As the situation surrounding Coronavirus continues to evolve, property management companies are being forced to adapt quickly and often. Despite the continued questions being raised in this uncertain time, the top priority of property managers remains the same: protecting the health and safety of employees, tenants and clients while maintaining properties and supporting tenants and property owners.
Coronavirus has, of course, had an impact on every aspect of daily life for virtually everyone. For property managers and landlords, there are some unique challenges. These range from safety and communication with tenants to vendor management and sanitation requirements.
Property management best practices during Coronavirus uncertainty
Here are property manager best practices to make sure everyone in your properties remains healthy and safe:
- Stay informed. It is crucial that you do your part to stay updated on the latest Coronavirus developments, and that you get your information only from the most reliable sources. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a great source for the latest information on the virus, as well as guidelines for controlling transmission. Be sure to consult with your local health department for more specific local information.
- Increase cleaning efforts. Now more than ever, it’s essential to clean and sanitize all frequently touched surfaces and objects in the shared areas of your properties. These include bathroom surfaces, security desk areas, elevator banks, door handles, hand rails and all play areas.
- Make hand sanitizer available. Install hand sanitizer stations in high-traffic areas of all properties you manage, especially at frequently-used entrances and exits.
- Provide necessary information. Display materials at your properties to educate tenants, employees and visitors about proper hygiene, hand washing procedures and social distancing. Include materials in multiple languages, if necessary.
- Know the symptoms. It’s important not only that you know the symptoms of COVID-19, but that you make sure all your employees and tenants do as well. Establish procedures for self-quarantine if symptoms appear, and instruct employees to stay home if they suspect they have been exposed.
- Adhere to privacy regulations. While it’s important to be able to act swiftly if one or more of your tenants or employees contracts the Coronavirus, you also need to know that you’re following all applicable privacy laws and regulations before making any announcements. Don’t use names or anything else that could allow the sick individual to be identified.
- Confer with vendors. Keep in contact with all outside vendors who provide services for your properties. These include outside contractors who handle maintenance, sanitation, and security. You need to understand what disease management measures these companies are taking, as well as their ability to continue providing their services.
- Don’t panic. As important as it is to take the threat of Coronavirus seriously, you also need to act calmly and intentionally. This will ensure that you are able to make the best decisions, and help avoid panic spreading among tenants.
- Maintain communication. With so much uncertainty as the situation changes, it’s essential to keep tenants updated with all the latest information as it becomes available. If you implement new procedures, or anything comes up that tenants need to know, it’s essential to have a plan in place to get that information out as quickly as possible. Social media or a community website are great tools for keeping tenants updated and informed.
As property management best practices continue to change while the coronavirus situation develops, the best thing property managers and landlords can do is to be adaptable, stay informed and communicate with their clients and tenants. Contact us today to learn more about the role of property management during the Coronavirus pandemic. Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996.