How To Protect Your Real Estate Business During A Natural Disaster

Blame it on environmental degradation and other climatic factors, we are seeing more and more natural disasters in recent years. Not only are they varied, unpredictable and frequent, the damage they cause is also becoming heavier.

While we work to reduce natural disasters and the causes for it, we also need to prepare for it better and learn to protect our lives as well as property, and businesses when disasters strike. While disasters are thankfully short, their impact and losses are felt for much longer and it is imperative that we lay down plans and work on them, as described in this article.

Tips For Your Real Estate Business

With a real estate business, it is simplistic and naive to think your properties are going to be unaffected by disasters but in reality, every property is vulnerable. It is never too late to plan for ways to protect your real estate and people safe year-round and recover quickly after the event.

  • Don’t Fail to Plan

It is important to draw up a safety plan for the tenants, residents and the assets in the buildings when a natural disaster occurs. These safety plans for unforeseen emergencies must be communicated with residents and the necessary systems, tools and investments must be put in place. For example, during a flood, the residents must be aware of the evacuation plans and procedures and the building themselves need to be equipped with the necessary pumps, rescue materials, power sources, food, and medical supplies, to name but a few. Regular information updates on the plans, processes, and procedures can help to remind the people and keep them prepared.

  • Emergency Communication Systems

In an emergency, the first casualties are the power and communication systems and a panicky set of people can make it worse. You would need to ensure that you have a tested communication system and a communication protocol in place so that residents can communicate and do it well but briefly so that the systems and limited resources do not get clogged up or collapse. There need to be alternatives laid out for regular phone lines, in the form of email, wireless, satellite, text messages, or even HAM radios where possible. Communication lines ensure that the outside world can be informed and help can reach the site quickly.

  • Insure and be secure

For incidents of such large magnitude, it may not be possible to avoid damage despite the best planning efforts. Real estate professionals can at least reduce the financial impact of disasters by insuring and protecting their property against different types of destruction.

Real estate managers should insist on full insurance to cover their properties, for those sold and leased. It has been found that less than half of the residents and insurers carry any type of insurance. Real estate businesses must be fully aware of the different options, the ones that are relevant to their area and it might even be a good idea to impanel an insurance specialist for the properties.

  • Compliance Is Important

Real estate businesses would be fully aware of the different compliance norms, codes, and standards expected of a building. While these building codes ensure public health, safety and protection to life and property it is up to the businesses to stay updated with these norms and conduct appropriate timely repairs and maintenance. It is an ongoing process and real estate managers must make the effort to remain compliant and inform the residents and users at different times.

There is a lot of attention to minute detail that is warranted here- building design, materials, facilities, structure and the day to day maintenance processes. It may seem expensive and rigorous but the results are satisfying- a safer building, fewer insurance claims, damages, losses, and hassles.

  • Ensure Own and Resident/ Client Safety

While some of the earlier points were about the long term and preemptive efforts, the real estate manager has an important role during the disaster incident. From a business perspective and from a personal point of view the people in a real estate business must ensure their own safety and settle in and help clients, residents and common people stay safe. Their knowledge of different localities, the buildings there and the safety aspect can be put to use.

The manager can take a lead and reach out and enquire the safety of the people on his phone contact list. Physical help, food, clothing and anything else would be appreciated. Disasters are no time to be narrowly business minded.

  • Post Disaster Scene

The post-disaster scene is likely to be difficult and the real estate manager can take the lead in relief reassurance, assistance in alternate accommodation for homeless, applying for relief and insurance, listing current rental and sale inventory, mapping unaffected areas and reassure the affected ones. They have a role to play in ensuring that the market does not slide drastically or get affected by scammers or predatory investors while advising owners not to make any deal in desperation.

A natural disaster is a tough time for all and their properties are all that the people have to begin their recovery. Therefore a real estate business needs to stay firm and help the people and their own business through such times. It is a disaster put post-disaster scenarios could bring about interesting opportunities too.

Useful Reference Links

Protect Your Property from Natural Disasters
Property Managers Need to Prepare for Natural Disasters
How To Protect Your Commercial Property From A Natural Disaster
Real Estate Community Focuses on Disaster Preparedness
How to protect your business from natural disasters
Protect Your Business from Disaster

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Leona Harrison

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