The pandemic is far from over, but optimists all over the country will agree that things are looking up. Vaccines are in distribution, cases in many areas are slowing, and businesses are doing their best to get back to normal.
Most of us are committed to remaining vigilant, and that means continued social distancing, mask wearing, and common-sense precautions.
Today we’re talking about safety during the continued pandemic crisis, and what you can do to keep your tenants safe and your Oakland rental property occupied.
Invest in Online Video Tours and Tech-Savvy Oakland Rental Marketing
While there are plenty of ways to make in-person property showings safe, not all of your potential residents are going to want to see the home that way, especially if there’s still a tenant in place.
We have learned a lot about showing technology during this pandemic. Smart locks on rental homes can provide access to interested tenants who want to see the property on their own time and without anyone else present.
You can also invest in video tours and increased marketing before showings are even scheduled. This will allow prospective residents to see the property without actually going there. With a high-quality video, they can get a look at the home’s dimensions, features, and indoor and outdoor spaces.
If a local tenant is going to take an online video tour, suggest they drive by the property so they can at least see the outside and get a feel for the neighborhood. Make sure your online listing includes an easy form to fill out for anyone who is interested in applying for the property or scheduling a contact-free showing.
Increased Safety at Rental Property Showings
Luckily, tenants who are able to get such detailed information through online listings and video tours have almost made up their minds by the time they request a showing. Many applicants still want to see the home they’re considering. Extra precautions are easy. Use a lockbox or a smart lock so tenants can provide their information before gaining access to the property. Do some extra cleaning and disinfecting between showings and if you absolutely must make your showings in-person, insist that everyone wears a mask and maintains a six-foot social distance.
Facilitate Online Applications and Lease Signing
No-contact applications are easy for any landlord to provide. This will allow a tenant to apply for a property without shuffling paperwork back and forth. Most Oakland property management companies have online software that accepts applications, supporting documents, and payments for application fees. If you’re leasing your property on your own, consider using DocuSign or a similar program.
Once a tenant is approved, have the lease be viewed and discussed online. The keys can be picked up from a lockbox at the property before they move in, and all security deposits, rents, and other move-in funds can be paid electronically.
Maintaining Oakland Rental Homes in a Pandemic
You don’t want any deferred maintenance to start accumulating at your Oakland rental property. Encourage your tenants to continue reporting any routine maintenance needs, and respond right away to emergencies.
There are a few steps you can take to make sure maintenance is completed safely:
- Talk to your vendors about the safety precautions they have in place when arriving at a property.
- Ask your tenants not to be home during the repair, or to wait outside.
- If they must be in the property, require masks.
- Encourage extra cleaning of high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, counters, and appliances.
We are as anxious as you are to put the pandemic behind us, but it may be some time before we stop thinking about how to protect ourselves against this virus. Keep yourself, your tenants, and your property safe. If you need any help with Oakland property management during this stressful time, please contact us at California Pacific Realty.