I have been talking with lots of owners, vendors, tenants, neighbors and friends through this Coronavirus. Universally, I am told that no one has ever seen this in their entire lifetime. My brother Luke, who is much better at dealing with high level crises, said that we are at “war right now”. It is not a traditional war, but rather a war of social isolation, and financial and emotional fear and uncertainty. As of this writing, I have not seen any of my employees in almost two months. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs including tenants, owners, and vendors.
What have we done to lead during this crisis? The first thing we did was to ensure all of our employees that the work has not decreased but rather increased and all of their jobs are safe. The owner cut his salary so that we could ensure enough financial strength to weather this storm. We enacted daily meetings to inform everyone of what was going on in the world to help internally reduce the fear and uncertainty so that all members could support the tenants, owners, and vendors that were struggling.
With owners, we have been proactively reaching out and providing weekly updates on all relevant CT government orders which have the potential to affect them in some way. As part of this, we have informed the owners on our response and why we plan to do what we are doing. Communicating to our owners allows them to deal with the other issues of their lives, without having to worry about whether or not their property management company is on top of it.
With tenants, we have been offering month to month agreements instead of full year leases and have been working with tenants who have lost their job or had other financial hardship. We are sensitive to tenants who want work to be completed in the properties and ones that do not. We make sure to let them all know that we will not be removing any tenants from the properties and that all late fees will be waived. In all of this, the goal is to meet them where they are financially and emotionally so that we do not add any undue stress in this already stressful situation.
With vendors, we have been redeploying them in different ways. Some vendors are concerned about getting the virus. For those vendors, we have been sending them to vacant properties and outside work. We have been communicating with vendors about the need for social distancing, wearing masks and cleaning up after themselves when leaving.
We have also been reaching out to inform and educate the nervous landlord population throughout central CT. This is an extremely uncertain time for so many people and many have bad information which can make already stressful situations worse.
Through all of this, we are working to make Ironclad Property Management come out of this stronger so that we can continue to grow, meeting the needs of tenants, owners, and vendors throughout central CT. Leaders that step up through adversity are the ones that will see their business thrive after the crisis ends. Ironclad Property Management will be here when this is all over.