"New Normal" is a phrase that is often used to describe life after COVID-19. However, property management software manager MRI Software argued that more leasing agents and property managers will use the technology remotely for efficiency and that multi-family leasing offices will be a thing of the past.
However, COVID-19 is only accelerating the previous trend of leasing offices going paperless and working in smaller offices, according to MRI Software. However, COVID-19 has forced many leasing offices to quickly adopt technology-based solutions in order to stay productive without unnecessary exposure to the public.
Within six months, leasing offices quickly switched to self-guided and video tours of real estate, online applications, electronic signatures, and online payments, according to MRI Software. "It's safe to say that we operate our real estate very differently than expected at the beginning of the year," said Brian Zrimsek, industry director of MRI Software, in a blog post for the company.
After the leasing offices reopened and some employees returned, the technology Zrimsek argued will continue to be used to maintain the leasing office's many tasks that do not require personal interactions.
For example internet listing services and real estate websites; Maintenance software and online inquiries; Real estate management and accounting software with budgeting and forecasting capabilities and other technology-based solutions can be used remotely, leaving only physical security and maintenance as the only activities that require an on-site presence, Zrimsek argued.
Relying on technology affects not only how leasing offices work, but how they work too. Zrimsek noted that MRI software customer AvalonBay Communities opened its Kanso Twinbrook apartments with no leasing office or on-site amenities in the fall. Kanso Twinbrook is a development style that may be adopted by future apartment buildings when leasing offices go virtual to focus on affordability and efficiency, Zrimsek said.
Indeed, multi-family property managers may need to become more cost-effective as apartment rental payments fell for the third straight month in August, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council announced. The missed payments are expected to last through September as states and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) attempt to implement a partial unemployment benefit recovery program, forecasters warned.
Tenants recently received some evacuation relief after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a temporary halt to evictions on Tuesday to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This order is only for those earning less than $ 99,000 per year. It is expected to expire on December 31, 2020 at Globe St. reported.