February 24, 2021 (HOUSTON)—Texas-based commercial real estate firm, Hartman Income REIT Management, Inc. (Hartman), and its dedicated property management staff provided unofficial warming centers for displaced tenants, damage relief funds, maintenance house calls, and offered temporary housing for employees who lost power or suffered severe property damages due to the winter storms that raged throughout the state last week.
The storm knocked out power for over 4 million Texas residents and more than 14 million were left without access to clean water, according to ABC News. The cost of the storm is estimated to be $20 billion, making it the costliest in state history, according to the Insurance Council of Texas. Property owners across the state experienced severe property damage due to frozen pipes, fires, and flooding.
With over $750 million assets under management and 59 commercial properties situated in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, Hartman has teams of on-site engineers, property managers, and construction crews situated strategically across its entire portfolio. Thanks to meticulous planning, quick thinking, and stalwart field teams, the majority of Hartman properties were spared any major damages.
Taking assessment after the storms passed, Shane Cawood, Hartman’s Director of Operations – Asset Services commented “Our teams rapidly developed a freeze SOP, outlining what we needed to do to prepare for this event, how to prevent widespread damage, and protect both the building and our tenant’s property. I am incredibly proud of how our teams responded to this unprecedented event, many of them even left situations at their own homes to care for others.”
At the height of the storm, Hartman’s CARES committee (an employee-led disaster response team), worked with its property management, engineering, and executive team to find solutions to help its tenants, employees, and their families through the storm. Hartman opened the doors of five office properties across Texas to provide temporary warming stations for those in need. The warming stations were staffed by Hartman’s property management and engineering teams.
Hartman stated last week that the company’s Benevolence Fund would consider requests for financial assistance for employees experiencing damaged pipes, flooding, broken water heaters, or in need of food, water or shelter. The fund, which was established in 2016 through a seed grant from Al & Lisa Hartman, extends aid during times of financial crisis and supports charitable organizations that align with the company’s core values. The fund has paid out more than $380,000 in approved needs since inception.
Speaking proudly of the company’s response to the winter storm and its relief efforts, CEO & President Al Hartman shared his appreciation, “Just as our Hartman team came together to support each other during Hurricane Harvey, we have done the same through this winter storm. It is a blessing and testament to the faith and the care each employee has for each other and most importantly, our tenants.”
Hartman’s construction, engineering, and property management teams were also responding to tenant and employee needs by performing maintenance calls to the homes of Hartman employees and building tenants to offer help with plumbing issues, organizing temporary housing, and relocating tenants who needed a safer short-term space to work from.
One beneficiary of Hartman’s disaster relief fund was a Hartman employee’s mother, whose home flooded due to a broken pipe. The employee shared, “The Hartman CARES Committee reached out to see what needs I had, as soon as they found out that I was dealing with plumbing problems for myself and my 81-year-old mother they immediately offered temporary housing arrangements to us both at no cost. The Hartman way never ceases to amaze me, they truly treat tenants, employees, and our families as their own.”
As storm damages continue to be remediated by the Hartman team, tenants can continue to expect regular communications and information to be shared on additional relief efforts from the company.