compensation charges, and a community full of concerned residents.

With a smart key management system by HandyTrac, property managers can rest easy knowing that community keys are in good hands. Keys are housed within a 18-gauge steel cabinet, anonymized to prevent quick identification and secured using multi-factor authentication procedures. Additionally, our systems offer real-time reporting capabilities, allowing property managers to keep tabs on community keys from any internet-enabled device.

Since the management oversees keys to all units, protecting and monitoring the use of those keys is one of the most important parts of keeping residents safe — and also one of the aspects most likely to be targeted for negligence. Not only do the keys need to be kept secure, but their use needs to be tracked. You need an audit trail — you need to be able to document and trace who had use of the keys, when they obtained them and when they were returned.

To learn more about our smart key management systems, contact us today.

How to implement an electronic key system

Implementing an electronic key system can be rewarding for many reasons, the most apparent being an improvement in community security; but how exactly does one accomplish this task?

Step 1: Review your community/facility needs

electronic key systemPrior to selecting and implementing an electronic key system, it’s important to review your community or facility’s needs. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

“How many residents does my community have?”

“Which electronic key control features are most important for my community?”

“Do I require bilingual options?”

“Does my community use Yardi software?”

If you have trouble answering any of these questions, that’s okay! We’re here to help. Contact us at your convenience to speak with a sales representative in your area. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have and layout all the options suitable for your property.

With these questions answered, it’s time to begin the system selection process.

Step 2: Select a system

Between the Standard and Premium Touch, there’s a system for any sized application or budget. A few of HandyTrac’s notable electronic key system features include:

– Stunning touch screen displays

– Instant reporting

Multi-factor authentication

For a full list of electronic key system features, view our products online or contact us to speak with a representative.

Step 3: Installation

Using the tutorials and resources provided by HandyTrac, installation is a breeze. Simply visit the Resources page to get started. And, as always, if you run into any trouble, give us a call!

Step 4: Training your staff

Once you’ve installed your system, it’s time to gather the troops and begin training. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Emphasize the importance of key control. Present and future staff should understand that key control is a top priority for your community. Emphasize that a key system ensures their protection as well as yours.

Keep the process consistent. Once you have the system in place, make as few changes to the process as possible, with possible exception of completely revamping it for security reasons. Every time you change the procedure, you’ll have to retrain your employees.

Make the process as simple and straightforward as possible. This may seem a little paradoxical considering that a secure system requires multiple steps, but if those steps make sense to your employees, they will memorize the process quickly, and it will become second nature through repetition.

And vualá! Your electronic key system has been implemented, providing valuable security and peace of mind for community managers and residents alike.

For more information about HandyTrac, contact us today.

HandyTrac introduces new version of its most popular touch integrated key control system

touch key controlFeaturing a 7-inch touch screen display, badge and pin access, instant reporting, and bilingual options for English and Spanish speakers.

HandyTrac today introduced the new Standard Touch key control system, bringing streamlined touch integration and improved security to its most popular and most affordable system. Available in single and double cabinet options, the Standard Touch features a stunning 7-inch touch display and intuitive capabilities including one touch building pull integration and work order review, automated audit trail maintenance, and instant reporting. The Standard Touch key control system also has bilingual options, catering to both English and Spanish speakers.

“The new Standard Touch key control system packs even more value into our touch product line,” said Larry Kratz, President of HandyTrac. “Beyond secure key storage, the Standard Touch introduces powerful new ways to multi-task, track absent keys, and view more information at a glance on the touch display. This new key system with touch integration takes everything people loved about our Classic system and makes it even better for accessing, monitoring and controlling keys.”

Designed to be convenient and durable, the Standard Touch system cabinet is made of 18 gauge steel with black powder coat finish, and is wall mounted for ease of use and space conservation.

Features:

– Large 7″ touchscreen
– Badge and PIN access for authorized staff
– Built-in Wi-Fi connection
– Bilingual options for English and Spanish speakers
– One touch building pull integration when pulling multiple keys
– Single login to review reports for multiple properties
– Audit Trail – Reports are backed up to Amazon Web Services
– Customizable activity codes
– Instant reports; keys out, who has key and why, when returned
– Ability to review individual work orders with one touch

About HandyTrac

HandyTrac revolutionized computerized key control with the introduction of the Classic key control system in 1995. Today, HandyTrac protects over 5 million units nationwide and is the leading key management and control system in the multi-housing and commercial property industry. HandyTrac principals have over 30 years of experience in real estate property management and over 25 years of experience developing software systems for multi-unit residential properties.

For more information, contact us today.

Useful Key Management Reports Generated by HandyTrac

key management reportsIn addition to providing a secure lockbox for community keys, HandyTrac offers numerous useful key management reports. This “paper trail” is critical, not just for protecting your residents and keeping your employees accountable, but also for protecting your company through proven due diligence. Here’s a look at some of the key management reports provided by a HandyTrac key control system:

Reports by Housing Unit

This report focuses on each individual unit in your complex, documenting how many times keys were checked out for that unit during the report period, as well as who checked them out, and for what purpose. If a specific resident has expressed concerns about entry into their unit, you’ll easily be able to identify any discrepancies.

Reports by Functional Activity

This report sorts all key management activity in your community according to reason code (e.g., preventative maintenance or a unit inspection). This feature helps you keep track of things like ongoing maintenance functions as well as providing documentation for compliance purposes.

Keys Out Report

Find out at any time which keys are checked out, by whom and for what reason. Pull this report anytime you want a snapshot of current activity on your property, or have a keys out report emailed to you daily. This way, you can easily track employee activity on the grounds to make sure everyone is where they should be — and be alerted if anyone is where they shouldn’t be.

Report by Employee

This report identifies each employee’s key in-and-out activity during the specified report period, useful for tracking with job performance as well as identifying any unusual activity.


As a result of customer feedback and our commitment to provide a seamless user experience for all property managers, the following reports have recently been made available:

Empty Hook Report

The Empty Hook Report allows users to quickly see a list of the hooks in the system that should not have keys on them. This is helpful during key audits or when you need to quickly check to see if keys are being pulled and returned to their correct locations. It is also a quick way to see if there are any keys missing from the system.

Key Tag Search Report

The Key Tag Search Report allows you to quickly search all of your transactions for a key tag number. If you have a key that will no longer scan in the system, you can search for that tag number and see if it ever was in the system, and if so, to what unit the key belonged and when it was edited out of the system.

Unit List Report

The Unit List Report gives you a list of all of the units in the system without sensitive information such as tag numbers and hook locations. We recommend having this report near the HandyTrac system as a quick reference of unit names to make pulling a key quicker and less error prone for employees that do not often use the system and may be unfamiliar with the naming scheme of the units in the system.

Custom email reports

Lastly, our email reports allow you to create a completely custom report to be emailed to you daily. If you want to keep a close eye on certain activity codes or certain units, you can now have this information automatically emailed to you without needing to log in to the HandyTrac site. Multiple custom reports can be created for a variety of criteria.

These key management reports can be accessed online from any authorized device, sent to any printer in your network and/or emailed to pertinent staff, making it easy to pull and access reports anytime you need them. To learn more about our systems and key management reports, contact us today!

The Importance of Mechanical Key Control

mechanical key controlThe most important facet of any mechanical key control system is its ability to prevent residence keys from falling into the wrong hands. The main issue presented by traditional key systems and hook boards is keys going missing without a trace. Missing keys are not only a source of stress, they put the community’s management company at risk.

In Texas, for example, a jury awarded $18-million to a multifamily resident after being assaulted and abducted by a man who had gained access to her apartment unit using a backup key. The assailant broke into the management office and found the correctly numbered backup keys hanging unsecured on a hook.

Founded by apartment industry veterans who saw the value in a system that organizes and keeps track of unit keys, HandyTrac offers two affordable mechanical key control systems to suit any community or facility. Using HandyTrac’s audit trail generated reports, managers are fully aware of community ongoings and can ensure a safe environment for residents and employees alike. Additionally, in the event a crime is committed, due diligence can be quickly proven using key management reports generated by HandyTrac.

In about the same amount of wall or desk space currently being used for keys, HandyTrac’s combined biotechnological display unit provides the highest possible level of security, flexibility, and reporting capability. To learn more about our unique mechanical key control systems, contact us today!

Improve Property Security Using our eBook

multifamily securityMost property owners understand and implement basic multifamily security measures to reduce the risk of crime — for example, installing security cameras and gated entry systems, or implementing ample lighting across the premises. However, proper key control is one aspect of multifamily security that can be easily overlooked.

Since management oversees the keys to all units, protecting and monitoring the use of said keys is one of the most important parts of keeping residents safe — and also one of the aspects most likely to be targeted for negligence. Obviously, not all crimes can be prevented, but one of the best ways you can improve safety for your residents is by implementing the property security best practices found in our eBook.

This invaluable resource offers easy-to-implement suggestions, practical tips and information on the latest in key control technology.

Make multifamily security your first priority by downloading your complimentary copy of our property security best practices today. Download your free copy here.

What is Electronic Key Control?

electronic key control systemsBefore the advent and widespread use of electronic key control systems, key management was often a haphazard process. Many multifamily communities used an honor system to store and control building keys, while institutions such as correctional facilities or medical campuses used a more formal system requiring access activity to be hand-written in a log book. The procedures were often ineffective and laborious, leaving the organization exposed to unnecessary premises security liability.

Electronic key control systems resolved these challenges with the implementation of authorized user codes and automatic tracking of key access activity. The automated systems made it easy for users to access or return keys with designated key slots and online monitoring for tracking key usage.

Today, the most advanced key management solutions have even more of a convenience factor while maintaining simplicity of use. The HandyTrac Premium Touch system, for example, features a user-friendly interface with large buttons, a touch screen display and integration features for Yardi users. Compared to the old, dog-eared logbooks, today’s electronic key control solutions have made the task easier and more reliable.

Electronic key control systems that you can trust

All of our systems come with a stout 18-gauge steel cabinet, electronic key locking mechanism, and computerized datalog. Additionally, property managers can run activity reports, view work orders, and more from any internet-enabled device.

Our Standard Touch system offers several features to customize your experience and help protect your investment at an affordable cost. The Premium Touch system combines biometric technology and a large touchscreen display in a single unit to offer the highest level of security, reporting, and flexibility.

For more information about our electronic key control systems, contact us today.

The Importance of Key Security in Multifamily Housing

key securityFound in nearly every municipality across the country, multifamily communities offer housing to millions of people from all walks of life. While every community is unique, each shares a need for effective key security.

The ability to track key activity is critical for maintaining a high level of security and reducing the chance of premises security liability. Designed as a replacement for manual tracking and storage of keys, electronic key control systems are virtually tamper-proof, monitor the access and return of keys through various online reporting features, and offer biometric integration options for improved security. With HandyTrac’s electronic key security systems, property managers can see who pulled a key, for what purpose, when it was pulled, for how long, and when it was returned from any interned-enabled device.

Key Security Options for Every Multifamily Housing Community

For over 20 years HandyTrac has been the low-cost leader in multifamily, student and military housing key security; managing keys for more than 3,000,000 apartment homes throughout the country. Our cloud based systems offer instant access to archived reports and provide the ability to manage community keys with a single login through a computer or smart phone.

To learn more about our key security systems, contact us today.