A powerful hurricane can devastate even those communities that have made all of the preparations that it can. When this happens, the road to recovery and rebuilding can feel long.
Fortunately, a great property management company can help. With best practices in place and the help of an experienced team, even the most insurmountable damage can be mitigated, repaired and reversed.
The safety of residents is of paramount importance. And once that has been established, it’s time to work back toward a normal way of life. Here are some of the steps the best property management company will take to help you get there.
1. Establish communication.
The post-disaster scenario is one of confusion and disorganization. Oftentimes essential services are operating sporadically, or even down completely. That’s why a communication plan is so critical. A capable and knowledgeable property management company will have already implemented a resident alert system pre-disaster. Beyond that, the use of paper notices and actual site visits are an important step in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane. Once services have been re-established, email blasts, updated website content and other digital communications can take effect.
2. Make it a team effort.
During confusing times, it’s easy to fall into duplications and inefficiencies. In a worst-case scenario, different teams – unbeknownst to one another – are working toward the same goal, leaving other tasks unattended to. That’s what makes a coordinated, centralized effort so important. A great property management company knows how to create command centers that operate as the central point for all efforts. They’ll know how to implement shareable technologies, such as Google Docs, that make collaboration easier, too.
3. Take emergency steps.
Disaster mitigation – promptly and efficiently – is key. Good property management companies assess the extent of damage as soon as it’s safely possible, then arrange for immediate mitigation by hiring contractors to pump water, clean hazards and remove debris both large and small. They’ll be there in person to make sure all efforts are efficient and coordinated.
4. Handle the insurance process.
This is a huge part of recovery and often the most daunting to board members. Your property management company can take the lead role, from start to finish, including initial notifications to preparation of records to coordinating with the claims adjustor. (Remember, after a disaster, adjustors in your area will have a backlog of work). By serving as the central point of contact for all involved parties, your property management company will facilitate the claims process and help you to obtain the most favorable settlement. During this time, your property management company will also compile and review all estimates and complete all the preliminary steps it takes before work can begin at your community.
5. Help you rebuild.
Finding your way back to normal is a big job, and it can feel especially challenging at this point. Your property management company will aid in the repair process by making sure contractors, project managers, and other service providers are delivering what was promised. They’ll help to secure financing if you need it, procure bids from reputable companies, negotiate for the best price, and help your community prepare for construction by developing schedules, communicating with residents, and documenting the community with “before” photos. A good property management company is adept at getting the best from service providers, and this is the time when that skill will be most valuable. During the rebuild, your property management team will be on-hand to address challenges, communicate progress with the board and manage all of the intricate details. After the project is complete, your property management company will review all warranties, document everything with “after” photos, ensure payments have been made by the insurance company, and help with all the final sign-offs required to make the buildings habitable.
After a disaster, the primary concern is the safety and wellbeing of everyone in your community. Ensuring that wellbeing begins with an immediate response, followed by thorough management of the rebuilding process. And a great property management company will be your partner every step of the way. To find out how, contact FirstService Residential, North America’s leading residential property management company.
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