COVID – What’s a Landlord To Do?

We have tenants that aren’t paying rent. We have tenants on payment plans. We have tenants who are giving notice. What do you do? DON’T start offering FREE RENT. It’s a disastrous cycle that we have seen time and time again during every soft market. It’s not the answer‐ ever. What you should be doing is opening your office seven days a week for the longest hours possible. Best hours are nine to seven Monday through Thursday, and ten to five Friday through Sunday. That way you’re making yourself available to every single prospect in what is going to be a soft, summer market.

  • Show your tenants that you’re disinfecting units before every single move-in. Leave a brochure letting them know what’s been done.
  • Leave Welcome Baskets/Bags (which we provide at a very nominal cost) for all new move‐ins complete with all the things they’re looking for on moving day and can’t find. Focus on things like Lysol wipes, masks, gloves, etc.
  • Let your residents move in early with ‘no early fees’ in an effort to give people more space during the moving period avoiding back to back move‐ins, congestion in the elevators,etc.
  • Although the virtual tour is a nice tool don’t rely on it completely. There are a lot of people that still want to see exactly what they’re getting.
  • Make sure the unit smells fresh and clean when showing to prospects as well as when they move in. It appeals to the sense of smell and everybody wants clean.
  • When touring apartments make sure your staff continue to wear gloves and that they carry a disinfectant wipe to clean handles etc. as they leave each apartment.
  • There is nothing wrong with leasing staff wearing masks. In fact, we encourage it.
  • Move to an on‐line application and payment program wherever possible. The days of even touching bank drafts is over. People just don’t want to be handling the paper anymore. Resident portals such as those created by Yardi and PropertyVista should be used at every building.

All in all, we could talk about the subject of leasing for days. If you’re struggling with vacancy don’t hesitate to call us for some advice. Lots of it; we’re happy to give it ‘free of charge’. In turn, I’m going to acknowledge that the best performing website for South Western Ontario right now is Rentseeker. I don’t care how many leads a website generates. I only care how many rentals it produces. Chaim Rivlin has done an exceptional job with this site and it’s producing lots of viable and successful candidates for my clients. Don’t’ pay attention to the people who are just trying to snow you. Just test and determine who and what works best for you. We have rented one entire building (are‐branding) during the Covid crisis and we currently are staffing another 40 buildings. Many of you may not be aware,but we started staffing the nursing and retirement home industry in November 2019. We support a highly respected third party nursing and retirement home management company with all of their temporary and some of the permanent staffing needs. I share this because I can assure you that I know Covid interms that many will never understand. We had homes with as many as twenty patients with the virus. In all of this time not one of my staff got the virus because we took the necessary measures to protect ourselves,and yet we cared for those patients everyday with every ounce of courage and strength we had. It’s important during these times that we make our work environments safe to protect our residents and our staff. Many companies have taken measures,some are great but many need work. We’re a phone call away for all of our clients. Keep in mind that many are expecting a second wave in the Fall. I remain hopeful that it doesn’t happen. We must do our part to ensure the safety of our communities. Please stay safe and healthy both personally and professionally during these uncertain times