7 Common Misconceptions about Apartment Security

Written by:


Since we launched in 2003, Signal has worked with a lot of apartment managers.

We love those meetings — it's energizing to work with professionals so passionate about creating a great experience for residents.

But over the years, we've encountered our fair share of misconceptions about who we are, what we do, and how we do it. We get it: private security is often misunderstood (and admittedly, the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop didn't help). After all, we do most of our work while most people are asleep.

We set out to answer seven of the most frequent misconceptions about the purpose, the work, and the value of apartment private security.

1. Security officers don’t really do much.

A Signal officer’s first role is to deter problems and solve them proactively. When a problem arises, they observe and report. And finally, they keep everyone safe while authorities arrive.

This is how we fulfill our mission of providing peace of mind. More than 3,000 Signal officers across the globe have joined us on the journey. Many are former military or law enforcement personnel. Many more have plans to join local law enforcement.

These heroes have the important job of building relationships as community-based security officers.

2. I can just call the police if there’s a problem.

Unfortunately, 911 gets high-priority calls around the clock. That means the local police department probably doesn’t have the resources to handle your noise complaint or loiterer immediately.

Low-priority doesn’t always mean low annoyance, however. Anyone who’s ever tried to sleep with a rockin' party next door will agree. Signal Security can act as a first response to common problems on your property.

Signal officers are well-trained to be “eyes and ears” for property managers and local emergency services alike. If there’s a true emergency developing, our officers move bystanders out of harm’s way while helping guide emergency responders to the scene.

3. Dedicated officers are most effective because they’re always on-site.

Courtesy officers are a wonderful amenity. They offer a security presence without suggesting a crime problem. They’re a friendly face to residents and guests. And because they’re often hired directly by a property, they’re easy to manage.

But our experience is clear: Courtesy officers don’t deter crime effectively.

Signal’s services work hand-in-hand with courtesy or dedicated officers

4. Hiring security is really expensive.

Finding a great security provider is an important investment. The right security can increase your occupancy rates, reduce resident turnover, and reduce your liability. Add a pool or other amenities to the mix, and you can’t afford not to have security.

It’s a big commitment. Luckily, Signal’s flexible mobile patrol model means you can get started at a cost that works for you and your residents.

Our customizable model also allows mobile patrol clients to get:

  • More active coverage than dedicated
  • For more hours
  • At a lower price

Discover more about the mobile patrol model.

5. Security works overnight, so I just have to trust the job gets done.

We want you to trust us, but you shouldn’t need to trust us blindly. That’s why we developed Signal Edge, a tech suite for officers and clients. It offers industry-leading transparency and service verification.

Signal officers file reports from a smartphone on each patrol. Reports can include GPS checkpoint data and timestamps, photos, videos, and more. We aim for thorough, flawless reporting every time.

Those reports are delivered to managers in a digital, searchable format. Clients can even see real-time GPS tracking for each officer on the job. You’ll love the total accountability. Signal Edge is also Signal’s invoicing tool. Everything’s integrated so when it’s time to pay, you can be confident in the value you’re getting.

6. My community is peaceful, so I don’t need security.

We have plenty of stories about Signal beginning service in a crime-riddled community. Time after time, those problems completely dried up within weeks, thanks to our vigilant officers and healthy partnerships with local police.

We’re proud of those examples, but they don’t speak to the vast majority of our clients.

Many of our multifamily housing partners are high-end or luxury residences looking for a security presence with polish. Signal 88 is a natural fit for these sorts of properties. In fact, some of the apartment industry’s leading voices agree — including the National Apartment Association and our national partners like Greystar and Bell Partners.

No matter the situation, Signal 88 brings peace of mind through door and window checks, pool lockups, lighting assessments, parking enforcement, and more. Our professional officers will help keep your community safe and peaceful.

7. Security is basically the same everywhere.

With over 125 franchises (and counting!) across the United States, we’ve learned security is a very local business.

Signal never takes a “one-size-fits-all” approach to security. Every Signal franchise is locally owned and operated, so you can count on your local team to provide you peace of mind.

State and regional regulations affect details like our uniforms and patrol vehicles. (Did you know? In Florida, private security vehicles are required to use a combination of amber and green flashing lights.)

Most importantly, we understand regional variations in crime, climate, and attitude that affect your peace of mind. For instance, Albuquerque is the nation’s car theft capital, so Signal deploys a different strategy than in, say, Fremont, Nebraska.

In every market, we're proud to combine the resources of an international leader with local ownership and community involvement.

Take the Next Step

Signal 88 Security provides peace of mind in a budget-friendly, highly effective way for property managers and your residents.

For a first-hand look at how our private security can help your apartment community, schedule a free security assessment.

More Articles