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As the CRISIS continues and as at writing this article (Thursday 26th March), Australia is not in full lockdown (yet), New Zealand has just gone into lockdown and USA will likely follow shortly.
Leasing a property with as minimal risk to staff and tenants getting infected is a priority right now.
Here we give you what is likely the best way to keep minimal the risk of infection to everyone concerned to be able to conduct what is likely our most comprehensive procedure of all…property leasing.
Step One- Conduct video tours of your properties for lease
Ensure all of your vacant and pending vacant properties have a walkthrough video tour, or a 360-degree camera tour completed.
This allows the tenant to see all rooms and areas in total clarity allowing them to assess their own suitability to the property with the footage provided.
(see virtuallyincredible.com for some free virtual video tour training on how to do this)
Facebook Videos and Facebook Live– you can even load a video walkthrough taken directly on your smartphone and load into onto your Facebook Page and direct people there, or do direct live video footage using Facebook Live.
If you’re not yet restricted by full lockdown– what reason would you have to NOT do a full video tour?
If you are in full restricted lockdown, then you will simply need to use the latest marketing photos that you have!
Please also note you can take your photos and turn them into a presentation video using iMovie as well.
Step Two- Your applicant self-qualifies for suitability
Make sure all applicants/potential tenants have easy access to your walk-through tours on your property listing portal, so they can decide if they wish to go to the next step and apply.
This virtual walk-through tour allows them to make a ‘well-qualified’ inspection and choice that the property will be suited to their needs (or not).
The whole point of this is that the applicant can thoroughly qualify themselves if the property is suitable for them, without having to do a physical inspection
Regretfully a series of photos doesn’t give enough information for this but instead gives a ‘peek’ whereas a full walkthrough video or 360 camera tour lets them experience the property to a level short of a full physical inspection.
Step Three- Take Applications first
You may choose to take an application first and pre-qualify the tenant to your suitability before moving to the next step.
This should be submitted electronically with all supporting documents and identification.
Step Four- Show the Property to the Applicant- Virtually or in Person
From this point, if you and your tenant are comfortable leaving Step 4 out entirely and you’ve got them to sign a disclaimer that they accept the property without a physical inspection, relying on the walk-through inspection…then Happy Days!
But if not here’s a couple of options.
Option 1- Go to the property and use Zoom (download the app ‘Zoom Cloud Meeting’) or use Facetime- show the (nearly approved) tenant the property in more detail as a one-on-one ‘virtual’ inspection, going through whatever your tenant wants to see in more detail, showing them via your smartphone as a video viewing portal for the tenant at the other end.
Option 2- Physically meet the pre-approved tenant at the property and open the front door and allow them to view the property, keeping your distance at all times within the CoronaVirus health and safety regulations of social distancing etc
You have control of the key, show the tenant through and if they have already viewed your property online in a virtual tour, it should all be a go-ahead to the last step!
Leave the keys in a lockbox at the property for easy access for the newly signed up tenant, once they have signed everything and paid their monies due.
So- what’s a Lock Box?
(An FYI for our American readers- Lockboxes are largely unknown and unused by most offices in Australia and New Zealand and tenants are normally personally viewed the property before they are approved as tenants)
It’s a simple device like an oversized padlock that has a small door that opens for key storage, with a security keypad for a code to open it at the front of the device.
The lockbox is secured to the doorknob or anywhere else that’s secure, for secure key access.
Just google search ‘lockbox’ and you’ll see plenty of examples.
In Australia and New Zealand, you can purchase these at hardware stores and large office shops like Officeworks.
eBay and Amazon sell them too.
Lockboxes are a great device to allow tradespeople/vendors easy access to properties instead of having to drive to an office first.
There are many uses for them.
Step Five- Zoom Tenant Induction
Once the tenant is happy with taking the property, and you’ve fully processed and approved them, the rest is all straight forward.
Subscribe to the free version of Zoom meeting (zoom.us) for a free video meeting up to 40 minutes in length (these can also be recorded too).
If you run out of time, set up a second meeting right away, for another 40 minutes (or just have a paid subscription)
‘Zoom meeting’ will allow you a great virtual face-to-face meeting with your tenant as you normally would in your office, to go through all your normal expectations and guidelines.
Your tenants can download the app ‘Zoom Cloud Meeting’ on any smartphone or tablet, or they can simply open the Zoom link you email to them on their desktop/laptop.
Documents can be signed via electronic signatures using DocuSign or some other electronic signing service.
Ensure all your paperwork is electronic and scanned into a cloud-based system
Once you’ve finished signing them up and you’ve completed your induction, then give them access to your lockbox code and they can securely access the keys.
And let’s agree, it’s better than leaving them in the letterbox to be accessed.
These are unprecedented and unpredictable times, and therefore require methods that are different and new.
Don’t forget to reach out to us should you need further guidance.
You can book directly into my diary for a quick chat (if you do, the appointment will generate a Zoom link- so when the appointment time comes, we can meet on Zoom)
Click here to book https://calendly.com/darren-8/15min