The Empire inspection cycle was just beginning when the country went on lockdown. Inspections and in-person showings were immediately suspended, except in rare exceptions. It was supposed to be four weeks to slow the spread. And then it was eight. Then sixteen.

The second inspection cycle began in November. We decided to resume inspections while taking all necessary precautions. It had been too many months since we had seen the interior of many of our properties. Not surprisingly, we immediately experienced pushback from many of our tenants. They were not comfortable with the property manager entering their home at such a time.

The concerns weren’t isolated incidents, but are company-wide. Rather than irritate so many of our tenants, we again halted inspections and considered how best to proceed. The answer? Virtual inspections. The market changed, and Empire changed with it.

A virtual inspection is better than the alternative, which is no inspection at all. We are able to touch base with the tenants and check the condition of the home. They walk around the home with the property manager on a video call. They are happy to point out any maintenance concerns or other issues. It is easy to determine the state of the property from the video.

Throughout the next month and a half, we are working on inspecting all our units. First, we will try to perform an in-person inspection. If they are unwilling, we will offer the virtual. To accommodate the current sensitivity of the rental market, we are fitting the procedure to each individual’s needs.

Business is change. You adapt, or you become obsolete. May your new year be easier than the last.

Happy Landlording!