Struggling with coronavirus anxiety? You’re not alone.
At the best of times, property management can be a tough gig. Throw a global pandemic into the mix and property managers are now juggling a myriad of extra tasks and stressors – fielding calls from panicked tenants and landlords, implementing extra safety precautions and worrying about the safety of themselves and their colleagues, just to name a few. So, how can property managers navigate such a difficult time – both professionally and personally?
No#1: Remember You’re Not Alone.
The REIQ’s property management support service team have been working tirelessly to field the extra calls coming from property managers at this time. Team member Selinda Randall says one of the common themes among property managers utilising the PMSS hotline is being “stuck in the middle” of the property owner and tenant.
“It’s a really difficult time for property managers who are the person in the middle,” she says. “They hold concern for tenants (who they often have a good relationship with) who may be losing their jobs and have no idea how they’re going to pay rent. They’re also worried for their landlords who also may have the pressure of losing their own jobs and rely on rent as a form of income. Yes, a landlord can apply to their banks to freeze their mortgage repayment however if they’ve also lost their job, they have no other means of income themselves.”
If that’s not enough, Randall further highlights the personal concerns of property managers – whether it’s worries about their personal safety when conducting inspections through to broader issues of job security. “It’s like a boiling pot of issues which not all property managers are equipped to handle,” tells Randall.
Importantly, with property managers feeling the ‘effects’ of this pandemic more than most so to speak, there’s no shame in asking for help. “Property managers need to take care of their own mental health. They should ask for help if they need it – whether by talking to their employer, a fellow colleagues or calling the PMSS hotline. If a property manager has a question or issue they’re struggling with, it’s important to reach out in a way that’s most comfortable for your circumstance,” explains Randall. “If property managers don’t look after themselves, they’ll be ineffective in their roles and the people who reply so much on them – their employer, property owners, tenants and contractors if they don’t take care of themselves first. The flow on effect from this pandemic could last for months so we need to rally around and support one another to ensure we all last the distance.”
No# 2: Take Reasonable Precautions & Stay Informed
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic being described as a one in 100 hundred-year event, it understandable if you like you’re drowning in an overload of fast-changing information. What’s important is that you choose reliable sources for credible information.
According to the Australian Psychological Society, overexposure to media outlets can increase levels of fear and anxiety. Limiting your time on social media where hearsay and ‘fake news’ are often perpetuated is also an effective way to limit ‘infobesity.’ The REIQ has developed an industry toolkit for property managers, addressing many of the questions surrounding inspections, rent, technology and much more. Free to both members and non-members and updated daily, accessed it now here.
Of course, REIQ members can also access the Property Management Support Service – simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07 3249 7347.
As the situation unfurls, it’s also important for property managers to keep an eye on The REIQ’s social media channels for any breaking news or information that has a direct impact upon property managers. For those currently not following, click here to join our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram pages and remain the know regarding the very latest updates. You can also join the Queensland Real Estate Industry group (via Facebook), which is a private space for real estate professionals to connect and ask industry relevant questions.
Finally, it’s important to heed the advice of the Australian Government. The Department of Health has developed a collection of resources for the general public and industry about coronavirus (COVID-19), including translated resources, which can be accessed here.
No#3: Know When it’s Time to Seek Professional Help
Now that gyms, health clubs and sports complexes are no-go zones, The REIQ’s Selinda Randall recommends property managers look to other positive outlets to channel their anxieties and stresses. “Whether it’s pilates, meditation, yoga or cardio type classes, which are all able to be found online, we still need to take the time to care for our physical health. These activities will go a long way in assisting our own personal mental health needs especially during these difficult times.”
Should you find you’re still struggling with mental health issues, the Australian Psychological Society recommends seeking help. Contact the Australia-wide Find a Psychologist hotline on 1800 333 497 or jump online and visit findapsychologist.com.au. Alternatively, speak to your GP or another health professional and request a referral to a psychologist today.
For anyone experiencing a personal crisis, access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services are available: Lifeline 13 11 14; Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467; Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800; MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78; and, Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36.