Rising Realty Q&A: Collaboratively Responding to a Global Pandemic

By Dennis Kaiser | Connect Media

Property operations have taken center stage as the commercial real estate industry shifts into reopening mode following the stay-at-home orders that have kept workers away from buildings. Owners and managers of buildings are assembling plans and teams to meet the challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak. To find out more about what that effort entails, Connect Media spoke with Rising Realty Partners’ SVP of Property Services, Kayce Hawk, who manages operations, strategic planning, impact initiatives, and business development of the firm’s property management assignments and teams.

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Q: What are the biggest challenges facing properties and landlords right now?

A: Responding to a global pandemic of a novel virus is uncharted territory for our industry. We have halted our economy for public health reasons and every industry is feeling the impacts. The biggest challenges we face are: 1) Managing relief requests from our tenants; 2) Developing individualized plans for each building to welcome tenants back when restrictions end; 3) and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our building personnel at this time. All of these factors — and of course securing rent payments — will impact cash flow in the short and long-term and must be managed.

Q: What are the first steps landlords can take to overcome these challenges?

A: There is no easy fix. But we can get ahead and start planning to successfully navigate these uncharted waters. At our firm, we immediately created an internal property task force to brainstorm solutions and methods of resolution, especially managing property operations and reducing the risk of viral spread when tenants return to work.