Updated: Mar 30, 2020
https://www.naahq.org/coronavirus-guidance#operationalIt's Friday, March 27th and we've been digesting COVID-19 info at mach speed for at least three weeks now.
Here's are the top conversations wrapping this week and heading into next:
Virtual & Online Leasing Tips:
Get a CRM in place if you don't have one! The need to triage and organize follow-up has never been more important. A few good one's I have experience with I Love Leasing, Knock Rentals, RentPath LRS & MaxLeases.
Edge2Learn has opened up their online learning to all, and produced a fabulous Virtual Leasing webinar this week. Click through to the recap, then watch it. In fact, there are 3 new sessions loaded on virtual tours, sight-unseen leasing, and self-guided tours. Share this one directly with your teams. It's good! I've been listening in to all of them.
Screening criteria - take a look at yours! If you tightened up your criteria for a strong market, consider loosening it for a 93-95% market. I am providing back-up leasing for several clients to keep my pulse on what's happening. Here's something IMPORTANT! In the last 24 hours, I talked to 3 prospects who are either relocating and/or starting new jobs in area hospitals. If your screening criteria requires extra down payment due to new jobs or relocation, WAIVE this for medical personal! (Heck, for all right now!). Weren't taking dogs? Or certain size dogs? People need their dogs! Reconsider your policies for pets.
COVID Confidence Clause - these are picking up traction. I'm hearing 30 day move-in date change options, & cancellation and/or money-back guarantees if not 100% satisfied on move-in after renting site unseen.
Ultimately, there's leasing traffic out there. Overall search volume is down, but those that are looking are serious! How friction-less are you making the process? Are you showing compassion and empathy? We all are when we talk to each other, but what about our processes?
Next! All things NAA - and national response networks!
NAA has loaded a series of webinars (7 to be specific so far!). Do these topics sound like what you're discussing internally right now? Grab your headphones and rally your senior teams, and listen in! Most are short and quick delivery of tips coming out of the first markets facing these topics.
Teleworking Amid COVIC-19
Legislative & Regulatory Updates
How to Handle Maintenance During COVID-19
How to Respond to Media
My Resident Tested Positive for COVID-19, Now What?
Guidance for Suppliers Amid COVID-19
Shelter in Place: Restrictions on Business Operations
Other HOT conversation topics & what's coming next?
I had the privilege, thanks to Lisa Trosien, of listening in on an Atlanta multifamily leaders coalition call this morning with over 70 participants; 30- some represented management companies, and 4 conversation contributors (Brenda Lindner at RAM, Wendy Dorchester at Pegasus, Mike Williams, Attorney, & Mike Holmes, Chairman of NAA), hosted by Jamin Harkness from The Management Group, LLC. It was fantastic with questions flying in from listeners.
Here are some of the conversation points I found compelling:
Tons of training - many operators are creating new webinar/Zoom tutorials for on-site teams on everything from how residents can self-fix simple maintenance issues, to virtual leasing, and how to work remotely
Maintenance projects- many operators are loading up their lists of spring projects to keep mainenance crews busy and distanced. This likely will require increasing your purchasing costs for items such as power washers, paint supplies, etc.
Cross-training - many operators are reorganizing on-site teams to cross-train across multiple regional sites. Leasing and Assistant Managers are taking on triage for email volume to minimize the load on managers. Organizing by maintenance, virtual leasing, COVID questions, rent payment questions, etc. Seasoned maintenance supervisors are virtually training newer crew.
Loyalty Rent Payment Discounts - instead of just focusing on those needing payment plans, operators are offering 10-15% discounts for those who pay in full on-time, and use the portal or electronic tools in place.
PM software partners are working quickly to help guide users in new accounting and compliance codes for everything from expenses and income to HR guidelines.
Legal & Regulatory - Attorneys are working fast to provide addendum for payment plans, waiver of late fees, and more.
HOT new topic - participants were all very interested in an upcoming conversation about the interpretation of paid sick leave and FMLA and new guidelines.
Finally, (there's so much more, but we need a weekend)
Of all the conversations, the most important and passionate subject was taking care of, and supporting on-site teams - they are working tirelessly to remain "essential", change their operating procedures, and support their residents & team mates, in addition to handling child care, family, school, and household needs as COVID-19 restricts all of us from operating as we did just 3 weeks ago.
My weekend cheer for all of you: We survived another week! Incredible teamwork and collaborating beyond the walls of your own team!
Hats off to all the execs & senior leaders who have been living in non-stop emergency meetings and collaborating tirelessly to support the needs of not just their teams, but the industry as a whole!