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‘Landlords and tenants must work together now more than ever’: Harcourts

24 April 2020 Emma Ryan
Mark Sheppard

A director, property consultant and auctioneer at Harcourts Sheppard has urged landlords and tenants to work together, encouraging real estate companies to help navigate these “uncharted waters”.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a need in that “landlords and tenants must work together now more than ever,” according to Harcourts Sheppard’s Mark Sheppard.

“The extent that COVID-19 has had on real estate is that of a ripple effect, it influences all parts of a business,” Mr Sheppard said.

“However, it’s not just the company that feels the force of uncertainty; tenants and landlords alike are becoming confused and frustrated. Landlords want to know that their property is being taken care of and that they are not out of pocket.

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“Tenants are understandably not wanting routine inspections to take place, and financial hardships have appeared from the domino effect of COVID-19.”

The situation means real estate companies must find a way to navigate through these uncharted waters, Mr Sheppard said.

He noted his team at Harcourts Sheppard realised they had a moral obligation to modify their property management processes.

This has seen Mr Sheppard’s team now ensuring that all clients they deal with are left feeling safe, not only when it comes to their health, but also with their emotions and financial situations.

“In order to keep our landlords pleased, we in turn need to ensure that the tenants are happy,” Mr Sheppard explained.

“To assist with this, we have set up online virtual routine inspections. This allows our team to still make full reports to a landlord that their investment remains in safe hands.

“On the flip side, no staff member currently needs to enter a property, this giving our tenants peace of mind.”

Further, Mr Sheppard said an even bigger push towards maintaining strong customer satisfaction has been key.

“The property management team has called every single one of our tenants to check in and to ask them if they are okay,” he said.

“We are making sure that residents understand if they are suffering financial hardships [that] arrangements can be made, and that we will be there to help navigate for a win-win outcome for landlords and tenants.

“So far, it has been a positive experience and all of our clients have responded well.

“There has been a big focus on making the process as easy as we can. This is done through having a video walkthrough for all of our properties, having all relevant information readily available within the listings text, accurate descriptions, detailed floor plans and Facetime show-throughs where appropriate.”

‘Landlords and tenants must work together now more than ever’: Harcourts
Mark Sheppard Harcourts reb
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Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan is the deputy head of editorial at Momentum Media.

Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015, and has since been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia, including across the legal, mortgages, real estate and wealth industries. In addition, Emma has launched several additional sub-brands and events, driven by a passion to deliver quality and timely content to audiences through multiple platforms.

Email Emma on: [email protected]com.au

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