Though most builders and realtors have never had to contend with a global pandemic before, they are no strangers to adversity. The coronavirus is not the same as a hurricane or tsunami, but the lessons housing professionals learned during natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey are proving essential to navigating the current chaotic economic landscape. With experience renegotiating leases and providing relief for renters, the experts in the multifamily industry say that they have been able to quickly jump into action to address coronavirus-related challenges.
Nothing can compare to the crushing economic tsunami created by the coronavirus pandemic, but in the housing market, there are some parallels to natural disasters.
Lessons learned from those devastating events are helping the industry cope now.
In 2017, after Hurricane Harvey swamped Houston, thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed. Many were single-family rental homes owned by one of the nation’s largest rental REITs, American Homes 4 Rent.
With about half of its 3,200 homes damaged, several hundred severely, and some staff members unable to get to their offices, the company had to mobilize quickly, remotely.