Tips for Preventing Off-Season Break-ins
During the height of your season, your town or community is likely swarming with families and activity. All the local restaurants and shops are open, most all of the properties are occupied, and overall security is the least of your concerns considering how much work there is to do!
But during the off-season, when the majority of your inventory is unoccupied and your community is more or less a ghost town, concerns can rise about the security of your empty properties.
Popular yet isolated vacation regions all across the country have seen an uptick in recent years on the number of break-ins that occur during these off-season months. This partly stems from the wave of new amenities that are gaining popularity across the board – (like large flat screen TVs) – but it’s also because more and more potential thieves are becoming aware that these vacation communities are more or less deserted, making them easy targets.
So how can you help your owners protect their home when your normally hopping community is empty? Here are a few ideas, tips, and tricks to consider…
- Encourage your owners to post their big ticket item information. Data like serial numbers, warranty info, and other specs can go a long way in reporting missing items in an insurance claim and / or getting stolen items back if they are recovered by authorities. Your owners can list these items in Owner Web, too! Ask us how, and / or how you can encourage your owners to enter their warranty info for big items like flat screen TVs and entertainment centers.
- Check out affordable security system options. Many security systems and alarms are relatively inexpensive, and can help owners protect their property. Keyless entry systems can also assist with keeping a home secure, due to unique IDs and tracking features.
- Check in with your local police department. If you know of neighborhoods that are primarily comprised of vacation rental homes, are unoccupied, and may be susceptible to break-ins, spread the word! Contact your local authorities – and particularly your local police department – to give them a head’s up that an area is vulnerable, and should be patrolled or checked on.
- Perform seasonal inspections. Use any downtime in your maintenance department to have personnel go to local vacation homes and check for any sign of trouble. You can create an inspection form – and track results – using the survey tool! Ask us how, (and ask about our new Inspection Tool which is currently in development.)
By being prepared and proactive, you have an opportunity to stop crime in your community that can occur in the off-season months. From retrieving missing items to stopping break-ins before they occur, keeping your properties safe will lead to keeping your owners happy – well before the busy visitor season arrives!