The trials of property management during COVID-19 are a controversial topic but it’s time to shed light onto the uplifting reality of the situation here at Marker Realty. This article communicates the challenges we have faced during COVID-19 and how confronting them has made our property managing more savvy, compassionate, and wise. It also communicates how Marker Realty has been well-placed to tackle all these challenges, having always championed the values of being trustworthy, honest, and informative as property managers.
Supporting Our Tenants
We wish to speak out against cynicism being spun by a minority of social media users. It’s true that tenants need support more than ever, whether that is financial, mental, or social aid. At Marker Realty, we have risen to the occasion. Priding ourselves on our ability to communicate effectively and confidentially, we have gently passed through old communication barriers, opening honest conversations with our tenants no matter what their concerns may be, creating stronger relationships between them and our property managers that are held up by the three pillars of trust, respect, and integrity.
At the best of times, tenants can be unaware of the rights that they have. While many are often left to discover these rights for themselves, we make sure that our tenants are up to date with relevant laws and COVID-19-related changes, guiding them to Consumer Affairs and similar web pages to read up on information that is of relevance to tenants. It ensures that our tenants, should they have any legal concerns, know the ways in which those concerns addressed by the law as soon as possible, eliminating time in which they may feel unsure, confused, or scared. This leaves our tenants feeling more secure, which renders them calmer and more co-operative with our property managers, ensuring smoother tenancy agreements for landlords.
Strengthening Trust Between Our Tenants and Landlords
At Marker Realty, we understand that the quality of relationships between landlords and tenants’ rests on how we represent one to the other. We are the link between them, so we ensure that we provide clear, truthful, and balanced flows of communication between our tenants and landlords. While we do this all the time, COVID-19 gave us more opportunities to exercise our compassion. When tenants were struggling to pay for rent, we navigated these sensitive situations with compassion, aiding our tenants in negotiating with our landlords. We helped our landlords see things from our valued tenants’ perspectives, guiding them to an informed understand of what kinds of rent cuts our tenants deserved for their trustworthy, co-operative behavior. Meanwhile, we made sure landlords felt in control and safe in their property investment, giving them a clear understanding of what kind of agreement was “within reason”.
The Joy of Working Around Lockdown
Technological innovation occurs the fastest when we face the most difficult challenges.
Being isolated from the properties we manage, we have been making use of technology at our disposal to fulfil our duty of house inspection, gazing at the conditions of our properties through web cameras instead of getting up close and personal. While we miss being able to view the beautiful properties with our own eyes, we’ve noticed that we have all had fun co-operating in these guided tours that our tenants put us on. Our technological dependence on our tenants for that access humbles us as does the trust we have in them to show us accurate footage. We are grateful that they honour our requests to do property inspections in this manner and understand that it’s a little bit different, but any awkwardness around it tends to lead to good humour.
An unexpected but positive outcome of this change is that landlords, who in the past have only had access to photographs of their properties, can now join in on the video streams and have a more personal “face-to-face” relationship with their tenants, if only for enough time to put some friendly faces and voices to the names on their leases.
When it is impossible to have a leaving tenant simply pass us the keys to a property, we innovate around that, too. Combination-lock safes have been given to our existing tenants. They simply leave the keys inside them, lock them with our code and move on with their lives. We love the utility of these combination-lock safes and may continue to use them post-COVID, which goes to show some of the unexpected changes we’ve moved are worth holding on to.
As a property management focused business, we intend to hold on to the deepened spirit of companionship that we’ve found with our landlords and tenants during lockdown.