The extent that COVID-19 has had on real estate is that of a ripple effect, it influences all parts of a business. However, it’s not just the company that feels the force of uncertainty, tenants and landlords alike are becoming confused and frustrated. Landlords want to know that their property is being taken care of and that they are not out of pocket. Tenants are understandably not wanting routine inspections to take place and financial hardships have appeared from the domino effect of COVID-19.
Real estate companies must find a way to navigate through these uncharted waters. Mark Sheppard (photo) from Harcourts Sheppard, in South Australia, has done just that. Mr Sheppard understood that his company had a moral obligation to modify their property management processes. Mr Sheppard’s team are now ensuring that all clients they deal with are left feeling safe, not only when it comes to their health but also with their emotions and financial situations.
“In order to keep our landlords pleased we in turn need to ensure that the tenants are happy. To assist with this, we have set up online virtual routine inspections. This allows our team to still make full reports to a landlord that their investment remains in safe hands. On the flip side no staff member currently needs to enter a property, this giving our tenants’ piece of mind.”
Harcourts Sheppard are pushing customer service one step further to really fulfil client satisfaction “The property management team have called every single one of our tenants to check in and to ask them if they are okay. We are making sure that residents understand if they are suffering financial hardships arrangements can be made, and that we will be there to help navigate for a win-win outcome for landlords and tenants. So far it has been a positive experience and all our clients have responded well.”
Mr Sheppard has put not only an emphasis on safety for his clients and staff, but also for making the process simpler for those who deal with his company, be it property management or sales.
“There has been a big focus on making the process as easy as we can, this is done through having a video walk through for all of our properties, having all relevant information readily available within the listings text, accurate descriptions, detailed floorplans and Facetime show throughs where appropriate.”