7 Ways to Manage Property Management Business Remotely Post COVID-19

Posted on:
September 16, 2020

Do you know that 157 US companies with $50M liabilities filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy due to COVID-19? If you don’t want to be on that list, keep reading our article, and learn the best ways to manage your property management business remotely. 

COVID-19 is continuously spreading even after nine months of its first reported case. Just North America has 2 Million+ active cases. It is an alarming situation! 

Every single business is affected, and property management companies are no exception. A survey conducted by Buildium reported that 64% of the property managers suffered, in terms of profitability, due to this pandemic.

We recognize how hard it is to balance your finances when rental payments are suspended. The pandemic will last for a long time, and if you don’t adapt to it now, you might lose the business forever. 

Remote working is the only option left, but you sure you will/are managing everything smoothly? From following up with your leads and conducting property tours, dealing with maintenance issues and lease signings, are all of your responsibilities going in the right direction?   

If no, don’t worry and keep reading, because we have covered all your concerns in this article! 

7 Ways to Manage Your Property Management Business Remotely During ‘The New Normal’ 

Remote work can either boost your property management business or be messy. The choice is yours! 90% of Property management companies are already working with a “new normal pandemic plan.” To stay in the game, you need to implement a plan based on COVID policies as well. 

This plan needs to be designed in a more specific, creative, and organized way, including all the objectives you want to achieve. The safety of your team, tenants, contractors, and other clients is another big concern. And we understand how crucial all your responsibilities are.  

Many of you might be questioning, “How to ace in a property management business amid a pandemic?” We have hand-picked seven best ways to manage the remote work in a timely and efficient manner for your convenience. 

Stay Connected  

The key to maintaining a sustainable work environment is communication. It is okay if remote work makes you feel like you’re missing out. Property managers have a lot on their plate. As a leader, you know how important it is to keep everyone on the same page.  

Remote work is different from your routine one. While being in an office, you can walk-in to someone and discuss critical issues. Remote work requires you to be active all the time to keep your team engaged. That’s why we recommend using communication software such as Zoom, Slack, or Google Hangouts to stay connected with your colleagues and streamline your team communication.  

Maintain Emergency Contractors’ List  

Each day holds a different story, be it for the property manager or the tenant. You never know when you might get a call for an emergency repair task.  

In case of an emergency, finding a contractor within a few hours can be difficult. To prevent you from facing any delays in handling maintenance issues, we recommend preparing a list of trusted emergency contractors beforehand. Doing so will also strengthen your tenant-manager relationship, and that is a giant leap towards success.  

Property management companies give their tenants immense value, which is why they take even minor, non-emergency maintenance issues very seriously. You can solve these issues by assisting the renters through modern technology. Here are some ways that are entirely safe and cost-efficient: 

  • Shoot how-to videos for the most common issues renters are facing. 
  • Guide tenants over a live video call. Let a technician or field expert take them through the steps thoroughly. 
  • Deliver equipment on their doorsteps, if required. 

We would recommend you to manage all maintenance problems by hiring a remotely working maintenance company. They can take tenants’ calls and resolve their issues in no time. 

Switch to Virtual Tours 

Properties of virtual tours

The property management business is more about going out, showing the properties, meeting new tenants, visiting properties for inspection, and less about staying in the office. But virtual tours have made everything possible remotely.  

Instead of meeting each prospective tenant at the property, you can give them a virtual tour by recording a video. A separate tour for each individual with SOPs is possible, but it’s very time-consuming. In comparison, recorded videos can work for multiple tours at a time.  

According to Redfin, virtual tours have gained popularity by 494% in March. Still, thinking about it? Now is the time to take a step further with virtual tour companies

A walk-in through each space gives a real feel and can also be posted on listing sites. And guess what? 23% of people are actually making renting decisions based on virtual tours. So, why not take advantage? 

Many companies provide tools through which you can make your virtual tours appealing

Virtual tours can also assist you with your routine property inspections. Request and educate your tenants to walk through the house and give you a live virtual tour. If you detect any issue during your virtual inspection, address it instantly.  

Conduct Tenant Screening Remotely 

Screening quality tenants reflects your turnover rates, and you can’t overlook that. You can receive applications and conduct their pre-qualification tests through AI chatbots built for property management. These intelligent AI chatbots are secure, smart, and can pre-screen tenants automatically for you. 

Further processes of running background, employment, and credit checks can be managed remotely. How? Through the workflow automation you’re about to dive into!  

There are various software that can help you here. Once you’re done with the tenant verification process, the interviews or meetings can be aligned via video calls.  

Tenants Screening Criterion

Switch to Remote Leasing and Digital Payments 

Even though COVID has put a halt to many outdoor activities, people are still shifting houses, signing new leases, and renewing old ones. In fact, 52% of people are ready to move in as soon as they find an appropriate place. So, you too need to be accessible. 

COVID-19 has pushed many property management companies towards advancement by switching to digital leasing processes. There are leasing companies for that, and you can always rely on signing a leasing agreement online.  

Property management companies have a busy cashflow system, and that too can be managed remotely. If you are still not advanced enough and lacking behind digital payment platforms, you need to gear-up. Start collecting rent and fees through such digital platforms. And track even the smallest amount. 

Having a hard time generating new leases during this pandemic? Try reading our tips on converting leads into leases faster. 

Update your Rent and Eviction Policies 

COVID-19 has affected the tenants as well. Most of them are unable to pay rent. As per the Labor Department, 3.3 Million cases were filed for unemployment, which is huge. Tenants are pleading for rental relief, and we can realize how hard this time is for all the property management businesses. 

The government has already suspended evictions till 31st Dec, and you can’t do anything about it. The worst part is some opportunistic tenants taking advantage of the whole eviction situation. While many weren’t able to pay the rent, some might be using pandemic as an ‘excuse.’  

But obviously, the excuse couldn’t last for a long time.

Requirements to Qualify for a Rental Suspension:

Recently, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) declared the requirements to qualify for a rental suspension.  As a property manager, you need to see: 

  • Renters have made all their efforts (including government assistance) to pay the rent. 
  • Their earnings in 2020 are not expected to cross $99,000 ($198,000, in case of a joint tax return). 
  • They have suffered substantial medical expenses or have lost household income.  
  • Renters are making efforts to pay as much rent as they can partially. 
  • They have no other housing options in case of an eviction.  

If you know your tenants, and they are authentic, make mutual arrangements. You both can come up with a solution and make things work out. 

Give Relief to your Workforce 

Do you know that 77% of workers are more comfortable and productive while working remotely? Well, this indicates how positive your business is during a pandemic. But are you returning them the favor? Do they get relief during work? 

For running a successful property management business, you must plan ahead and allocate tasks to your team members accordingly. You can’t bombard your employees with tasks that consume their 24 hours. 

Working from home can overburden them if you don’t have a work-life balanceAccording to the study by CoSo Cloud, 52% of the remote workers find it hard to take time off.  

You can make remote work easy for them by conducting virtual tours of the property. Or by using automated software that schedules one tour per day, so the employees don’t have to travel a lot.  

Your workers will be more productive if they are relaxed. Try making flexible policies and have happy employees to get satisfied tenants. 

Laptop with surgical mask and phone

Remote work can be a completely new experience for many of you. And those who already have workflow automation can adjust in less time, conveniently. Few property management companies will lead during this rough time, while others will suffer. It’s up to you which one you want to be. 

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