The coronavirus pandemic has affected businesses in different ways. Many people have lost their jobs. Some companies are forced to move to virtual environments or are on temporary closure. With these sudden changes, property owners have to rethink their lease strategies. With most people forced to shelter at home, the real estate business is at risk. The long-term effects of the coronavirus vary depending on the response of business owners. No one knows what will happen, at least in the next two years.
Predictions on how the pandemic will affect the market differ. The hospitality industry has taken a blow, especially in tourist areas. Business areas are also at a weak spot since most people are working from home. Property owners have to find a way to keep the business running. One has to consider financial implications, competition, communication with tenants, repairs, and more. Here’s how property managers should consider their real estate business to thrive in the middle of a pandemic.
Open better communication channels with tenants
Communication is important in businesses, and this includes real estate. Other property owners would disappear after a tenant pays their rent when this should not be the case. Property owners and managers should be able to make quick decisions, especially during a public emergency. They have to keep tenants engaged and well-informed about operations, schedules, repairs, and more.
Many tenants are keen on reopening business while adopting new procedures. Hence, it is the property manager’s responsibility to ensure they are compliant with standards and protocols. Changes and requests must be communicated well. A basic yet foolproof communication strategy would be to form a hotline that tenants can call when they have urgent requests. Some may ask Sentry Glass repairs or lock updates. Others could have concerns about common area safety. It is best to have a line available for these questions and requests for a faster response time.
Another good communication strategy is to offer a feedback mechanism. Tenants can leave their comments and feedback about how the management is faring. Feedback is important as there is always room for improvement. It is also vital during these times when even property managers can feel uncertain with changing requirements. Property managers should also set aside time to meet with tenants, even virtually. Through these meetings, managers and tenants can discuss plans for the future. This will help both parties know what to expect from each other soon.
Review financial and contractual commitments in leases
A contract is a commitment. However, the pandemic has forced many business owners to bend or oversee whatever has been written on agreements. This puts property owners in a difficult financial position. Many are averse when talking about contracts. However, terms should be reviewed because these serve as a guide for both the tenant and the property owner’s commitment. It is a signed and binding document that operates the relationship between both parties. Be open to discuss payment terms, debt agreements, and other financial and contractual issues with your tenants.
Boost your company’s competitive positioning
These trying times open opportunities to improve your position among different competitions. Many are indeed struggling to get new tenants. However, your marketing efforts should not stop just because everyone else stopped advertising their services. You can improve your company’s competitive edge by doing the following.
- Be active in social media. Keep followers updated with the latest about your real estate business. You can share tips and updates, as well as openings in your properties. Make sure to answer queries, as these can be from prospective tenants or buyers.
- Maintain your listings. There are still interested clients looking for office spaces or home rentals, even amid the coronavirus pandemic. Keep your lines open and make sure your listings are updated, so clients have an idea of what you have to offer.
- Add virtual tours to your blog or site. Virtual tours are a convenient way to take your clients around without them having to be on-site with you. As people are careful about going outdoors, a virtual tour can help clients decide if their property is the right choice.
While threats of coronavirus are still among us, life goes on. Adjusting to the COVID-19 landscape is inevitable, as businesses are looking into resuming their operations. By looking into these tasks, you can be assured of bringing in new business opportunities even in this financially-challenging time.