Rent Estate™ Podcast Episode 12 : Rental Properties During COVID-19 – Showings, Leasing, Evictions, and Returning to Normal
Renters Warehouse Blog
“What’s happening with COVID-19? Should I still rent out my house? Are people even looking for rentals right now?”
These questions, and more –are things that landlords are asking today, as we work to figure out how to navigate the world of property management during COVID-19.
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on every industry and for landlords and property managers –it’s raised a number of questions and brought with it a great deal of uncertainty. In many ways, it’s also changing how business is done.
In today’s informative episode, Renters Warehouse’s CEO, Kevin Ortner; and Chief Operations Manager and Chief Technology Officer Todd Jable discuss developments in the SFR industry during COVID-19. This episode uncovers what’s happening with showings, leasing, and evictions during this time –along with an inside look on how COVID-19 has impacted the rental market so far.
This episode follows on from last time, so if you haven’t listened to the first part yet, feel free to catch up here.
COVID-19 has changed how many of us are doing business, but Kevin emphasizes that Renters Warehouse is still seeing interest from applicants, highlighting the fact that people are still looking for rental homes.
For landlords who are looking to rent a home, Kevin recommends getting creative in how you get the property out there and market it –because people are still looking for SFR rentals.
Creative ideas include:
- Great photos
- Great videos
- Zillow has a great 3D home tour product
On a percentage basis, showings have dropped more than applications, says Kevin. People are doing more research online, talking with agents more, they’re not choosing five or seven homes, and then viewing them all. Instead, they’ll choose maybe one or two homes to view. Renters Warehouse has found that some 80% of people will want still to see a house before renting it, rather than renting it sight unseen.
Rental activity is stable. Renters Warehouse is still moving homes. Agents handle in-person showings in a safe way, by getting to the property early, opening it up, standing on the other side of the yard, and greeting applicants from a distance. The applicants then tour the home, and the agent locks up afterward.
Todd says that occupancy rates are good. Many people are sticking around, especially when it comes to SFR homes. Multi-family may be struggling a bit, as some people are starting to flee densely populated areas for the safety of the suburbs.
Build-to-rent activity has been good, it hasn’t really died off at all, showing how versatile, steady, and stable SRF as an asset class is.
At the end of the day, people are looking to move, so if you’re an owner, you don’t have to hide from this and wait for things to get back to normal –instead, find a way to market your home because demand is there.
As Kevin and Todd covered in the previous episode, rent collection so far has been good, falling short just a couple of percentage points below normal.
If you have a certain type of loan, there are restrictions in place on evictions, explains Kevin as he references the CARES Act, which covers all federally financed loans. The eviction moratorium was designed to help protect tenants who have been impacted by COVID-19. However, there’s a lot of grey area here. The problem is, there are still other issues that could arise with tenants that could require attention –and even eviction, so there’s some complexity there as to how those will be handled in line with the new guidelines. In many cases, it may be a matter of deferring evictions for 2-3 months.
Getting Back to Normal
What’s first on most people’s agenda?
Getting back to normal again, ideally –as soon as possible.
Renters Warehouse has 200 employees across the nation, and another 200 real estate agents as well, they’re all operating remotely, but now there are plans being put into place about how to start getting people back to work.
One piece of advice that Todd offers when planning a return to the workplace, is to avoid being in a massive hurry. Instead, it’s important to do this in a structured and planned way.
Todd says that Renters Warehouse will be taking a phased approach. This includes creating guidelines on:
- Social distancing
- Cleaning processes
- What to wear and how to act in the office
Renters Warehouse will keep everyone informed, as things continue to unfold. In the meantime, stay safe –and look out for new updates and developments that could mean a return to normal (or at least, a new normal) at some stage soon –as we’re moving through rapidly changing times.
If you enjoyed today’s podcast, then be sure to check out Episode 11: Rent Estate™ Podcast Episode 11: Managing Rental Properties & Challenges During COVID-19 as Todd Jable and Kevin Ortner discuss challenges and insights into rental management during this pandemic.
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!
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