When you own rental real estate in Reno and the surrounding areas, you may find yourself in the middle of an emergency situation, and the actions you take during that emergency will largely depend on whether you’re prepared. Today, we’re discussing some of the things you need to think about and do when you’re a real estate investor who is experiencing a crisis at the property or within the larger community.
Health and Safety Liabilities
As professional Reno property managers, we have unfortunately had to help a lot of owners and investors through some troubling times in their portfolios. One thing we have learned is that being prepared in the moment is very important. It will help you break down the specifics of what’s happening, and then you’ll be able to respond accordingly.
Your first priority is safety. Make sure your residents are safe, and to do this you’ll have to take an honest look at the health and safety liabilities that are present.
Then, you can look at the bigger picture to see how your investment will move forward in the next 30 or 60 or 90 days.
There are a lot of potential emergencies that may toss you into uncertainty. Right now, we’re dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. In Reno, you might also find you have to manage a flood, a fire, or a red tagged property. You could be dealing with occupancy issues that pertain to zoning. These are some of the local emergencies that we often find ourselves in the middle of managing. Sometimes, you can prepare for them, and sometimes you can’t because you never saw them coming.
Identify, Plan, and Execute an Emergency Response
Once you have accounted for the health and safety of your residents, you need to immediately identify the source of the problem or the reason for the emergency. From there, you can get a game plan together to resolve the problem.
As you’re actively making things better, remember that your resident will be stressed out. So, be mindful of your renter and make sure you’re showing some sympathy and empathy towards the way the situation may be impacting the people living in your rental property. But, you also have to use a level-headed and non-emotional perspective.
This is important.
Some owners will have a freak-out about an emergency situation, and it can be difficult while you’re managing the crisis to pull back and look at the big picture. It’s much easier to dive into the details and really work yourself into a frenzy. Try not to do this. You’ll get lost if you spend too much time on specifics. Look at the situation and solve the problem from a higher level.
Assess and Act from a Place of Calm
In any emergency or business situation, if you do not sit back and relax before you assess what’s going on and before you start doing something and taking action, things can actually get worse.
The sitting back period could last only about three seconds. Your approach will depend on the situation, but you have to react to the emergency events happening around you with facts and knowledge and data. You cannot approach the situation with fear and emotion.
It’s important for rental property owners to think about that, because when you’re in the middle of an emergency, you have to remember that you’re still running a business. Your job is to be a leader and assess the situation calmly.
A good leader can work towards the solution and not focus on the problem.
It’s also important to remember that you have a resident living in that property. Their lives are in there, and it’s an emotional time for them. Make sure they’re safe and secure and not in any harm’s way, no matter what is going on. Then, take the necessary steps to make sure your investment is safe and secure.
Once those two things are done, you can worry about the rest. In an emergency, you have to be calm, cool, and collected. This is so important.
This is a good time to have a discussion with your resident about how to handle emergency issues at the property. Your investment property will have a better chance of recovery when your residents know where the shut off valves and circuit breakers are. They should know where the Poison Control telephone number can be found and how to reach the Health Department.
Provide a checklist for them so they know where the nearest hospitals are to the property. If they have this information before they move in, you’ll have an easier time handling any crisis. We recommend that you update your emergency information all the time. It’s important that you have their information as well. You’ll need to know who to get a hold of if you can’t reach the residents. Always have updated contact information.
When an emergency of any kind does happen, you’re going to help yourself, your residents, and your property by not freaking out and dissolving into a reactionary mode. It’s far more proactive to solve the problem and get to the solution.
You can expect your residents to react emotionally to the situation. It’s their home and their space and they’re concerned about their own well-being and that of their family. As the property owner, you need to be the foundation and the rock. If you’re not fully put together on your end of things, it’s possible that you’re going to turn this into a worse situation.
Emergencies are hard to plan for. No one expects to be dealing with a crisis when they buy a Reno rental property. But, emergencies and disasters and catastrophes do happen. But, you have to be prepared for the worst.
If you have any questions about how to stay calm and focused during an emergency that affects your Reno investment property, please contact us at Mynd Property Management.