Is it too late to get a refund on my 2020 planner?
COVID has created a challenging environment for us to operate in, but it has also allowed for us to find new and creative ways to work as a team and reach our goals. A primary theme for us during this time was to provide overall stability in our operations. Here are some ways we worked to achieve that goal:
Stability for Residents
Show you care – Early on in the COVID crisis we started calling our residents to ask how they were doing. Did they need access to any assistance resources? Were they able to go out and get their groceries? Was their family alright? We weren’t asking for rent; we were just calling to talk. Simple acts such as these can go a long way in building the foundation for a long lasting relationship.
Communicate – Our way of operating changed dramatically over a short period of time. We closed down non-essential amenities, stopped doing non-emergency work orders and closed our on-site offices to visitors. The way that we traditionally did business and communicated with our residents was disrupted. We made an effort to frequently communicate these changes with our residents in a variety of ways.
Offer Assistance – As a company we made an immediate decision to show compassion for our residents. Our properties are governed by a variety of different regulations, but as a company we decided to discontinue charging late fees, offer payment plans and suspend new evictions for non-payment. We also absorbed the cost for online payments to encourage residents to pay electronically. It was important for us to show our residents that we were here to work with them and do our part to help them in whatever ways we could.
Stability for Properties
Renewals – With a future of unpredictability, we wanted to take proactive measures to safeguard our occupancy. We immediately began securing renewals further out than we traditionally would to help provide some stability for the future.
Collections – Rent collections are the lifeblood of a property, and they allow the property to maintain continuous operations. We were very careful to abide by all applicable regulations, but remained diligent in our collection efforts. We encouraged residents to seek assistance if needed and worked with them to make rent a priority.
Virtual Leasing – In order to protect our team members and our prospective residents, we implemented virtual leasing. We encouraged our team members to create personalized video tours highlighting the prospective resident’s wants and needs. We were determined to find a way to succeed in our continued leasing efforts.
Stability for Team Members
Job stability – We made a commitment to let our team members know that they were valued and that their hard work and dedication was appreciated. Our properties cannot run without our staff members, and we let them know that they were essential to the success of the property. We also gave our staff additional, discretionary sick time that they could use if they had any symptoms of COVID. We did not want them to have to make a difficult choice of getting paid or jeopardizing the health of those around them.
Information – We spent a tremendous amount of time discussing new policies and procedures with our team. We held daily calls with our property managers and provided them with a variety of tools, such as action plans, signage and company resources to help them manage their properties during these ever changing times. Team members were also reminded of resources available to them, and our human resources team implemented additional counseling assistance programs.
Assurance – It was a primary goal of ours to make sure that our team felt comfortable with their working environment and the tasks that they needed to complete. Decisions at corporate were made with our team members’ best interests in mind, and we were not afraid to adjust a plan or policy if it did not work out as intended. Our human resources proactively reached out to team members individually to see if they had any concerns that needed attention.
Throughout this time Allied has remained dedicated to learning and improving. While we forge ahead together into this “new normal” COVID has created, we are better equipped to handle the next chapter with the tools and skills we have worked diligently to develop and fine tune. Through this growth, we will continue to serve our residents, clients and team members with excellence.