3 ways landlords can be a resource for struggling tennants

3 ways landlords can be a resource for struggling tenants

Everyone in the multifamily sector is feeling the pain of the COVID-19 outbreak right now, from owners to residents to maintenance workers.

“There’s a lot of stress out there,” Doug Bibby, president of the National Multifamily Housing Council, said in a webinar organized by the Urban Land Institute to examine what owners and operators of multifamily buildings can do to ease the pain of the coronavirus pandemic and the social isolation that comes with combating it. “Love on your residents any way you can.”

Bibby and the other panelists involved in the webinar noted that the recently passed CARES Act did not do enough for multifamily housing. Among other provisions, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition Diane Yentel noted that her organization will be lobbying Congress to include measures such as a national uniform moratorium on foreclosures, as well as evictions. “Small landlords cannot afford to maintain their units without rents coming in,” she said. “We all have a stake in getting this right.”

Regardless of the legislation that still needs to be crafted, the webinar also included a few small things that real estate professionals can do right now to make a real difference in their residential communities.

1. Reach out to all tenants in a proactive way

It might be tempting to limit outreach just to those who have already expressed worries about being able to pay their rent, but Bibby said this minimalist approach doesn’t cut it in a time of crisis. “Contact every single resident and assess their needs,” he said, adding that it’s important to make individual outreach efforts, not just send blanket emails to all residents. “It’s got to be one-on-one contact.”

Also, even if you don’t think a tenant is going to have any issues paying rent for the foreseeable future, it can still be helpful to let them know they’re a vital part of maintaining community stability. “Thank residents who make their payments, those that can,” Bibby said.

2. Help fill holes on store shelves

It’s important for residents to maintain the cleanliness of their homes during the outbreak, but supply-side problems may be making that more difficult for some tenants.

“It’s incredibly hard to get cleaning supplies right now,” said Megan Sandel, co-director of the GROW clinic at the Boston Medical Center. However, she noted that many local public health departments offer resources that landlords can distribute on how to turn common household supplies like lemon juice, baking soda and white vinegar into green cleaning supplies.

Sandel added that indoor air quality is more important than ever now that many are spending so much time in their homes. “We have to be thoughtful,” she said. “Our homes are not necessarily designed to be occupied 24 hours a day.”

3. Find ways to restore broken connections

Each panelist encouraged property managers to reach out to tenants to see what they need. Oftentimes real estate professionals can do the most good by simply connecting residents with people or agencies that can solve the problems they’re experiencing.

Most people are suffering some degree of isolation, but the situation is felt most acutely by seniors, according to Bibby. “The connection to loved ones is almost the most heartbreaking thing about this,” he said, encouraging webinar attendees to offer help troubleshooting video conferencing apps if possible. “There’s got to be a way of creating links.”

Sandel agreed, noting that she’s seen some senior housing complexes institute social hours where residents open their doors and wave or converse from inside their respective units as a way to encourage social connectivity.

Yentel encouraged property owners to find local food and equipment providers that might be able to help residents out. She noted that, while many libraries are closed, they might have computers or routers they can loan out to help kids who aren’t able to connect to e-learning opportunities from home. “Partnerships in this moment are critical,” she said.

For more information on how to best represent the needs of your clients, watch AgentEDU’s track on representing real estate buyers.

The 3 Qualities Every Team Leader Must Have in Real Estate

Building a team is part of the growth and development of a business.  And as you build your team, with your vision leading the way, growing pains and operational challenges associated with managing people can be road blocks in the way of success. Chances are the initial phases of team building will mean working more and investing resources in others. So understanding how to better manage your team is a critical step.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the three key qualities necessary for team leaders to best manage personalities and ensure productivity.

#1. Vision

To start, think about what you see as the future of your team. As a team leader, your success will come when you can run a business that fulfills your vision. Finding and leading other personalities in line with that vision will make you a successful manager.

Shifting your role from agent to team leader can mean making compromises while you work to develop your management style and mindset. This doesn’t mean you have to change your perspective – in fact you should be certain your vision is clear. However, the shift in roles may require you to operate differently than you have in the past.

The mission, and strategic and operational vision of your business are the foundational elements necessary for you to achieve success. Have them in place before you build your team and ensure that each team member is well versed in how you plan your business to run. Share your vision with your team members and hire personalities that will complement and strive to engage that plan and make it their own.

#2. Trust

Often the most difficult skills in the transition from agent to team leader is to learn to let go and delegate responsibilities. But in order for your team to embrace your vision, you have to show them that you believe in them. Carefully outline responsibilities and expectations around client services and then trust in the people and policies you’ve put in place to fulfill them.

Once your expectations are communicated and team members have been trained, lead by example and coach team members only when necessary.  Focus on positive reinforcement, rewarding good work with compensation and recognition. This will help build trust between the team and you and will demonstrate your commitment to a team structure. This commitment will serve as a key contributor to the long-term success of your business.

#3. Clear Communication

Developing and maintaining clear and effective communication channels with your team, between team members, and with customers will help you showcase your commitment to the success of a team model. Share your vision, goals and processes with team members early in the relationship and lead by example, soliciting and exchanging feedback regularly. Host and attend sales meetings, as well as one-on-one and less formal gatherings.

Your primary goal is not to be best friends with every team member. Rather, you should strive to serve as an example of how to communicate as a team, with your vision at the center of every interaction. Reward team members for assisting others on the team for the good of the business.

To learn about how to lead a real estate team and achieve new levels of success this year and beyond, start your free 7-day trial of AgentEDU® today.


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