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Rental Management During the COVID-19 Crisis

We created financial dependence, and we cannot survive shutting down operations, which is what happened in response to the pandemic in March 2020. New York City’s lack of understanding is why they made the decision not to order businesses to close. This led to the rapid spread of coronavirus. Further, they lacked the necessary PPE to safeguard residents. Thus, the city continued to operate in a dangerous environment, and more lives were lost.

The pandemic isn’t expected to slow down until at least at the end of this year. Consequently, how you plan and approach rental business operations is critical. Most individuals are under lockdown and are following the “stay at home, safe at home” guidelines. But what are the guidelines for running a business? Below are some business critical tips you can integrate into your new normal:

  • While you will never be able to completely replace physical interactions, you should always use protective masks and sanitize hands often. Limit physical interactions as much as possible.
  • Operating your business remotely is an imperative. While the technology costs are hefty – and hiring and adopting new solutions are not easy – consider what options are available that can shift the business to the cloud.
  • Use online tools to screen tenants, create contracts, auto generate rental bills, and collect with e-pay. Also provide the required tools for tenants to request services.
  • This is critical time as a landlord. You will want to proactively and effectively manage rentals. Delays can lead to subsequent evictions. Quick accounting of rental receipts and deep analysis of the tenant’s financial situation will give you ample warning signs of likely defaulters.
  • Start conversations early for a scale down recommendation. Have open and honest discussions with tenants in difficult circumstances to chart a path forward.
  • Determine if funding is available through Local / State and Federal renters emergency assistance programs. The major chunk of bailouts has ended but there are funding extensions. (Los Angeles County Renters assistance program opens on July 13th with a fund balance of $103M).
  • Provide payment options. We all hope to see a bright day but until then, exhausting credit is not a bad game at this difficult time. Check to see if you can provide an option to pay by credit card, and pass on the extra charges to the tenant or absorb the cost.
  • Remember: We all need a place to live. Your business fundamentals are strong, even though the tenant may be under extreme pressure due to low consumer confidence in the short run.
  • Cut costs and plan for reserve. Search for more insights to better manage the business.
  • Check local laws on eviction for tenants who are defaulting. Due to the pandemic, some states have placed evictions on hold. Perform your due diligence to make sure you do it right the first time.
  • Look for deals that are profitable. We will survive this pandemic and people need a place to stay.