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National Association of Realtors

Friday, July 6, 2018

Top Security Tips for Your Investment Property

By Daniel Defendi
Looking after your tenants is key to a successful property investment strategy. If tenants don’t feel safe, they’re more likely to consider moving, which could cost you considerable time and money when it comes to covering rental losses.
Securing your property not only keeps existing tenants happy, but will also be an attractive selling point for future tenants should you need to release.
Adding security measures can increase the value of your property, protect it from vandalism and burglary and even contribute to lower insurance premiums. These factors can all benefit your long-term investment strategy. Here are some of the simple steps you can take to increase the security of your investment property:
Think Like a Burglar
Burglars are opportunists and will scan your house to see if it’s vulnerable. You can discourage crimes of opportunity by placing security devices and signs in highly visible locations. Obvious surveillance cameras or even quality false cameras can send a message to burglars that the house is protected. Many security products also come with stickers, which can be placed on vulnerable areas, such as windows, to deter potential break-ins.
Burglars will normally investigate a property first to see how many locks are on the doors and windows and if they are of a high quality. Making a burglar’s job harder will often discourage them, as they’re looking for properties which aren’t secure.
Tip: Consider installing a high quality digital lock. This will allow you to easily change the entrance code for new tenants, saving you money on changing locks and getting new keys cut.
Check Your Property
One of the biggest deterrents for a would-be burglar is the likelihood of being noticed. For that reason, houses which aren’t easily visible to neighbors can become targets. Bushes and uncleared yards will also give burglars the opportunity to hide and survey the property.
If the entrances to your property are hidden, you may need to think about taking additional steps to protect your property. Products such as motion-sensing lights can help to draw attention to darkened areas, while also providing a useful addition for your tenants.
Other security measures such as fences and cleared garden areas can make burglars’ lives harder, while also appealing to renters and improving the overall appearance of your property.
Consider Added Security Features
A security alarm system can also be a great choice for investors looking to protect their property. They’re easily noticed by burglars and will often deter them from attempting a break-in.
If a burglar does attempt to enter, the alarm will sound, alerting your tenants and their neighbors in the process. This arrangement can assist in helping your tenants feel safer whilst reducing the risk of damage to the property.
Having a security system can be an important and attractive feature for prospective tenants and some may even be willing to pay increased rent for the added peace of mind.
Taking measures to upgrade the security of your property can also help reduce the premiums on your insurance policies. Home alarm systems and other defined security purchases can sometimes be rewarded by insurance companies, as they lower the likelihood of a break-in and reduce the chance of potential insurance claims.
Get the Neighbors on Your Side
Neighbors can be another valuable safeguard when it comes to detecting unusual activity. Introducing yourself to neighbors can go a long way to protecting your property, as they are more likely to keep a look out.
If you set up security cameras outside your property, it’s also best to let the neighbors know. They’ll likely be happy to hear this, as it provides an added security measure for them and could even provide footage should one of their houses get broken into. However, if they're concerned about privacy, you can always consider installing fake cameras instead.
Remember to check with your investment property advisor before making any big changes to your property. They’ll be able to direct you on the best measures to ensure you get the greatest return on your investment.

Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate