Planning ahead has been one of many big business challenges in 2020. With the coronavirus pandemic surging again, uncertainty looks set to continue into next year. For real estate owners and investors, the disrupted economy and property marketplace provide opportunities for those who forge ahead.
Now is the time to make plans for getting the most from your property management strategies in 2021. Whether your property is a multifamily building, retail and commercial space, or a mixed-use complex, there are steps you can take now to avoid unwanted surprises:
- Be in touch with your tenants.
Property owners should be careful before making assumptions about how the pandemic has affected their tenants. COVID-19 has had an inconsistent impact on businesses and their employees. For some, the pandemic has been a boon; for others, a disaster.
By building rapport with your tenants, you can keep tabs on how their business is doing. Knowing that a tenant is in trouble is valuable information. It allows you to make choices now that will affect your property’s performance into the future. In some cases, the best path forward is to offer options that will keep the tenant in place but with easier payment terms. In other cases, the owner will know to plan ahead for an early vacancy.
At Pan American we have a communication and data collection strategy in place keep us in steady contact with our tenants. We work hard to ensure our tenants know about all the resources we have for them, so they always feel cared for.
- Double check your assumptions.
Smart planning allows for some contingencies, especially right now. How will your property’s performance look if a new federal stimulus package delivers checks to your tenants? What if those checks don’t come? How much swing should you expect in local economic conditions that affect your property’s competitiveness?
There’s no crystal ball for seeing into the future, but that doesn’t mean projections have no value. Pro forma financials need not account for every last nail in a building to offer useful insights into important scenarios, such as the sudden departure of an anchor tenant. If you can see the freight train coming, you’ll have time to get out of the way.
At Pan American our 2021 budgets have been delivered to clients. We will finish up 2020 working with clients to finalize the budgeting process and build solid foundations for achieving their property goals in 2021.
- Explore low-cost value enhancements.
In times of economic turbulence, property owners need to work hard to retain tenants who pay their rent on time. These tenants are aware of their privileged position within the marketplace. You should assume they’re willing to jump to another property that offers better terms or nicer amenities, unless they feel cared for.
Keeping tenants happy need not be expensive. Refreshing the potted plants in a lobby, touching up paint in common areas, and promptly responding to maintenance requests are all examples of relatively simple things that make a big difference to tenants.
With people spending more time at home during the COVID-19 lockdowns, our property supervisors and maintenance team are working especially hard to respond promptly to maintenance requests. Our staff has all of the latest PPE to ensure that we can continue to deliver consistent, safe service.
- Think about health and safety.
The pandemic has sparked a wave of remote work. Getting tenant businesses back into their offices is an important goal for commercial property owners. For many businesses, health concerns are a key motivation for keeping their employees at home.
A property owner that shows a proactive approach to improving the health and safety elements of a building will have an easier time of keeping its tenants. Many of the most impactful efforts can go unseen. For example, a building’s HVAC system might be upgraded to reduce the circulation of unfiltered air. Let your tenants know when you’re making such improvements. It signals your concern for their wellbeing and gives them confidence to reopen.
At Pan American tenants communicate completely remote. They have different options for communicating with their managers and supervisors, paying online via the resident payment portal and placing maintenance requests online.
- Get creative in the face of adversity.
The worst-case scenario for a property owner is a sudden loss of significant revenue. Commercial properties around the United States are grappling with major tenants going out of business. When an anchor tenant shuts its doors, it can create a cascading effect among other tenants. For an example look no further than the impact shuttered movie theaters have had on surrounding businesses.
When facing a circumstance like this it’s important to take stock of your options. For some owners, selling may be the right answer. But for others, finding new sources of revenue may be a matter of getting creative. This is where having an advisor with experience makes a big difference.
At Pan American we partner with our clients to review the best options for their property. Our diverse management team comes together to problem solve with you.
Pan American Properties stands with you.
Through the pandemic and afterward, Pan American will be here for you. That is the #panamericanpromise.
At Pan American Properties we’re already busy working with clients to craft management strategies for 2021. What are your goals for your properties in the coming year? Give Pan American a call at 888-754-9700 or send us an email to start a conversation about your needs. We’re looking forward to serving you.