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Empathy is the ability to recognize and understand another person’s experience and is considered a key leadership competency.

It helps someone to develop a deep understanding of what other people are going through in their day-to-day lives and how they experience life events. It also helps property managers to build strong relationships with their tenants, which in turn leads to better customer service.

Empathy makes a real difference in property management because it allows someone who is struggling with rent issues during the pandemic to stop feeling afraid of eviction because they were downsized by their company due to the change in the economy.

A Guide for Real Estate During a Pandemic

Barry Blanton, Secretary and Treasurer of IREM’s Board of Directors played an instrumental role in developing IREM’s Pandemic Guide for Real Estate Managers.

He made his statements about the importance of empathy prior to the release of the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill that expanded unemployment benefits and placed a moratorium on tenant eviction from residential properties.

Here is an overview of the Institute of Real Estates guidelines for property management during a pandemic.

Rent Abatement

Rent abatement requests are one of the most complicated and challenging aspects of managing a property.

Property managers should have a framework in place for abatement requests during a pandemic that can be tailored to the specific situation of a tenant since every request is different.


The idea of re-tenanting is a recent trend within the real estate industry. It is when property managers focus on “re-tenanting” their rentals, which means they are renting them out to new people.

Blanton challenged the idea that this was a practical way for property managers to handle rental issues during a pandemic. Property managers were more likely to end up with plenty of vacancies rather than resolving financial issues arising from unpaid rent.

Blanton recommended exploring the importance of empathy in property management. This is especially true in pandemic scenarios where a property manager must consider tenants who may not be able to immediately solve their loss of income and inability to pay rent. Empathy is a key factor for building trust and reducing anxiety levels in all industries, especially in the property management industry, during an economic crisis.