The COVID-19 pandemic has changed just about every facet of life in America, from how people socialize and shop to where they work. It has also impacted virtually every industry, including property management. Read on to find out how property managers can take the lessons they've learned over the past nearly two years and apply them to post-pandemic life moving forward.
Stick With Contactless Payments
Many property management companies made the switch to accepting contactless payments through platforms like Xpress-pay during the pandemic as a means of reducing opportunities for the virus to spread. They and their tenants have also reaped a number of collateral benefits from expanding payment options, though, so it's worth continuing to offer flexible ePayment options moving forward.
Tenants will benefit from being able to pay their rent from anywhere and set up automatic recurring payments, while property managers will benefit from reduced delinquencies and lower processing fees. Everybody truly wins in this situation.
Continue Vetting Tenants Thoroughly
Since eviction was not an option throughout most of the pandemic, property managers have been vetting potential tenants much more carefully since COVID-19 began to spread. The smart ones have been working hard at applicant analysis to ensure that future tenants won't just pay their rent on time but will also behave responsibly while they're living at the property.
Property damage, unpaid balances, and other issues caused by disreputable tenants don't stop being problems just because eviction courts have opened back up in most states. Property managers should continue performing more thorough background checks and verifying that applicants have a reliable income.
Keep Lines of Communication Open
During the pandemic, smart property owners kept lines of communication between themselves and their tenants open. They showed compassion by hearing tenants out when the rent would be a few days late or trying to meet families on their own terms. In response, their tenants have behaved more respectfully and have taken every possible step to keep accounts up-to-date or get back on top of their rent payments as soon as they could.
Few property owners have it in the budget to allow tenants to delay months of rent in a post-pandemic world, but that doesn't mean they should go back to zero-tolerance policies. Instead, keep the lines of communication open and continue trying to meet tenants who are facing hardship on their own terms.
These Changes Are Here to Stay
It may be tempting to assume that once the pandemic is under control, things will miraculously return to normal. Unfortunately, that's not how major, global disasters work. The pandemic has changed the way people live, sometimes for the best and sometimes for the worst, and many of those changes are here to stay.
Property owners who want to ensure their success in a post-pandemic world should learn from their experiences over the past two years. The economy will eventually make a full recovery and, hopefully, the virus will remain under control, but that doesn't mean anyone should expect things to go back to exactly the way they were.