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Getting Down to Business -- Virtually

Posted By: Jaci Willoughby Membership ,

As we are still learning to navigate our world during the COVID-19 Pandemic many of us have had to make adjustments to the way we do business as well. As a landlord or property manager how do you best approach new tenants and show your property with all these social distancing restrictions in place? How do you handle maintenance and repair requests? Putting these important policies into place now will save you much trouble in the future.

There are several options available when it comes to Virtual Tours of your property. You may decide to for for a Live Tour using Facebook Live, FaceTime, Whats App, or any other virtual meeting software. Schedule a private appointment with your potential tenant, then walk them through the property via livestream. This way your tenant can ask to see features that are specific to their needs, can ask you questions on what they see right away, and get a clear understanding of what the property looks like before signing the lease. It’s a more personal way to get to know your tenant and for them to know you as a landlord.

You may opt for a Produced Video Tour, or a 360-Degree Tour and attach this to a listing on your Rental listing site of choice. This is a common practice for Real Estate Agents when selling homes, and is an effective tool that gives tenants a look at the property on their schedule. You can hire a company to produce the video for you – but there’s no need for that if you’re comfortable shooting video on your phone and using video editing software. Having a Pre-Produced video allows potential tenants an opportunity to see the property before contacting you – saving YOU valuable time!

Utilize eSignature software to take care of all the forms and documents needed prior to move-in. If you’re not already utilizing RMAP as part of your member benefits – now is the time to do so! Our RMAP software allows you to complete all of the paperwork electronically and send it over to your potential tenants to sign electronically. Our property management software allows you to collect rent online as well, so there’s no handling payments from tenants in person, keeping you safe from exposure.

RHAWA has made renewing your annual membership much easier, giving you access 24/7 to all of the forms and tools you need to effectively manage your properties virtually! We’ve added both a Saved Credit Card feature as well as an Auto-Pay feature to our member accounts. When it’s time to renew your membership, simply save your credit card information to your Member Compass and select Auto-Pay Future Membership Renewals. Every member who chooses to auto-pay their membership renewals will receive a $5 discount on all future dues, as well!

Of course there are some things that must take place in person, so be sure to stay up-to-date on all Social Distancing Practices in your area. Be sure to instruct tenants of your social distancing policies up front – and enforce them! Also, letting potential tenants know about your own efforts to ensure their safety is a good idea. What sort of cleaning measures take place between tenant occupancy? How will maintenance and repair requests be handled? You can never over-communicate your policies – utilize phone calls and email, or post notices in common areas if you own multiple units.

What happens if a tenant becomes infected with Covid-19? Should you tell others in the building? The answer to this by experts is a resounding NO! According to Multi-Housing News, revealing personal information about an infected resident is something they strongly recommend you not to do. Feel free to point your tenants to hotlines and outside resources, but as a property manager you’re not required or expected to act as a health screener.

It seems what we had hoped would be a temporary “new normal” may become just the actual norm. Utilizing online software to run your business will only strengthen your property management efforts, and you may find it a more efficient way to manage your business. Putting in to place strong social distancing and maintenance policies too, can only protect you and your property in the long run.

Don’t forget - when you’re ready to renew your Membership, be sure to sign up for Auto-Pay and save $5 off your Membership Dues each year!