We hope this helps you avoid unnecessary stress and combat the potential financial impact of the current situation while keeping your tenants, your teammates and yourself safe.
Get Clear on Your New Procedures
Find out what the current legal orders are for your area and keep in mind that as this situation evolves, new regulations are going out daily. It’s not a bad idea to check in with your owners about their concerns about the property, too. Once you’re clear on any necessary changes you need to make, gather your team and create an action plan for how to prioritize, respond to, and compensate for any required restrictions.
Reassure Your Tenants & Protect Your Bandwidth
Get ahead of the barrage of calls, emails, and office visits from tenants by preemptively sharing information and communicating any changes in your work order process.
- Post signs + fliers.
- Communicate any new rules your office may have, and remind them that we’re all in this together. You may also want to remind them to help keep the peace by being extra mindful of music and loud noises as everyone is likely working from home.
- Send emails.
- Send an email to tenants with the same information as mentioned above, as well as any more details about changes in the property (work order process, office visits, etc).
- Curb fear and isolation.
- If you can, think about doing something nice for your tenants, like dropping off rolls of toilet paper or hand sanitizer when you distribute your informational fliers.
- Keep your community connected in creative ways. You could have them send photos of the food they’re cooking at home that you share on your Facebook page or in a newsletter. Or, get even more creative and invite them to participate in something fun like a patio cheer contest: it’s not Christmas but decorate your patio to bring some joy back to the community.
Update your marketing language.
- To prevent your property from missing out on potential new renters, be sure to update your website and all listings with your status and any new regulations with how you do showings.
Anticipate financial hardship.
- If you haven’t already, you’ll likely receive requests from tenants to delay rental payments. Chat with your owner and find out their stance so you know how to quickly respond to tenants.
Implementing safety measures.
- Common areas.
- It’s recommended and in some places legally required to close common areas. If you’re keeping them open, post signs about any new rules and, if you can – beef up your cleaning schedule.
- Offer alternatives to your tenants: I.E. Golds Gym is offering free online workout classes for anyone to use right now.
Supporting and protecting your team.
- Remote working options.
- With most folks trying to work remotely, take advantage of different ways to be available even when you’re not there in-person. Utilize free video meeting platforms like Google video or Zoom, and forward your office line to your cell phone.
- Safer apartment showings.
- If possible, set up self-guided, automated or virtual showings. If you are still doing tours, encourage your staff to communicate to potential tenants that they’re practicing social distancing. Work to schedule showings by appointment only, and ask questions in advance (i.e. “please reschedule if you have a fever, or have recently traveled from a country with a high rate of infection”).
- Handling maintenance.
- Are all work orders postponed unless they’re emergencies? Notify your tenants of any changes in the work order process.
- Inform your maintenance techs of best health practices like social distancing, and provide them with extra hand washing or sanitizing options.
- Send tenants a gentle reminder email about the difference between emergencies versus convenience. Garbage disposal breaks? Use the trash. Dishwasher being wonky? Wash dishes by hand.
- To cut back on work orders, you might also take this time to share some common preventable issues (i.e. don’t put weird stuff in your disposal, be kind to your dishwasher, maybe wait on installing that thing yourself).
For even more support with working remotely, check out this article we put together that includes suggestions, tools, and recommended processes for keeping your team together – even when you need to be apart.
Taking care of yourself.
As all activities are limited to essential-only, we’re reminded that just like hospital workers and grocery store clerks, property managers must keep working in order for society to function and for people to stay safe. During recessions, people begin renting more than ever, so your job isn’t going to get easier anytime soon.
Look for ways to protect your time and stress levels. Maybe that means hiring Proper to save yourself 25+ hours a month and take all accounting and bookkeeping off your plate. Maybe that means working extra hard to communicate the situation with your tenants to keep the incoming calls at bay.
Whatever that looks like to you, know that during this challenging time, we salute you, and are here to support you however we can.
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Proper provides specialized accounting and bookkeeping services for property managers. From Yardi to Appfolio, Propertyware to Quickbooks, our expert accountants deliver accurate, reliable results while helping you streamline your processes, and grow your business.
Talk to us today about how we can help you navigate any accounting challenges you may be facing. We look forward to helping you grow.