The spreading of COVID-19 across the country and world has presented property managers with a double set of concerns. You have the responsibility of ensuring that both you and your tenants stay safe and healthy. You also need to manage your property management business.
Expect to see these changes happen throughout the property management industry post COVID-19.
If you manage your own properties from an office, consider closing it. You can do almost all of your management tasks remotely from home. This will eliminate unnecessary travel and reduce your risk of transmission.
For those that have hired a property management firm, reach out to them about possible office closures. Well organized firms will be able to provide you with contact information for their remote workers.
Increased Tenant Communication
These are stressful times for both you and your tenants. Keep in mind that while you may have the stress of reduced rental income, for your tenants it’s more stressful. Your rental property is their home. It’s important to reach out to your tenants and keep in regular contact with them.
Develop a plan for how you will handle late, partial, or missing rental payments. You can come up with different solutions that will work for both you and your tenants. Communicate these options in writing with your tenants.
New and Constantly Changing Laws
Before you make any policy, you need to check the law. You don’t want to find yourself in violation of any COVID-19 enacted policies. For example, the Governor of the state of California signed an executive order that halts all evictions through May 31, 2020. This doesn’t ban evictions but puts them on hold for tenants that were up to date on rent and have only fallen behind due to COVID-19.
Checking on a state and federal level isn’t enough. You also need to check the city and county where the property is located. Many have enacted emergency laws that provide even stronger protection.
Increased Virtual Tool Utilization
While there are still a few brave souls who want to see a property in person, the vast majority of potential tenants want a virtual option. This means property managers need to change their marketing and tactics by shifting to an online-based approach.
In the past, you would use an online listing as a sales funnel tool to convince potential renters to come to see a property. In response to COVID-19, your online property listing needs to both attract and sell someone on your property.
You can do this by having detailed professional photos taken, creating virtual tours, and moving all rental document online.
Changing Lease Terms
While you can’t make changes to your current leases, you may want to join the many property managers who are making adjustments to future agreements. Many landlords are making changes to limit their risk of lease terminations and defaults due to the economic fallout of a pandemic.
You’ll want to review your rental agreement and analyze the terms with COVID-19 in mind. You may find that you need to adjust your contract to limit your risk in the future but you must consider what you wish to do is complying with the rules and regulations.
Adjust Your Property Management Post COVID-19
Adjusting to the new property management industry post COVID-19 doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Stay abreast of the property management industry by knowing the latest laws and improving your use of innovative technological tools.
Another smart move is to work with a professional property management service provider. This can help you leverage their knowledge and resources to advance the management of your rental properties.
Contact the team at PMI CONTRA COSTA and let us help you navigate the evolving property management industry.