The COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives and the way we do business in seemingly countless ways. It’s still changing them 18 months later. Property management hasn’t been spared when it comes to these changes. Many of them are here to stay. Today we’re looking at changes to property management that are looking to be with us for years to come.
But says Real Property Management Revolve, Arizona property managers, some things have not changed when it comes to effective property management, the main key being a company’s experience. If you’re looking for a property manager for your buildings and grounds, you need to seek out one with both experience and solid peer reviews. You also need a team that’s willing to give you and your tenants safe, professional management support on a 24/7 basis. This means both on-site and online via email and social media.
A recent report has noticed that experienced property managers found themselves to be such a valuable commodity during the pandemic. Management teams often found themselves “on the apartment front lines of the pandemic” which people have appreciated.
Property managers were identified as essential workers during the onset of the pandemic. Therefore, they needed to tap into their experience to adapt swiftly toward enacting new safety procedures not only for their residents and tenants but for their on-site work teams.
In the process of establishing new safety procedures, valuable lessons were said to have been learned. In other words, managers found out what worked and what did not work. They learned what could be incorporated into standard operating procedures going forward in a post-pandemic plagued world.
Here is a sampling of the biggest operational management shifts that property managers might experience post-COVID-19.
Resident/Tenant Events and Communication
Communication is critical to every business and organization. The business of property management is no different. During the pandemic, property management companies were said to have upped the frequency of their staff meetings.
Some chose to meet daily and even hourly, relaying critical updates regarding residents and members of their on-site teams. Relayed information revolved around COVID-19 updates and was utilized to establish new safety protocols for keeping staff and tenants as safe as possible.
But as everyone became accustomed to the new stay-at-home lifestyles, the frequency of informational meetings slowed. Management shifted to a more communication-as-needed approach. Much of this communication occurred via traditional methods, such as posting information on building bulletin boards and direct emails to tenants.
Managers also used social media sites on behalf of their properties to inform tenants about virtual events. The response to the social media posts became so favorable, this format is likely here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Management Maintenance and Operations
Property management companies are said to have paid special attention to the mental and physical well-being of their on-site teams during the most challenging months of the pandemic. With on-site maintenance teams being essential for keeping buildings and grounds safe, not to mention running smoothly, they were also expected to address tenants’ needs and even address their fears on a daily basis.
In order to quell some of the stress the on-site teams encountered, property management companies devised ways to lighten the load. One example of this was using “staggered hours for on-site teams”. This, combined with, coming up with self-guided tours for prospective clients. In addition to tenant work-order tutorials for minor in-unit issues.
The self-guided tours have proven especially successful, especially during the early stages of the rental experience, and will more than likely be something that’s here to stay, pandemic or no pandemic.
Working From Home
One of the biggest, most positive surprises that resulted from the pandemic was discovering that property management teams could effectively perform many functions and duties rather effectively from the comfort of their own homes. Naturally, not every task could be performed from home.
Tasks such as the leasing of units and spaces are far more effective when conducted in person, especially when it comes to luxury Class A type buildings and grounds. Since these properties attract premium rent costs, luxury rentals require “a customized personal touch” for keeping as many units rented as possible.
Allowing a resident to perform their own minor unit maintenance is said to have also been surprisingly positive changes to property management that is likely here to stay. Going forward, some residents can expect to receive training videos on everything from how to clear a clogged sink to fixing a squeaky hinge.
Also, tenants will likely see maintenance team members wearing masks when entering buildings and private units going forward. In a word, masking up is something that is here to stay post-pandemic.