BPM management (full disclosure: my daughter Anne) has asked me to write a note regarding property management in the time of COVID-19, particularly from the perspective of a local owner. Barbara and I are two of the larger clients for BPM.
Every year at about this time I do a walkthrough of each of our properties. It is almost the only time all year that I see the properties—I say almost because there are some that I drive by more often than that, mostly to try to get Mesa to help clean up the neighborhoods. Our goal is for our property to be at least as nice as any on the street or in the area.
During walk-throughs we frequently do not like the way the tenant lives, but they have “the right of quiet enjoyment”. The interior walk through can be difficult to schedule and time consuming, depending on whether or not the tenant is present when we are there.
This year different arrangements had to be made because of the Coronavirus. We decided to do a drive-by of each property, which we have now done. We may make this the new normal. As old (really old) Realtors I believe we can see all we need to see from the street.
I spent half a day with each manager and we got to see each property through the eyes of the other and to assess condition and the priority of work to be done. As usual, very little work will be necessary: one property was pretty bad, and one was moving in that direction. These are easy fixes.
Due to the pandemic, all BPM property managers are doing drive by inspections only. These are typically done approximately 30 days prior to the tenant’s lease expiration.
The BPM managers all have many years of property management experience. Most have been with the company for more than 10 years. Barbara and I believe in holding on to our property, and our managers know the properties and the tenants very well. Our average tenancy is more than 3 years, and many are with us longer than that.
This “shelter in place” stuff is a pain in the neck, and there will be real challenges in the landlord business in the days ahead. I know these things: we are managed with the highest degree of competence and compassion possible, and we are lucky to live in the greatest country on earth.
Hang in there folks, this will end.
Frank Bennett, Sr.
Co-founder, Bennett Property Management