As most Washingtonians know, Governor Jay Inslee recently announced his four-phase plan to reopen businesses and modify physical distancing measures. To many, it feels that a return to normalcy is on the horizon. While this renewed hope is welcomed, we aren't in the clear yet, so a well-developed action plan and proactive communication with our tenants is still critical for Seattle property owners.
To protect public health, happiness, and your own business interest, here are our top changes to make while COVID-19 continues.
- Make policies that reflect the times
According a recent survey from real estate software company Appfolio, only 53% of properties actually had formal COVID-19 policies in place. You certainly don't to be in the bottom half of property owners. Between recommendations from Washington State Department of Health, the CDC, and WHO, the physical health fundamentals are already laid out. Beyond the basics, look at on-time payment rate and resident feedback to determine if it makes sense to waive late fees or offer payment accommodations or deferrals.
- Communicate with residents early and often
More than ever, our residents are staying inside, working from home, and reducing their social outings. These tenants will take peace of mind knowing that you have a concrete action plan and are working for their well-being if they are up to date on your latest efforts. Disinfecting shared spaces? Revising physical distancing policies? Increase communal buy-in by sharing updates in public spaces, via mailers, and in your tenant portals.
- Implement the latest digital tools
Properly set up, nearly every part of apartment property management can be done digitally – from rent collection to lease renewal to maintenance. Just because we need to limit face-to-face interactions doesn't mean that we have to stop showing our properties and filling vacancies. According to the Appfolio survey, 27% of properties are moving to virtual or self-showings – highlighting the importance of adopting technology best practices early.
As one respondent stated, “We can keep the human touch in our business, without physically touching.”
Guide Property Services is proud to remain ahead of the curve during this trying time. To learn how our trusted property management experts can handle policy, communication, technology, and so many other day-to-day business concerns, get in touch with us today.