I managed an apartment complex. The community that I worked at was a great community, we had great residents, everything was really easy and normal. I had a resident who I was evicting. He came into my office and he threw a note on my desk that said, “Close all the blinds, give me your car keys and your wallet, get on your hands and knees.”
And he pulled a gun out of his jacket. It’s a Monday, I’m at work by myself, and we start struggling and fighting and then the gun went off. He ran out one way, I ran out the other.
The focus of “employee well-being” is not a new idea and over the recent months, challenges in our world have people inside and outside the workplace facing growing concerns. This is a story that employees should not have to tell.
Given the natural challenges within our industry of touring apartments, employees working shifts after sunset, and individual maneuvers through resident apartment homes it is understandable that these employees would be concerned about their personal safety.
Multifamily in the News
It seems like the media only talks about apartment developers when they make the news or broadcast live about a suspect who has caused great harm to communities. Not only is this a challenge in marketing new apartment homes, but this is also a growing concern with companies looking to attract top talent to the industry. As the program participants experienced in the 2016 Best Places to Work in Multifamily, those that are ranking nationally as the Best Places to Work have a strong response with employees and how they feel regarding their personal safety in their work environment.
Ryan Antrim, CEO of Apartment Guardian, is innovating safety in Multifamily and making it easier than ever to keep employees safe in the workplace. The company was founded in 2012 by two Multifamily veterans looking to make the industry safer for all employees, but especially leasing agents and those individuals who could potentially be in harms way. Their inspiration came from friends and peers in the industry who took the lead and spoke candidly about their own experiences with violence at work, having faced frightening circumstances themselves while on the job.
Between the isolation of being a leasing agent while on tour, a property manager being the end-of-the-line for any angry resident, or a maintenance worker getting injured during a work order, there are many reasons why ready-to-use emergency response tools are an essential step that should be taken by Multifamily owners.
“We have been using the Apartment Guardian for a couple of years now and in all reality, you hope that no one ever has to use the device, but we actually had an instance where it was utilized and it worked as designed and local emergency personnel responded.” – Bob Kohlman, VP, BRG Apartments
Let’s Get to Work
It seems like we’re heading in the right direction with the focus on employee engagement and data that supports the concept of trust and safety promoting workplace productivity. Perhaps this is why Steve Bonaventure, the company’s COO says that 20,000 on site workers in North America are fitted with the Apartment Guardian Safety Technology. The company has made strategic moves to meet the demand of some of the largest Multifamily operators in North America.
Multifamily Owners and Executives are beginning to realize that small investments in employee engagement will yield higher cash flows for property owners. In a recent study, increasing employee engagement investments by 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee, per year. (Source: Workplace Research Foundation)
For a company like Apartment Guardian, this is a big value play for management company executives looking for the ROI answer. Behind every development, lease up, re-position and day to day happenings are people. Company executives are making the move to protect the most important capital, our people.
So What Next?
Download the Apartment Guardian FREE safety guide to learn how to maximize safety for your on-site staff.
About the Author: Patrick Antrim leverages a deep insight in leadership to inspire high-impact results. He is an author, speaker, entrepreneur and producer of the Multifamily Leadership Summit, and his leadership & coaching firm, Multifamily Leadership, LLC , is focused on preparing Multifamily Leaders for the FUTURE of WORK.