COVID-19 is changing the property management industry, but what changes will stick around after the pandemic? The industry had to adapt to stay successful through this time. With that said, new policies in the sector aim to keep tenants and staff safe. All while making things easier and creating an innovative solution to the stay at home order. Continue reading to see how these changes can affect your Prince Georges County rental property.
Changes to Prince George’s County Property Management Amid COVID-19
Touring: Touring is an essential part of leasing and property management, but how do you do tours with a stay at home order? There are a few options a property manager or landlord has for touring rental properties during the pandemic:
- Virtual Tour: You can conduct virtual tours via facetime, zoom, skype, or any other form of video chat. This allows you to walk the tenant through the property and answer questions in real-time.
- 3D Tour: Several apps allow landlords to create 3D tours of their rental property to post on listing sites. This appears as a single image with 3D and will enable you to move the photo as if you were walking through the property. Have a professional or someone on your team skilled with photography assist.
- Pre-Recorded Tour: Another option is to have leasing agents do a pre-recorded tour as if they were showing a prospect in person. This allows you to have a database of tours to share with interested parties.
- Non-contact Tour: A non-contact tour is when a leasing agent heads to the property ahead of time and unlocks the door for a tenant to self-tour. Of course, the security at the rental must be up to date, so you don’t run into any trouble.
Ideally, the leasing agent will be nearby to lock the door right after the tenant leaves. Smart locks also help to lock and unlock for tenants remotely! Encourage prospects to sanitize before entering the property for the safety of themselves and others.
Leases and Applications:
- Over the past few years, leasing applications and contract documents have gone online. Yet, there are still some property managers/landlords that allow the option of paper applications.
- Due to COVID-19, the sharing of any printed papers, pens, etc. that others have touched can be hazardous. With that said, leases and applications should be online and online-only right now. Use PandaDoc, DocuSign, or a similar application to send and receive signed documents.
- The majority of landlords, property managers, and property management companies have switched to online rent payments over the years. Some still allow paper checks for those that choose to drop it off in person or send it via mail.
- Due to health concerns, most companies are only accepting online payments. Many offer tutorials for those, not tech-savvy residents that may need extra help.
- Complete inspections at move-in, move-out, and every 3-6 months. Typically, these are done in-person to ensure the tenant can give feedback if needed. Virtual inspections are now the norm for many property management companies.
- Either the tenant walks the manager through the property virtually, or allows the landlord to enter while they are out. Wearing a mask and gloves helps to ensure the safety of both parties. The tenant can be present via video chat if they choose to.
Work from Home:
- Allowing employees to work from home has been a debate in the workforce for quite some time. Especially in the property management industry as a lot of tasks are face to face.
- Remote work is safest for the tenant/prospect and property management staff. With that said, many companies have adapted work from home strategies using items listed above. Things are still going well and keeping the industry afloat.
Importance of Changes After COVID-19
All the things mentioned above were adapted due to the virus but work very well, allowing for more productivity and less travel time. Work from home is best for some workers and harder for others, but it might be something to consider going forward. Even in our industry, we see that employees can still be successful from home.
Besides, it is important to note how easy doing all paperwork online is. It is much more efficient, saves paper, and allows those out of town to more easily sign a lease and application. Having several different virtual tour options can help attract out of town residents and get leases signed quicker without needing an in-person meeting.
The pandemic is a tragedy and impacting many, but it has allowed for positive changes in the industry. We will continue learning, changing, and innovating if we keep being open to different policies and procedures like the ones developed during COVID-19.
A Prince George’s County Property Management Company Can Help!
Are you having trouble adapting to COVID-19? Are you a Prince George’s County landlord struggling to keep up with the necessary technology and changes? We can help! Contact Bay Property Management Group Prince George’s County to learn how we can help change your policies for a more successful leasing season throughout the pandemic and after!