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.
Rely on Your Emergency Plan During a Crisis
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 Denver Residents on Emergency Planning
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.
Defining an Emergency Before You Prepare for It
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.
Keep Important Documents and Contact Information Safe
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.