COVID-19 Update From the CEO of Boston Pads
Dear Boston Pads Community,
We are receiving a significant amount of questions regarding the spread of COVID-19 and updates regarding the market/rentals/showings. I wanted to write and inform you about several successful implementations we have applied to help remedy and mitigate some of the issues we encountered regarding tenants, tours, best overall practices, technology enhancements, professional and effective communication and more.
We have seen numerous landlords inform tenants that showings will continue to occur until further notice. We will be closely monitoring this situation and we will be sending out emails as events warrant. Boston Pads also has a hotline available seven days a week and staffed by licensed MA real estate agents. Please call 617-208-2197. No question is too small. As we continue to track the effects of COVID-19 in the Boston area, we will be providing strategic advice at your request. We have developed a whole suite of technologies to monitor web traffic, real time availability and vacancy rates so we can keep you well informed of marketplace nuances.
Boston Pads has implemented additional technologies that can give you the average rental prices for each neighborhood by bedroom count. Our software team has been working diligently to make sure vital information is available to landlords and clients alike, so you can make informed decisions. The new Boston Pads website is enabled for client account set up and once a new property is activated, it’s immediately emailed to you.
Second, we have had an influx of calls regarding immediate move-ins from students who are being asked to leave their dorms due to COVID-19 precautionary campus closures. To the best of our ability, we are working diligently to get these students into housing immediately.
Regarding tenants who are concerned about showings for units that are not currently vacant, we at Boston Pads have also put safety measures in place regarding showings. As an example, our protocol has been listed below:
- We are asking that clients confirm that they have not traveled outside of the US within the past 14 days or have had contact with anyone who has traveled outside of the US in the past 14 days.
- We are asking that clients confirm whether or not they know of, or have had contact with anyone who has been sick with any flu-like symptoms, flu or COVID-19.
- Anyone who is experiencing cold symptoms of any kind will not be allowed to view any properties.
- All clients and agents must sanitize their hands with 60%+ alcohol content sanitizer immediately before entering any units. Agents have hand sanitizer that meets CDC regulations and/or Clorox wipes.
- Agents will wipe handles to open and close doors and turn on any lights.
- Tours are completed in a quick fashion to limit time within the units. Agents and clients will exit the unit/building immediately after the tour to have further discussions and to review any questions the clients may have.
We have been asking tenants to work with us to use technologies and enhance the showing process. This includes FaceTime, Marco-polo/WhatsApp, video tours and copious amounts of pictures. Agents are also requesting tenants help us in organizing their units and making them look as appealing as possible then asking to send us the best media they can. Our platform has rented hundreds of apartments through our professional sight unseen and/or technology assisted process. We know how to get it done and we have the paperwork to protect all parties. Please let us know if we can assist you in renting a property sight unseen or if you have any questions regarding this process.
Boston Pads offices have been preparing all accounting departments to handle deposits and transfers remotely so no checks have to be cut. Therefore, we can significantly reduce unnecessary contact. All of our escrow accounts are now enabled to send and receive money using Zelle instant transfer, at no cost to our landlords or clients. Most banks already have Zelle enabled for all accounts- check here to see if your bank has Zelle instant transfer enabled. To receive Zelle instant transfers for escrow monies, please simply provide your agent with your email address, and we can transfer the funds within minutes. Alternatively, if your bank does not support Zelle, we can send the money to you via wire transfer if you provide us with the wire instructions (though this is slower, and your bank may charge a fee).
We want you to know that your business is our business. We are inextricably linked to your success. Many of you have rented properties through us for nearly two decades and we consider you family. During this difficult period, it is our utmost concern that we work harder than ever to exceed your expectations in a safe manner that protects everyone, agents, tenants and landlords.
Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions; we are here to assist.
CEO, Boston Pads