The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a lot of changes especially when it comes to people’s finances. Property owners, landlords, and tenants were not exempted from the global health and economic crises that the world experienced. During these trying times, having a reliable and professional property management company on board proves to be crucial for any land or property owner.
What is property management?
Property management is the practice of overseeing residential, industrial, and commercial properties by a professional third party company or service provider. This contractor, often called a property manager, is then in charge of the daily responsibilities relating to maintenance, security, and repairs of the aforementioned properties. Oftentimes, you would come across property managers for condominiums, apartment buildings, private residential communities, commercial centers, and industrial lands.
Property managers can either be in-house or outsourced. By outsourcing, owners save on a lot of headaches and trouble. One of the benefits of outsourcing is expertise. Building owners and condominium associations do not have to worry about constantly training property managers. The professional service providers are experienced, have the right qualifications, and know the industry’s best practices. Scale is also important. A service provider with a much larger and diverse footprint of properties managed equates to experience and reputation. A partner you need in the face of a pandemic, natural disaster, or other events. Having just one service provider means less worries for owners. Avoiding doing everything from scratch, including all HR and administrative work. In the long term, owners are also able to optimize their cost as professional property managers.
While developers are concerned with the actual development and turnout of commercial or residential properties. Property managers are the ones to handle the daily operations as developers move to other projects. The day-to-day responsibility of property management includes: allocating budget for property matters, handling tenants and leasing processes, collecting rent, maintaining the property, and coordinating repairs.
Importance of professional property management in the pandemic
The pandemic has brought on uncertainty for business owners and individuals alike, hiring a professional property management service provider can come in handy. It is crucial for businesses in managing their properties especially in times of unexpected circumstances such as crises. More than just managing the general upkeep of the property. A property manager can provide that extra customer experience. Especially now with the emphasis on sanitation and safety as a response to COVID-19. During the pandemic, having professional property management can aid in operations as they know the right strategies, resources, and contingency measures to implement.
Property managers are reviewing, rethinking, and improving their Business Continuity Plans (BCP’s) in light of the pandemic. Santos Knight Frank believes that it is important that property managers craft their strategy based on the three pillars of CPR: Communication, Preparation, and Response. Ensuring the proper safety protocols are in place. From residential sites, re-occupancy strategies in commercial offices, and continuous replenishment of resources.
“During times of disruptions such as the pandemic, cash is king. It is important to keep operations running for managed properties such as collection of dues, utility fees, and schedule of payments. Alongside this is the continuous services of employees in terms of transportation and accommodation,” says Dennis Nolasco, Head of Facilities & Property Management at Santos Knight Frank, who oversees more than 20 million sqm of property and facilities across the Philippines.
Best practices of property management in the new normal
Just like the Philippines, Malaysia has undergone many phases of quarantine that resulted in strict measures across different properties. Knight Frank Malaysia manages over 20 million square feet of office space for retail, REIT, and residential properties. Including the largest twin condominium in Southeast Asia.
Knight Frank Malaysia’s Head of Property & Facilities Management Kuruvilla Abraham shares a couple of best practices property managers can learn from when it comes to managing properties in light of the global pandemic.
- Prioritize health and safety for all
This means that measures should strictly be in place with everyone’s safety in mind from property managers to the tenants and landlords.
- Maximize the use of technology
Putting in place contact tracing systems that make use of the available contact tracing apps and QR codes makes tracing efficient for everyone involved.
- Improve the building and properties to attract tenants
The decreased foot traffic gives the perfect opportunity to improve the interior of the property for future tenants.
- Communicate transparently with stakeholders
Announcements whether online or through signages can help show transparency.
- Be consistent in complying with SOPs
Now more than ever, strict adherence to these SOPs in place to keep everyone safe is of the utmost importance.
Abraham emphasizes the importance of stakeholders to work together. He shares, “It is everyone’s collective responsibility to ensure that we can carry on to create a safe working environment and go back to the new normal as soon as possible.”
Moreover, Filipino Institute of Real Estate Managers & Administrators (FIRMA) President Nestor Correa shared how they appealed to The Inter-Agency Task Force of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to include property and leasing managers as essential workers. Correa stated the importance of both landlords, managers, and developers to have more open living spaces. Proper indoor air quality can ensure everyone’s safety. “Expect a slow recovery, but history tells us that the property management industry thrives in crisis in keeping distressed properties in shape,” affirms Correa.
Keep your properties compliant and in good shape for the new normal. Work with an experienced property management firm like Santos Knight Frank. Santos Knight Frank specializes in a full suite of real estate services from brokerage, consultancy, research, and facilities management. Learn more about professional property management and other real estate services by visiting https://santosknightfrank.com/.