There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many facets of property management. One of the most affected areas is how property managers interact with their residents. Property managers who have learned to effectively communicate with prospective and current residents through virtual channels have succeeded most at maintaining a high level of operation and tenant retention. As you continue to manage your property throughout the course of the pandemic, here are some ways in which you can strengthen connections with your residents virtually during this turbulent time:
Implement tools to conduct business transactions virtually.
As you sign on new tenant leases and exchange information with existing residents, it’s best to conduct these interactions through a secure digital portal. Procedures like tenant applicant screenings, interviews, meetings, and contract signings can all be done through virtual means. In particular, e-signing tools like DocuSign or Adobe Sign can allow for easy processing of e-signatures and contract approvals without any in-person interactions. Identifying the best tools and platforms to conduct these types of transactions virtually is the best way to keep both your staff and residents safe and healthy.
Implement reliable remote communications technology.
Residents need to know they can actively communicate with property management about their questions and concerns. There are many applications that allow for smoother, more efficient two-way virtual communication with residents, including video chat, instant messaging, and mobile texting. Finding the best technology for your property’s ongoing communications needs is imperative for keeping residents informed and updated. While they may be an expensive investment up front, these tools can be instrumental in keeping your property running smoothly while attracting and retaining residents.
Develop a plan for handling maintenance and emergency requests.
While many minor repairs and maintenance issues can be handled with limited face-to-face contact, larger maintenance and emergency needs should be addressed with a thorough health and safety plan. In terms of non-critical repairs such as leaky faucets or rattling heaters, these types of issues can be temporarily placed on hold until social distancing protocols are lightened. However, for emergency requests that require maintenance workers to respond promptly, proper safety precautions should be taken whenever possible (such as PPE gear and thorough sanitation).
By making a habit of fully implementing these practices within your community, better relationships will be forged between your property management team and your residents – not just during the pandemic but for the months and years to come. Most importantly, your property’s health and safety standards will benefit every individual on your property.
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