Coronavirus and Your Rental Property

Property Management Solutions for Uncertain Times

Let’s face it…the current situation facing the globe is significantly altering our daily lives and routines. From social distancing to “shelter-in-place,” the idea of normality has been thrown out the window. The role and definition of a landlord has also been significantly changed as eviction moratoriums have been put in place throughout the country.

At Oak City Properties, we understand that you are dealing with a lot as a landlord and want to be there to lessen the burden and restore some element of normalcy. Here are a few tips to help market your home and find a potential renter when the coronavirus is at play.

Start the process early

If you have a rental property where the tenant is about to move out, start to get the property ready as soon as possible. Most tenants are required by law to give a landlord 30-days notice before moving out of a rental property. Those 30 days are key to marketing your property and making sure that there is a quick and efficient turnover. From cleaning the home to preparing your property, that buffer period is a great time to make all the efforts possible to continue your rental income and not dig into your profits.

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Get the word out right away!

Once you are ready to “get the word out,” make sure to maximize your rental property’s exposure through online avenues. Due to COVID-19, it is essential to use as many online marketing tools as possible. For example:

  • Online listing sites: Take advantage of online classifieds or listing sites to notify potential renters of your vacancy. Use sites such as:
    • Apartments.com
    • Rentals.com
    • Craigslist
    • Trulia
    • Zillow
  • Social Media: Tweet, snap, and chat your way to finding a tenant. With so many free online social media apps, it is easy to get the word out with just one click and adhere to social distancing. Use sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter to showcase your rental property.

Create a virtual tour option for your rental property

Many of the rental websites listed above allow for a virtual tour option. From Zillow to the rental MLS portal, landlords are taking advantage of this option and creating virtual tours of their rental properties. By creating a virtual tour of your rental property, you are significantly reducing the amount of traffic going into your rental home, while also providing potential applicants a safe way to view the property.

Think about virtually showing the home

In the age of Facetime and Google Hangouts, it is relatively easy to show a home while a potential tenant lounges on the couch. Think about showing the rental property in a virtual capacity by video chatting with a prospective tenant while you walk through and showcase the positives of the rental property. Yes, we understand that the tenant won’t actually get to visit the home. However, they can still get a good sense of what the home looks like and if it is a good fit for their lifestyle and family needs.

If you have to show your rental property- have procedures in place

Conducting an actual “in-person” showing of your rental property should be the last resort when finding tenants during the coronavirus, but we understand it will need to happen. If you are going to allow a potential renter into the property, make sure to have precautions in place. Have hand sanitizer available in the home, soap dispensers at all sinks to wash hands, and make sure the property is thoroughly cleaned before and after each showing. As a landlord, it is crucial that you take this virus seriously and not put anyone in danger.

Pick the best tenant possible

States across the country are issuing executive orders to delay eviction procedures/hearings and are authorizing that the public housing sector not remove any residents over the next few months. Due to these orders, landlords need to make sure they are placing qualified tenants into their rental properties. The key to differentiating between each type of renter is to put a thorough screening process in place. While no one can predict the future behavior of a tenant, it is best practice to cover all your bases when screening an applicant. To identify the best tenant, make sure to check the following:

  • Check references
  • Rental history
  • Background check
  • Credit report
  • Verify income

Also, make sure to have an application process in place that gathers basic information along with details about previous landlords and references. Don’t be afraid to ask for a social security number and a signed authorization to pull a credit report and conduct a background check. Check references, contact employers, and meet with the applicant in person to determine if he/she is a good fit for your rental home.

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Think about a property management company

Not 100% sure how to handle the coronavirus and your rental home? Think about hiring a property management company. At Oak City Properties, we have been taking care of rental properties for years! We have procedures in place that can protect you and potential renters during these uncertain times, and will do so with your best interest in mind. We make sure to work with you each step of the way when renting your property. Our full management property service will market the property, locate prospective tenants, and show the home. Once a tenant is placed in your rental property, we will: collect rent payments, assess and collect late payment fees, provide 24/7 maintenance, help with accounting/tax services, and deal with any court appearances in the event of an eviction.

If you are interested in learning more, give us a call at (919)-232-9222 or check out our website: https://oakcityproperties.com

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