Social distancing, “Stay Home Work Safe,” shelter in place, essential business – the amount of information surrounding the Coronavirus is vast, and a lot to take in at times. So, we wanted to take a moment and zero in on apartment leaseholders and the changes we’ve seen as our agents navigate the market. As the rental market enters its two busiest moving seasons, spring and summer, many leaseholders whose leases are up in the next 30 to 90 days will embark in uncharted apartment territory. Don’t worry – as information pertaining to COVID-19 and the apartment industry is released, we’re going to share it here!
Here is what we have to share as of right now:
-During shelter in place orders, professional services, including real estate services, and “services that maintain safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences” are considered essential businesses. SourceThis means things aren’t completely shut down in regards to property services or our free apartment locating services!
–Some properties are halting immediate move-ins and re-scheduling move dates slated within the coming weeks to take place after shelter in place orders are lifted. If you’ve already signed a lease and plan to move in the next few weeks, we recommend calling your new property to re-confirm your move-in date. You should also ask what the process will look like and what measures they have in place if you’re leveraging a moving company.
–Movers have been considered as essential services. Err on the side of caution when it comes to how many people are in your new space at one time. Try and keep that number at less than five in order to continue practicing effective social distancing as you move.
–Property leasing office hours are being adjusted and it may take more than one try to reach them. However, they’re directing calls to remote property agents so that tenants and future residents are still able to reach them. Properties are also encouraging communication through webforms and email, as well.
–Virtual touring is a renter’s best friend right now! As an apartment locating service with an abundance of property and unit tours in the D-FW, Houston and Austin metros, we’re sending digital assets to clients now more than ever in lieu of in-person tours. Individual properties and their leasing staff are also offering these things as a resource to renters, so definitely ask for them.
–To protect public health, leasing agents at many properties are exercising social distancing by closing physical entrances to their offices and venturing onto the property to conduct virtual tours for apartment locators like Smart City, and future residents.
–Pricing within the market will continue to fluctuate on a daily basis depending upon supply and demand like it usually does. Smart City will continue to contract “negotiated deals” as a way to bring exclusive pricing to our clients, but available pricing set forth by properties outside of these deals will primarily remain non-negotiable.
-Many leasing offices are also not receiving packages during this time since physical offices are closed. Track your packages online to stay up to date with their location and delivery.
-We acknowledge that unemployment is experiencing an unprecedented spike, so if downsizing apartments is something that will alleviate financial strain and you live in D-FW, Houston or Austin, call or text us. Our services are free, we know the apartment market like the back of our hands, and we want to help if we can. If we’re not the right resource, we’ll do our best to relay a service that is.
D-FW: (214) 586-0519 ∙ Houston: (713) 482-1323 ∙ Austin: (512) 815-2317
We are constantly monitoring new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local news on Covid-19 cases and will update this blog as new information is released.