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About Us

Our History

HandyTrac was founded in 1995 by John and Debra Lie-Nielsen to create an electronic key control system that combined efficiency, security and affordability. This innovative product eventually led HandyTrac to design the first fingerprint identity verification for key control systems, offering Wi-Fi capability, touch screen, bilingual options, and online key reporting and audit trail.

Today, HandyTrac is the largest provider of electronic key control systems in the industry and serves over 16,000 customers, over 5 million units nationwide. All HandyTrac systems are designed, built, and supported in-house at the company’s headquarters in Alpharetta, GA. HandyTrac Systems is the “Low-Cost Leader” in key control!

Our Team

Chief Executive Officer

John Lie-Nielsen

John Lie-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer, has more than 30 years leadership experience in technology and Real Estate. In 1995, he started HandyTrac Systems to provide key control for the multifamily industry. He also launched WaterSignal, a leader in water conservation programs for real estate. In 1983, he founded Johnstown American, which managed 180,000 apartment and condominium units. Lie-Nielsen is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Emory University in Atlanta with a BA in Economics. He has been awarded 3 patents.

Steve Alvarez

Steve Alvarez, Vice President/Partner, has over 25 years of property management experience. He was Senior Vice President, Operations for General Investment and Development Co., and held executive positions with Alex Brown Property Management, Johnstown American and Epoch Management. Alvarez is a Certified Apartment Property Supervisor (CAPS), a Certified Manager of Housing (CMH) and a University of Florida graduate with a BSBA in both Insurance and Finance.

Larry Kratz

Larry Kratz, President, has over 25 years of experience in sales to the multifamily housing industry. Prior to joining HandyTrac, Larry worked in technology sales for both Nextel Communications and AT&T. Larry also worked for Dean Witter Reynolds in New York City for 5 years. Larry has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Syracuse University.
Vice President Client Services

Debra Lie-Nielsen

Debra Lie-Nielsen, Vice President Client Services, has over 25 years experience with HandyTrac Systems working directly with multifamily sites providing training and service on software and communications, as well as marketing and trade show presentations. Prior to this she was an elementary school teacher. Debbie has a BS degree from the University of Missouri in Early Childhood Development and Elementary Education.

Evolution of HandyTrac

Western National Property Management initially selected the Handytrac system because of the bar code tag assignment that ensures the safekeeping of our resident keys. Handytrac has since developed the reporting capabilities and on-line access of the system to include daily key log reports, key maps for failsafe backup and employee activation/deactivation. The Handytrac system has been very reliable and we’ve received outstanding product support and great response time from their representatives.

Western National Property Management

The simple, compact design ensures years of worry-free use with no maintenance issues and a very low energy footprint. We rely on the security this system provides and the online access which ensures we know where all our keys are 24/7. The price fits perfectly in our budget and the systems have all the essential features and functions of much more expensive systems. The expandability allows us to operate with the effectiveness on small and very large assets. HandyTrac has been the perfect choice for Milestone for nearly a decade and truly is a valued partner.

Milestone Management

We have made a big transition into keeping our specialty keys more secure and we couldn't have done it effectively without a product like HandyTrac.

University of Connecticut

We chose HandyTrac as our company-wide key control system after looking at similar products. We selected HandyTrac because it offers the best combination of features and value for our business. It is easy to set-up and install, simple to use and reasonably priced. The system is backed by a service plan that makes it an unbeatable value.

Altman Management Company

Our Core Values


Our relentless focus on cost control and efficiency assures lowest prices.


We keep our promises to customers and to each other.


Our products are built to last. Systems installed over 15 years ago are still going strong.


We are known and praised for excellent service.

Technical Innovation

HandyTrac holds 3 US patents and another pending.
We focus on customer needs, then invent and test solutions.

HandyTrac principals have created innovative programs for multifamily for over 30 years:

  • “Little Buddy” rent roll program
  • Clever Computer Internet Services
  • HandySource Purchasing System
  • Online key control and work order systems
  • WaterSignal system to detect leaks and conserve water
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