While Florida is pushing forward into the first phase of reopening under Governor DeSantis' guidelines, we're still not out of the woods yet. In Sarasota County, deaths as a result of COVID-19 are still being reported at least weekly.
Additionally, even as our state and county begin to lift the shutters on our businesses and community, the impact on us all won't just disappear overnight. We've entered a recession, and as your North Port property management expert, we urge you to use this time now to plan how you're going to tackle that fact as a landlord.
If you weren't a property investor during the 2008 housing crisis, you might have been completely caught off guard by the depth of the COVID-19 pandemic concerning how hard it hit the market. Even back then, we hadn't seen the potential for renters to struggle to make their payments on such a grand scale—and the potential for property owners to go under completely as their income vanished overnight.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do now to not only get ahead of this crisis but come out the other side on top financially. Part of this relies on having a good plan to address your current needs as well as what you intend to do moving forward. This allows you to plan what you intend to do to survive, recover, and then grow beyond where you were before.
A quick note: The following article is not a substitute for legal counsel. If you need immediate help with a pressing issue concerning your rental properties in North Port, turn to a competent attorney or Gulf Coast Property Management for real-time assistance!
Develop a Plan Now
With your health and wealth in mind as your North Port property management expert, we recommend getting started by checking out our article on crisis plans and how to develop them before you move deeper into this post. For property investors and landlords right now, one of the most important elements of your move to stay successful in a recession is having enough liquid assets in reserve to cover your rental properties. In the event of some unforeseen disaster (much like this pandemic), this buffer can keep you on top where the competition has failed to prepare.
If you didn't have reserve funds prior to this point and most of your residents have managed to pay on time, don't breathe a sigh of relief just yet. Use this moment as a motivator to encourage saving and preparation for the next financial "black swan." It's less a question of if it will occur at this point—and more a matter of when. Come autumn, we may very well be staring down the barrel of another COVID-19 outbreak.
Be Proactive: Put Your Plans Into Action
Once you've developed your approach, it's time to put it in motion. Keep in mind that no plan is truly set in stone apart from a few key features (like your savings) that anchor the entire structure. This allows you to be flexible enough to adapt to changes as they come while still protecting your assets.
One of these key anchors that we've tried to emphasize the importance of across many of our posts is the importance of communication during this time. Whether that's communication with your renters or reaching out to your bank about what kind of forbearance they might be offering, keeping your lines of communication open should be a priority.
For many property owners, neglecting to talk to your renters prior to this boiling point (or worse, communicating with them poorly) has become a point of contention in some cases. At best, it makes you look like you only care about the rent check they have to offer—at worst, it may be costing you a future renewal. Every crisis plan worth it's salt should have some emphasis on communication.
As an added benefit, talking to your renters happens to be a big element of proactivity. Communicating with them upfront about what you plan to do to address a current crisis makes it more likely that they'll feel comfortable enough to approach you if they need to tap into a solution you're offering.
As a provider of North Port property management, we notice this healthy back and forth often has the following effect:
- Your renters are more likely to care for your property as if it were their own.
- Renewals increase when your tenants feel valued—which decreases turnover costs for you.
- Residents feel comfortable reaching out when they notice something that might be a maintenance concern.
Developing a professional relationship with your renters while we are all collectively working through a crisis ends up yielding dividends down the road.
Let Us Be Your Guide
As the experts in North Port property management, we want so much more than for our property owners to simply survive a recession—we want them to thrive. Having the right skills at your disposal when it comes to managing your North Port rentals makes a difference when you need to steer into a storm.
We've been serving property investors and landlords in Sarasota County since 2003, so we're already well acquainted with the potential extremes of real estate and how to overcome these factors. Whether our next black swan as a community is a hurricane or virus, at Gulf Coast Property Management, we're here to see you through.
To get an idea of how we serve our property owners, take advantage of our collection of free resources! If you've been struggling to collect rent as part of your crisis plan, we recommend you start by downloading our free Collecting Rent in a Crisis Handbook.