Preparing Annual Property Budgets In A Global Pandemic
While the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way property managers work, it has not stopped the annual budgeting process. As a result, property managers must adapt to the new business climate. Due to social distancing guidelines and remote working mandates, budgeting in 2020 presents an entirely new set of challenges.
How will property managers interview contractors? How do contractors visit properties? Another concern is what happens at properties that require different levels of service whether they are open or temporarily shutdown? These are just a few challenges that have never been confronted, or even thought about, until 2020. To help property managers navigate the new normal, here are 3 tips for preparing annual property budgets in 2020.
Host Video Bid Meetings
Vetting contractors for large annual contracts is one of the major challenges stemming from the pandemic. This is because many businesses have put limitations on face to face interactions. Others have their property management teams working remotely. In turn, property managers lack the opportunity to build important relationships with contractors before awarding them five, six, or even seven figure contracts. While there is no substitute for a face to face meeting, one of the best alternative options is video conferencing.
Property managers can use video conferencing to host both pre-bid meetings and one on one follow up meetings. By now, most contractors and property managers have a certain level of familiarity with video conferencing. Property managers can provide the same information and ask the same questions as they would in a normal meeting. One interesting and potential advantage of a video conference is the recording feature offered by paid platforms. Unlike a live meeting, property managers can review answers and reactions to questions down the road.
Zoom is a great video conferencing software. It is easy to use and has seen widespread adoption since the pandemic began in March 2020. Another great thing about Zoom? Property managers can use it for free if they host small video meetings that last under 40 minutes. Other popular video conferencing options include Zoho and Go To Meeting.
Start Sooner Rather Than Later
Property managers who normally start budgeting in August or September should get a head start this year. The 2020 budget season will present new, never before seen challenges. Some, like a lack of face to face meeetings, are predictable. Others will pop up out of nowhere and require creative solutions. Consequently, it will take property managers time to navigate the new environment caused by the pandemic. By getting an early start on the annual property budget, managers afford themselves time to overcome these challenges as they arise.
There will also be new unknown challenges for contractors and vendors, who are also adapting to the new normal. This will directly impact their ability to conduct business, which inherently impacts property managers. As a result, property managers plan for finding additional contractors to provide bids. This article shares 5 ways managers can find new contractors for 2020 budget bids.
Create Detailed RFP’s
Since property walks and visits are unlikely, managers need to prepare detailed RFP’s for their 2020 property budgets. This is because there is no opportunity to meet in person and review all the little things on the property. Detailed RFP’s will give contractors an opportunity to prepare accurate estimates.
One creative solution for a particular issue or problem that is hard to articulate is leveraging YouTube. It is very easy to shoot a simple video on a smartphone showing the issue while also describing it aloud. Property managers can then upload it to YouTube and share the video clip. Even if this sounds like a lot, it is actually incredibly easy.
Find Contractors Using BidSource
Property managers can use BidSource to have the Property Manager Insider team locate a qualified commercial contractor for their next project or service call. Just fill out the form with your project details and a member of our team will be in touch.