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COVID19 Financial Relief for Tenants

On May 25, 2021 Premier Jason Kenney announced the Government of Alberta’s plans for reopening.  This announcement is in response to the dropping number of new COVID-19 infections and pandemic-related hospitalizations in Alberta. Coupled with the news of the number of citizens with at least one dose of a COVID-19, it looks like the province is on track to reopening in a planned three stage approach.

The uncertainty during this state of emergency continues to be a challenge for many — even as we head into the staged re-opening.  Many tenants who are not paying their rent are experiencing legitimate income problems and economic hardships. Especially those who rely on a steady income to pay for their bills and other responsibilities.  Not every job comes with the option to work from home.  Similarly, not every job has been deemed an essential service and people have been laid off or in a position of reduced hours.  The fear of displacement due to outside forces is a very real fear for many.  This is further compounded by property owners who are in turn facing financial hardship and economic distress when rental payments are not honoured.

A common issue discussed in the world of property management is how to handle late rental payments and in the most challenging of circumstances, how to deal with a failure to pay rent. Evictions are a last resort option — but if you do go down this road, check out Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s recent blog post: Evicting a Tenant for NonPayment of Rent for some useful information about the eviction process and how our team can help! 

Overall, the majority of the feedback we have received from tenants is that they have the desire or willingness to make partial payments and agree to a re-payment plan, but have been unable to pay rent in full due to financial hardships.

If you are facing this type of situation, during the state of emergency, below are some of the resources we’ve used and have shared to help tenants and landlords manage rental payments.  

For financial relief from various government jurisdictions, tenants can search out support from:

 

There are also personal wellness supports available.  These resources are also important, especially recognizing the stressful impact of finances, unemployment, unforeseen difficulties and stressful events like COVID-19:

While every situation is unique and no solution is a “one-size-fits-all” approach, the team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has collaborated on many collection calls.  Depending on the situation, the team has reached out to touch base and check-in with tenants to avoid adding the additional frustration of collection letters and/or 14-day Notices of Eviction.  Again, this can be a challenge to navigate as not every situation is the same as situations vary.  It is important to proceed with care and caution as property managers are not social workers.  The above links and resources are a start to help those facing hardships get the help needed.

For more information about potential supports, visit Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s COVID-19 focused blogs that have been published.


Emerald Management Pandemic Update

 

April 2021

COVID19 Update: A Year in Review

It has been just over a year since the COVID19 pandemic dramatically changed the way most of us live and work.  Every business sector has felt the impact in one way or another, and we recognize that everyone has sacrificed and suffered at some level. That being said, there is also a lot to be proud of in the way each one of use has faced and responded to this worldwide crisis. We have experienced some remarkable change, resilience and innovation by coming together to help respond to this global crisis.

In the face of the 3rd wave of COVID19 infections and growing uncertainty due to the identification of numerous variants of concern, we continue to monitor the economy carefully. We continue to adapt our service offerings to provide service and help with the safety of our team members and customers.

With safety top of mind and uncertainty of changing government restrictions, we continue to look for opportunities to maintain stability and adapt as needed to improve our processes. Our goal is to improve customer service and minimize disruptions experienced by our customers and residents.

The following are some examples of what Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has done to respond, adjust and evolve processes and practices in response to COVID19:

  • Essential Service Provider – As we were deemed to be essential services, we responded immediately to modify operations with the implementation of personal protection equipment (“PPE”), social distancing, plexiglas partitions, and restrictions on who and how many could enter our office.  At the same time, we responded with increased cleaning protocols and worked with the support of our valued trades and vendors to implement the necessary changes and signage for apartment and condominium buildings.
  • Communication – At the beginning of the pandemic, the majority of our team worked remotely. While we were fortunate to be designated an essential service and work from our head office on rotation, our team pushed forward to create more online functionality and improve paperless practices.  Some of the innovative communication improvements implemented include:
    • Virtual Meetings – Our team quickly adjusted from being in-person to being much more virtual.  Sometimes we have had to meet in person or organize a meeting to address concerns as a better way to work through an issue. Where needed health and safety protocols were implemented for the safety of all involved.
    • Regular Covid Updates — The imposed government rules and restrictions have changed and continue to change. We have used our website as a tool to update our property management community and provide information to help others know where to go for reliable help if an issue was outside of our suite of services or expertise.  We continue to meet weekly with departments, send out regular information emails plus blog updates on what is happening in our community.
    • Available 24 hours a day 7 days a week — Our team continued to be available to respond to emergencies and use our regular reporting practices to keep our clients informed. In accordance with government restrictions, our office was open to help tenants, condo owners and condominium board members. We updated our online contact forms across all platforms and enabled a text chat function on our website at www.emeraldmanagement.com.
    • Online Functionality – In addition to the above, we improved our online application processes and lease signing. We also increased our use of Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to remain connected with our communities and be responsive on the various platforms.  This not only helped to foster creativity and some fun, but provided another way to communicate, connect and monitor the needs of our property management industry and our residents.

  • Workplace Health & Safety Management — Systems along with health and safety programs, protocols, procedures and manuals were reviewed and updated. This has been done on a continual basis to stay current with the ever-changing work environment this past year.   Signage has been posted at rental properties and condominium communities in accordance with bylaw requirements and property management regulatory requirements.
  • Customer ServiceCustomer service remains a top priority. The pandemic has reminded us of the importance of kindness and taking a moment to check-in with each other. People are on edge and a little kindness goes a long way in working together.  Firstly, we helped to source resources to help tenants and condo owners  access sources for help regarding rental payments, payment of condominium fees. Where able, we assisted with payment plans, where to go for income, food and mental health supports.

Secondly, since property management is and has been face-to-face or in-person, Emerald has continued to provide personal service as much and whenever possible and permitted. For instance, they say, “Smile, it is free therapy”.  We have seen the positive impact of a thank you or a kind check-in with out team from vendors and customers.  

Lastly, our team also found a way to safely continue with our annual warm winter clothing drive in support of Project Warmth Society.  The opportunity to make a difference and support of community in dropping of clothing was greatly appreciated. 

  • Leasing – The pandemic has changed how we work with prospective tenants and the techniques used to market available apartments and homes for rent.  Prior to COVID19, we had already been doing online marketing and using virtual tour techniques when required. However, given the restrictions in place, our leasing team responded immediately to this challenge.  One of the amazing outcomes achieved was the ability to collaborate with current tenants on virtual showings. Leasing and marketing ramped up with the use of YouTube and FaceTime. At the same time, our leasing agents reignited basic sales techniques where face-to face interactions and accessibility was a challenge.

In-person tours also continued in accordance with safety and social distancing protocols in accordance with Alberta Health Services and supported by the Alberta Real Estate Association and the Real Estate Council of Alberta.

  • Maintenance: Early on, emergency work orders were prioritized for the protection of residents and the properties.  From there routine or regular maintenance was scheduled as a collaborated effort with our in-house maintenance team and residents to coordinate times where residents could be out of their homes or socially distanced.  Our in-house maintenance team was outfitted with protective gear and cleaning supplies for everyone’s safety, to maintain empathy, and for respectful management of fears and risk of transmission.

Our team is monitoring construction resources and supply chains to assist in the completion and prioritization of work moving forward.  Communication remains key as product availability can be uncertain with employee quarantines and infection outbreaks in the manufacturing sectors.

  • Education: We have continued our weekly team meetings and increased brainstorming and team building ways to improve service and learn about PPE requirements and safety protocols.  The Emerald Team has also looked for ways to have some fun at work and build connection.  At times, meetings and celebrations have been by zoom or over the phone – everyone’s input, creativity and support has been greatly appreciated. 

So … what have we learned?

We have learned that:

  • Simple things like: Washing your hands, Wearing masks and Staying 6 feet apart – can help prevent the spread of disease.
  • No matter how well we think we are prepared, sometimes life throws a curve ball and and you have to change course.
  • We are great at thinking outside the box to problem-solve and help each other.
  • We are innovative, creative and efficient when addressing emergency situations.
  • A small act of kindness and interacting in a human way can make a difference.

Our team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. remains optimistic that this pandemic will eventually end. In the meantime, as the economy cautiously opens we believe in many ways we will be better on the other side of this crisis. 

In conclusion, we are proud of our team and their dedication to ensuring that we provide the best possible service in the safest way to our property management clients in Calgary & Area.  Despite the anxieties, stress and fatigue that the pandemic has placed on many lives, our team has embraced new policies and practices with open minds and positivity.  Thank you for belief and supporting local small businesses in Calgary like us.

Stay safe. Stay well. Stay positive.

on behalf of the entire team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.

Jodena Rogers & Lauretta Enders

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is a family owned and operated Property Management Company based out of Calgary, AB. We have almost 50 years of experience in providing responsive asset management services to condominium, commercial and rental properties in Calgary & Area. Our ability to foster positive relationships based on mutual respect and communication has nurtured our commitment to the provision of management services congruent with our customer’s needs and goals.

Covid19 Calgary Property Management Update: December 2020

December 2020

New restrictions were announced by the province last week that came into effect on December 13, 2020 to further help manage the rising cases of COVID-19 in Alberta.  Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has reviewed the information provided and offers the following updates as it impacts property management in Calgary & Area. 

These updates continue to be in line with Emerald’s focus of protecting the health and wellbeing of our employees, families, customers, suppliers and our communities.  As it has since March 2019, we continue to be proud of everyone’s support and focus on staying safe while continuing business operations.

Emerald is following the guidelines of Alberta Health Services and while this information continues to change and evolve, we believe we are well positioned to meet the challenges of this pandemic.  In response to the recent Government of Alberta restrictions:

  • Emerald is deemed an essential professional services and as a result, our office will continue to remain open.  We will be available to guests by appointment only.
  • All employees & guests are required to wear a mask and social distance, unless there is a medical exemption.  Masks will be worn in meetings with others, working on-site and when walking in the common areas and at all properties.
  • Managers are working with their teams to monitor safety and risk management protocols with respect to remote and rotational in-office work schedules.  Where operationally required and safe to do so, team members will continue to work in the office and at the properties.
  • Property showings, inspections and maintenance must continue to follow the physical distancing, masking and PPE requirements in place. Property showings are now limited to two family-unit members at a time. 
  • Whenever possible, showings and meetings will be conducted virtually.
  • All employees must continue to adhere to all safety precautions, follow all provincial public health guidelines, and municipal orders. 

The above protocols and restrictions are in accordance with Alberta Health Services and supported by the Alberta Real Estate Association and the Real Estate Council of Alberta.

While the situation continues to evolve, our team is poised to take swift action to ensure we are in line with the new measures and can continue to offer the service and responsive experience we are known for.  To assist our customers and team members with information about how we continue to adapt, we will continue posting regular information on our website at: www.emeraldmanagement.com/blog  This has proven to be an effective tool and resource for our community. 

Should you be interested in learning more about Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s efforts or current protocols, please contact us. 

From all of us at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd., thank you for your support during this challenging time.  Stay healthy! 


Covid19 Property Management Update

November 29, 2020

Since the news of Coronavirus first broke, Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s focus has been on protecting the health and wellbeing of our employees, families, customers, suppliers and our communities.  In addition, we have focused on our ability to continue business operations and keep everyone working.  Like most organizations, our emphasis has been on preparedness and safety. 

Emerald is following the guidelines of Alberta Health Services and while this information continues to change and evolve, we believe we are well positioned to continue to meet the challenges of this pandemic. 

Our ability to meet the challenges is based on several reasons, including: 

  • Our team has proven performance and experience navigating emergency events. We are family owned and engaged in our key business operations.  Our systems have developed over our almost 50 years in business so that we can be responsive.
  • Our tools and technologies enable our team to work on rotation, and when needed, remotely, without disruption, to fully serve the needs of our customers. We have a work from home policy that makes necessary transitions and adjustments seamless.
  • Our team is committed to delivering great customer service and support, even in difficult situations. As a result, our customer demand and activity remains strong. We have been recognized for the past 5 years as: Top Choice in Property Management Services in Calgary.

Our team has managed crisis scenarios successfully in the past, and we are well prepared to continue navigating this unprecedented global health event with positivity.

To assist our customers and team members with information about how we continue to adapt, we have been posting regular information on our website at: www.emeraldmanagement.com/blog  and a pop-up alert on our home page.  This has proven to be an effective tool and resource for our community.

In response to the recent Government of Alberta restrictions:

  • As Emerald Management is deemed an essential professional services business, our office will continue to remain open and we will be available to guests by appointment only.
  • To do our part in minimizing the spread of Covid-19, effective November 30, 2020, our office hours will be modified to: Monday – Thursday (8.30 am – 6.00 pm); Friday (8.30 am – 5.00 pm); closed weekends.  Please note that office hours are subject to change.
    • Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. continues to be available 24 hours a day: 7 days a week for after hours support and emergencies.
  • All employees & guests are required to wear a mask and social distance. 
  • Over the next couple of weeks, we will continue to monitor the safety of our team and risk management protocols.  Where necessary, we will implement a rotation of teams working and the potential of working remotely.
  • In accordance with the provincial guidelines and the Real Estate Council of Alberta, property showings and inspections will continue to follow the physical distancing and masking requirements in place.  Property showings are now limited to two family-unit members at a time.

    Disinfecting clean added to Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s list of property management services.

  • Whenever possible, meetings and property showings will be conducted virtually.  As highlighted in our last Covid-19 Update, we continue to monitor the cleaning requirements of the common spaces of our multifamily properties and condominium communities.   We continue to use effective disinfecting protocols including the use of Vital Oxide and electrostatic sprayers. This disinfectant service has been integrated into Emerald’s extensive list of property management and property maintenance services. It is now available to condominium corporations and building owners.  For more information on our areas of focus, visit our last Covid-19 Property Management Update.

The above protocols and restrictions are in accordance with Alberta Health Services and supported by theAlberta Real Estate Association and the Real Estate Council of Alberta.

For individuals seeking information on the emergency financial relief programs and additional assistance available during the Covid-19 pandemic, visit:

Throughout this time, it continues to be important that we support each other and the community. We are thankful for the support of our loyal and dedicated team members, residents, clients and partners — all of whom, are all integral to the foundation of our success.

Thank you for your contribution to flattening the curve and working through this together.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay positive.

 


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