Things are a bit crazy around the world at the moment, all down to the Coronavirus. Declared as the pandemic by WHO, COVID-19 is one serious issue that we shouldn’t ignore. Experts and health authorities have been posting guild lines as well as preventive measures and stressing upon social distancing to stay safe and avoid the plague.
As a landlord or a property manager, you are in the position to take some precautionary measures that will not only keep you but your tenants safe as well. Here are some tips with which you can educate your residents and your family amid this crisis.
How To Prepare?
The virus is unpredictable as well as unexpected; this is the worst part. The question is, can there be any preparatory or preventive measures for this? Well, it’s not about how you will escape the pandemic; it’s about how you will stand tall and fight it. Start with the following to prepare yourself.
We only fear what they can’t understand, and COVID-19 is the perfect example of that. The first thing you can do is to distinguish myth and false information from the authentic ones. Start educating yourself and gather information only from authenticated and government-approved websites. Follow the links of World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to get the real information. You can find information regarding the general public, health officials, as well as for governments.
Rental property, as well as real estate, is one business that can’t be put on hold. You can’t work from home; you have to attend the tenants. Hence, a number of authorizes have come forward to help the landlords make better of this horrible situation.
Changed Thinking will lead to Changed Habits:
COVID-19 has changed the patterns of life, and it’s not easy to stomach or comprehend such a huge change. As a landlord, your tenants will turn to you for guidance as well as reassurance. So, you need to calm yourself down and prepare yourself for their queries. Being proactive and urging others to follow your lead is the best thing one can do at the moment.
Rental Industry Preventive Measures:
We know it’s a virus, we know it stays on surfaces, and we know how to kill it. So, being mindful of cleaning first and touching later will help us fight this better than anything else. Everyone in the residential unit needs to raise their level of cleanliness. Constantly disinfecting handrails, doorknobs stairwells, doorknobs, should become a huge priority.
Think of yourself as a germ freak and act accordingly, in the light of the pandemic, no one will judge you for being paranoid. There are many common areas in a multi-complex residential unit. Try to stay away from such areas like playgrounds, pools, and gyms. And carry a disinfected with you when you are working in the laundry room or touch any other public equipment. Try and keep away from the following common areas, as a landlord, it’s your duty to rope off these areas till this pandemic is over.
- Community Hubs
- Gym and Spas
As a landlord, it’s hard for you to create a virtual office. However, there are many software available online that will help you create a virtual office and enable you to work from home. The following can be managed by online software:
- Work from home
- Your employees can log in as well and work from home
- Electronic payments
- Complain portal for tenants
Handling cash or card is a big no, so make sure you, your tenant, as well as your employees are aware of the risks. You can also offer third party solutions to your tenants to drop off the payment at a convenience store in your account.
In the light of the ongoing pandemic, it’s wise not to conduct any rental inspections; however, many will argue that since this is their bread and butter, they can ignore this practice altogether. So, if you have to do that and there is no other way, you can get an online video inspection through many applications like Skype, Duo, face time, etc. by doing this, you will have a successful inspection without putting anyone at risk.
Educating the tenants:
Like we said earlier, being a landlord puts you in a difficult position. You are responsible to not only take care of yourself and your family but also your tenants. So, educating them is also your responsibility. Think of yourself as a pilot, who has to calm down his passengers in an unexpected turbulence situation.
- Have a meeting with your tenants, and calmly explain the whole thing.
- Help them understand that they won’t be able to help other people if they don’t help themselves first.
- Educate your tenants and yourself about the quarantine situation. For those who have young tenants like college students, this is going to be a huge responsibility.
- You can also put up posters and useful information around your property to emphasis the importance of hand washing, sanitizing, wearing proper protective gear like masks and gloves as well as avoiding physical contact.
- You can also create a broadcast messaging group to send links, information as well as videos to help your tenants make sense of the situation.
- Educate your family and tenants on how to wear masks correctly and when to change them.
- Also, share with them the myth-busters, so there is no unnecessary panic among your tenants regarding COVID-19 and its effects. For example, using a hairdryer to kill COVID-19 is a myth.
Many may think that the pandemic is nothing but people and governments panicking; however, its better safe than sorry. Optimistically, it’s nothing, and we will soon get past it, but there is nothing wrong with taking precautions and keeping safe. There is nothing wrong with following the experts as well as local governing advice and extending kindness and care to the most vulnerable members of our surroundings. Stay vigilant, stay safe.