At Specialized Property Management, we understand that the unprecedented times during this COVID-19 Pandemic can cause panic, uncertainty, and financial instability. It is our goal as professionals amongst Orlando property management companies to provide security and calm to our clients and residents during this time. Our ability to be proactive and make adjustments to prospective tenants, clients, and current residents has allowed us to stabilize rental income to our property owners. We have been able to make accommodations through our leasing process, rent collections, maintenance, and accounting. Below is a list with more detail that outlines how Specialized Property Management has responded to COVID-19 in an effort to keep all parties safe and financially stable.
Our best-in-class leasing process allows us to continue to lease new and vacant properties during social distancing recommendations and Shelter in Place orders. In fact, our social distancing leasing measures have proved to be so successful that we leased 62 new homes last month while renewing 64 lease agreements with existing residents. That is 22% higher than the previous four months.
- Rental IQ™: Our proprietary technology makes use of Artificial Intelligence allowing us to maximize owner revenue and lower risk. Our state-of-the-art tenant screening software is capable of cross-checking and providing thorough credit checks, criminal background checks, and most importantly, rental payment history. As the leader in Orlando property management companies, we are able to reduce tenant turnovers by utilizing the advanced systems that factor in statistics and tenant behaviors that find and accept reliable and responsible tenants. Rental IQ is also cutting down on the number of evictions that property owners face when hired by Specialized Property Management.
- Electronic Entry Lockboxes: Though we are not conducting showings in person, our secure electronic entry lockboxes on vacant properties allow prospective tenants to continue to tour properties while continuing to maintain social distancing orders. Keeping our leasing agents and customers safe from risk from the COVID-19 virus is a top priority. Prior to viewing a property, prospective tenants must comply and submit personal and credit card information. This new secure lockbox entry feature has increased our number of showings by a whopping 34%.
- 3D Virtual Tours: Specialized Property Management keeps up with technological times by allowing prospects to view homes online through the most advanced 3D Virtual Tour on the market to date. Our 3-D tours feature “walk-through” technology along with a video, the highest quality of still images created by using a combination of three photos from every angle in various lighting, and a floor plan of your home. Data gathered by Orlando property management companies shows that 3-D tour features significantly improve the viewing experience, increases the number of applications received on each property, and creates faster leasing times and decreased vacancy rates. Prospects are virtually able to tour the properties and picture themselves living there. We often lease the home in real-time via this platform and tenants love it. To see an example of our high-quality 3-D home tours, click below. We feel confident you will love it. Click here for a Virtual Tour.
- Premium Paid Zillow Listings: If you are a renter seeking a new home, where is the first place you would look? PropertyWare lists Zillow as a top website that renters use when searching for a new home. Specialized Property Management has taken it upon ourselves to pay for premium Zillow listings. As of recently, Zillow requires property management companies to pay for vacancy listings on its rental site. However, we have taken it one step further. Unlike other Orlando property management companies, we pay for the premium featured listings, which spotlight our vacant rentals, putting our viewing rates above our competitors. We are happy to report that we are seeing reduced vacancy rates and putting more money into our clients’ wallets as a result.
- “No Security Deposit” Options for Tenants: During a time when cash on hand may be scarce or as Americans build up savings for a rainy day, Specialized is offering a program that does not require a traditional lump-sum security deposit. Instead, we are allowing Surety Bonds for qualified tenants. Surety Bonds generally allow a potential tenant to only pay between 17-20% of the security deposit. After move-in, if the tenant causes damage to the property, we can file a claim with our surety bond company to cover the cost of the damage. The protection of the Surety Bond lasts for the length of the lease agreement with Orlando property management companies. We will continue to uphold our strict screening guidelines and follow our Rental IQ recommendations. A Surety Bond allows reliable and qualified tenants who do not have large amounts of cash in a savings account to decrease their initial costs to move-in to a new rental property. This new “No Security Deposit” feature continues to protect our clients by allowing us to broaden our scope of potential tenants and fill vacancies more quickly. It is also allowing us to execute deposit itemization more quickly and pay approved deposit claims faster than before. Our customer satisfaction has increased by 80% with the implementation of this feature, according to a survey conducted amongst our tenants.
The safety of our clients, tenants, staff, and vendors have always been at the forefront of our minds, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Another way that Orlando property management companies keep those we care about safe is by utilizing technology for maintenance. Allowing tenants to report maintenance online gives us the ability to respond more quickly to maintenance requests. These requests are made in real-time and a member of our team immediately receives the request and makes a work order. In addition, our maintenance technicians can report and make notes online regarding maintenance performed and the repairs made. This allows us to ensure compliance with building codes and laws regarding maintenance and to track tenant satisfaction once a repair is complete.
77% of our tenants have stated that quick, reliable maintenance and quality work performed by Specialized Property Management and our vendors led their lease renewal decisions. Our dependable maintenance technicians are able to make repairs 3.2 times more quickly than owner-managed properties, also upping our customer satisfaction. In fact, many other Orlando property management companies have it clear that they will not respond to maintenance requests at this time, causing dissatisfaction amongst its tenants. At SPM, we are firm believers that happy residents result in long-term residents. Long-term residents ultimately save property owners money, reducing the amount of money spent on turnover and vacancy. Treating tenants right, pays off.
- We understand that health concerns regarding the spread of the virus can make residents feel uneasy about letting maintenance technicians into a house. As such, we are only conducting safety-related repairs, when both the resident and vendor are willing to do so. If either party is uncomfortable with making the repair at this time, we will schedule it for a later date.
- If repairs are completed, we are asking both residents and vendors to comply with COVID-19 protective protocols including wearing a mask and gloves to minimize exposure.
- At this time, routine property inspections will be put on hold in an effort to protect our staff and residents. Inspections will resume under proper precautions at an appropriate time in the near future.
We know that our residents rely on trustworthy Orlando property management companies like us for necessary maintenance as it comes up. We are here to serve while staying safe.
Monthly rent collection processes remain the same. Our professional team continues to communicate proactively with residents to remind them of upcoming rent payments. As of April 10th, 91% of residents had paid rent and just 5% of residents contacted our staff to discuss payment options.
- Payment Options. Our multiple payment options continue to make paying rent convenient for residents. We will continue to accept online rent payments, credit cards, and payments via cash-pay retail locations.
- Contingency Negotiations. As unemployment and difficult financial circumstances fall upon residents, we have been working and negotiating directly with both tenants and property owners to set up options for payments of rent. We understand that these unprecedented times are temporary, but very real. One of the ways that a few of our property owners have agreed to accept rent is by using portions of security deposit funds to assist in covering a full rent payment.
Thank you for your confidence in us. It is because of you that we are ranked at the top of Orlando property management companies. We appreciate your continued loyalty. We are proud to report that our processing and systems are able to support our clients and tenants during the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic when so many businesses are otherwise struggling. We will continue to communicate with you and are here to assist you.
We hope that you are staying safe and healthy. Reach out to a member of our team if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to serve you. Call (407) 618-3475.