The Covid-19 pandemic has brought uncertainty to our lives, and it’s affected our businesses and our clients in many ways. With unemployment rising above 30 million, people are having to choose between paying their rent and feeding their families. It’s a grim reality that many are facing and that, as a property management company, we’re acutely aware of.
As the pandemic has continued, our team at Long & Foster Real Estate’s Property Management Division has been working closely with our tenants and our owners to support them.
Every situation we’ve encountered is different. Sometimes our tenants have been impacted by the coronavirus. Other times, it’s the owners who’ve been affected. No matter the case, taking care of our clients—both owners and renters—is our priority.
The new roles we serve
These past few weeks, we’ve pivoted our operations, moving beyond the operational necessities to a more compassionate level of service. We’re a conduit between our owners and our tenants, educating them on their options and working to find solutions to any financial challenges.
Most states have put a moratorium on charging late fees and evictions, and we’re educating our owners and tenants on these developments. We’re collaborating with renters who need financial support during this period and keeping our owners updated on what’s happening with their rental streams.
In April, we collected over 95% of our rents, with only about 1% of tenants needing a rent modification or adjustment. The coming days will reveal how May will shape up, but for now, it’s uncertain as unemployment has risen significantly since early April. We stand ready to help our owners and tenants, regardless of what’s to come.
We’re built for this
Many property management companies won’t survive this period. Thankfully, we—like all The Long & Foster Companies—are built for it. We have a very deliberate design to our company that supports our agents by building their real estate practice, and we are intensely focused on our customers’ experience. We have scale on our side, with over 5,000 properties in our portfolio. We have lived through (and thrived after) many previous crises and we have the financial strength to still be here for our property owners and tenants when we get to the other side of this crisis.
Every opportunity we get to provide a great customer experience is about two things: speed and communication. Our scale and operational design enable us to constantly measure how we are doing in both areas. Working with us, our owners are safe in their investments and our tenants are safe at home—that fact is evident in the feedback we receive every day from both parties.
Here are just a few comments from our customers that I wanted to share with you.
From a property owner:Thank you for the fast work on this! In these uncertain times, having the townhouse go empty was not what we needed!
From an agent representing a renter:Corinna (Magee) provided great guidance and professionalism in this Covid-19 environment. Her experience was invaluable in guiding the process of having a tenant decide to sign a lease and move across country with only having toured the house virtually. Loved having her as a teammate on this rental listing.
From a property owner:Let me take a minute to say thank you for all you’re doing for me. I’ve had experience with other management companies and you, along with the entire Long and Foster team, have been the best. You promptly follow up on tenant concerns, repair issues and contractor site visits and offer valuable insight for resolution or possible alternative solutions. It gives me a great sense of relief knowing there are knowledgeable people in the area looking out for my interests.
Working for you
These comments highlight our Property Management team’s focus on customer service, and I’m proud of the work they have done to support our tenants and owners. They’ve risen to the challenge and committed themselves to helping all our clients—delivering a customer experience that’s worthy of the Long & Foster brand and worthy of agents.
I’m available should you need anything, and you can reach out to your local property manager for support.