Steve Rozenberg, VP of Investor Education at Mynd, sat down with Bill Twyford, Co-founder at Investors Edge University, to discuss how Denver is coping as the Coronavirus spreads. How is the real estate market changing and being affected? And how long can we expect this to be the case? Let's break it down.
If you’re a landlord or a rental property investor in Denver, it’s important that you prepare for any type of emergency or disaster. As we have seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s much easier to manage a crisis if you have a plan in place. So today, we’re discussing some of the things you can do when you know an emergency is coming and you want to be prepared. We’ll also talk about emergencies and how you and your residents can work together to keep everyone safe and mitigate further property damage.
When you own residential property in Denver, the most important thing you need to know is the definition of an emergency. You might have an idea of what an emergency is, and your residents probably have their own ideas about what constitutes an emergency. However, it’s the law that defines how and when you have to act.Make sure you’re in compliance with state and local laws when a situation arises. You’ll need to know how to handle the response that’s legally required. Once you have understood it, make sure you explain it to your residents as well. Educate them about the definition of an emergency so they understand the steps that need to be taken and why one thing is an emergency but another isn’t.Once the information is consistent throughout all parties, you’ll know how you must execute. The law really defines how to go forth when there is an emergency at your property. That’s the starting point.Every state is different with different emergencies per their property codes.
There are a series of things you can you do at the property to protect it during an emergency. Some of the most obvious things are shut off valves and circuit breakers.If you own a single-family detached home, remember that a lot of residents moving into your property are coming from apartment living. It’s a natural phase with residents. Their first properties are often apartments, and then they decide to rent a single-family home for a while before they eventually buy their own home.Many times, this means your residents are coming to your property from apartments. That’s a much different situation than a single-family home. When you rent an apartment, you’re in an entire building, and you have maintenance staff who are usually physically present and able to respond quickly. You don’t need to know much as a resident. In a single-family home, responsibilities are a little different.As a landlord, you want to meet your resident at the property before the move-in date and walk through the home. You can show them where the electric panel is located and what to do if the furnace stops working or the home loses power. You can demonstrate how to check a breaker and what is needed to reset it. Residents will feel better about responding to a leak in the house if they know where to find the shut off valve.Not every renter has had to worry about these things in the past, so show them where the pertinent valves and breakers can be found. Make sure they know that there there’s something different involved for the water heater. If there’s a water heater leak, show them how to turn off the supply.Educate your residents. This is just one of many preventative steps a landlord can take to protect their Denver investment property and give their residents a better living experience.A lot of your best results will be due to pre-planning and communicating. You and your residents will understand the definitions of an emergency, and they’ll know the relevant steps to take.
You’ll also want to give some attention to your insurance policies and contact information when you’re planning for an emergency or a disaster. Make sure everything is up to date. No one wants to believe that an emergency or a total loss from a fire will ever happen, but it can. You’ll want to know you’re properly insured as a landlord.As you should know, an HO-3 policy is different from a homeowner’s insurance policy that you have as an owner/occupant. You want to make sure all of your coverage is up to date and comprehensive. Check for liability and damage. Loss of rent is also good to have.Talk to your residents about their renter’s insurance as well. You don’t want to be in a total loss situation with your Denver rental home when you realize you don’t have enough coverage, and your residents don’t want to be without coverage either. Make sure you’re properly covered and ask for proof of insurance from your resident. Ask them to add you as an additional insured if you can. This will ensure you’re notified if the renter’s insurance policy lapses or is cancelled.Contact information is also essential. Make sure you and your residents have up to date information for various state, local, and federal agencies. This might include the local CDC center and Poison Control. In the heat of an emergency or a pandemic like our recent issues, it’s not always information that people have readily available. But just knowing where the closest hospital is can be helpful to your residents, especially if they haven’t been in the area long.As you can see, pre-planning leads to a much better emergency response. If your house is flooding or on fire, that’s not the best time to be looking for information. You want to be ready to take action and implement your emergency plans.Think about what you’ll need before the emergency happens, and gather all of your resources and information together. Then, share all the information you have with your residents. That’s our best advice. If you have any additional questions about emergency planning or anything pertaining to Denver property management, we hope you’ll contact us at Mynd Property Management.
How do you handle things when you find yourself in middle of an emergency as a Denver real estate investor? We know it can be hard to remain professional and calm when it seems like everything is falling out of place. During a crisis or an emergency, you want to be able to lean on the plans that you already have in place. Being prepared is essential, and it will help you protect your Denver rental property and assist your residents when an emergency occurs.
In the middle of an emergency, the best advice is to be prepared ahead of that emergency. This will enable you to remain calm and proactive in the middle of whatever crisis has landed at your front door. Just knowing that you’re prepared will help you and your residents.Make sure you have the basic information in a place that’s accessible and easy to reach. You’ll want to know who your emergency responders will be. That’s going to be important. Make sure your emergency plan includes all different types of responders, because you never know what the next crisis will be. Currently, we’re dealing with a pandemic. The next emergency you find yourself in the middle of might be weather-related. It might be a fire or a flood.In Denver, rental property owners need to know if their homes fall on a county island or within the city limits. That will mean you receive services from different fire departments. If you know that you have done everything possible on the front end to prepare and protect yourself from an emergency situation, you’ll have an easier time executing your plans during that crisis.
Educate your resident so they know what to do in case of an emergency. Depending on what’s happening, they will likely have to deal with the situation before you are even called. Do they know what to do if they leave some grease on the stove and the kitchen catches on fire? Make sure they understand that during a fire, calling 9-1-1 is the first step, and then once the emergency responders are on their way, they should call you or their Denver property manager.Do you have a fire extinguisher in the property? Is that the right thing to use? Do your tenants know not to throw water on a grease fire? These are the training items that can be very helpful if your residents are called upon to act quickly during an emergency. Make sure they’re prepared and educated ahead of time so a bad situation doesn’t quickly become worse.Emergencies happen more often than rental property owners realize. In March alone, we had hundreds of emergency calls. That was even before the COVID-19 pandemic really took hold. When you and your residents are on the same page about how to deal with them, you will have a much better chance of protecting your property and keeping your residents safe.
Pre-think about how you and your residents will define an emergency. A light bulb burning out is not an emergency. The house flooding, however, is very much an emergency. It’s all perception, but if you can write out the parameters of how an emergency is defined, you and your residents will both know how to respond when something actually occurs.If you don’t have an emergency manual in place, create one for now for every potential type of emergency. This will quickly let you know how to act.Most Denver real estate investors know that an emergency is defined as anything that involves a fire, flood, or blood. That’s easy. Not having heat in the middle of winter is also an emergency in Denver. You’ll have 24 hours to put something into action. Those 24 hours will not be the best time to make a plan; your emergency plan must already be in place.Show residents where to find shut off valves, circuit breakers, and all the essentials that make the house safe. Keeping your residents safe and out of danger is your first and most important step. Then, you want to make sure you’re not allowing further damage to the property.If you’re in the middle of an emergency, remain calm and put into action the plan you already have.
Something else to think about is documentation. Have all of your pertinent information available to you in the cloud so you can get easy access to it. You may need bank account information, insurance policies, and passports. If everything is lose in a disaster, you want to have your records available and protected.This is a virtual world. Keep a clean folder online and have your insurance agent on speed dial in case there’s a fire or a flood. Keep some restoration contacts close. A major flood can spiral quickly with the wrong vendor in place. Do some work ahead of time to have vendors and trusted contacts available. Make sure you can control who you call and how you reach them. You don’t want to be in a pinch because it can lead to making a bad vendor decision.Think about everything that can possibly go wrong just so you’re prepared. There are global emergencies, local emergencies, and even situations specific to your property.One of the main things you must do during an emergency is to stay calm. Sit back and think clearly and not emotionally. Make sure you’re taking proper action and not just succumbing to a knee jerk reaction. It could take you in the wrong direction. Cool heads prevail.Your resident safety is first, then make sure your Denver rental property is safe and secure. Work on stopping the emergency and working towards a solution.If you have any questions about how to manage an emergency at your Denver rental property, please contact us at Mynd Property Management.
Steve Rozenberg, VP of Investor Education at Mynd, and Alex Osenenko, Chief Growth Officer, sat down with Devyn Gillespie, Director of New Markets, to discuss how Denver is coping as the Coronavirus spreads. How is the real estate market changing and being affected? How long can we expect this to be the case? Let's break it down.