Realtor Locksmith Service

Property Management Companies and Realtors Locksmith Service

Locksmith Services for Realtors & Property Management Companies

Realtors and property managers have a great deal of responsibilities. You not only keep your clients or tenants happy, but you also must comply with local property codes, routine maintenance and repairs as well as keep up with all of the day-to-day duties. Security and safety are top priority. If you are a real estate agent or manage properties, you need a locksmith. Locksmith services for realtors and property management companies involve liability prevention, organizing key systems, rekeying between tenant turnover or managing lock boxes. Property management companies often benefit from having Master Key system installed as well so that the manager or maintenance personnel is able to gain access to the apartment units when necessary.

 

Ultimately, if you are a real estate agent or a property management company, you are responsible for safety and security of your building, houses you have for sale, and for the belongings and people inside. Traditionally, real estate agents use a lock box so that they can easily have access to the home’s key to show the property to potential buyers. Once inside, a real estate agent is showing off more than just the house. The potential buyers also have access to the layout of your home and notice where any valuables are placed inside. If these potential buyers are really after more than buying a home, they now have all of the information needed to return later for a burglary. Take precautions, as a real estate agent, to ensure you are not giving away too much. One step in the right direction is using electronic key code entry systems as opposed to locking up a key on the outside of the door with a combination lock. Another helpful tip to pass onto your home buyers is to make sure the first thing they do after buying a new home is having the locks changed or rekeyed.

 

As a property manager of an apartment, condominium, or rental property, you manage more than just the property. You have a responsibility of ensuring the safety of your renters as well. One of the best steps you can take is to require locks be re-keyed or changed when residents move out of an apartment or complex.


Locksmith Services for Realtors


Locksmiths are literally able to hold the keys to any property. So, when you are searching for a locksmith to frequently do business with in your rekeying, locks changing, or lock box security measures, be sure to choose wisely. First, check with a vendor management system to help recommend the best locksmiths in the area. Then, follow these steps to make sure the locksmith you are hiring to keep your building and tenants secure is the best.

Confirm the address you found online or in a phone listing directory matches the locksmith. Some companies list street addresses to give the impression that they are local when they are really out of a national call registry. Sometimes, these addresses end up being a vacant lot.

 

Call the number listed for the locksmith, and listen closely to how they answer the phone. Make sure they give a specific company name that matches the one you intended to call. If they answer with a vague phrase such as “Locksmith Services”, be leary.

 

Make sure the locksmith is insured for any potential damage left behind after their work is complete. This would include making sure the individual locksmith is bonded.

 

Before you agree to any work to be done by the locksmith, make sure that you have been given an estimate that is clear as to what it covers, preferably in writing.

 

Verify the locksmith with your state’s Attorney General office and local consumer protection agency as well as with the Better Business Bureau.

When the locksmith arrives, take a look at the vehicle they pull up in to make sure it is clearly marked with the company’s name. Ask for identification. Many states require that locksmiths carry state licensing identification. If you live in one of these states, ask for that as well. Also, be prepared to do the same. A legitimate locksmith will ask to verify your identification as well before any work is begun on opening up a lock.

Safe Lockout

Safe Lockout

Safe Lockout

A safe is intended to keep your valuables secure in case of an attempted break in, flood, or fire. However, what happens if you cannot open your own safe? When you have a safe lockout, follow these helpful tips from knowledgeable locksmiths.

 

Maybe you lost the key or forgot the combination. Maybe the power surged or went out or the electronic lock has a low battery. Or, maybe you accidentally broke off the key inside the lock. Maybe there are broken bolts or internal components that have become jammed inside the handle. Regardless of how it happened, you need help with your safe lockout to get it open so you can access or store your valuables.

 

First, you need to know what kind of safe you own. If you don’t know the brand or model, look on the safe for company logos that are usually located on the front of the safe. Or, locate your receipt or proof of purchase. If neither are found, look at the safe and take note of its size and method of construction. If you cannot figure out what kind of safe you have, contact a licensed professional locksmith who will be able to identify it.

 

Some methods of getting your safe opened include safe bouncing, overriding the lock, or safe cracking.  If you are able to get the safe open using the safe bouncing method, you probably need a more secure safe. The higher grade safes test to make sure the safe is able to resist safe bouncing attempts. This method of opening a safe includes striking the top of the safe while turning the handle at the same time, much like bumping a cylinder lock open.

 

If your safe has a small electronic keypad, like the ones found in hotel rooms for instance, it is designed with a combination code reset option. There may be a factory standard code that you will be able to input to reset the safe and get it opened. Sometimes, this code is a series of zeros that repeat or there may be openings on the bottom of the safe where you can access a combination reset switch on the inside of the door which takes a lot of skill to tackle. If you do not have access to the owner’s manual, contact the manufacturer or a knowledgeable locksmith who will be able to help.

 

Finally, safe cracking is another method of opening a safe when you are locked out. This is a task that requires precise skill and difficulty. It will most likely require the work of a skilled locksmith. If your safe has has a dial combination lock, it is a good candidate for safe cracking. However, it is possible to safe crack other models of safes, but these options include drilling a hole into the safe.


Safe Lockout


Safe Lockout Service

When you have a safe lockout, contact a professional locksmith who will be able to get your safe opened so you once again have access to your valuables that are stored inside or add to them without leaving damage to your safe. Call a local locksmith who knows how to help today.

Do Not Duplicate Keys

Are keys stamped with, “do not duplicate key” secure?

There are basically two kinds of keys – restricted and unrestricted. If the key is truly a restricted key, only a specialized locksmith will be able to duplicate it. Simply marking the key as Do Not Duplicate does not automatically make it a restricted key.

A do not duplicate key is sometimes referred to as a DND key. A stamp with a warning may prevent some people from duplicating the key, however more secure options and steps will need to be taken if you truly do not want your keys duplicated. It is just a warning marked on a key that really means nothing when it all comes down to whether or not it’s possible to duplicate. It does nothing more than a sign on a property saying do not enter, or a sign at a pool or lake stating, “swim at your own risk”.

If you really want your key to not be duplicated, more secure steps that make a key difficult to duplicate. High-security keys are offered by specific brands of lock and key manufacturers and require specialized equipment to cut the keys or close monitoring and control key-blank distribution. However, key duplication is one of the most violated security policies in business. If you do not have control over your keys, you do not have real security.

 

Why do “Do Not Duplicate Keys” exist?

Business owners and property owners began stamping “Do Not Duplicate” onto their keys in an attempt to control security violations from, for instance, terminated employees or former tenants. But, intruders are rarely ever stopped by just a warning message on a key. Rather, they simply take the key and have it duplicated. If someone wants to duplicate the key, there are plenty of locksmiths who have no problem doing so, and there is really no legal recourse. Though, there are locksmiths who will not duplicate these kinds of keys, so having the DND message on your key may actually hamper your company’s ability to provide keys to the people who need them.

Do Not Duplicate Keys
Do Not Duplicate Keys
Mul-T-Lock key

The Mul-T-Lock key has cuts that are called dimple cuts. The key requires specialized equipment to copy them. Distribution of the blanks for the keys are controlled which limits access to only trusted key duplication partners.

 

Another security measure to take to ensure your key is not copied is to make the lock difficult to pick. A typical pin and tumbler lock is fairly easy to pick or bump open if you know what you are doing, and burglars learn these skills quickly. Some lock manufacturers add additional pins to the typical 5-pin tumbler lock. Additional features might also be added such as angles or dimples.

 

Force Resistant or Bump Proof

One of the fastest ways to break into a property with a lock is to use blunt force, sometimes this force is referred to as bumping a lock. Installing a lock that is bump resistant or bump proof will help prevent a possible break in attempt by bumping.

 

When you need a do not duplicate key copied, you need to find a qualified locksmith who will be able to determine if you can legally duplicate the key. Better yet, implement extra security locks and keys to replace a do not duplicate key. Either way, the first and best place to look is to contact a local locksmith who will be able to serve your needs.

Bump Key

Bump Key

How is a bump key used, how does it work, is it new, and what are its limitations?

A bump key is a specially designed key that is used with a hammer or other item that applies blunt force to open a lock. These keys are usually used on a standard pin tumbler lock. While this sounds alarming as if it makes locks useless in protecting your property and keeping your family safe, there are limitations in what locks a bump key can open.

 

How a standard pin tumbler works

The basic parts of the lock include a key pin, a driver pin, a shear line, a cylinder, the plug, and the bible. The bible houses the plug, cylinder. The key is inserted into the cylinder. For a lock to open, it requires the use of the correct key. When a key is cut to fit a specific lock, the grooves are what allow the pins to line up properly with the shear line in order to turn the key and unlock the lock by turning the tumbler. The basic pin tumbler lock uses several stacks of pins. Each stack contains a bottom pin which is the key pin, a top pin which is the driver pin and a spring that is located above the top pin. The key pins are of varying lengths, while the driver pins are usually a standard length.

Using a bump key requires both skill and a bit of chance. A bump key is cut using the same brand of key as the lock. The grooves on the key are carefully filed down. The trick behind a bump key is that it moves the pins to either side of the shear line for just a quick amount of time that allows a blunt force, bump, to line up the driver pins above the shear line with the key pins below and allow the tumbler to turn.

 

Are Bump Keys New Technology?

Bump keys, or methods of picking a lock, have been around since the invention of the key and lock hundreds of years ago. The easiest keys to turn into a bump key are those that have a bow, the head of the key, a tip, the part that is inserted into the lock, cuts or grooves, and a shoulder, the part that rests against the edge of the outside of the lock to stop the key from going further into the keyhole when inserted. Years ago, locksmiths introduced a technique that was used to correct a cylinder that had been assembled improperly in their workshops and not as a way to break into a home. This technique involved tapping on a lock cylinder while applying pressure to make the pins jump inside the cylinder making the plug slide out freely.


Bump Key - Lock Bumping


Bump Key Limitations

Because almost all of residential doors in the United States use cylinder locks that are so vulnerable to bumping that a child could do it, they are an easy target for criminals. However, there are some limitations and show visible signs of forced entry when the lock is examined. A bump key will not work on high-security locking systems or on automobiles because vehicles do not use a pin tumbler style of lock but rather usually use sliders or wafer locks. However, there is a jiggle key that is somewhat similar to bumping.

 

How Do I Bump Proof My Locks?

First, take steps to securing your property by taking part in neighborhood watch programs, keeping landscaping trimmed so criminals may not hide as they try to gain access, and use security cameras and alarm systems. If your locks are more than five years old and have not been re-keyed, or if you have lost your keys or are not sure of who all has a copy of your keys, it is time to reevaluate your locks to make them bump proof. A deadbolt is the fastest, easiest, and most cost effective way to get a bump-proof lock. You could also install an anti-lock bumping device that prevents the turn knob that locks and unlocks the lock from turning, install security pins or high-security locks or a keyless entry system.

 

Ensure Your Locks and Keys are Safe and Secure

Making sure your locks are secure and safe from bumping attempts first requires knowledge of understanding how your locks and keys work followed by making the best decision for which locks you choose for your home or office. Learn how to properly protect your locks from bump key attempts of break-ins by contacting a knowledgeable and local locksmith who will be able to recommend steps to take or locking systems to install that are bump proof.