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Columnist Judith Bachman Talks Property Management In Covid Era With Andres Rabinovich

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One On One With Andres Rabinovich

By Judith Bachman

andres rabinovitzThe real estate market has been profoundly affected by COVID-19. To gain some insight into what this has meant, we talk with Andres Rabinovich, Managing Partner of PMI Properties, a property management and real estate brokerage.

Q. What does a property manager do?

A. Property Managers provide services to investment property owners as well as community association boards (for both residential and commercial properties). On the investment side, we protect the value of the asset and maximize cash-flow of the investment. On the association side, we help administer the affairs of this “mini government” from collection of dues to management of contractors for maintenance, and from organizing board meetings to preparing and explaining detailed financial reports. Property management covers a very broad range of services. We handle all tenant calls (clogged toilets, broken A/C, skunks in the basement, you name it). We market the properties and conduct thorough screenings to find and place the best tenants that will pay on time and keep the property in good condition.

Q. Why would a property owner hire a property manager?

A. Investors and associations benefit from hiring a PM because a great property manager provides a deeper understanding of issues, leverage a broad network of qualified vendors, act as “buffer” between owner and tenants (or between boards and residents), have access to cutting-edge management tools to keep track of accurate accounting, maintenance requests and banking activities. It is like having your own CEO, CFO, Superintendent, Consultant and Admin — all in a one-stop shop. The fees paid to a property manager are usually recovered by keeping lower vacancies, lower maintenance cost, better asset preservation and improved equity growth.

Q. How has the pandemic impacted property management?

A. The pandemic has forced community association meetings to be moved to online web-meetings. It has worked well with most communities, but it can be a challenge to some board members that are not tech savvy.  The negative effect on rental properties is that some tenants are refusing to show the property during the last 30-60 days of the lease, making it difficult to line-up the next tenant at lease expiration.

Q. How has the eviction moratorium impacted you and your client/owners?

A. The impact of COVID on investment properties is that some tenants are falling more and move behind with rent. With evictions on a moratorium that gets pushed out every time, as time goes by, is like dragging away an oxygen mask from a person that is already having trouble breathing. A small silver lining with the pandemic, is that the government has put in place programs to aid tenants with their rent payment. Although the spigots have opened up a bit more in recent weeks, the flow of cash to cover 3 or 4 months of rent is not enough to cover debts that can be 12 or 18 months.

Judith Bachman is the founder and principal of The Bachman Law Firm PLLC in New City. judith@thebachmanlawfirm.com 845-639-3210, thebachmanlawfirm.com