Every decision you make about your multifamily developments should have future renters in mind, and if there’s one thing renters want, it’s to feel safe at home. In fact, a massive 65% of Millennial renters said they would move out of an apartment if it lacked security.

So even if you’re working on prime real estate in the heart of a buzzing neighborhood, designing a multifamily facility with less-than-desirable security measures can compromise the success of your development. Consider adding these extra features to make your next property the safe haven renters are looking for.

Common area security

Keyless entry

Keyless entry systems are a convenient, cost-effective, and “smart home” feature attractive to Millennial tenants. There are tons of keyless entry options to choose from, but picking one with smartphone compatibility will help future-proof your property.

The advantages of keyless entry don’t end with the renters, either. Whoever manages your property won’t want to keep track of hundreds of keys. With non-compliant duplications, lost keys, and the expense of changing locks, managing keys and resident access is a massive chore property managers will be happy to kick to the curb.

Security cameras

The obvious hope of any property developer, building owner, or tenant is that nothing bad will ever happen on premises. Unfortunately, when it comes to securing a property, simply hoping for the best should never be an option.

Having access to security camera footage offers a huge leg up when investigating happenings on the property — during construction and when fully operational. Renters will see security cameras as a safeguard, making their decision to sign a lease a bit easier.

Controlled elevator and stair access

Being able to freely wander the building after entering might be convenient for tenants, but it compromises security. Consider adding an extra entry barrier by requiring a fob or key code entry to access the stairs and use the elevator.

Parking lot security

Gated lots

Gated lots guarantee tenants a safe place to park near the building’s entrance. If your development is in the heart of a city, a gated parking lot is a must-have.

Future tenants and property managers will appreciate a gate setup that’s fast, easy-to-use, and has a fallback means of entry. Install a gate that operates with a fob or remote with a keypad as a backup. If you’re building luxury apartments, you can even consider installing a small outbuilding where an attendant can greet tenants as they drive through the gate and assist with any entry issues.


Criminals lurking in the shadows is a cliché for a reason… dim places are inviting hiding spots. To make your parking lot and outdoor corridors less appealing to unwelcome visitors, install adequate lighting.

A well-lit parking lot doesn’t just ward off sketchy behavior, though. It helps tenants feel comfortable walking within your complex, even in the wee hours of the morning. And remember those security cameras we talked about earlier? The parking lot is a perfect venue for a set of them.


If you’re on the fence about adding individual garages, a shared parking ramp, or carports, consider the extra security that individual garages offer. Garage doors can be buttoned up and left without a second thought; carports and shared parking ramps, while protecting vehicles from rain and snow, leave vehicles vulnerable to theft (not to mention, door dings).

Private garages may be a bit of a luxury, especially in areas where parking space is a hot commodity. However, there’s no substitute for the security that garages offer tenants’ vehicles.

In-unit security

Wireless alarm systems

According to a 2017 FBI report, about 1.5 million burglaries occurred in 2016, and nearly 70% of the crimes were committed on residential properties. While these numbers are shocking, there is good news: burglaries are down from previous years, and there are plenty of effective theft deterrents.

Burglars have multiple points of entry in multifamily buildings, such as propped open doors, patio sliders, and unlocked windows. However, burglars will avoid homes with an alarm system installed. In fact, about 60% of convicted burglars said they’d choose different homes if their initial target had an alarm system.

Carbon monoxide detectors

Everyone knows that smoke detectors and fire alarms are a necessary fixture in each unit, but don’t forget about carbon monoxide detectors. Between 2010 and 2015, 2,244 deaths resulted from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.

The colorless, odorless gas is especially a concern during the winter months: 36% of carbon monoxide poisonings happen in January, February, and March. Although your furnace and generators may be in tip-top shape, there’s no telling when your heating system might go faulty.

Intercoms and peepholes

Visitors shouldn’t be able to just waltz up to a door in the building — they should have to be “buzzed” in. Don’t skimp on installing an intercom system so that tenants can greet their guest. If it fits in your budget, try installing a video intercom system.

Another in-unit fixture future tenants will appreciate is a peephole. Peepholes might seem like a peculiar fixture of the past, but until you have someone knock on your door unexpectedly, you don’t realize how important a tiny window to the hallway can be.

Security is a top priority for Millennial renters, but that’s not all they look for. Check out “What Millennials Look for Before Signing a Lease” for more insights on today’s renters.