Podcast 303: Reach Out to Your Tenants

Be sure to come up with a game plan of what you’re going to do with your rentals and communicate that with your tenants. Remind them that they’re not to flush napkins, paper towels, or wipes down the toilet.

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Resources Mentioned on this Episode:

COVID-19: What Landlords And Property Managers Can Do To Help

Show Transcription:

Eric Worral: (00:00)
Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of RentPrep for Landlords. This is episode # 303 and I’m your host, Eric Worral and we are in the middle of a pandemic and it is a pretty crazy time right now. Nothing that I’ve experienced in my short 34 years on this planet Earth. But a pretty interesting time to be alive. I’m going to be talking about some quick tips and things that you can do in this relatively short episode on how to handle things with your tenants and your properties during this pandemic.

Voice Over: (00:34)
Welcome to the RentPrep for Landlords Podcast! And now your host, Eric Worral.

Eric Worral: (00:38)
So the first quick tip that we have is to have good communication with your tenants during this time. Don’t go into things with assumptions. A really great thing that I learned about was the differences between agreements and expectations. So at this time, your tenants may start having expectations and your expectations might be different about what’s going to happen over the next month or two.

Eric Worral: (00:59)
We’re still very early into this pandemic. So there are things that we’ll be developing every day as far as different rules and regulations here in New York state. We’ve watched freeze be put on evictions. And then I’ve also seen a lot of these Google docs kind of sheets going around getting people worked up thinking that there’s a rent freeze when those are actually just a petition. So when you’re looking at a resource, see if it’s coming from a website that’s a .gov website or an authority, not something that’s just a petition going around. Cause I know that’s working up a lot of landlords, but anyway you decide on what you’re gonna do cause if it’s not, if your hands not being forced on, if you’re going to delay rent payments or forgive some rent payments, have the conversation with your tenants make sure that you guys are in agreement on what’s happening.

Eric Worral: (01:45)
Don’t leave it up to some sort of expectation or unfulfilled communication because you may find yourself in a tougher situation than you needed to be in a month or two with your tenant. Who obviously are, everyone’s in a tough situation right now. Most people are in a tough situation. So good communication is key. So if you’re going to communicate with your tenants, one of the first things you might want to tell them is, unfortunately, there may be a shortage of toilet paper because people went out and bought 400 rolls and a just a good friendly reminder that napkins, paper towels, wipes. These things are not meant to be flushed down the toilet. And if they cause a backup that’s going to cause damage and even worse issues. So do not flush those items down the toilet. That is definitely worth reaching out to your tenants about just on that alone.

Eric Worral: (02:34)
So once you start getting to the actual details and what you want to be looking at, it’s a good idea to get your resources from the CDC. We actually just published a blog post this week that I will link to in the show notes at today’s podcast. It is on the COVID-19 what landlords and property managers can do to help. And in that resource, our CDC brochure, a CDC graphic, and the CDC site I want to do if you get sick. Again, also thinking about things in terms of being a landlord with your tenants. You want to consider if there’s anything that you can be doing to help safeguard, especially if you have multiunit properties. Just kind of putting out some best practices and, you know, just reminders to people to keep their hands clean.

Eric Worral: (03:25)
Wash your hands, disinfect common areas if at all possible. Anything that you can do in those regards would be helpful. So a quick little kind of bullet point list of the table of contents of the article that I was mentioning. Number one is to send out letters to your tenants to is managing tenant fears. The interesting thing about this pandemic is that there’s various levels of fear going on. I’ve seen some people where they’re worried about their mortgages, right? If you’re going to be able to pay your mortgages on these rental properties, cause you don’t know if you’re going to get rent payments in and then maybe you have money in the markets and the markets are doing bad, and then maybe you have elderly parents and you have fear for them and their health and safety. And you can see how just like one person might have two, three, four different sets of fears going on that kind of start to stack on each other.

Eric Worral: (04:12)
And it just makes things pretty stressful for people. And I went to the grocery store on a few days ago, Monday, and, you know, trying to keep your distance, you need groceries and just kind of giving people space. And I watched a, an elderly woman behind me in line start yelling at a gentleman who’s actually even older than her for getting too close to her and really yelling at him, you know, and I actually not that I, I’m not gonna say I don’t blame her, cause I think that this is a time to be as civil and calm as we can be. Just kind of generous and kind to one another and just try to be kind by you understand where she’s coming from. You know, she’s probably in her seventies and she’s out having to get her own groceries and you know, who knows what’s going through her mind.

Eric Worral: (04:57)
So if you’re out driving, if you’re out, going for a walk, you know, you’re, I know we’re isolating and social distancing and all that, but it’s probably still a good idea to just get out and go for a walk. If you can manage something like that. I, you know, don’t be afraid to wave to somebody. Say hello, be kind, you know, you don’t have to look, this is the zombie apocalypse, right? Just keep your distance. But be kind to people, especially online, right? I think this is a time that people started to buckle into. There are different, you know, whatever their online soup does. Your is if you want to say that, but you know, you might be on Reddit, maybe you’re on our Facebook group, you’re in landlord forums, things like that. And I think at times like this, sometimes, you know, people forget and kind of lose their sense of themselves and think this is an inappropriate time to kind of start sharing their viewpoints on certain things and stuff like that.

Eric Worral: (05:47)
And in my opinion, it’s better to just keep it to yourself. You know, there’s just so much going on and if you’re going to add comments out there just to stir the pot or you know, you feel like you got to get your point across or something. At this point, it’s like, why bother? You know, just, just be kind to one another, be kind to your tenants. I’m not going to say what you have to do with your tenants. Right. That’s not my right, that’s not my place to say that you should be suspending rent or you should be doing X, Y or Z. It’s different for everybody. I think if you can’t afford your mortgage payments and there’s not mortgage relief, like a system coming down the pipeline, you know, that’s completely different than compared to somebody else who maybe has been a landlord for 30 years and they’re sitting on a pretty good cushion and they can afford to do different things.

Eric Worral: (06:31)
So I don’t even like that when people kind of start forcing the hand of what you know you are supposed to do or not supposed to do, but do what you can be kind and communicate well with others and just give everyone a little bit of grace during this time period. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be something that’s going to be over in a weeks or two weeks time from what they’re saying so far. This last I heard at least in New York state, they’re saying about 45 days before this thing kinda hits its peak and starts to taper off. But who knows, you know, that’s a, that’s a prediction on something that they don’t really have a ton of data on. So it’ll be interesting to see what happens. But try and keep your sanity, try and stay calm, cool, collective and you know, reach out to your tenants, let them know that you’re thinking of them.

Eric Worral: (07:17)
Just, you know, whatever you can do communicate to them and try and get on the same page and just be as helpful as possible. Cause you know, sometimes there’s not a lot you can do in situations like this. You feel kind of helpless. But if you can kind of take those steps and do some things on your end and just make somebody else’s life a little bit easier or just a little, a little bit more clarity it can go a long way. So I hope you guys are staying safe. Hope you’re well and I look forward to catching up with you next week. I have a feeling we’re still going to be in the thick of things, but we’ll try and brighten it up and see you know, see if we can find the sunny side of life here.

Eric Worral: (07:53)
And maybe we can get into some new initiatives or new topics here while we’re kind of on lockdown. And in case you are wondering we are working from home at RentPrep, we are still getting all of our reports done. But if you call the office number, as of right now it’s gonna push you to a voicemail and let you know that we’re not receiving inbound phone calls, but if you live chat with us, it goes to one of our FCRA certified screeners and that we’re on rotation. Like I said, working from home and keeping up with the social distancing. I’m actually recording this from my home office right now. And yeah, so if you need anything, you have questions, whatever it is feel free to live chat with us. If you have to hop on a phone call, we can do that. To from live chat. But just wanted to throw that out there. We’re still open for business and run a report. So if you guys are in the midst of that process we can still help you out. And if you have any other questions, you know, we’re happy to help and any way that we can. Alright, guys like I said, hopefully a little bit brighter next week. And I look forward to catching up with you guys next week. All right. Take care.