20 Steps for Multifamily Asset Management during a Crisis


During an economic crisis or a health crisis such as a pandemic, the managers of a multifamily asset must focus on key areas such as communication and cash preservation to ensure the asset operates with no long term negative impact on the investment.

Communication

  • With investors to reassure them and to convey that the management team is in control

  • With tenants to convey that the landlord cares about the tenants, to consolidate the relationship

Pandemic additional measures:

  • Online presence for virtual tour of available units and rent payment


Operations

From an operations standpoint, The Net Operating Income will probably suffer. The goal is to conserve cash in order to mitigate any potential delinquencies that may lead to foreclosure:


Tenants:

  • Survey the tenants on their ability to pay rent

  • For people who will fall behind, offer to postpone rent payment by amending the lease: ex. postpone a half month's rent amortizing it over the balance of their lease term or extend leases out six months for anybody that has less than six months to go so that they can spread that rent payment over six payments.

  • Communicate services available for unemployment and other assistance (city, state and federal).

  • Refer nonprofits financial counseling services to give advice on applying for unemployment benefits and charities subsidize their rents in tough times.

  • Offer a rent discount ($25-$75) for tenants to pay by the 1st of month.

Pandemic additional measures:

  • Ask the tenants to share confidentially if they self quarantine or is they are infected


Property Management (directly or through your Property Management partner):

  • Postpone non-urgent maintenance.

  • Postpone units turn until all available units are rented.

  • Postpone unnecessary renovations, including value add business plan.

  • Have staff work part time.

Pandemic additional measures:

  • Instruct staff to limit contact with tenants and impose social distancing.

  • Source, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, masks and gloves for those staff that may need to enter a unit.

  • Close onsite office, club house, gym.

  • Switch to providing tenant assistance over the phone.

  • Order 2-3 months of supplies if crisis anticipated

Vendors:

  • Hold on payables for non-essential vendors.

Pandemic additional measures:

  • Source a disinfection specialist ready to professionally clean the units or common areas in case of infected tenants.


Company management:

  • Postpone asset management fee payment.

  • Seek government assistance (relief package for small businesses).


Lender:

  • Communicate your plan to the lender.

  • Initiate a discussion with the lender on forbearance (postpone payment of the loan) options.


General Partners:

  • Ask GPs for temporary loans.

  • Capital call.


Investors:

  • Postpone distributions.

  • Capital call.


By engaging the tenants and third party partners alike, the success of asset management during a time of crisis relies on working as a team and the reduction of the operations cost to the essentials while maintaining the trust of the investors.

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