The coronavirus has been spreading through the US. Multiple states have already confirmed cases.
The outbreak will probably grow before things get better. How can apartment building owners skillfully navigate this pandemic?
Don’t panic. Do be prepared. Start putting intelligent business practices into play.
Public panic won’t help. Unless you are a retailer selling face masks and emergency supplies. However, ignoring the situation is exactly why we got from a couple of sick people to a worldwide pandemic that has already killed more people than 9/11.
As a property owner, or asset or property manager, there are responsibilities. There is a responsibility to the community, to investors, to your workers and residents.
Like any natural or manmade disaster, from terrorism to hurricanes, it just pays to be prepared. It’s foolish not to be.
Aside from getting sick, or worse, there is a pressing threat to property performance and business continuity. Sick residents are going to struggle to pay their rent on time. Without proper precautions, they can infect the whole building pretty quickly. Those who aren’t putting aside enough capital reserves could run out of operating cash. At a minimum, others may face the cost of many evictions.
So, what can you do to curb the crisis?
It was recently said that if everyone was to simply isolate themselves for three weeks, the crisis would be over. The virus would burn itself out and couldn’t spread.
Or course, most people aren’t going to do that. The roads and stores are still busy.
You can play your part and lead here. Look for all the ways you can minimize interaction. Can you postpone non-emergency maintenance for a few weeks? You can close your on-site office temporarily. Your workers can hold virtual meetings whenever they really need to engage.
Every property owner should already be accepting online payments. If you haven’t, this is the perfect time to start. Cash currency is going to be carrying a whole lot of bacteria right now. You don’t want it.
You can also streamline your operations by providing virtual tours and showings, and even move in and move outs instead of in person.
So far, the best advice has been to practice rigorous cleaning and disinfecting to prevent the spread of the disease. It is probably a good time to sanitize any community areas and offices. Be thorough with any units going through turnover. Be sure there are appropriate supplies for your residents to do their part too.
Help by educating your tenants too. Make sure they are aware of the gravity of the situation. Be sure they are prepared in case there are more travel restrictions or quarantines put in place and schools are closed. Educated them on the ability to work remotely, order groceries online, and be sure you are sanitizing package acceptance lockers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bill Zahller is the President of Park Capital Properties and resides in Asheville, NC. As a Multifamily Real Estate Investor and Syndicator, he founded Park Capital Properties in 2016 after 14 years involvement in real estate investment. He works with accredited investors and professionals who are interested in real estate investment, diversification, and financial freedom.
Bill has been flying since high school. His father was a Naval Aviator and Captain for TWA. Bill has been flying professionally for over 25 years, 23 of those at his current company. He has accumulated over 12,000 hours and 7 Jet type ratings. He has also held Instructor, IOE Instructor and NRFO pilot positions with a large fractional flight company. He is currently flying the Global 6000 in a long range mission capacity. This keeps it interesting – one week its Beijing or Sydney; the next Rio or Rome.
Bill is also the founder of the Asheville Multifamily Investor Club. Visit www.ParkCapitalProperties.com for more information.