The Role of Property Management Companies in COVID-19 Precautions
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a brave new world for the real estate industry. Developers of properties are struggling to gain the permits that they need to build or renovate properties. Major real estate players are finding it difficult to ensure that both their employees and customers are being given the right protection.
At the same time, property owners are growing increasingly worried that tenants won’t be able to pay their rent as the threat of a deep recession looms.
Right now, it is essential that key figures in the real estate industry respond rapidly to the new challenges. Property managers are some of the players making great strides toward mitigating the widespread effects of COVID-19. Here’s how property management companies are keeping housing arrangements functioning.
Viewings must continue for property owners to maintain an income. However, the standard viewing practice is no longer an option.
Tech is providing the answer here, with 27% of property managers who participated in one poll stating they were using virtual showings in April—and that number has likely continued growing. Technology was already becoming a key focus in the industry before COVID-19 precautions were put in place, and the pandemic is only likely to speed up this process. Even after lockdown measures are lifted, technology is likely to continue playing an increased role in property transactions.
Every business is now responsible for ensuring that its employees and customers remain safe in the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. Property managers are pushing to ensure that the right safety measures and sanitary solutions are in place. Of those surveyed, 58% are ensuring that contact surfaces are being disinfected more frequently, while 50% are increasing how often they clean areas and 64% have put social distancing rules in place.
This is particularly true in areas that are high risk. Property management teams may also need to adjust their procedures depending on the likelihood of contamination in a location at any point.
Perhaps surprisingly, smaller property management companies seem to be more effective at responding to the threat than larger businesses. When surveyed, property management companies managing less than 500 units were shown to be more likely to have social distancing measures in place.
Property managers are also taking on more roles for their clients while ensuring that people find it easier to remain in their homes. For instance, 32% are handling renewals remotely through the use of the latest technology. They are working to ensure that issues with payments are handled effectively, too.
A key focus is lessening the financial pressure on tenants. Many property managers and landlords are now holding off on increasing rent and taking steps to provide more flexible lease terms.
In terms of evictions, property management teams are taking action to reduce the chances of people losing their homes. At the beginning of April, 10% had already voluntarily paused evictions, and 29% claimed they were considering implementing this measure.
Ultimately, the goal of each property management company is the same goal that every business should have right now: focusing on keeping everyone safe, from people viewing new properties to tenants, owners, and, of course, employees. Property managers are also working to prepare for long-term changes to business practices while still providing the best possible service to their clients.