Several of my multifamily investor and lender clients have approached me about how they can continue to do business during the pandemic. They are looking for ways GRS Group can provide them with the information they need to assess the physical risks of a property for a pending acquisition or loan.

Although our work is now a little different – business does not have to stop! GRS Group can provide our clients with the information they need to evaluate properties through planning, communication and creativity.

We will craft an approach based on the client’s needs and property-specific characteristics, taking into account the following:

1. The sensitivities and concerns of the investors/lenders and tenants regarding the physical characteristics of the property.

2. Property restrictions: Will management or tenants restrict access by persons from certain Covid hotspots?  Will there be exterior and interior access restrictions?  Are there state and/or local government restrictions on visiting the Property? Will additional personal protective equipment be required for the inspector besides standard mask and gloves?

3. Property occupancy and access: For multifamily properties, how many vacant units are at the Property and how are they distributed across unit types, phases, buildings? Will vacant units be able to be viewed in any way, even photos from the doorway? Or, in the case of age-restricted or seniors housing, is the entire community interior inaccessible?

4. Due diligence requirements: Are there certain lender or investor “standard requirements” that will not be met, such as the percentage of units to view? Will an advance waiver be required? Will sampling be needed, and can it be done?

5. Property cooperation: What is the availability of knowledgeable personnel for interviews? How much cooperation can we expect from ownership, management, and tenants? Will access be provided at all due to COVID-related concerns? Will the tenants be willing and available to provide GRS with photos in lieu of our access if we were to provide them with the needed pictures along with how to take them?

Once the “ground rules” are established, GRS will work with you to develop an investigation plan. If enough in-person access cannot be accomplished to properly evaluate the property’s physical condition, a hybrid approach can be implemented. The process will include a document review and in-person inspection with interviews supplemented with property-provided photos (we will provide a comprehensive list of those required along with guidance for taking the photos) to accomplish the hybrid “live-virtual” inspection.  The live virtual inspection can be conducted using any of the technologies available today including Zoom, Skype, Teams, or other methods.

By understanding the circumstances around each transaction and property at the outset, GRS Group is effective at helping lenders and investors evaluate the property’s physical risks and projected capital needs and keep the transactions moving forward.

We are getting deals done in this environment!  And will continue to shift our methods to remain ahead of the restrictions in place as the environment continues to evolve.  If you would like to discuss how we can assist you in purchasing, selling, developing, financing, or recapitalizing your commercial real estate transaction, please reach out to your GRS representative to discuss the myriad options available for us to assist you.

About GRS Group

On the leading edge of innovation in commercial real estate transactions, Global Realty Services Group provides its clients with unsurpassed expertise in the areas of Transaction Services, Title Insurance and Sustainability Solutions. With offices across the United States, Europe, and affiliates around the globe, GRS Group provides local market knowledge with a global perspective for institutional real estate investors, occupiers and lenders worldwide. The GRS Group team has evaluated and advised on over $1 trillion in CRE transactions.