Pennisi Real Estate Company Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
First and most importantly, I hope this message finds you safe and healthy as the world combats the horrible spread of the Coronavirus. Our thoughts go out to those impacted by this tragic situation.
I want to personally assure you that Pennisi Real Estate is taking all the necessary measures to ensure the health of our team, our customers, our organisation and our community during these troubling times.
Due to the difficult conditions and uncertainty, we are adapting our work practices to meet the requirements both mandated and recommended by government and health authorities.
Mid last year we advised our Landlords of some improvements we were making to our property management systems and structures. At the time, our aim was little more than to further improve on the management of your assets and the service we offer.
While changes always come with some teething challenges, the upgrade of our software program and restructure of our team went relatively smoothly. Thank you to those of you who had to bear with us through these upgrades. At the time, even I had a quiet moment of "are we doing the right thing", but as we roll into 2020 and all it has thrown our way, I am glad we did.
These changes give our team the technology, security and structural setup to enable our staff to work from anywhere. That was never in the plan.
Part of our new structure has us utilising team members located in both the Philippines and around Australia in Queensland, NSW and of course Victoria.
With the current situation unfolding before our eyes, both our sales and leasing teams have conducted remote working assessments with some of our team working remotely over the last three weeks. This has gone without issue, so they are all ready if we need to close our offices.
Please let me assure you that while some of our team are not physically in our office, it is still 'business as usual' from a client perspective. Our team possesses the professionalism and capacity to be able to continue to service our landlords and tenants with 'little-to-no' interruption at all while working remotely.
For the safety of our team and tenants, we will be suspending non-urgent routine inspections until the end of April. We will then need to reassess the situation and hopefully be able to resume normal practice. We are currently looking into virtual inspections, should the need arise we will update you further on this. All ingoing inspections and outgoing inspections will proceed as usual. Maintenance issues will still be followed up as tradespeople have their own guidelines for the health and safety of their staff.
If the situation escalates, it is without doubt finances are going to become tight everywhere. We will be monitoring rent arrears closely, as we suspect there may be a surge.
OUR SUGGESTIONS TO ASSIST LANDLORDS DURING THIS TIME:
- Ensure you have adequate landlord insurance, and your landlord insurance is fully paid and up to date.
- Try to put a surplus in your loan account in case your tenant falls behind.
- Check your owner statements and don't hesitate to contact us if you have concerns
PROPERTIES FOR LEASE & SALE: OPEN HOMES
If your property is currently up for lease or sale, we will do all we can and carry on as usual to lease or sell the property as quickly as possible. In the best interests of our local community, we have as of last week replaced all open homes with one-on-one private viewings until further notice.
To help with the increase in appointments, our team is extending regular hours to be available evenings and weekends. Interested tenants and buyers can easily schedule a private viewing either online or by calling our 24-Hour Hotline, at which point they will be asked to disclose any recent travels. With the ease of booking and our extended availability, we anticipate this temporary change will have negligible impact on the number of viewings.
Over the last year, we have moved both our booking and rental application process to be fully online and cloud-based, meaning there should be no disruptions to this process.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR LANDLORDS?
We are excited to let you know that after months of tinkering, we will very soon be in a position to provide all of our landlords with direct access to our system via a secure personal login. This will give you 24/7 instant access to review the status of rent payments, maintenance issues, rent reviews as well as having the ability to view your most recent inspection reports and copies of your recent leases and condition report. This will be provided to all current landlords at no additional cost.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR TENANTS?
We will soon be providing tenants access to a similar system, also improving the experience for them. It is expected that in June this year, new tenancy laws come into effect, and while these are yet to be finalised, we have reviewed the changes and are ready for a successful transition if they come into place.
Thankfully, as far as we are aware, none of our clients or team members have contracted or been exposed to anyone with the Coronavirus to date.
We are implementing the above changes as precautionary measures to ensure that we are protecting and supporting our clients, team members and the community as a whole during this unprecedented situation.
A SINCERE THANK YOU
Finally, on behalf of my family and our team that have together run our business for nearly 50 years, I want to say thank you for sticking by us for so many years. Thank you for being with us in boom times and gloom times.
All my life, my father has taught me that business practices are built on the principle of integrity. The final line of our mission statement reads, "Our success will always be measured by the happiness and loyalty of our clients." We always endeavour to conduct our business around what's best for our clients. You, our customers, have loved this approach. The bunches of flowers, the bottles of wine and the boxes of chocolates that arrive regularly in our office from our happy clients are a testament that we are on the right track.
Yes, we are proud to have served our community for so long, but we wouldn't be here if it weren't for you, our customers. So Thank You for your loyalty and years of support.
If there is anything our team or I personally can do to help you, please ask - if we can help in any way, we will.