What We Are Doing To Limit Your Exposure During This Challenging Time…
We’ve been listening and attending conference calls and reading a lot of information to keep a pulse on the market and local economies surrounding our assets. The information seems to change hour by hour as we progress through the unknowns related to the COVID-19 virus. The underlying theme that seems to be shared by almost everyone is that we will get through this- it’s just a question of how long it takes. The positive news is that everyone seems to be coming together to help each other whether it’s a landlord helping a tenant or a lender helping a landlord. We will all work together to get through this time. We have been watching full container ships come into and leave the port of Charleston. Global goods are still being transported and we also saw a vehicle transport ship get loaded up with thousands of BMWs (made in Spartanburg, South Carolina) heading out for export. This is a minor piece, but it provides proof that commerce is still flowing.
We are constantly monitoring the following sources to stay current:
- Marcus and Millichap
- Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis (CBRE)
- Walker Dunlop
- Wells Fargo
- National Apartment Association (NAA)
- National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)
How We Are Preparing
We are taking things one day/week at a time. For example, every week we speak with our on-site property management teams to understand what happened last week and how to prepare for the week ahead. We stay in constant communication with our on-site teams to ensure that we adapt operating procedures as the guidelines change.
To Date, We’ve…
- Closed property amenities and limited physical on-site interactions to minimize virus spread.
- Drafted a document that outlines rent payment assistance options for residents.
- Followed guidelines released by NAA and NMHC to help residents, management, and landlords.
resident employer demographic information to estimate how many residents might
have rent payment hardship. The good news is…
- We don’t have a sizable population of residents with service and tourism jobs.
- We don’t have a large percentage of residents who have the same employer.
- We have a lot of residents who are employed in the education and medical fields; plus, we have some retirees.
- Created standard operating procedures for how to handle and confirm resident job/rent payment hardship.
- Confirmed with our third-party management companies that they are following housing guidelines and standards if a positive virus case is identified at a property (none are known at this time).
- Stopped non-essential spending (resident events, coffee supplies, amenity cleaning for closed spaces, etc.) and reduced expenses where possible.
For April, We Are Planning To…
- Share the rent payment assistance options for residents who are impacted and verified to be impacted.
- Monitor federal and state assistance programs and/or government stimulus bills to help residents pay rent.
- Monitor NAA and NMHC guidelines for residents, management, and landlords.
- Monitor rent income collections day-by-day.
Overall, we are staying informed and up-to- date with our asset market conditions and any state funding available in our asset states plus federal funding. We are confident we can “weather the storm” and keep the human and financial toll that the COVID-19 virus inflicts as minimal as possible. We will continue to keep you informed throughout the process.