This interview is based on the conversation between Caron Davis and Lindsey Wong during a live video that aired on June 12th. To watch the video, click here.
With our Concierge and Property Management Department at Caron B Realty, our goal is to make the process of renting a property as stress-free as possible. Our priority has always been to provide the highest level of service while quickly filling vacancies with qualified tenants. Our concierge services extend to connect clients with members-only organizations and trusted vendors, assisting with home maintenance, and using the latest technology to manage rentals and payments.
When the coronavirus hit our country and shutdowns were implemented in March, naturally property owners, buyers, and sellers expressed concern for the real estate market and their real estate goals. Today I’m speaking with our Concierge and Property Management Coordinator, Lindsey Wong, about what she’s seen happen with property management over the past few months and how we’re safety showing and renting homes.
Caron: What’s different with Property Management right now?
Lindsey: Our main focus has been on safety. We have strict protocols from the state and the Honolulu Board of Realtors that we follow: wearing masks, sanitizing hands and surfaces, physical distancing.
Another big difference, which has really helped both myself, in terms of efficiency, and prospective tenants, is the introduction of video tours and Facetime walk-throughs. When I get an inquiry about a rental, I’ll speak with the prospective renter and find out what they are really looking for. Then I’ll send them a video tour of the property and some extra pictures or do a Facetime walk-through with them. This gives them a better idea of whether or not they want to see the property in person.
If they do want to see it in person, I go in early and open everything up, turn on all the lights, prepare it so no one has to touch anything. After the viewing, I clean up, turn lights off, and wipe down everything.
Caron: How has interest in renting been?
Lindsey: There are a lot of people who want to rent! I really haven’t seen any changes in the level of interest since this started. In March we had 3 new renters right when everything really got started.
Caron: Have you experienced and COVID-specific challenges?
Lindsey: The biggest challenge is with people who want to relocate from the mainland because of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Some people have been hesitant or delayed their move date, so we have to rent to someone else.
We actually worked with a client who came from the mainland. I helped provide him necessities like groceries and medicine while he was quarantined to ensure that he didn’t leave the property.
Caron: What have you done differently to best serve our clients who own rental properties?
Lindsey: When this started, we did have property owners who were concerned about filling vacancies, which is understandable. We continued to follow our targeted marketing plan and like I said, we have had a lot of interest during this whole time. Part of the concern at first was about where the renters would be coming from – some owners preferred local tenants instead of mainland ones – but mainland tenants have to quarantine so it wasn’t really a problem.
The biggest thing has been educating our clients about our safety protocols and demonstrating how we’re doing everything we can to keep everybody safe and healthy. We’re always learning and updating our practices.
Also, we have a vendor list that we consistently review, add to, and remove from to make sure that we have the best people that we’re sending to clients’ homes. This has been especially important for move-out cleanings and we are proud to offer vendors who we trust.
Just like with real estate sales, the focus is safety, and when we follow safety protocols, we see that business can continue to move forward. If you have any questions about the rental market or would like to learn more about our services, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (808) 593-9826.