Security & Owner’s Equity
A key role of security in the modern sense is preservation of owner’s equity by protecting life and property from harm. Security is a proactive, preventative concept, aimed at thwarting an unwanted occurrence that could result in a loss of equity.
Traditionally, we have approached crime after-the-fact. After a crime has been committed, law enforcement attempts to arrest a suspect. Unfortunately, we have realized that law enforcement cannot stop ever increasing crime.
Now, in both the private and public sector, emphasis is placed on prevention. In the private sector, this effort has become one of the components of competitive advantage. Client or customer confidence is the basis of successful business. No client or tenant will patronize an establishment if doing so will compromise personal safety. So, even if security is not the exclusive consideration, it is an issue of vital importance. It is an issue upon which choices are made and an issue upon which can build competitive advantage. Additionally, proper security programs complement facility or building operations and management and enhance emergency plans. Because modern tenants are very aware of security and safety issues they are basing leasing decision on such concerns.
of the Commercial Property Owner
As owners and managers of commercial property develop an awareness that the success of their business is dependent upon client and customer perceptions, then the full impact of the relationship between security, liability, and owner’s equity becomes apparent. The goodwill associated with a business is very much dependent upon the reputation of the provider. That reputation is the result of the clients’ perception of the extent to which the needs of the client, such as security, are provided by the owner and property manager.
As a matter of law, recent court cases have imposed tort liability on owners for failing to maintain premises reasonably secure from crime. As the courts view this issue, owners have a duty to provide security. The difficulty is defining reasonable security. Once security is instituted it must be within current industry standards. If guards are used, they must be knowledgeable and capable. If equipment is used, it must work. State-of-the-art is not always required but a level of security commensurate with conditions is prudent.
Security — A Leasing Sales Tool
Security is no longer an amenity but a necessity. Tenants check building security carefully before signing leases. The more protective measures available, the better they like it. Not only does a security program protect the physical investment, it helps lease the building. It also protects owners and managers in court, where, increasingly, security and liability are scrutinized very carefully during litigation. Therefore, astute owners and managers are aware that the appropriate role of security in real estate development and operation is the protection of both people and physical assets. Assets and protections add up to tangible evidence of the owner’s equity in a venture. The client’s perception of owner effectiveness in nurturing, developing, and protecting this equity is the owner’s reputation. To succeed in the long term, it is imperative that the owner’s reputation be protected and advanced.