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My Realty Gains

Significant Role To Play By The Property Manager in the Midst of COVID 19

There’s no doubt about it that life in quarantine is challenging. The way we conduct ourselves during social distancing is the new normal. The same goes for all the activities we used to perform before the pandemic, might change. The COVID-19 pandemic has indeed put a dent into mankind’s history. It has instantaneously created unprecedented challenges for the global economy. 

In the US itself where for many years it had unblemished market conditions, is now facing difficulties. It has been a little more than two months into the shutdown and more than 32 million US workers have been laid off, many of the possible tenants are unable to venture out into the public places.

The operational and financial hurdles in the multifamily real estate industry are also some of the concerns of the stakeholders. If we look at the rent collection figures for the month of April and May. It isn’t disappointing. (90% for April and 80% for May in rent collections)

The market forces in the multifamily real estate sector has been brutal and obscure. As conversation has changed from dealing with soaring rents and supply growth to uncertainties with respect to signing of new leases, construction moratoriums and ability to visit properties. However, it is not right to create a narrative based on such unforeseen circumstances exhibited by the pandemic as the day will come when we will get through these.

The decline in demand and a slow down in development activities has led to a realization about the significant role of property managers. And now is the time when we need them the most.Therein lies a key for property managers that prefigures well for the real estate sector, even as we deal with the ongoing economic effects of the pandemic.

Many a times the value of property managers and property management as a career are being undermined and resented. That positions this profession as an important part, in the nation’s long road to the new future.

There is no denying the fact that this profession has been mischaracterize by many as mere a maintenance or custodial oriented job. However, this isn’t true as it has got ample of opportunities and challenges than a regular nine to seven job shifts. In this profession, everyday comes with a new set of complexities that makes it unique and gives the sense of independence.

Looking at the current scenario as well as the future prospects of multifamily real estate, there will be a greater demand of property managers as more multifamily developments are completed.

As some restrictions are lifted, the role property managers have also became more specific in terms of providing market intelligence to the asset managers (AMC’s), serve as an advisor when assessing the real estate deals (off market deals as well) etc. On the top of that they also initiate a thorough analysis about asset repositioning, leasing decisions and proposed capital investment projects.

However, their roles are not limited to these as it has evolved into providing strategic goals for ownership of a property.

When we talk about social distancing with respect to real estate, health and safety of the residents and tenants is must. Thus we need the expertise of a property managers or property management firm that can take preventive measures and remain vigilant enough to carry out real estate deals.

When we talk about social distancing with respect to real estate, health and safety of the residents and tenants is must. Thus we need the expertise of a property managers or property management firm that can take preventive measures and remain vigilant enough to carry out real estate deals.

​There are few guidelines that can be followed for maintaining safe and prudent real estate practices. (a recent report by Cushman & Wakefield) 

  • Preparing the Property. Execute cleaning plans and procedure, pre-return inspections and overall property check ups. 
  • Preparing the Team. Create guidelines for deciding who returns, proper management of shifts/schedules, grievances and employee communications. 
  • Controlling the Access. Impose crucial protocols for safety and health checks, building reception, and framing visitor policies. 
  • Developing a Social Distancing Plan. Abiding the guidelines for decreasing density, proper management of schedules and office traffic patterns.
  • Reducing the Touch Points & Increasing Cleanliness. Implement open doors, clean-desk policies, food plans and regular cleaning of common areas.
  • Communication. Communicate transparently to all the stakeholders about the property and cleanliness measures. Also listen/survey regularly.

All the points in the above guidelines signifies the role of property managers (PMC). The successful accomplishment of each step will set up the tone for emerging trends to conduct real estate activities flawlessly during post pandemic days. Indeed, the pandemic has given an opportunity to raise the awareness of property management professionals as a headstone in a property’s successful business operations.

From this we have learned that the reliance on the asset’s property manager is more critical than ever before. Due to uncertainties in the policies like mortgage forbearance, rent stabilized properties etc are making it difficult for the US realty sector. The economic tides will shift again and so does the role of property managers as well as the real estate markets. It’s just a matter of time.

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