We're living in uncertain times; you don't need us to tell you that, but it's worth repeating. The novel Coronavirus pandemic has changed every aspect of our lives here in Chesapeake in ways no one could have predicted just a few months ago. As we teeter on the edge of a potential recession, many in the world of real estate are struggling to stay balanced.
For landlords, it's not all bad news: there are a lot of ways for your Rent Estate™ business to survive—even thrive—amidst the turmoil of a pandemic and an economic downturn. Here's how you can stay a successful landlord during a recession using tips from the experts in Chesapeake property management.
Be Proactive—Not Reactive
Getting ahead of the curve is no small task—but it's essential in challenging times. Rather than reacting to each new obstacle that comes up, try to take a long view of the situation. Plan ahead, be proactive, and think about what steps you can take to make your rental business more successful as conditions change. There are a few ways you can make your rental properties more recession-proof—or at least recession-resistant.
Focus on Keeping Tenants
One of the worst-case scenarios in troubled economic times is losing tenants. Your number one priority should be keeping your renters—and keeping them happy. There a lot of ways to do this, from providing timely property maintenance (safely) and making improvements to considering a pause in increasing your rent rate.
In a situation like our current one, in which many of your tenants are out of work, it's also important that you offer compassion and understanding when it comes to collecting rent. Working with a Chesapeake property management partner to meet the needs of your renters during this time can be a powerful tool when it comes to keeping your residents safe and satisfied.
Information is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal, whether it's keeping up with the economic forecast or staying up to date on the latest COVID-19 developments from the CDC. The more you know, the better you can plan ahead, and the more easily you can adapt.
Advertise Like a Pro
Despite your best efforts, you will probably have to fill some vacancies during the months ahead. When you have a unit to fill, it's better to have your advertising game polished and ready to go.
- Know where to advertise (print ads, classifieds, online listings, social media) and know how to bring in potential tenants.
- Be sure to highlight any features that make your property unique, whether it's the amenities, size of the units, upgraded appliances, energy efficiency, convenient location, or competitive price point.
- Show why your Chesapeake rental would make an ideal home and shelter from the storm.
Always Have a Contingency Plan
As an expert in Chesapeake property management, we understand that you can never prepare for every possible contingency. Our current circumstances only drive home how unpredictable the world can be. Still, the only way to develop and implement a contingency plan is to know what you're planning for. Even if our current circumstances seem sudden and overwhelming, a recession is a challenge that a landlord can prepare to meet head-on.
Diversify Your Portfolio
People don't stop renting during a recession; quite the opposite. The real estate recession of 2008 and 2009 hit the housing market hard—but it barely made a dent in the rental business. If anything, it gave many landlords a boost. That's because when fewer people can afford to buy, more people choose to call your Chesapeake Rent Estate™ home. The more properties you own, and the more varied those properties are, the more likely you will be to keep them filled with tenants through all economic conditions.
Build Cash Reserves
We wouldn't wish hardship on anyone, economic or otherwise. But we've learned that when it happens, there are ways to find opportunities in disaster. The overwhelming likelihood is that we're about to enter into a major buyer's market with the potential to pick up rental properties at lower prices than at any time in recent memory.
For landlords and real estate investors with cash reserves in place, this is a time to potentially grow your business in a major way. Ultimately, this means you have a larger opportunity than ever to offer your community safe, comfortable, and convenient housing.
Hire a Property Manager
One of the best ways to ensure that your property is well managed during a recession is to hire a Chesapeake property management partner who understands the challenges you and your properties face. From a rental price analysis and advice on investing to setting your bullseye price and screening future renters, our team of Professional Landlords is happy to offer the resources you need to continue being a successful landlord in all economic climates.
As your ally in Rent Estate™, Renters Warehouse Hampton Roads is providing additional insight in a recession through our Collecting Rent in a Crisis Handbook! To support property owners during this time, we are offering it to you completely free. The tips within can guide you on how to make sure you still have a continuing revenue stream while we struggle through the impacts of COVID-19 as a community.