Washington DC property managers and students have been left wondering about the Fall semester thanks to COVID-19. Will campuses and student housing reopen? What does the Washington DC rental market look like thanks to COVID uncertainty? As a landlord in popular student neighborhoods such as Georgetown, Foggy Bottom, or West End, understanding the potential impact is critical. Read on as we discuss changes in the DC rental market for Fall Semester.
How will Washington DC Campuses Reopen for the Fall Semester?
As administrators evaluate the changing conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the struggle lies in how to reopen safely. The city continues to move forward, particular guidelines have been laid out for college campuses. Learn more below about special preventative measures to help keep students and staff safe:
College Campuses Required to Adhere to the Following
- There will be a limit of no more than 10 people gathered in any one area,
- Social distancing of 6 feet between individuals for all activities
- No large gatherings or social events allowed
- Face coverings will be required for all students and staff for any in-person academic activities
Additional Recommendations for Proper Safety
- Following Federal and local guidelines, all facilities should be regularly cleaned
- If there was an extended facility shutdown, schools should test ventilation and water systems. This ensures they are safe, per CDC guidance.
- Perform frequent symptom checks for all students and staff.
- Screen any individual returning from travel for symptoms and monitored for the development of any symptoms.
Colleges are Deciding, Where do we go from here?
With the Fall quickly approaching, universities began to release reopening plans. Recently Georgetown University announced that Georgetown would be opening. Yet, that does not mean business as usual. The college laid out a series of restrictions that will have an impact on students, and those that count on students to rent their properties in the surrounding area.
Welcoming Students Back to Campus
- Only an estimated 2,000 first-year undergraduates will be allowed on campus. This may include some others whose personal situation hinders their ability to study virtually or at home.
- There will be only a limited number of upperclassmen. Overall, restricted to those where an on-campus presence is necessary.
- A limited number of student Resident Assistants to support the reduced on-campus community.
How to Prepare your Washington DC Rental Property to Attract Student Renters?
One thing is clear, with conditions still uncertain, so are the plans to reopen. Many of the institutions that have addressed their reopening plan have also warned they are prepared to offer complete virtual learning if necessary. Online only college classes could have an impact on the rental market in the surrounding area. Some neighborhoods count on an influx of students this time of year. Read on to learn more about what you can expect as a landlord?
- Be ready for marketing – Time is money when it comes to investment properties. If your property is currently vacant, make sure it is clean, the turnover work is complete, and it looks its best for potential renters.
- Price right – If colleges move towards virtual learning, the number of students moving to the area will decrease. Inventory is high, and demand is changing. Conduct plenty of research in your neighborhood to make sure your property is priced to move.
- Budget for vacancy – With plans still uncertain, many students are postponing their search as they wait for colleges to make final decisions. This means your property could sit vacant longer than expected.
Tips for Attracting DC Renters?
- Focus on the neighborhood: Location, location, location! Be sure to highlight neighborhood amenities, local entertainment, or unique charm that appeals to a variety of potential renters.
- Must-have amenities: Capitalize on convenience! In-unit or onsite laundry is a must for renters, especially students. Not only is it more convenient, but it is also more cost-effective, an important plus for those on a budget.
- Technology is a must: COVID has changed the way tenants search for properties. Online presence is crucial as most renters turn to sites like Zillow and Apartment Finder. Consider adding virtual and no-contact tour capabilities or a video walkthrough for potential tenants.
- Don’t skimp on security: Everyone wants to feel secure in their home. This is a particular feature that students and their parents value when searching for a rental. With that said, installing or highlighting an existing system of cameras, motion-censored lighting, and secured entry can make your property more desirable to potential tenants.
The rental market in Washington DC has some unknowns heading into the Fall semester of 2020. However, one thing is for sure; trusted and knowledgeable Washington DC property managers can guide you through while protecting your best interests. Check out Bay Property Management Group Washington DC for full-service property management services and advice you can count on.