Landlords frequently have to deal with people in-person throughout the course of their duties. For example, showing units and making repairs require in-person meetings, often multiple times. Landlords filing lawsuits or responding to lawsuits also must show up to the courthouse in person. Thanks to the threat of COVID-19, these meetings have been mostly put on pause.
Although landlords are considered “essential business,” experts have placed strict limitations on all in-person gatherings, and for landlords, this rule is hard to follow.
If you’re a landlord, here are several ways you can protect your health and safety while the world rides out the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Hire a property management company
The most obvious way to stay safe is by not interacting with tenants at all. As a landlord, that’s not possible unless you hire a property management company.
When you hire a property management company, you won’t have to come into direct contact with tenants because the company will handle everything for you. For example, Green Residential in Katy, Texas has been serving landlords and tenants for years and handles all landlord duties, including things that require meeting in-person, like filling vacancies.
- Create professional 360-degree virtual showings
Until the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, open houses will be largely prohibited or at least limited. It’s not easy hosting an open house for people when everyone has to stand 6 feet apart and speak through a mask that muffles everything they say.
The only other way to show a vacancy in-person is by individual appointment. That’s not a bad thing. Many real estate agents say personal appointments are more likely to produce serious buyers than open houses. However, virtual tours have much to offer.
While a virtual showing will keep you and your leads safe, a virtual tour can actually be considered part of your lead generation strategy. By allowing potential leads to view your vacancies online first, you’ll eliminate leads that aren’t interested. Pictures don’t show everything, and some leads will pick up enough information from a virtual tour to know the property isn’t what they want.
By offering a virtual tour on your website, you can effectively filter out some leads who aren’t a match without wasting time and risking infection by meeting in person. You can still show units in person, but consider virtual tours as part of your initial lead filtering method.
Ready to create your first virtual showing? Check out the options published on Wondershare for several ways to create professional virtual tours.
- Implement stricter screening measures for all appointments
If you’re going to meet anyone in person to collect rent, perform repairs, or show a unit, create strict screening measures to follow without exception. For example, don’t meet with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms. You may also want to avoid meeting with people who have traveled to another country recently.
- Use your web forms to disqualify leads
If you’re collecting leads through a web form, you’ve probably set up questions to qualify your leads based on income, credit score, and readiness to buy. Using your form to disqualify leads is equally important, especially when you don’t want to waste time meeting leads unnecessarily who might be infected with the coronavirus.
Your web form’s questions should be set up in a way that allows you to filter out leads who don’t qualify. For example, instead of asking leads to write in their estimated credit score, set up a drop-down menu with score ranges. Make one of the selections begin with a score just under what you’ll accept. For example, if you require a minimum score of 650, make your drop-down selections read like this:
- No credit
With selections formatted this way, you can automatically filter out leads who select the last two options. They don’t qualify, so by filtering them out, you’ll never have to sort through your web forms to figure that out.
If you haven’t studied lead qualification strategies from professional marketers, you’re probably not getting your maximum potential results.
During the coronavirus pandemic, meticulously qualifying your leads will mean less meetings in person and therefore less risk to your health.
Be gentle with your tenants at this time
Take care and be gentle with your tenants. Many are stressing about money, unemployment, and social restrictions, and might be a little on edge. For the smoothest ride through this pandemic, be professional at all times, pick your battles, and know when to walk away.