Despite the lockdown, Punta Pacifica Realty rented 12 apartments in June, using technology and virtual tours to remain connected with clients and prospective renters.
An analysis of the rental activity found tenants “fleeing to quality,” focusing on top-quality towers.
Four of the rentals were in the JW Marriott Ocean Club and three in Dupont Tower. Punta Pacifica remains most popular, with eight rentals, followed by four on Avenida Balboa.
“The JW Marriott still leads the way with the highest demand, but Dupont and Oceanaire follow in a close second, offering similar sizes and a central location,” says PPR managing director Jeff Barton. “In June, three of the renters ended up closing in Dupont after finding bargains.”
Average rental prices in June were lower than a year ago, with some owners willing to accept lower prices to prevent apartments from sitting empty. At the same time, there has been an uptick in prepayment offers of 3 to 6 months up front to achieve lower prices while giving the owners security of having the payments secured for several months.
PPR has been able to follow safety protocols throughout transactions. PPR’s 3D virtual tours, which use Matterport technology to create an immersive experience, have played a major role in the activity, Barton says. Agents have also been using live video walk-throughs, allowing renters to do a final inspection from their homes. (In all but one case the rentals were turnkey and fully furnished.)
“The health and safety of our agents and the clients is the priority,” Barton says. “The way we do showings and coordinate logistics with safety measures and equipment has totally changed.”
PPR’s rental initiative was led by rental specialist Carlos De Leon, who assisted with 10 of the 12 rentals.
“All of our service representatives have been doing extraordinary work to help clients during this period but Carlos stood out as a hero to PPR and the community,” Barton says.
The activity is a sharp contrast to January when PPR posted 39 rentals for the month, but the double-digit remains impressive in the current climate.
Many agencies have been unable to post any rentals during the quarantine. PPR has also benefited from referrals from existing clients, including several owners who had seen their apartments sit empty for months.
PPR expects stronger rentals in July, with a company goal of 20 rentals. Early activity in the month has centered on Grand Tower, the JW Marriott, Ocean Reef islands, and the always popular Yoo on Avenida Balboa.