Five Challenges COVID-19 Brought to Estate Management
Estate management is an aspect of real estate industry that help investors realize the most value for their property through proper estate management and high tenancy retention ration. Since the break of Corona Virus (COVID-19) globally, literally each sector and industry have felt the negative effects of Covid-19. As an estate management company in Kisumu, we have not been spared with new challenges.
In this article, I want to address some of the challenges aggravated or brought about by COVID-19. As a property investor, you need to understand them well because each and every estate manager works for an investor.
- Delayed Rent
For close to two weeks since the Government of Kenya announced certain stringent measures to curb COVID-19 including stay at home and work from home calls, some leaders were heard requesting for landlords to waive rent for a few months. There are also people who are not going to be paid for a few months due to not going to work.
There are also tenants who may also want to take advantage of the situation to delay or fail to pay rent. All these factors will lead to delayed rent submissions. The factors causing delays will vary but largely brought about by COVID-19.
- Slowdown In Tenant Move In
Secondly, because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, people who would have looked for a new unit to either change tenancy or move out of the family house to live independently, job related transfer which creates new demands, etc are not there. No new employees are posting during this pandemic, no tenant want to change tenancy to go start life in a new neighborhood and so units are not being taken up.
This is likely to be there for a period so long as this COVID-19 is still causing lockdown. Some have predicted that normalcy will be obtained again from July or August 2020. If this theory is anything to go by, then we are likely to see units moving again from the month of September and October.
- Low Budget Houses Are Preferred
You may have heard people say ‘tough times call for tough measures’. COVID-19 has made already difficult business and working environment even more difficult. For example, those in hospitality, consultancy, tour and travels, etc. have no work to do. No training is allowed. No gatherings of many people either in funerals, weddings, rallies, etc. is allowed. No catering or hire of event materials take place. People are largely eating their capital or already plunging into debts.
To manage budget during this difficult time, many people opt for cheaper units. Families are now opting for units charging less than ten thousand in cities like Kisumu or even in places like Kakamega town, Bungoma and so on. This means that those charging more are likely to experience high vacancy which may last for a while.
- Lack of Employment Means More Vacancies
Again the increase in unemployment means that people will likely to share accommodation which will lead to more vacancies. Some people will not have money to pay rent leadings to rent arrears or evictions. As an estate management company in Kisumu, we have witnessed a huge slow in enquiries of available units, a clear indication that vacant units will remain so for a period.
- Increased Insecurity
As a property manager in Kisumu, we are aware of the increased insecurity not just in Kisumu but across the country. There are no construction sites which large groups of people could have worked and yet there are so many people who depend on per day income. Part of this group unfortunately may resolve to steal just to put food on the table.
As an estate management company, it’s our priority to see that our tenants who are also our clients are safe in respective apartments or estates. We work on reinforcement mechanism and to mitigate the chances of such cases.
All of us should corporate to ensure we minimize the effects of COVID-19 to landlords, tenants and also to a management. We, being an estate management company in Kisumu, undertake to monitor the situation and respond to appropriately to ensure value for money for our landlords and also to ensure tenants are least affected during this pandemic.