With the onset of COVID-19, both renters and property managers have faced unexpected challenges. Renters are struggling to find a place to stay, and landlords and property managers worry about paying their mortgages and continuing their rental business due to vacant units.
To help both parties meet their needs, the furnished mid-term rental platform Kopa launched their Kopa for Good initiative in mid-March.
COVID-19 has created stress and headaches for both renters and property managers. Universities across the country have shut down their campuses, displacing students living in on-campus housing. Many of these students, especially international students, can’t return home due to travel bans and need to find a place to stay on short notice.
Medical professionals, such as travel nurses, have been kicked out of their housing due to landlord fears of COVID-19. While these professionals are dealing with the stress and exhaustion of fighting the pandemic, uncertainties about housing have only increased their anxieties.
Other groups of people looking for furnished housing to stay in for a few months include people looking to self-quarantine away from their families. As you might expect, it’s often hard to find a place to stay once a property manager finds out you have tested positive for COVID-19.
On the property management side, landlords have been wondering how they’ll make their mortgage payments when tenants can’t pay rent and cities have temporarily banned evictions. With a decrease in income from other jobs, landlords are even more dependent on rental income.
What is Kopa for Good?
Kopa for Good is a program that helps those in need of clean and discounted furnished apartments for stays one month or longer. Hundreds of property management companies and homeowners across the US have signed up to be a part of this program.
Kopa combined their experience offering furnished, medium-term rentals with a number of new criteria. After working out the details, they settled on a program tagline of “Discounted Rent. Flexible Policies. Sparkling Clean.” And that’s exactly what they provide.
When property managers list their units with Kopa for Good, they agree to price them 20-50% below the market rate. This discount is shown on each property’s listing page. Along with being fully furnished and discounted, all Kopa for Good properties come with the following:
- Cleaning supplies, hand soap, toilet paper, etc.
- Professional cleaning before and after all stays
- Flexible cancellation policies
- 0% Kopa service fees
Property managers who are a part of Kopa for Good have all agreed to professionally clean their units before and after stays. | Photo credit: CDC
How did Kopa for Good start?
Kopa for Good started when Kopa teamed up with Astro, a San Francisco property management company that lists their spaces on Kopa. They both wanted to find a way they could help renters and hosts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“First, we brainstormed and conducted market research on what those displaced by COVID-19 need,” said Kopa CEO and co-founder Jack Forbes. “Then we ironed out the requirements for hosts and property managers in the program.”
After figuring out the details of the program, they began reaching out to the biggest furnished rental operators in America. Before long, more than 30 property management companies came on board. While these companies are often competitors, they came together to join forces to help during this crisis.
Continuing to grow
Since its launch, the program has continued to grow as more hosts sign up for the program. Kopa for Good now includes 5,000 properties across the US in cities including NYC, Seattle, and the Bay Area.
“The word spread pretty quickly, especially since you can see the ‘Kopa for Good’ tag on every listing in the program,” said Forbes. “Before we knew it, hundreds of individual hosts were asking to join Kopa for Good, too.”
More homeowners and property managers continue to join the initiative as they find out about it. “We’re posting about Kopa for Good on the Facebook groups homeowners tend to congregate in, and we’re contacting larger property managers directly,” said Forbes.
Spreading the word to renters
Soon after Kopa for Good launched, renters were finding places to stay through the platform. Students displaced from campus housing at Stanford and the University of California San Fransisco were able to move into units available through Kopa for Good.
Since then, the program has spread through the renter community via social media platforms like Facebook, word of mouth, and media outlets. Kopa for Good is also partnering with organizations like medical staffing agencies and universities to connect with populations that might be looking for housing during this pandemic.
Since its creation a few weeks ago, Kopa for Good has helped tenants finding housing and helped hosts fill their units.
Forbes said that travel nurses working in New York City have found places to stay through Kopa for Good, and landlords have been thankful to find tenants so they don’t have to miss any mortgage payments. At a time of uncertainty, it’s nice to be able to count on having a place to stay or a tenant in your unit.
Kopa was formed with the goal to create communities by connecting renters, hosts, and housemates to form tight-knit communities. While experts are unsure how long the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of it will last, Forbes says that Kopa for Good affiliates hope to keep the program running to address other housing needs.
If you are interested in listing a rental with Kopa for Good or renting through the platform, read more information about Kopa for Good.
Kopa is a mid-term housing marketplace that helps renters find furnished apartments that are leased for 1-12 months. Through Kopa, property managers and homeowners post their listings, receive inquiries, review rental applications, and get paid deposit and rent.