What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a general contractor during the COVID-19 pandemic?
To set up a consultation or appointment with a general contractor during the COVID-19 pandemic, start by performing an online search for local professionals near you.
Message the contractor, and see if they are willing to set up a video consultation call instead of an in-person site visit. With video chat, the contractor may be able to assess the scale of the project, give you better information on what needs to be done and perhaps provide an estimate. Be sure to discuss virtual payments, as well as general strategies for staying safe.
What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a property manager during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ask the property manager if they can set up a virtual consultation or remote appointment using a phone or video chat. It’s best to avoid as much in-person contact as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If they can talk virtually, ask any questions you have about the work that needs to be done. Ask about their system for handling payments, and see what kinds of precautions they have in place to ensure safety and social distancing.
If you're hiring a property manager to look after a property that you own, consider the safety implications of in-person visits. Due to the CDC’s social distancing guidelines, it may be difficult for the property manager to collect rent in person or complete certain maintenance tasks. Check with your local government guidelines and consider implementing extra safety measures -- such as wearing a mask and gloves -- if you have to meet with them in person.
Contact the property managers near you and ask if they offer remote or virtual services to accommodate the recent social distancing guidelines. For example, some property managers may be able to collect rent by using digital payments and deal with maintenance issues over the phone or via video chat.
Some property management services accept digital payments such as PayPal, Venmo and Zelle. Check with the property management business near you to see what kinds of payments they accept. Remember that digital payments are typically considered safer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it requires virtually no person-to-person contact.
To find out whether a general contractor is considered essential in your area during the current coronavirus pandemic, visit your city or state’s government website, which will have information on essential services.
Find information on national recommendations by visiting CISA’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 webpage. However, not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.
You will need to check with your city or state government to see if a property manager is considered an essential service provider in your area.
For more information on a national scale, refer to CISA’s document on critical workers. However, keep in mind that some -- not all -- jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.
In most cases, a property manager should not have to enter your home or apartment unless there is a maintenance issue that needs attention. If you are hiring a property manager to look after your property, refer to the CDC’s social distancing guidelines and check on your state or local community rules. Ask the property manager whether they can collect rent through digital methods such as PayPal, Zelle or Venmo, and see if they can communicate with residents through video chat or phone call for maintenance issues.
If you decide to hire a general contractor, avoid any physical contact, don’t shake hands, keep 6 feet of distance between you and the pro and sanitize all involved surfaces. Also, use digital platforms to communicate and make payments.
Currently, many general contractors are using common digital payment services like PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash, Zelle, Google Pay and more. And more will likely adopt these and similar platforms as coronavirus continues to force companies to take on digital capabilities.
Contact general contractors beforehand to discuss whether they accept digital payments, and take all necessary measures to meet social distancing recommendations. You can also compare general contractors side-by-side online to see which ones accept digital payments.