Avoiding contact with other people is the best way to prevent spreading the novel coronavirus. However, avoiding contact with your tenants at all times isn’t practical.
There will always be times when close contact is required to conduct business in a reasonable manner.
For example, your tenant might need a repair that requires verbal, in person communication. That’s hard to do while standing 6 feet apart speaking through masks.
If you care about your tenants, you want to make safety a priority without reducing the quality of service you provide to tenants.
Here’s how you can protect yourself, your tenants, and keep things running smoothly.
6 Ways How to Protect Yourself and Your Tenants:
1. Hire someone to sanitize common areas daily.
How often do you clean your laundry room? Probably not that often. Maybe once a month?
Before the pandemic, that was acceptable. Today, you need to clean and disinfect common areas daily.
However, if you’re working alone, you can hire an independent contractor. There are plenty of people looking for work who are reliable and trustworthy.
Find someone willing to disinfect your common areas. It probably won’t take more than an hour or two, even for large apartment buildings.
2. Close common areas if you can’t keep them clean.
If you can’t afford to hire someone to disinfect your common areas daily, you may want to consider closing those areas.
While you can’t close mail rooms or front lobbies, you can close pools, pool decks, fitness centers, and clubhouses.
3. Utilize phone conversations to clarify repair needs.
You’re probably used to text messaging with your tenants when they need something. There’s nothing wrong with this. However, under normal circumstances, your tenant would probably explain things in more detail once you come for a visit.
During these uncertain times, it’s important to maintain a 6 foot distance between you and your tenants. This distance will make it hard for tenants to expand on their request in person.
To make sure you get all of the necessary information from your tenant, call them to have a live phone conversation before heading over to check out their repair needs.
This will eliminate the need to decipher words mumbled behind a mask and/or break the 6 foot social distancing recommendation.
4. Post mask reminders in common areas.
If you have common areas like laundry rooms, lobbies, mail rooms, or club rooms, your tenants won’t be able to realistically stay 6 feet apart at all times.
You can help to keep your tenants safe by posting mask reminders in common areas.
If you can’t find a poster that fits your needs, make your own.
Just be sure to buy a license for your stock photos and don’t use any images found online without permission.
5. Place a hand sanitizer station in common areas.
Your tenants will feel much better when they have access to hand sanitizer in common areas. Many businesses have been offering hand sanitizer since mid 2020, so people have come to expect hand sanitizing stations in common areas. However, placement is important.
Don’t just put the hand sanitizer in a corner somewhere out of the way. Place the hand sanitizer station in the middle of the common area whenever possible.
You can even place your hand sanitizer station in the middle of each common area. In 2016, Fierce Healthcare reported on a study that found hospital visitors were 5 times more likely to use hand sanitizer when the dispenser was placed in the middle of the hospital lobby.
You’ll probably be able to put a hand sanitizing station in the middle of a club room, but you may need to get creative with smaller areas like mail rooms and laundry rooms.
For smaller rooms, place the hand sanitizer in an area that is visible upon entry from all doors and close enough that people don’t need to walk across the entire room to sanitize their hands.
6. Check in with your tenants.
Talk to your tenants and find out how they’re doing. Ask them if they feel like you’re doing enough to protect them and other residents.
If they don’t feel like you’re doing enough, ask what they believe you can do better.
Listen to tenant feedback and apply changes that make sense. Your tenants might have some good ideas that will help keep everyone in the building as safe as possible.