Happy Place Property Management

Written by the Symplicity team

Maritime Resilience is a series of stories on how local organizations are adapting to COVID-19.

Property Management company still matching folks to their happy place despite COVID-19

Happy Place Property Management is a women-owned Halifax business providing homes to folks all over HRM. Owner and property manager, Jenna Ross, loves the process of matching families with their “happy place”.

In March, however, with the threat of COVID-19 making its way to Canada, things were not looking happy at all.

“There was a lot of stress with the April 1st date approaching, wondering whether tenants would be able to pay their rent.” Ross said. “We braced ourselves for the worst.”
One of Ross’s favourite aspects of property management is the personal relationships she develops with owners and tenants.

“It’s a very high touch, personal service because we are dealing with individuals’ homes.” she says. The threat of a low touch economy was not ideal.

Ross quickly took advantage of any resources she could, making the most of the experts in her circle and attending webinars with Symplicity Designs so she could prepare. Attempting to walk her tenants and owners through the uncertainties of the pandemic was a challenge, especially when it was new to all of them.

Luckily enough, most circumstances weren’t as bleak as expected. Tenants were able to pay rent, much to Ross’s pleasant surprise, and the real estate market was positioned for one of its most intense seasons yet. Due to low vacancy and low inventory in both sales and property management, Happy Place was busier than ever.

“Things were extremely busy. It slowed us down temporarily but even in the middle of the pandemic we were communicating a lot more with our tenants and property owners. We really haven’t stopped. I’ve been working seven days a week to try and keep up.”
With the market being so busy, Happy Place was forced to find better ways to be as efficient as possible with viewings and meetings. Viewings took place quicker and safer with masks and sanitization. Filming properties became the norm which improved marketing. Property ads performed much better with video content.

Ross also learned where time was being wasted. Unnecessary trips became much more obvious in the wake of the “stay-at-home” orders. Many meetings were converted to video or phone calls, and electronic document signatures are now a regular part of Happy Place’s process.

Prepping for the spring market, planning with property owners, and moving tenants in and out (all while following safety guidelines) has kept Ross on her toes. On top of that, she is the mother of two daughters under 10.
“One of the hardest things was having my children home through all of it. Working seven days a week and trying to homeschool was definitely a challenge.”
Despite the trials, Happy Place Property Management is growing. In April, Ross hired a contractor to renovate the rental properties, then hired more staff to oversee that side of the business. Happy Place acquired another management company’s portfolio, which doubled its business. 2020 is turning out to be happy after all.

Happy Place Property Management is offering single family homes, duplexes and more all over HRM.

Find your “happy place” on their website or social media!

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