5 West Apartments pond fountain

Trial and Error

During her time in the multifamily industry, Desirée Girón, property manager at 5 West Apartments, has seen key control across the spectrum – from worst to best. Today, she uses a KeyTrak key management system at 5 West, but that hasn’t always been the case.

Earlier in Girón’s career, she worked at an apartment community that used HandyTrac. She found the system quite time-consuming. To return a key after it was checked out, a staff member would have to locate the exact hook from which it was retrieved, which took a while depending on how many keys were checked out at that time.

“That process was painstaking to locate keys for each apartment in order to do maintenance or tours or what have you,” Girón said.

At another previous property, an employee who was let go decided to sabotage the property’s management before leaving by removing all the keys from that property’s non-KeyTrak system, dumping them into a large trash bin, and pouring water into it.

“If that property had KeyTrak, we could have just taken the keys out, dried them off, popped them back into the slots, and we’re back in business,” she said. “Instead, that process was painstaking and time-consuming having to figure out which spot each key belonged in specifically and put them all back that way. It’s not often, but if something like that ever did happen again, KeyTrak would be really beneficial.”

Key management was even harder at an extended-stay hotel Girón worked for. The property used manual key cabinets, and staff could put a key back on any available hook. There was no reliable way of tracking key activity to maintain accountability. If a key fell off the hook, no one knew where it belonged.

"KeyTrak lends for a more professional experience and presentation."

Desirée Girón

Property Manager

Implementing KeyTrak

When the extended-stay hotel was converted to an apartment community, Girón made it her mission to implement a better key control process.

Fortunately, the community implemented KeyTrak, which was exactly what it needed. It changed the way key control worked at that property. Employees no longer had to manually keep track of who had a key, when it was checked out, and for what reason. All they had to do was run a report and that information was available immediately.

Great Key Control Pays Off

When Girón left that property and began working at 5 West Apartments, she was pleased to find KeyTrak’s key management system was already in place. One benefit of having the system is the ability to reduce liability risks. “I remember a time when we had detectives come in and request the activity on a certain key tag, and I was able to quickly run a report and show that to them,” she said. “That basically eliminated any of our staff members as suspects and also took away the property’s liability in the crime that had taken place.”

The on-site team also saves at least one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon every day with the system. Instead of having to search for the specific hook on which a key belongs, they return it to any available slot. Then, KeyTrak does the rest of the work — the system recognizes the tag attached to each key when it’s inserted. Maintenance technicians are even able to effortlessly pull and return keys for property-wide inspections.

KeyTrak helps 5 West Apartments not only save time but also maintain a great reputation by keeping its keys secure. “If anybody ever questions the integrity of our key management system, I just walk them through the process of scanning my fingerprint in order to be able to pull keys to their apartment. It’s something people are really impressed by,” Girón concluded. “KeyTrak lends for a more professional experience and presentation.”

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