A well-organised key management system could not only save you time but also get rid of the stress of missing keys, chasing people who forgot to return keys to the office etc. KeyNest explore practical ideas and tips to help you streamline your key organisation process
As a property manager, one of your essential tasks is to efficiently organise keys for your rental properties. A well-organised key management system could not only save you time but also get rid of the stress of missing keys, chasing people who forgot to return keys to the office etc.
When we spoke to some of the Property Managers in Greater London, they claimed that after implementing a key management system that was well-suited for their needs, they saved over 3 hours a week just on handling keys.
In this blog post, we will explore practical ideas and tips to help you streamline your key organisation process.
Create a master key inventory
his may sound basic, but we will need to cover all corners here. Start by creating a master key inventory, which is a comprehensive list of all the keys associated with each rental property you manage.
Include details such as the property address, the specific room or door the key corresponds to, and any other relevant information. This inventory can be a physical spreadsheet, or a digital document, or you can use dedicated key management software.
Implement a colour-coding system
A colour-coding system can significantly simplify your key organisation process. Again, it seems simple but may be extremely helpful in the long run, when you need to quickly grab a key and run to a viewing or contractor appointment.
Assign a unique colour to each property or a group of properties and use coloured key tags or key caps to differentiate them. This visual method makes it easy to identify keys at a glance and helps avoid confusion.
Use a key management software
Get yourself an online key management software to streamline the organisation process, but at the same time one that doesn’t break the bank.
KeyNest Pro, for example, is an excellent tool that offers live key movement/ownership tracking, allowing you to manage your keys securely online, from the portal or app.
The easy-to-use tool enables you to assign keys to specific properties, monitor key check-ins and check-outs, and set permissions for your team members to handle specific keys.
With KeyNest Pro, you can easily track the whereabouts of each key and access the information from any device with an internet connection.
It also automatically sends texts to people who hold overdue keys, to remind them to bring the keys back.
Oh, and it cuts the time needed to log a key – all it takes is it scan a key by tapping it at the back of your phone (takes 1 second).
Install a secure key cabinet or key box
Physical key cabinets or boxes with secure locks are essential for keeping your keys safe and organized. They come in various sizes, allowing you to store keys for multiple properties efficiently.
From our own experience, the cabinets that are wall-mounted work much better than the ones that are table-based – as long as you make sure they have an additional safety layer below the box, in case any of the keys falls.
Ensure that only authorised personnel has access to the keys, and consider adding a layer of security by placing the cabinet or box in a restricted area.
Conduct regular key audits
Schedule regular audits of your key inventory to ensure that all keys are accounted for and in their designated locations. Conducting routine checks will help identify any missing or misplaced keys promptly and allow you to take appropriate action.
For key audits – depending on the key amount, it may take from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours. Block some relevant time in your calendar, and make sure to make it as quick as possible.
One of the ways to make key audits as smooth as possible is to use KeyNest fobs with your keys – you can scan and identify each key in seconds, by tapping it on your phone. There’s also no awkward key labelling that could lead to any danger in case a key gets lost.
Create and impose a key checkout system
Establish a standardised key checkout system to keep track of keys when they are in use by maintenance personnel or contractors.
It can be as simple as a sign-in and sign-out sheet, or you can utilise your key management software (KeyNest Pro) to log key movements digitally.
Whatever your pick, make sure using it is imposed on your staff – train everyone thoroughly, and remind people often about it. Even one key that’s not logged in or out may mess up the whole key-tracking system and lead to longer operational headaches.
KeyNest is a Housing Digital Stakeholder that providers a secure and cost-effective way for social landlords to grant contractors and other service providers access to their void properties.
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