Every year we face new challenges in property management, but lets focus on leasing. Especially the last two years dealing with COVID, we were forced to adjust and accommodate in more ways than one.
Our peak leasing season is from April to August.
We average 30+ move ins and 30 + move outs. Every year, a different challenge arises. In 2020 and 2021 we found one challenge was to connect with people virtually. When you take away a physical connection, like shaking hands and watching body language, you are taking away the most common way to connect. One way I have learned to overcome this is by making sure I keep my face smiling and keep a friendly tone.
Another way I have learned to connect with people virtually is by starting our social media accounts- Instagram and Tik Tok. I took it upon myself to start our pages after I realized that there was a need for the people to become educated. We talk about renter’s issues, we discuss fair housing, I even answer questions left by our followers about the leasing challenges they are having in finding a home. We also make suggestions about fun places to go in San Diego, and where to eat, we shout out other small businesses and try to involve as much of the community in what we do.
Different Property Types
This one is unique to FBS. Since we manage so many different homes, in so many diverse locations, my leasing team and I must know about a wide range of things. At any given time, I need to know the specific HOA fees for a move in at a downtown condo, rules, and regulations. Or what I am allowed to do with a unit in a 55+ community. What about the parking spots, mailbox numbers, and even if you can wash your car in the parking lot! Since I manage the marketing, I also personally visit each property and drive the neighborhood so I can better understand who my target renter may be, and what they may be interested in. For example, the apartment in north park I talk about the new restaurant down the way, or the house in Poway I make sure to know what schools the home is zoned for. It is important that I know what I am talking about.
Last challenge is navigating the high demand for housing. Each day, it seems like I am getting a phone call high in emotion with someone who is struggling to find housing. Throughout COVID and really my time at FBS, my motto has been to “pick up the phone and call”. Treating everyone I talk to as if they were my friend. I empathize and offer kindness to our prospects as I communicate with them because that goes a long way. My job is a lot of times offering a listening ear and understanding what exactly they need so I can assist them better. Also, by educating the public on matters like rent control, I hope we ease some of the tensions.
We saw 10+ applications per property. That is way out of the norm. Mostly because people were applying for everything. Just hoping to get approved for one. The other reason was the state of emergency in place. We were unable to raise rents to market value, creating properties severally undervalue and thus the increase in interest.
Every summer is different. Sometimes leasing is fun and easy. Other times, we are really challenged to perform. The experience I gain each year, only adds to my toolbox. But nothing will compare to a pandemic!