Regardless of COVID-19 social distancing continues to affect life as we know it in the United States,several businesses stepped back, restaurants closed their doors and big events were postponed. With all these problems, there’s one thing that hasn’t stopped for property managers and community association managers, and that’s maintenance requests, repairs, and upkeep.
It’s hard to know what to do in times like these — and you’re not alone — many property managers ask the same questions:
- How can I go on with my maintenance activities if I can not go on site?
- How can I provide the quality of service my clients deserve when they don’t want a repair technician to visit their home?
- How can I guarantee the health of my technicians and my residents while still doing the work?
- How will I treat requests for preservation of common areas within my community associations?
Those are tough questions and while we can not answer all of them, at this point we can give you a few easy ways to fix maintenance requests. Here are 5 things property and neighborhood administrators should do right now to improve their social distance maintenance operations:
1.Schedule Non-Urgent Repairs :
One thing you can do to that person-to-person contact with your tenants and staff instantly is to delay non-emergency repairs. Begin by communicating this via email or text message to your people, letting them know it’s for their protection and that of your employees. Be empathetic about their problem and make sure that at a later date you can follow up on their appeal.
Through deferring these types of demands, your maintenance technicians will concentrate their resources on critical repairs— such as roof leaks, plumbing failures, and water main breaks— so that your property continues running smoothly.
When there is an urgent repair that must be done on the house, whether it is indoors or outdoors, make sure that your staff is fitted with protective equipment such as latex Gloves, face masks, and sanitation materials. Additionally, confirm with your residents that your team meets approved CDC protocols and offer to join their unit if they’re on a walk to reduce interaction further.
With many of the team members operating remotely and fewer on-site staff, it can be difficult to ensure that you interact efficiently when it comes to maintenance requests and repairs. Fortunately there are mobile devices to help you streamline communications.
3.Keep common places clean:
Clean Another way to keep your property and neighborhoods secure while preventing COVID-19 from spreading is to clean your common areas regularly. Currently, the CDC recommends that regularly accessed surfaces such as door handles, elevator keys, shared bathrooms and regular railings be disinfected. Make sure the cleaning staff do have protective equipment while operating.
4.Consult with vendors:
In addition to cleanliness, maintaining good contact with your vendors and ensuring that they obey the same protocols is very critical. Asking about their COVID-19 management plan is a good idea because you know that you’re on the same page. Send daily email notifications to vendors with the guidelines of your communities to communicate and bring with residents and perform maintenance duties. Additionally, in case an employee calls in sick, create a contingency staffing plan.
5.Perform Digital Inspections:
Some property managers and community administrators may have scheduled annual routine inspections in the coming weeks. Consider postponing these during social distancing, or see whether residents are open to doing a virtual inspection using their devices. Just ask them to take pictures of each room, and then send them to your team by email or text.
Consider waiving late penalties for neighborhood groups where breaches are minuscule.
Social distancing poses problems for property and neighborhood association administrators but you can ensure consistency with your maintenance activities by taking the appropriate steps and using the required mobile devices. Begin by interacting proactively with your employees, vendors, and residents about how you will manage inquiries, preserve cleanliness, communicate with others, and make urgent repairs. When you have a strong business plan in place, you will continue to respond with agility and trust.
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