With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting every facet of our livelihood, here at Rand Partners we felt it was important to take a step back and document the things we have done that have had a positive impact on our business. While it is easy to lose sight of the fundamentals of running a business, below are the three main principles that we have been focusing on as a company now more than ever.
Communicate: With everything changing constantly, we have created a Corona Task Force to have a meeting of the minds with our leadership, maintenance teams, and area property managers. This allows for new information to be quickly communicated transmitted to team members, updates regarding the morale of the team, and most importantly how the how are our residents are being impacted. For example, once the State of Kentucky halted evictions until July 2020, we provided updates every other day to highlight the news that residents could trust. We sent emails, posted letters, sent text messages, and posted announcements throughout our communities to make everyone of the updates
Along with the Corona Task Force meetings we have added an End of Day Huddle with our management team. This meeting allows our team to spread good news in order to bolster a positive morale and gives each person the opportunity to share any new “need to know” information as things are changing daily. It can be a highlight from a resident, praising a particular team member for living the core values, or just our founders celebrating that we are working diligently during these trying times. These meetings are a constant reminder of why we do what we do every day, to make an impact.
Document: After we have communicated with our Corona Task Force team, we document the actions required. This is important because as we communicate this down to our property managers, maintenance teams, and residents, we need to have a consistent message across all the communities. For example, we have created a decision tree on whether or not employees should come to work if they have symptoms or have been exposed. Once the decision tree was formed, we created a flowchart to show the rest of our team members. This allows for our team members to be more confident that we have their safety in mind.
When it comes to our residents, we are constantly researching assistance opportunities to help them during this time. Whether it be from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Corona Stimulus checks, or 211.org for all of their needs. In these times, we know that the quality of customer service we provide to our residents now, will be how they remember us after this crisis has passed. We are committed to fulfilling our promise of providing customer service during a situation like this when they need it the most.
Make It Happen: We as real estate investors have to step up and help everyone during this time. We have to be rocks for our team members to show that we are a stable and essential employer. We need to be rocks for our residents to help them navigate these uncertain times by providing them with a stable community that will thrive and band together. During times like this we have to come up with creative ways to improve and maintain our communities. One example of how we are doing this is providing rolls of toilet paper to each resident with a card simply stating that during these “crappy” times, we are here for our you. Our team members have had to do things that nobody could prepare for. However, we are grateful for their efforts and remind them every day how good of a job they are doing.
Timely, honest, and transparent communication will always be a winning strategy. Whether it is to your team, residents, or investors, they will understand and respect you as an operator for it. Even though it is constantly changing they will appreciate the work it took to not only understand the updates, but the work it took to deliver the news.
This crisis has been an amazing learning opportunity and I am grateful to have an amazing network of people around me to help learn and grow from. Real estate is a team sport no matter what realm, asset class, or where you are. Thank you to all who have helped me. Thank you to the people on the front-lines of battling this virus. Hope everyone stays safe and healthy.