Covid-19 - This Week's News 3.24.20
News this week (so far):
Gov Waltz in MN signed the Emergency Executive Order 20-14: Suspending Evictions and Writs of Recovery During the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency.
We’re all talking about what this means for rental income, but let me note an important line that perhaps we can make sure to communicate with our residents:
“Nothing in this Executive Order relieves a tenant’s obligation to pay rent. This suspension does not include eviction actions based on cases where the tenant seriously endangers the
safety of other residents or for violations”
We need to communicate with residents that this is not “rent forgiveness” it’s simply deferred. Our goal is not to let them get so far behind that they’re in crisis when the economy starts to come back. Payment options may be the best way to help with that.
Resources that have been shared for rent assistance:
Domuso - online rent payment tool that also provides loan assistance for renters. Integrates with popular PM software, and reduces fees commonly incurred by owners for types of payments. Let me know if you’d like a 30 minute demo and I’ll send you the contact info.
Resident Relief Foundation - possible rent relief resource for residents struggling to pay rent due to lost income.
On Ratings and Reviews:
Just when we were beginning to worry about how stressed residents would react online, Google and Yelp disabled the ability to post new reviews or react to current reviews. Other review tools are currently still live such as Facebook, ILS’s and your website platforms. Use these to your advantage when residents thank you for being a beacon of light during this situation.
On Google My Business:
Other tools via Google My Business have been temporarily disabled and/or shifted to low priority. One of these is claiming your business & verifying your business. If you have new developments, or were going to kick up this marketing option, there may be a delay in claiming your listings.
Posts are still available and have proven to be very relevant and successful in driving SEO and getting a message out quicker than your website. In fact, Google is making it very easy to put up a Covid-19 message as to how your business is/or is not still serving clients. That’s how much relevance viewers are placing on this info across the internet.
Video Tour/ Online Leasing Options:
Share My Property just launched a self-shot smart phone tour product. They send you instructions on how and what to shoot. You send in the footage. They add logos and graphics and edit with music.
Respage is offering chatbots to help convert online leads.
Zumper (ILS) is now able to support virtual tours in your property listing
Check out these video tours shot by leasing agents. Creativity points here!
It’s not quite as easy to just capture and post these tours as we thought. We’ll need to work together to find the best methods, address EHO, and lead prospects to these tours without losing them.
Signature Management Corp - created a simple tour that gets the job done. A note, make sure when it is uploaded to YouTube that a title/name is provided, and description is written.
Olympus Properties - Posted this fun tour with a play on Covid-19 supplies in the linen closet. It’s certainly memorable.
Try uploading your videos to Facebook and housing them there. Then lead prospects here so you can capture their attention on this forum vs. just the video.
Robinson Creative is posting daily resident engagement tips starting 3/25. Follow their Facebook page for the daily tip.
Satisfacts is developing remote resident event ideas.
Schedule your information delivery - Several companies are finding sanity in posting new updates at the same time each day for employees and residents. Find your forum to post and whether it’s on your intranet, website, or email, schedule it into your day to prevent it from taking over your day.
FAQ for residents and employees - This is an organized way to just keep adding to the info that you’ve already put out. Post a resident FAQ on your website or portals, and an employee FAQ on your intranet. Collect the questions from your property managers, and just keep adding to it. Prospects and residents are looking to you for information on how you’re addressing their needs, your employee needs, move-outs & move-ins, and more.
Keep an eye on NMHC as they release new preparedness tips for apartment operators. You can also subscribe so it comes directly to your email.
Whew! That should be enough for a few days! Stay tuned. I’m watching new developments closely.
High 5’s to all of you! I’m so amazed at the collaboration out there and the creativity!