6 Tips for Welcoming People Back to Your Property
As fall arrives this week, we’re starting to see more and more properties welcome people back or open their amenities again. With (hopefully!) the worst of the COVID pandemic behind us, below are some quick tips to help you get back to business safely.
One of the most important things we can do as property managers, even without a pandemic going on, is to make sure our property is clean. This is especially true of any indoor spaces you may have. If any of your spaces have areas that are touched often, such as tables, countertops, or other furniture, make sure they are cleaned and sanitized often.
With increasing evidence that COVID-19 is spread mainly through airborne droplets, it makes sense to still require people to wear masks indoors where social distancing isn’t as easy to maintain and where air is recirculated. It is also important to let people know when masks are and are not required. For example, for the most part, outdoor amenities such as fire pits, or meditation gardens would NOT require masking. People can spread out and there is plenty of fresh air. Of course, regulations vary by location. Make sure that you’re checking your locality’s guidance on disease prevention.
Check for Symptoms
This tip actually requires some additional staffing, training, and equipment. As a property manager, this may be something you want to take into account before implementing. You may want to leave these types of efforts to individual tenants, particularly in office buildings. To check for symptoms such as elevated temperature (>100.4 degrees F) you’ll need a touchless thermometer. The person performing the tests will need personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a mask or even a face shield. They will be required to ask a series of screening questions that CAN help determine if persons may have COVID or may have been exposed to it. You’ll need to work out the logistics of what happens if someone fails a screening test. Do they get sent home? Do you require that they have medical testing performed?
Encourage Social Distancing
While humans are inherently social creatures, one of the simplest ways to help prevent the spread of any airborne disease is to socially distance yourself from others. The current recommendation is to stay at least six feet away from others wherever possible. This may be especially important as we are exiting a pandemic, but are entering flu season. Both diseases are spread by airborne particles.
Reduce Points of Contact
If at all possible, reduce points of contact. For example, if you have a paper reservation form for meeting rooms or pavilions, can those be moved online? Are there other ways to automate physical processes? If you take payments for any reason, can you move to a system that uses an RFID reader instead of a point of sale push button device? Better yet, can payments be moved to online?
Lack of communication is one of the key frustration points in any organization. Communicate to your tenants and property visitors what your expectations and policies are. Let them know by multiple methods where masks are required and where they aren’t. Are you requiring medical screening? Signage is vital and appreciated by those who need the information you are providing. Use other channels as well - email, text, and social media are all important. If you do anything, over-communicate and anticipate people’s questions before they are asked.