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Rent Estate™ Podcast Episode 11: Managing Rental Properties & Challenges During COVID-19

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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a number of challenges to every industry. For landlords and property managers, it’s given rise to a unique set of issues and a great deal of uncertainty as well.

In this episode, Renters Warehouse’s CEO Kevin Ortner –and Chief Operations Manager and Chief Technology Officer Todd Jable discuss the challenges many landlords and property managers are facing today amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They highlight some things that Renters Warehouse has done in response to the pandemic, and share some fascinating inside statistics and insights into the month of April as well. 

Kevin mentions that early on, one of the things Renters Warehouse was able to do in response to the pandemic was to transition into a fully remote workforce. The team was able to make this happen in a very short window of time, roughly four days, and they’ve seen fantastic support and productivity from individual team members at every step of the way. 

Todd mentions that new technology that had been implemented recently has been key to a successful transition. Renters Warehouse had already been working to implement new technology, and the team has shown tremendous initiative in adapting to this method of working.

Rent Collection

Technology has also played a role in the ability to gather up-to-date data and statistics on Renters Warehouse rent collection for properties managed across the country. And the results have been surprising. Rent collection so far has been relatively good, falling short just a couple of percentage points below normal. Many residents have been paying their rent on time, despite the uncertainty and economic impact that COVID-19 has had on many people. 

Kevin and Todd stress that communication has been key since the start. Renters Warehouse has been taking steps to proactively communicate with their team, their homeowner clients, and residents –every step of the way. They’ve created a plan in response to COVID-19, and published a comprehensive guide on property management that shows what steps they’ve been taking. 

Communication has been crucial in navigating this time, and measures that Renters Warehouse has taken include:

  • Reminding renters that unless we hear otherwise, rent is still due
  • Maintaining that renters need to be proactive in reaching out if they are impacted by COVID-19
  • Communicating with homeowner clients, asking them to reach out if they would like to offer payment plans or flexibility for tenants who are impacted by COVID-19
  • Communicating with renters who are impacted: This includes providing them with resources that are available to help them. Having a list of resources for your state is helpful for landlords when having a conversation with tenants. Any assistance that’s available is helpful. This includes information on utility payments, grant programs, information on food banks, and more.

For landlords, there are resources available for help with mortgage payments as well. These usually involve deferring payments (not canceling them).

Make sure you check out the Renters Warehouse COVID-19 resource page.

These resources are listed by state, making it easy for landlords and tenants alike to find resources that are available for them.

Maintenance Requests

Another interesting Renters Warehouse insight: there hasn’t been much of a dip in maintenance requests for April either. This comes in spite of the fact that Renters Warehouse’s official guidance informed residents that they have an option to defer maintenance unless it’s essential. Most residents are continuing to submit maintenance requests, though.

Vendors who will be working in the properties have been working hard to ensure compliance with the CDC regulations, wearing masks, gloves, and using hand sanitizer; and by following social distancing guidelines as well. 

Inspection requests have also been holding steady as well. Currently, inspections should be done when the property is vacant. However, the volume of requests has held steady.

What about the SFR industry in general?

Todd says that the industry has responded very well in general, and he expects that in the coming months there will need to be more of a focus on renters who need help. Many companies have been getting creative with how they’re handling this situation and taking steps to help those who’ve been impacted. 

Next time, stay tuned as Kevin talks about showings and evictions, and some things that he’s noticing in the industry as well. 

If you enjoyed today’s podcast, then be sure to check out Episode 06: Technology’s Impact on the Single Family Rental Space, where Todd Jable and Kevin discuss how technology is transforming how rentals are purchased, sold, and managed.

See all of the Renters Warehouse podcasts.

And of course if you’d like help with your investments or would like to create a real estate investment plan, visit Renters Warehouse. Live, invest, and rent –all under one roof!

Free Resources:

Free Renters Warehouse Response Plan and Guide: How to Manage Your Property During COVID-19

The Renters Warehouse COVID-19 Resource Page

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